11 Questions with Arminian Zorro

arminian-zorroBorn and raised in the Pentecostal tradition, fourth generation. Married, with two daughters. In the final stretch of an MA in Theological Studies (nine hours left after this semester) for a mid-life career change into vocational ministry as a Bible teacher. Gringo by birth, but fluent in Spanish and love Latin culture. I preach and teach more in Spanish than in English right now.

1. Why did you start a Twitter account?
A. I was having an e-mail exchange with Calvinist Batman. He was writing about how he has to be an Anon to keep from having people at church get on his case when he doesn’t exactly follow his denomination’s party line. I mentioned that if I ever picked a character, it would be an Arminian Zorro. Within a week I launched the account. As a classical Pentecostal, I’m firmly in the Arminian tradition. I minister among Latinos, and Zorro is a popular folk hero, even though he was created by American novelist Johnston McCulley. He’s the “Robin Hood of the Spanish Old West.” Zorro is Spanish for Fox, and Disney’s Robin Hood was a fox. I’ve had two foxes as pets at different times (one red, one arctic). So it’s like the perfect convergence for me.

2. Who is your favourite theologian, past and/or present?
A. Past, probably John Wesley. Living, I would say Gordon Fee. He really opened the door for Pentecostal theologians in the broader Evangelical academy.

3. Is it easier to be who you really are as an Anon?
A. I think so. It allows me to explore thoughts without worrying that the wrong person will take issue and try to have my credentials revoked. I think I’m pretty much in the center of the stream regarding academics in my movement, but there are some Fundies out there who think their interpretation of Scripture is equal to Scripture. I don’t want to take on a fight until I’m more established.

4. What book are you reading?
A. I’m currently reading Volume 3 of Lewis and Demarest’s Integrative Theology for my second semester of Systematic Theology. Sixty more pages and I start writing four position papers on eschatology, soteriology, ecclesiology, and pneumatology. Once I turn all those in, I want to finish Pentecostal Theology and the Theological Vision of N.T. Wright: A Conversation, to which an acquaintance of mine contributed.

5. What’s your favourite movie or TV show?
A. I loved the Family Channel version of Zorro with Duncan Regher. I’m currently into the DC universe (Supergirl, Flash, and Arrow), and I’m something of a Whovian, though I haven’t seen the second season with Peter Capaldi yet.

6. What is your pet peeve in church or with Christians?
A. Right message, wrong text: when a preacher is saying something that is biblical and true, but trying to draw the point from a passage that’s not really about that topic.

7. Why is it important to study theology?
A. We need to be able to break apart and re-assemble our beliefs about God and give reasons for them beyond “my pastor told me.”

8. What’s your favorite Bible verse(s)?
A. 2 Timothy 2:15. I want to make sure that when I say, “The Bible says…” that it really does.

9. What makes you so very bored?
A. Sports. Never been into them. I’m a classic introverted academic nerd. I even have @Adam4D’s Theology Nerd t-shirt and hoodie.

10. What place in the world would you like to visit? Why?
A. I would love to visit Israel and also trace the path of Paul’s journeys. As someone who wants to teach Bible in a Bible institute or college, that experience would really enhance and bring to life my book learning. If I could take 5 weeks straight off work in the summer I would go on my seminary’s study tour of the Middle East.

11. Your friend wants you to go to her Bible study group…but your favorite band is in town, and another friend gives you tickets to the concert. What would you do?
A. I would go to the concert. Because it would be Petra, and they just don’t tour that much anymore. I missed the first reunion tour, and would not let it happen again.

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