Personal Background

Where my interest in spiritual authority comes

My parents escaped from Cuba shortly after Fidel Castro took control of the island. They met and married in Massachusetts where I was born. A year and a half later, they moved to Southern California which has been my home ever since.

Because of my love for reading (I still average three books per week), I thought I would become an English teacher. Instead, I chose a business communication major in college and pursued a PR and radio career. All that changed when I encountered my first sociology course. Here I found insights into the core of social life. Sociology explained the whole pie of how people deal with each other, while I had only been nibbling at a single thin slice.

I graduated a double-major (Organizational Communication/ Sociology) from Pepperdine University and applied to graduate school hoping for enough scholarship money to be able to attend. I entered USC graduate school, where I am now finishing my dissertation.

While pursuing my studies, my involvement in my church (I am an evangelical) became so heavy that the leadership of my church asked me if I wanted to take a job in a pastoral role. My life was transitioning in a big way at that time. I had begun living on my own in the last year, and had just asked my wife to marry me only a few days before this job offer. A stable, full-time job in a position that I knew I would enjoy sounded like the right thing.

My commitment to working in ministry grew tremendously over the next two years. I decided that as long as I was provided opportunities to service in this capacity, pastoral ministry would be my life. I was licensed in 1993 and fully ordained a year later.

The combination of my involvement in practical church ministry and my intense studies in sociology drives me now to explore the issue of spiritual authority. In my personal experience, I have had both good and bad experiences in how people react to my own authority in spiritual matters. Combining personal experience, sociological theory and modern history, I believe I've come to some interesting conclusions, some new and some rediscovered. You will find my thoughts and insights scattered throughout this page along with insights from others who have contributed. Although my focus is on the dynamics of spiritual authority in an evangelical context, thoughts on other areas touching on spiritual authority are welcome.

Follow my book interests by browsing the bookstacks at my other website

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This page created on July 12, 1996.
Most recent revision was August 27, 1996.
Copyright © 1996 Gerardo Marti
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