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Q&A with Jordan Steffaniak
Evan: Tell us about yourself?
Jordan: Well, where do I begin? I grew up in the Midwest, primarily around St. Louis so I’m an avid Cardinals fan. My dad has been a Pastor for nearly all of my life and he recently took a new role in North Carolina to be closer to our family after serving nearly 20 years at the same church in Illinois. I went to University in Central Virginia before going to The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary for my M.Div. where I was a member at Cedar Creek Baptist Church and served on staff as a Pastoral Assistant. I met my wife midway through my M.Div. and we were quickly married. We then moved to North Carolina for me to complete a Th.M. at Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary. We still live here in North Carolina while I’m finishing my Ph.D. at the University of Birmingham in the UK. I have several roles that take up my time (besides being a husband and father to two boys!). During the day, I’m a data analyst in the finance industry. During the afternoons, I’m a human jungle gym for my young boys. During the evenings, I do philosophy and theology. I’m the President of the London Lyceum, I’m a Research Fellow for the L. Russ Bush Center for Faith and Culture at Southeastern and I also teach with BibleMesh, Union Theological College, and Anderson University. So you could say my evenings are busy. But it’s a lot of fun.
Evan: How did you start the London Lyceum?
Jordan: It was a joint effort with my friend Brandon Ayscue. I think it was actually his idea to begin with. When I moved to North Carolina we started to meet for coffee at 6am to talk about different books. One meeting he jokingly suggested we start a podcast. I don’t think either of us gave it any further thought. But for some reason it came back to me and I thought it would be fun and that we should see what happens. So, we bought some equipment and started recording at my house. We had to record several episodes multiple times because neither of us knew what we were doing with the technology. When we first started, we probably had 3 listeners, and all were family. But over time, by the Lord’s providence, it continued to grow. And now we have a real 501©3 institution and have big plans for the future, Lord willing!
Evan: What are some current controversies that are troubling to you and ones that may be on the horizon?
Jordan: How can I pick just one!? But really, I do want to preface these remarks with the fact that I think controversy is a good thing. It usually occurs because the church needs to think deeper about a topic for the first time or it has forgotten what once was a controversy and the deliverances from it. So, controversy isn’t necessarily a bad thing. With that said, I do think sexuality and gender is going to be an ongoing controversy that needs careful and compassionate thinking. It’s not going away. And I am concerned that many will either overcorrect into hyper machoism or defect from the faith once delivered to all the saints. I think a more intra-Christian ongoing debate over the nature of God is sort of concerning. As I said, I’m not concerned that people are asking questions and wrestling through the answers. That’s a good thing. But I am concerned about how the debate has been carried out online with certain segments. I’m concerned that there has been a lack of attention given to primary sources, but I’m also concerned that those that seek to defend a more classical understanding of God may too quickly move from Scripture to more abstract and philosophical reasoning. Classical theism, after all, remains a robustly and fundamentally biblical doctrine. And I say that as a philosopher that works in the abstract! One last concern I have is for the future of national associations—especially of the Baptist variety. There is a great confusion over what constitutes a confessional denomination and I think taking the wrong turn here could be disastrous.
Evan: What have been some of the most enjoyable projects that you have worked on so far?
Jordan: I love writing! So, most of my writing projects are always fun. I have several articles under review at journals I’m excited about. But I’m really, really excited about my forthcoming book on Classical Theism with Lexham Press. It probably wont be out until the Fall of 2024 but its where my heart is. I’m also enjoying work on the John Gill Project with the London Lyceum. We have several volumes set to release over the next year and beyond. I’m quite honestly thrilled about the chance to reintroduce a generation of Baptists to John Gill. We also have a couple other top-secret projects in the works with the London Lyceum that I’m elated about. I can’t wait to see them come to life.
Evan: How can readers best support you and the work of the London Lyceum?
Jordan: There are a few ways! The easiest is simply to pray for us. The next easiest is to share our content. Then there is the need of financial support. We are three years into building the London Lyceum and to this point I’ve spent thousands of dollars investing to serve others with no financial return (We have $50 in donations YTD, for example. That doesn’t even cover the monthly cost for our recording platform for podcast guests). So, we are getting to the point where I can’t sustain the level of content we are producing without financial support. Plus, our future ideas that we are planning all require donations to make them happen. I’m planning on putting together a fundraising campaign later this Fall that recounts all that we’ve accomplished and details a little more on how much funding we need and why we need it. But suffice to say, if we want to continue to achieve our mission we will really need financial support. And that can be accomplished even by $5 a month donations or less! There is power in numbers.
Thank you Jordan for the Q&A! Pray for the work of the London Lyceum and consider being a financial partner!