It is not given to men to make God speak. It is only given to them to live and to think in such a way that, if God’s thunder should come, they will not have stopped their ears.
I’m Ryan Dueck—a husband, father, pastor, blogger, student, and follower of Jesus Christ. I began blogging in 2007 while a graduate student as one way of “unstopping” my ears in response to the God whose “thunder” is unmanageable and unpredictable, but which also responds to the most profound human needs for meaning, acceptance, forgiveness, and redemption. I write about a variety of things here, often related to faith, philosophy, culture, church, etc. Mostly, though, my writing here is simply an exercise in remaining open—open to the God who does speak, in strange, unexpected, mysterious, even puzzling and obscure ways, to be sure, but also in ways more beautiful and challenging and hopeful than we could expect or imagine.
I grew up on a farm in southern Alberta and it was a part of my life for nearly thirty years. In 2002, I went to university and studied philosophy at the University of Lethbridge for three years. Then, in 2005 our family packed up and moved west. We stopped for three years in Vancouver while I completed a Masters degree at Regent College, and then were off to Vancouver Island where I served as associate pastor at Neighbourhood Church for three years. In 2011, we returned to our roots in Alberta where I am currently serving as pastor at Lethbridge Mennonite Church.
I’m not on social media (you can read why here). If you’d like to connect with me, I’m afraid it will have to be boring old email. See the button on the right side of the blog.
hey ryan, what is your email address? your msn address?
i think there should be a contact ryan button on this site because, i too, do not have your e-mail address. just a suggestion.
i too would appreciate being able to say something to you privately, and have not found any ‘contact ryan’ button .. thanks much
I thought I had a contact button on the sidebar, but evidently I did not. It’s there now. Thanks, Owen.
It should be up now – thanks for the suggestion!
Thanks Ryan for the message, its good to hear from you. I hear that all is well on Vancouver Island with your new job. Talk to you soon.
Hey there Ryan,
I’m James T’s (your boss)friend from seminary. back about 15+ or so years ago, i pastored in Gem AB – loved it there. I had a horse and rode the lease.
Hi Larry, good to hear from you. What a cool irony—my mom is originally from Gem, AB and I have fond memories of visiting my grandparents there. I’m not sure if anyone I know would have been there when you were pastoring, but it’s a small town so it’s certainly possible. We’ve very much enjoyed getting to know James and Janet during our brief time in Nanaimo.
Interesting blog on the hockey dad thing. Too bad its not baseball that Nicolas is into. Had dinner with your folks yesterday at John and Elvira’s. Your other grandma was there as well. Thought it was ironic that I was hanging out with so many old people. Realized that I fall into that category as well. Say hi to Naomi and the kids. Rod
Hey, great to hear from you Rod! Alas, hockey is Nicky’s first love (although he told me he likes watching baseball the other day… go figure!). I will definitely say hi to Naomi and the kids. Maybe we’ll see you this Christmas?
I would like to add you to http://www.mennoniteblogs.net directory if you are okay with that.
I am absolutely OK with that. Thanks!
Ryan, greetings from another of those hopeful skeptics
A hopeful skeptic is the best kind :).
Hi Ryan, I was pointed to your blog by Jonathan over at the MB Herald. He says that we have a similar ethos in our writing and perspective of theology. Thought I’d come by and say hello, from California. Have a wonderful rest of the week!
PS – Im also a “cc” blogger 🙂
Hi Kurt, thanks for dropping by! I’ve come across your blog recently well, and I am glad to make this connection. I look forward to taking a closer look when I have a bit more time – I’m just reading this on a little pit stop on the Oregon Coast :).
This shout out is in the name of connecting with other Mennonite/Anabaptist bloggers. I’m a brand spanking new blogger who is currently assistant pastor at a church in Winnipeg and in the process of moving to Emmanuel Mennonite in Abbotsford BC to be an associate pastor. I was referred to your blog a while back by Jamie Arpin Ricci. I’ve very recently connected with Kurt Willems, who seems cool, even though he is an MB. LOL!
Good to hear from you Chris. Congratulations on the new position! It’s good to connect with someone else from the MC Canada world (even though, I too, am from MB stock!). I’ve been tracking the writing of Jamie and Kurt for a while now, as well, and I look forward to adding your voice to the mix :).
all good peeps in convo here!
Whoa Whoa Whoa! What’s wrong with MB’s Chris?
Totally!! Good to be in the ‘mix’. Keep on keepin on!
I’m a Regent alum living in Elkford, BC. (2.5 hours from Lethbridge) I found Webb’s book to be most helpful in terms of providing good reflection, and I love Dostoyevsky! (I am just finishing reading Crime and Punishment to my daughter.) I look forward to reading more on your blog. All the best!
Good to hear from you, Noel! When were you at Regent?
Reading Crime and Punishment to your daughter, eh? Wow. I’m impressed… Your daughter must be made of stern stuff :).
I was at Regent Sept. 2004 to April 2007. Attended 10th Ave. Alliance while in Vancouver, and lived at St. Andrew’s (student family housing) at UBC. My experience was to attend class, hit the library, and then run back to the kids. This being said, I loved my time there and Vancouver as a city. I suspect we probably crossed paths but didn’t know each other while at Regent. Funny how things go. As for Rachael, we’ve taken it slowly but enjoyed the book all the same. Take care and have a great day!
Our times there definitely overlapped… I was there from 2005-08. Like you, though, I had kids at home (we lived in southeast Van), so I was there for class, library, and not much else…
Thanks for making the connection. Perhaps our paths will cross again some day.
That would be nice! All the best!
Hi Ryan, I found your blog as I researched for a blog project. Would you drop a me a line, I think you might be interested in what I’m doing. bookgirl4 [at] att.net.
Hi Ryan, I’d like to chat with you about something. John Stackhouse suggested your name to me.
Hey, I know occasionally you mention you listen to sermon podcasts. Just wondering if you have any recommendations.
Hi James, good to hear from you. I only have two that I listen to with any degree of regularity. I listen to former Regent professor (and current pastor at First Baptist Vancouver) Darrell Johnson’s sermons most regularly. I also listen to Greg Boyd’s podcast occasionally. Johnson is far more methodical and expository. Boyd is kind of a hyperactive Anabaptist from a megachurch in Minnesota. I prefer Johnson’s style, but I learn in various ways from both.
I’m sure there are countless others that I should be aware of/listening to, but there is only so much time… Any that you would recommend?
I am actually new to the sermon podcast world and was curious on what you’d recommend. Like most Regent grad, I do appreciate Darrell Johnson, and he has impacted my own preaching, so I appreciate that. I also like to occasionally tune into Gregory Boyd. Other then that I think I just listen to Eugene Cho’s podcast: https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/quest-sermons-talks/id308029798?mt=2 and a podcast from a church pastored by one of my personal mentors.
Hi míster Dueck.
I. Like your history of lífe. …..
And God is bleasing you all the time
We are from Uruguay small country in south América. ..
We are praying to have got a church here
So let me know if you can do something. ……..
GOD BLESS YOU AND YOUR FAMILY TOO
I enjoyed your article and its follow up on calling Christians to stop avoiding accountability for our unchristlike behavior towards others and recognizing our own behavior in politically instigated situations. I have been struggling with this very topic and have a very traditional view of the Bible which is how I am unable to find it acceptable to justify hating or judging others in the disgusting way I see Christians justifying hate as permissible in the political arena. We need to remember that we can’t have a revival without reviving Christs commands and realignment of Christians to separate themselves from unchristlike examples of any and all circumstances as it is a direct impediment to sharing the gospel and God is never glorified by hate. Ever. Not in any situation. I’m so proud of you for addressing an issue that has deeply disturbed the church members who still find the truth and Glory and Grace and Salvation are not based in Pharisee posed as Conservative political environment currently plaguing our churches
Thanks very kindly, Richelle. I appreciate this.
Hey Ryan, thanks for the blog that appeared in the MWR, The Guy I Baptized Won’t Return My Call.” I laughed out loud, as this story is so urban pastor like. Incidents like this are so common, and yet to speak about them years later, sound so bizarre, because they are. Who knows why he wanted to be baptized. You followed my protocol, if I had been in your place. What a refreshing story of front line pastoral ministry.
Thanks very kindly. I appreciate this note of affirmation.
What do you say about this scripture?
1Timothy 1:9 -10?