A blog about our lives as strangers in this world

A Traveling Theology

What if this world is not our home? What if we are tourists, visitors, travelers on a long journey towards our true home, Heaven?

These are the basic questions that this blog explores, inspired by Philippians 3:20-21 and Psalm 90. These verses, among others (e.g. John 17, Ephesians 2:17-22, Romans 12, Hebrews 11:13-16…) will appear many times.  In A Traveling Theology, I explore through Scripture, the Church Fathers, and personal experiences what it means for us to live life as a long voyage. I consider how lessons from long-term travel can help sustain us on this journey now.

Every metaphor has its limits – and Christians have historically focused on our lives as one of exile in this world. This is just one way of imagining the Christian life. But this exploration takes seriously this one theme in Scripture, through exegesis, travel stories, and historical research.

E Komo Mai, and los geht’s!

  • Do Transitions get Easier?

    I vividly remember the joy and excitement of my high school graduation in 2014. There was a sense of victory, for having slogged through IB exams (though scores were still pending), committed to a school whose name I could not pronounce (Bryn Mawr), and largely finished what I had set out to do. I was…

  • Our Lives as Exile: City of God

                At the North Carolina Museum of Art in Raleigh, there is an amazing sculpture that can only be appreciated from the sky.  You can see it, when you look up the Museum on Google Maps: “PICTURE THIS!” the sculpture says – a message for birds, for God, for the Maps Staff. On the ground,…

  • Life on Earth as Living Death

    Augustine’s Literal Interpretation of Genesis This blog, “A Traveling Theology” has a fundamentally optimistic view of life on Earth. Our time here as sojourners is a difficult adventure, where we are tourists in a strange place. Through the process of experiencing creation, both the good things about life and the bad, we come to know…

  • From a Sickbed in Slovakia

    Warning: this post is NOT theological in nature (also this post is unusually long and contains no pictures) Today, I am finally (almost) recovered from a week-long combination of illnesses I picked up in Turkey. It seems that I got some sort of viral gastroenteritis and, through vomiting, gave myself a minor neck injury that…

  • The Problem of Productivity

    A Response to “The Case Against Travel”  The original article, “The Case Against Travel: It turns us into the worst version of ourselves while convincing us that we’re at our best” is by Agnes Callard, in the New Yorker (June 24, 2023). Despite its name, the article is not really a coherent case but rather…

  • Dissimilar Similarities

    So much of the Christian life is grappling with the paradoxes Scripture gives us. God is three, God is one. God is infinite, beyond all imagining and yet God poured himself out into the finite world. God is sovereign, and yet we have free choice. God will favor His people, but they will be persecuted.…

  • We do NOT Belong

    While traveling, there are lots of little reminders that this is not where you belong. Many of those reminders, when you are a tourist, are good: new foods, different landscapes, different languages. Some of those reminders can be somewhat uncomfortable, and especially on a long trip those uncomfortable reminders tend to pile up. I have…

  • Perfect and Exhausting

    There are moments that seem too perfect to bear. We were riding ATVs behind the Valley of the Queens in Luxor, Egypt. I looked like a bandit, with my scarf tied over my mouth and nose. It had been 104 that day, but finally, the sun was sinking low in the sky, and a cool…

  • Heaven, Calling

    There are moments that feel like heaven on earth.             It could be a particularly penetrating song that digs into your chest and draws you up. It could be an invigorating interaction with a friend or gifted stranger, when they see you and know you in such a way that you can feel the Holy…

All Bible citations are in the NRSV unless otherwise noted.

Thoughts? Responses?