Please note: the ideas and opinions expressed on this blog are my own, and do not necessarily represent the institutional perspectives of United Theological Seminary.
I serve as Academic Dean and Associate Professor of New Testament at United Theological Seminary in Dayton, Ohio. I hold a PhD from Southern Methodist University and am an ordained elder in the West Ohio Conference of the United Methodist Church.
I’m married to the lovely Harriet Watson, and we have two kids, Luke and Sean. Luke is a baseball player, he’s into martial arts, and he is the best big brother in the world. Sean is really into Angry Birds and he completely idolizes his big brother. Shortly after Sean was born, we found out he has Down Syndrome. Since then, we’ve been on an incredible learning curve that has taught us much about parenting, grace, family, and God.
While serving as Dean takes most of my professional time, I still find time to write. My first, book, Honor Among Christians: The Cultural Key to the Messianic Secret, is an examination of the passages in the Gospel of Mark in which Jesus tries to suppress knowledge of his deeds or identity. I examine these passages by viewing them through the lens of honor and shame, core values of the ancient Mediterranean world.
My second book is a volume that I co-edited with Joel B. Green called Wesley, Wesleyans, and Reading Bible as Scripture. It includes essays by many very fine scholars on the ways in which John Wesley read the Bible theologically, and the ways in which Wesleyans today can interpret the Bible in dialogue with their own theological and doctrinal commitments.
Shortly thereafter, I co-wrote a book with William J. (Billy) Abraham called Key United Methodist Beliefs. This book is basically a Wesleyan catechesis. It’s written for laypeople to help them learn more about the core beliefs that we Wesleyans have long held dear. The format of the work makes it well suited for small-group studies.
More recently my work has turned to the Bible, Christian theology, and people with disabilities. I teach a class on this topic at United. Right now I’m working on a chapter on Luke-Acts for a one-volume Bible commentary from Baylor University Press that will look at the texts from a disability perspective.
I love working at United. I have great colleagues and great students, but most of all we have a great mission: to train dynamic leaders for the ministry of Jesus Christ and the renewal of the Church. If you want to find out more about United, visit www.united.edu.
One final note: I really value open, honest, and respectful conversation. So much of our communication in the churches is the equivalent of verbal napalm. We speak and write to win arguments, but not to hear and understand one another. In my teaching, administration, and writing, I try to model and inculcate intellectual virtue and to avoid intellectual vice. When we are listening, giving fair consideration to arguments, representing the positions of others accurately, thinking rigorously, and speaking in ways that are logical and coherent, we exhibit intellectual virtue. When we do otherwise, we exhibit intellectual vice. If you want to be part of a respectful conversation, I invite you to comment on this blog. If you want to throw hand grenades and watch the ensuing carnage, please move on to another site.
I hope you like the blog! Feel free to email me with comments. You can reach me at dwatson at united dot edu.