Who is Brother James?
A Christian Mystic, Socratic Evangelist, and Benedictine Bard
I grew up evangelical and still hold to every element of the Apostle’s Creed, despite years of questioning, doubt, and at times outright rejection of God. I trust that Jesus’ life, death, and resurrection were the center of God’s redemption of mankind, and the Holy Spirit is at work now to illumine Jesus in and to people on an individual and communal basis. I am convinced of the reality and divinity of Jesus Christ and intend to follow His teachings unto spiritual, emotional, social, and even physical death — first and foremost in pursuit of complete submission to the Will of God and the Holy Spirit’s work of manifesting the Life of Jesus in my body.
But I have come to believe, through God’s leading in my questions, that He cannot be tamed by my mind, that He stands outside the bounds of all categories and doctrines, that I am certainly wrong about Him in particular ways that I’ve yet to discover, and that true knowledge of God comes only through experience of Him in contemplation. (Regardless of which term you use for that practice)
I intend to pursue Goodness, Truth, and Beauty for myself and others through discussion and Socratic questioning, following in the tradition of Socrates who was martyred in the name of Philosophy – the second most famous death in history next to Jesus.
I hope to delight, as is proper, in all that is Good, True, and Beautiful, inwardly and vocally, in a such a way that others can’t help but join in. This of course ultimately means delighting in God, but doesn’t always explicitly identify Him as such, in hopes that all might join in such delight, even unknowingly.
I intend to follow Benedictine Monasticism’s model of commitment to community, hospitality, moderation, and spiritual practice in hopes of continuing on the unnatural, counter-cultural path of Jesus and the winding journey into the Love of the Trinity.
The result of these commitments and intentions is (hopefully) rich, meaningful experience which births stories that manifest as songs. I intend to share these songs as a means of expressing, communicating, and further engaging my Mysticism, Benedict(ism?), Socrat(ism?), Christianity, and Evangelism.
So why Brother James?
In the tradition of Catholicism (which is beautiful and good but I can’t fully affirm as true), I intend to model my life after a particular saint, taking on their name as my own. However, I broke the rules a bit by choosing two Saints who share my (middle) name: Saint James the brother of John who was the first to be beheaded in the name of Jesus and Saint James the brother of Jesus, an important leader in the early church who was dubbed “James the Just” (and was the freaking brother of Jesus). I hope to be such a brother and follower of Jesus. More on that in a later post.
Mostly, I write songs. And sometimes articles. Hop into that mailing list opt-in if you want them!