The Bible--and much of Western Christianity that uses it as its touchstone--is full of binary pairs of assumed opposites: light and dark, good and evil, clean and unclean, life and death, male and female. The Western culture that developed largely around the Mediterranean Sea--Northern Africa, the Middle East, and up through Europe--leaned into binaries as a key way to categorize our lived experience. It can be hard to question it or escape it--and many might wonder, well, why fight it at all? It’s simple, it’s manageable. Well . . . let’s explore that. Now Lutherans are known to embrace paradox, which begins to question the Either/Or of binaries (it’s either dark or light) by saying sometimes two things that seem opposed to each other can happen at the same time. Our shorthand is often “both/and” and the classic is that we are each, at the same time, Sinner *and* Saint. It’s possible that the ideas about God on this podcast reaches one step further: both/and . . . and also. And then some. Confused? Understandable. Better get my guest in here.
I first met Aaron Musser when he was working along with my daughter at Good Earth Village, a Lutheran summer camp in southern Minnesota. I drove the two of them across the state to spend July 4th weekend in Milwaukee the summer of 2016. Within minutes, Aaron and I were talking theology and the church and Maddi was quietly smiling to herself, knowing that this would happen. After graduation from St. Olaf College, Aaron moved to Milwaukee and began serving as Redeemer’s Director of Music in July 2019. I’ll let him tell you about what spurred him to apply to seminary and begin preparing for ordained ministry . . . he’s completing his first year as we record this. I’ve asked Aaron--who is usually the voiceless technician behind the scenes--to get in front of the microphone for this week’s podcast: Joyfully Queer and Christian.