Derek Flood - bio
I am an artist, writer, and thinker and try to let all of those mingle together. Sometimes you can't really get theology until you encounter it in the drama of a story or sing it at the top of your lungs in a song or hymn. Art is by nature made for communicating meaning, for speaking to the depths of a person's soul. So I use my background in story and film-making and apply that to how I do theology. Doing "theology as art" allows me to go beyond the merely academic and speak to the heart, to move. Tony Campolo once said "Artists are the best theologians. They feel things that are true before theologians can jargonize them into obscurity". At the same time being an artist is about seeing things differently, creatively, and being unafraid to declare that boldly. So my focus is speaking to people on the fringes, who aren't afraid to face the hard questions of life, and who are willing to be honest with ourselves and with God. You won't find any easy answers here. The essays are not meant to stop you from asking why, but to encourage you to question- to break the status quo, to step out of line and think for yourself.
As far as my religious background goes, I am a born again spirit filled Christian. Since I care about the poor and marginalized and believe in grace over law, I don't relate to the religious right. But since I believe in a real heaven and resurrection I don't relate to the religious left either. I prefer the "radical center" of the post-conservative Neoevangelicals. That manages to get me in trouble pretty much anywhere I go, but Jesus got in a lot of trouble, so I figure I'm in good company. :)
I've been a longtime voice in the post-conservative evangelical movement, focusing on wrestling with questions of faith and doubt, violence in the Bible, relational theology, and understanding the cross from the perspective of grace and restorative justice.
This is the focus of my book Healing the Gospel which offers a major critique of penal substitution, and the corresponding idea that the gospel is about satisfying an angry God's demand for retribution and violence, instead proposing that the gospel is actually about God's demonstration of grace and enemy love in Jesus. My second book is in the works now, and will deal with violence in the Bible proposing that rather than trying to excuse or ignore it, we need to learn to read the Bible like Jesus and Paul did. In addition to this blog I also write frequently for the Huffington Post, Red Letter Christians, and Sojourners .