Stephen McKinney-Whitaker, Interview #37

Name: Stephen McKinney-Whitaker
Where you live: Delavan, Illinois at the moment
What you do as a vocation or avocation? Presbyterian Minister of Word and Sacrament
Your two favorite books: I’m horrible at picking “favorites” so I’ll mention 2 that have meant something to me recently-

“Blue Like Jazz” by Donald Miller

and “Letters to a Young Doubter” by William Sloane Coffin. I also have to add I love any sort of Mythopoetic work like George MacDonald.
Your two favorite cd’s: I’m in the generation where we stopped using cd’s and just buy individual mp3’s. But two complete albums I’ve been listening to a lot lately are “Jesus Christ Superstar” by Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice and “Dr. Horrible’s Sing-a-long blog” by Joss Whedon.
Why you are interested in spirituality? I believe there is something beyond what we can experience with our senses. I suppose I do favor the romantics and their love and appreciation for the imagination. Within the difficult struggle of every day empirically driven life, those few numinous experiences can give me the strength to carry on and the hope that “all shall be well and all manner of things shall be well.”
Your favorite quote: I keep a notebook of quotes that I come across that impact me in some way. I opened to a random page and pointed and this is what was there-
“Be patient toward all that is unsolved in your heart and try to love the questions themselves like locked rooms and like books that are written in a very foreign tongue. Do not now seek the answers, which cannot be given you because you would not be able to live them. And the point is, to live everything. Live the questions now. Perhaps you will find them gradually, without noticing it, and live along some distant day into the answer.” –Rainer Maria Rilke
Your favorite web sites: I love YouTube, Facebook, ESPN.Com (all very spiritual right) and to show off my true nerd colors, I go to
for my Doctor Who news and information. I also visit a lot of my friends’ blogs.
Your hero? Fred Craddock, he brought out my love of preaching and taught me sermons don’t have to be 20 minutes of useless boredom I can never get back. He always makes me think and look at Scripture, the world, God, and myself in new and challenging ways.
A spiritual lesson you hope to learn? To actually be patient with all that is unresolved in my heart.
A place in the world where you feel spiritually “connected?” Princeton Theological Seminary and anywhere that is just wonderfully untamed and raw the way God made it.

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