Welcome! I’m Jonas Ellison, the Chief/Sole Editor and Head Janitor around these parts and I’m honored to have such a motley crew of folks like you who read this publication. I’d love to make your experience here as comfy cozy as possible.
I’m a writer, a husband, a father, a friend, a foe, and a lot of other things that aren’t relevant here.
In the spring of 2015, I started a daily blog. What began as a 30-day creative experiment turned into an addiction and eventually a life purpose. Four years and 1400+ posts later, I somehow ended up with the #1 single-author publication here at Medium.com with a readership of over 70,000 people (way more than I can fit into my living room).
Today, this publication is more of a twice-a-week occasion and my daily musings have moved to my private email newsletter (which you can get for free here).
As for my subject matter, I mostly write about life, faith, and work. Though I tend to go off-topic (it keeps things interesting), my main task is to share my personal testimonies and confessions about radical grace and how it shows up in this fumbling, bumbling, flawed, broken, and beautiful human experience.
I’m also a student and a teacher of contemplative spirituality and centering prayer based in the Christian wisdom tradition. (Trust me, I’m way too snarky, sarcastic, and self-conscious for this kind of thing, so if I can benefit from the practice of it, I know you can too.)
As someone who’s going through discernment to enter ELCA Lutheran seminary at a fairly late age and who struggles daily with the complexities inherent in life and faith, it’s my only saving grace (quite literally).
About the whole ‘Christian’ thing
I confess; I am a Christian. But that’s a big loaded word. Here are some particulars of where I’m coming from, personally…
- It doesn’t matter to me whether or not you proclaim Jesus your personal Lord and savior. As a proponent of committed pluralism, I laud whatever faith brings you closer to the divine. I see Christ in all of creation, and I think that’s what Jesus was pointing towards.
- My faith is both contemplative (based on my lived experience of the divine) and Biblical (based on scripture).
- Politically, I’m too liberal to call myself a conservative and too conservative to call myself a liberal.
- I believe in climate change, am a big fan of science, and think God works through evolution.
- I’m enamored with traditional liturgy.
- I can’t stand Christian Rock or ‘worship music’. Give me hymns, choir, and chamber music any day.
- We need more women, people with various shades of skin, and LGBTQIA+ folks as clergy. The world is so tired of white straight cisgender dudes like me behind the pulpit (hopefully there’s a little more room if I ever graduate from seminary, though).
- My faith is based on grace, not personal development. I’m of the belief that we all are born installed with a human propensity to — as Francis Spufford says — f*ck things up. To harden our hearts and turn in on ourselves and others (aka, to sin).
- I often get along with atheists better than I do with fundamentalist Christians (because the God that many of them don’t believe in, I find that I don’t believe in either).
All of this being said, I’m a terribly flawed human who’s drunk on power and self-righteousness just like the next. As a 9w8 on the Enneagram, I’m the most passive-aggressive and emotionally conflicted person I know. I get it wrong most of the time and only stand a chance because of God’s grace that acts as the ground of human beingness.
Please know that everything expressed here could very well be complete rubbish and is merely my way of seeing it at the moment I click ‘publish’. I am not a trained and monitored authority, merely a rogue layman with a platform and a strong opinion.
I post daily (at least, more-daily-than-not) and have been doing it for almost four years. So, yes, there are definitely contradictions and discrepancies in my work. Again, opinions, not facts here, friends.
Anyhow, I’ll stop now. You’re here and I think that’s awesome. Welcome. I hope you enjoy the daylight out of it.
P.S. Again, if you like what you see and would like to get my musings, missives, and mutterings without having to root around on Medium for them, please subscribe to my email list below…