About Me

Hi, my name is Mike. Thanks for visiting my blog.

I live in the suburbs of Chicago with a beautiful wife (married in 2006), a beautiful daughter (born in 2013), and a cat who, after years of transformative therapy (ok, not really) and treats, has (mostly) stopped trying to trip me while going up and down the stairs. I have an MBA in Finance from a local college and work in corporate finance. I currently attend a small non-denominational church in the suburbs.

“Shadows and Light” seems like an apt title for my blog because it summarizes my own experience of life - moments of joy, clarity and hope contrasted with moments of sorrow, confusion, and doubt. My experience is one of chiaroscuro.  A fancy words, perhaps.  It just means "an effect of contrasted light and shadow".  I don't mean to romanticize or sensationalize my life as in many (most) ways it's quite ordinary. This is fine by me; “ordinary” is merely a term to denote something common to humanity.  And I think we all know chiaroscuro.

As far as the content of this blog (while it may go without saying), the ramblings, meditations, theories, opinions, impressions, and musings present here aren't those of a trained theologian, philosopher, literary or music critic (citations excluded of course!).  I am no chaplain, scholar, or cultural commentator.

I read daily, widely, and wildly (and some might add “obsessively”) and I'm grateful for the possibilities that modern technology has afforded me to read, learn, converse, grow, and pursue truth. Before being anything else, however, this blog is a place to collect my own thoughts and the thoughts/work of others both modern and ancient, to process my own experience and chronicle my journey, to wrestle with God.  It's a mosaic of wandering thoughts, a meandering narrative.  And all is preliminary.  There are things here that I'd go back and write differently.  But I've decided to leave them.

My modest hopes for this blog are thus related to what it inherently is; I simply hope to share some of what I've learned and to chronicle and express some of my own thoughts and experiences. I hope that my thoughts about faith and life will resonate with and challenge others, as I myself hope to connect with and be challenged by others.

Thanks again for visiting. Would love to hear your thoughts on any of the content here, so feel free to leave a comment!



  1. Hi Mike, I am Ed Babinski, and was banned from Jesus Creed a long time ago (McKnight published a book that cited my own work, Leaving the Fold, years ago, and we disagreed), but I happened to pop in and saw your recent comment concerning the question of "the Fall" and how to understand it in light of evolution. I can't post, but decided to contact you via your blog and share some quotations with you. Feel free to share them on McKnights blog if you wish. *smile*

    de Chardin wondered the same thing.

    "So long as people believed, as St. Paul himself did, in one week of creation and a past of 4,000 years - so long as people thought the stars were satellites of the earth and that animals were there to serve man - there was no difficulty in believing that a single man could have ruined everything, and that another man had saved everything."
    --Pierre Teilhard de Chardin, Christianity and Evolution

    "It is a difficult task fitting evolutionary ideas into the Christian framework, beginning with Paul’s exposition in Romans 5:12 that ‘Therefore, just as sin came into the world through one man, and death came through sin, and so death spread to all because all have sinned’... And what about Paul’s thoughts on the direct connection of sin with one man and redemption with another in Romans 5:18, ‘Therefore just as one man’s trespass led to condemnation for all, so one man’s act of righteousness leads to justification and life for all.’ Was the trespass that Paul mentions perpetrated by some particularly evil Homo habilus or an especially cunning Homo erectus? The common modern explanation is that Genesis 1-3 is to be interpreted metaphorically. If that is so, why does God require a bloody, horrific, non-metaphorical sacrifice of his Son? This is the difficult task of reconciling evolutionary thought and Christianity... One also has to wonder what it means to live in a ‘fallen’ world where no such fall has occurred [where death, predation, aggression, have always been, long before any species vaguely resembling an ‘Adam’ ever evolved]. So without an historically 'good' creation 'in the beginning,' and without an historical Adam and Eve or historical fall, the problem of natural evil becomes one of even more stark contrast. The answer to suffering parishoners that we ‘live in a fallen world’ makes less sense if every living thing was cursed with death–and over 90% of every ancient species was cursed with extinction–long before human beings even showed up in this less than Edenic cosmos."
    --Terry W. Ward in a letter published in Christian Century, April 22, 2008 [with edits]

    "Did a separate group of hominids reach a certain point at which their brains could handle a 'soul?' And where was the cutoff point? Can you imagine the heartbreak of knowing your mom and dad aren’t endowed with the image of God? Try this on for size: 'Grandma and grandpa aren’t going to heaven — not because they sinned, but because they were animals.'”
    --Tim Widowfield, Strange Bedfellows — Evolution and Christianity

    1. Thanks for posting Edward.

      I've been meaning to read some de Chardin. These are in line with some of the questions that I wrestle with. Yeah, I don't think that evolution is something that can be just sort of added onto traditional theological models and semantics without consequence. It is much more complex than that.

      Thanks again.


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