About Me

“From the Village of a Friend”

I am told that this is what my first name, “Winthrop,” means: “From the Village of a Friend.” I suppose that this is a pretty good name for a pastor to have, not that my parents had any expectations of me in that direction. And so, I come from the Village — from the Kingdom, more truly — of Christ and I have been sent with a message to proclaim to all who are given ears to hear. That is my calling and my desire. As one pastor once put it, “it is my vocation, my avocation, and my vacation.” There are few things that I love more than teaching people about the Word of God. By passion, I am a teacher, but I also have a heart for the people of God, which means that I am very much a pastor — or the “pastor-teacher” of which Paul writes in Ephesians 4:11.

Teaching is not just done from the pulpit, though. As a shepherd feeds his flock daily, so too a pastor should find ways to guide the spiritual lives of his congregation on a daily basis. The primary way in which I do this is through writing. I began writing devotions for congregations I served pulpit supply back in my seminary days and I continue to do so today. Many of these have been compiled and reworked into books that can be found on Amazon. To accompany the expositions of scripture, I have also written a number of short theological pieces, all with the goal of equipping the people of God to live our their calling as the church.

So, what else might you want to know? I am an ordained minister in the ReformedChurch in the United States (RCUS) and have been in full time ministry since I graduated seminary in 2006. In 2005, I was also privileged with the opportunity to begin teaching Systematic and Historical Theology at a mission seminary in Ukraine operated by Reformed International Theological Education (RITE) where I continue to teach, serve on the Board of Directors, and oversee the Masters’ Degree program. I am also on the Advisory Board for The North American Reformed Seminary (TNARS). 

At heart, I am a country-boy. I enjoy working in my garden and splitting firewood with an axe (though as I get older, those pneumatic log splitters are starting to look pretty attractive). I home-can much of what I grow in the garden and I enjoy cooking as well as very spicy food. My favorite character from fiction is Sherlock Holmes, my favorite theologian is John Dick, and my favorite Apologist is C.S. Lewis. I read widely, but the majority of my personal reading revolves around systematic theology and philosophy. 

14 thoughts on “About Me

  1. Win, I feel honored to have someone like you give me advice and encouragement. Thanks for being a good, caring man. God bless you and your family.

    Like

  2. I just found your site. I have been praying for people with whom I could get feedback upon my interpretation of Scripture in Hebrew. Hebrew’s nuances demand discussion and I see God’s hand in that because it motivates us to be in relationship with one another to fully understand His Word. May I from time to time post a question to your blog site for clarification/discussion? God bless, Dave

    Like

    1. Dave, I would be honored and delighted to interact with you in that way. May God bless you as you continue to immerse yourself in His word.

      win

      Like

  3. God bless you for your reply. I confess I am a beginner in Hebrew. I’m still learning the ropes. I am looking at Gen. 1:6 and the use of the verb ‘to separate, divide’ (badal). In my interlinear text the word does not seem to be rendered in the Qal stem. Am I mistaken that it is instead in the Piel stem? My reason for asking is if it is indeed in the Piel stem the word construct would carry the sense of God’s ongoing providence; that He continues His creative act. Am I seeing what I want to see, or does the construct have a different connotation?

    Like

    1. Dave,

      You are right that badal is not in the Qal; it is actually in the Hiphil stem, not the Piel. The connotation thus is not a continuing action of separation, but one of God’s forceful and direct work. The waters above did not separate from the waters below by some random means, but instead did so by God’s intentional design and separation.

      The creation account is written in such a way to reflect God’s work of creation beginning and ending with that first week, thus we see God resting from his labors on day 7, so while God’s providence is certainly ongoing, the language here doesn’t reflect that so much as it reflects God’s own intentional action. Creation is meant to be seen as a miraculous work of God.

      What is likely throwing you off in your parsing with this particular case is that it is a participle as well (giving the ‘m’ prefix). Sometimes they can be tricky.

      May I ask which grammar and resources you are using?

      Blessings,

      win

      Like

      1. I would welcome suggestions and guidance regarding a good grammar and parsing guide. I use my interlinear (Kohlenberger) in conjunction with an embedded Strong’s lexicon on a compute search engine. As soon as you brought up the matter of participles the fog lifted. Like I said, I am a beginner, but I have fallen in love with Hebrew. I am encouraged that I reached the same conclusion regarding the passage, but still need to improve at ‘parsing’ the reasons. You don’t know how much this means for you to take this time with me. God bless you.

        Like

      2. Though I am far from being a master of Hebrew, it is a language that I too have fallen in love with both for its richness and color and because of my love of scripture. I am glad to meet other like-minds.

        In terms of suggestions; I used Gary Pratico & Miles Van Pelt’s Hebrew Grammar when I was in seminary and commend it highly. It is well structured, easy to follow, and has lots of useful helps and guides — particularly in the way of charts to help learn verbal stems. I would commend it highly. When I was teaching High School, I taught some willing students a semester of introductory Hebrew as an elective and used that grammar with them as well.

        In terms of software, I use a Mac, so Accordance by Oak Tree Software is the top of the line. If you use a PC, Logos comes close to Accordance, though the interface is not as intuitive. Both pieces of software are pricey, but in my opinion, well worth every penny.

        Another tool that I found helpful when teaching Hebrew was the resources available through EKS Publishing Company. They are a Jewish company dedicated to helping make the Hebrew language more accessible to Jews as well as to Christians. There are some great tools there for reading — childrens books and the like to use to reinforce your comprehension. One of the more enjoyable products they have is a book called “Tall Tales in Hebrew” where familiar folk stories are told in Hebrew, again to help recognition. The language is simple and the text is meant to be easy to follow, which then improves your Hebrew in other areas as well.

        Also, if you go to http://www.dictionary.co.il you can sign up for a free Hebrew vocabulary word to be emailed to you daily. These are in modern Hebrew, but again is a good reinforcement. They also offer lessons and teaching aides, but I have never utilized these thus far.

        Hope these are helpful, God bless you in your continued studies and feel free to drop me a note anytime.

        Win

        p.s. and for a real treat, go to: http://www.hebrew4christians.com/Blessings/Synagogue_Blessings/Priestly_Blessing/priestly_blessing.html
        Then click on the “listen” tab. Some good stuff here as well

        Like

  4. dear pastor win: thank you so much for making these biblically-based writings and resources available. am going through times (common to all ) that greatly challenge me to question the Lord’s intentions towards me. finding your website and its’ contents are helpful as i walk these things out. blessings on you and yours.

    Like

    1. Guin, I am glad that these have been a blessing. God gets the real credit, though, in every way. Blessings, win

      Like

    1. I guess that in principle, it is just to discipline yourself to carve out a time for reading and reflection that is more or less sacrosanct and is not compromised by other duties of the day. For me, it is getting up earlier than my family so that I can do so without distractions. The key is to make this a part of your life, not a box that you check off on a “to-do list.”

      The second thing you need to decide are what are your goals. If reading through the Bible in a year is your goal, then there are lots of good resources out there. Personally, I like the old-fashioned model of starting in Genesis and reading straight through without jumping around, but that isn’t for everyone. If your goal is to read through the Bible in a year, you essentially have to read on a pace of 4 chapters a day to finish…it really isn’t that daunting when you think of it in this way. By the way, if you set a pace for 4 chapters a day, you can do this over a 6 day week. That leaves your Sunday reading as a day to re-read the text from Sunday’s sermon and think it over or to re-read chapters that you read earlier in the week but might like to explore more deeply. And, if you had a particularly busy week, even to finish reading so you don’t fall behind pace.

      In my congregation, I alternate the reading plan for those who wish to follow it. I alternate between a “through the Bible in a year” type of plan and a set of shorter readings that are more specific so can be read more closely. This year we are reading a harmony of the Gospels (you can check out this reading plan on our church website). For the congregation, I usually write a summary of the texts we read, some explanation, and a crossword puzzle based on the week’s reading (on the website too). This year I fell behind in this part some with the death of my mom and am working to get caught up on the summaries/puzzles for those who are faithfully doing the readings.

      In principle, if you are willing to commit 30-45 minutes a day to this, the readings are very doable. I tell people to take a break from television (usually a time gobbler) and commit it to being spiritually productive.

      In terms of my personal devotions, I tend to go through passages much more slowly — translating a few verses a day from the Greek or Hebrew. What you find on this blog is often the results of this devotional practice.

      Hopefully that is helpful,

      win

      Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.