Biographical:

I'm a cautiously honest person. I don't like hurting people nor having stones slung at me. But I've found truth is safer than "safety" and honesty better than towing party lines. Friends who tow party lines tell me I have an agenda. I do. Jesus had one too.

I've written two books (one with my wife) and contributed to several others. Writing is a pasttime, mostly creative non-fiction. I also like public speaking, which is weird, because I intentionally got bad grades halfway through my tiny high school so I could avoid a valedictorian speech.

Three men were influential in my teens in baptizing my imagination and rescuing me from the potholes of religious life: C. S. Lewis, Rich Mullins, and Ravi Zacharias. One mentor noted in college my gifting for the stage and set my course to integrate imagination with apologetics. I was told it couldn't be done, that it was impossible. Well, maybe.

I never met C. S. Lewis but, if I did, I'd give him a hug and make him feel awkward. I worked with Ravi Zacharias for three years and met Rich Mullins twice. I had Rich sign his self-titled album after a concert one evening. I told him it would be a collector's item. He signed it, "Collector's item or junk? I don't know. You tell me. Be God's, Rich Mullins."

I experienced severe spiritual abuse in my formative years, which is why re-examining the faith and helping others do the same is an consistent backdrop (note my Facebook wall discussions). I think spiritual abuse is an unspoken epidemic in our time, though most who experience it don't even know they are in it. I'm perplexed to find a method to help wake earnest Christians up to follow Jesus more wholly, lovingly, and freely.

My current thoughts are directed toward the Bible's intention of a Christianity deeply informed by Jewish thought, exploring human experience through story, the nature of "church," breaking gender myths for men and women (mostly men), giving keys to those ready to be free from spiritual abuse, and helping seekers give Jesus a much needed second look.

My wife, Jonalyn, thinks I'm great, which I try to live up to. And my son, Finn, hasn't told me what he thinks yet. But if his smile means anything, then I'm his favorite stuffed animal.

You can find more of my writings and talks at firstyeardad.com, dalefincher.blogspot.com, rzim.org, and in the Soulation library.

You can also find me at facebook.com/dalefincher for more discussions.