Allow me to introduce myself. My name is Mark and according to Psalm 37:37 (KJV only) I am the perfect man. In all honestly i think this may be the one erroneous part of Scripture but then again it is the KJV! 😉 Many of the Near Emmaus readers may well know me as the author of  Scripture, Ministry and the People of God

The only famous scholar I know personally, BW3!

As Brian said in the announcement post I currently serve as Minister of the Happy Valley Church of Christ, Adelaide South Australia. I am privileged to serve the greatest congregation in all of Australia. Alongside my ministry vocation I somehow find time to study and hope to begin my Masters dissertation in 2011. I am yet to decide on a research topic however, the Gospel of Matthew or the historical Jesus debates currently head the list or areas I am considering. I am married with two cute and adorable children. When I’m not preparing a sermon, typing an assignment or blog post I enjoy gardening, Cricket and good coffee!

I have been blogging off and on for 3 or 4 years now and appreciate it as both theological discourse and theological community. Although I have an interest in New Testament studies I will bring to Near Emmaus my ministry background and passion as well as a cheeky Australian sense of humour! My own personal ministry story has a large bearing on how I approach and undertake my role as a minister [If you would like to read more about my personal journey you can do so here]. Eugene Peterson is the one who has largely guided this journey in the past few years. Alongside Peterson I enjoy reading Ben Witherington, Karl Barth, Tom Wright (Brian made me put that in here), David Hansen, RT France, Richard Bauckham and, of course, Gordon Fee.

In a recent post I outlined my reasons for choosing to join the team here at Near Emmaus. In short they are; time, quality, community and respect. I need more time to write, more time to write better and I wish to blog with others and with others I respect.

Finally I would like to thank Brian, Ishta, JohnDave, Robert and Joshua for letting me join them as part of their discourse and community.  I look forward to spending more time here in 2011.

Peace be with you this Advent season,

Mark Stevens