Hey, guys! As October brings blustery weather, the return of Uggs and pumpkin-flavored everything, it also brings a new team of writers to Boundless. In the coming weeks we’ll be introducing you to a few of the voices we’ll be adding to our crew. I know you’ll love them all as much as I do, and I can’t wait for this new season (literally — I’m so over summer). First up, Chris Crane! – Joy Beth
New seasons are rather interesting. I myself look forward to Fall when I can begin to wear cardigans and scarfs again. And by scarfs, I mean one scarf that I will attempt to fashionably wear different ways. However, here in Texas seasons are not always easily defined nor do they always come as they should (or at all). Life is like that too. Rather unexpectedly we can experience new seasons, or, at other times, we expect the transition and gladly welcome it.
When I transitioned from college to grad school, it was a time of eagerness and excitement, and I was glad for the new season. However, I was less excited this past year when I went through a season of spiritual depression, something not expected — or wanted — but nonetheless present. Today, I find myself on the other side of that season, approaching another one brimming with excitement and anticipation of what’s ahead.
Writing for you all is actually one of those things sitting on my horizon; this Fall I have the privilege of coming on board here at Boundless as a regular contributor. I’m eager to be writing again (through much of last year, my pen lay unused, and my words were few), and I pray that perhaps a few of those choice lessons the Lord taught me might inspire some of what I write here.
Here’s what you need to know about me: I’m 28 years old and single. I live in Texas, where I was born and raised. Currently much of my time is spent being a grad student at Dallas Theological Seminary, where I also work and serve as a graduate assistant in the Theological Studies department. I’ve done freelance writing in the past, off and on, and quite enjoy it. I’m an avid reader and have a small collection of books my friends lovingly call “Chris’s own library” (I venture to guess I own about 1,000 books at this point, not counting my e-books). Aside from being a bookworm, I also love food. Anytime I can discover a great new local restaurant, I get weirdly excited as I drag my friends along to try to it out.
I have several research interests, many as a result of deep, personal journeys the Lord has walked me through, that I hope will provide wisdom and encouragement for you all. My interests range from how we interpret the Bible to discussions surrounding gender and sexuality to evangelicals and their posture towards the arts and pop culture. Having grown up as an evangelical Christian in the South, I have a vested interest in seeing us celebrate the good as we thoughtfully work to correct the bad.
Perhaps some of you find yourselves having a strained relationship with the church. I’ve been there myself. Perhaps you have doubts you don’t know how to express or don’t know if you can express them. I’ve been there too. In fact, I’ve lost count how many doubts and questions I’ve had throughout the course of my Christian life. Truth be told, that’s actually a pretty normal part of the Christian life, and maybe one day we can explore that a bit further. Your doubts don’t scare me (and they don’t scare God), so I hope you grow comfortable expressing them to me.
In recent days, the Lord has given me a heart for people who live with body shame and the effects of gender stereotypes. I, for one, have felt this particular struggle personally, and it is weighty indeed. It makes me increasingly thankful Jesus is willing to carry that load for me. It also makes me appreciate other Christians who bear my burden – as I do theirs – as we all seek to understand this life as we strive toward Jesus.
Lastly, let me invite you into what this new season will look like for me outside of Boundless. This Fall, I’ll be continuing my full-time study at Dallas Seminary. I’m slowly but steadily working my way towards their Master of Theology degree, a 120-hour behemoth master program. I’m about halfway done, more or less. I’m eager for the classes that lay ahead, including three systematic theology classes, a class on Christian education and a class on building your own blog (which I am particularly excited about). Additionally, I’m volunteering my time to a Christian magazine and helping to decide the children’s book of the year, so my “fun” reading will be eaten up by mostly middle-grade novels. It’ll be an interesting journey to say the least.
New seasons are not always easy, and they can be filled with anxiety. In these moments we can trust Christ is with us today and every day, reminding us of His faithfulness and goodness to us as we step out in faith, cardigans and all.
Chris Crane is a freelance writer, theology nerd, and food lover. He is slowly but surely making his way through the Master of Theology program in Historical and Systematic Theology at Dallas Theological Seminary. He considers himself a lifelong learner and is very much a bibliophile, with an ever-increasing personal library that currently clocks in at around 800 volumes. His love of books is equally rivaled by his love for movies. He has previously written for the Council for Biblical Manhood and Womanhood and Gospel-Centered Discipleship. He lives in Dallas, TX. You can follow him on Twitter: @cmcrane87.