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Out of Bounds is a group theology blog featuring four colleagues who studied systematic theology at the University of Aberdeen in Scotland.

Adam Nigh is the pastor of young adult ministries at Twin Lakes Church in Aptos, Ca (near Santa Cruz) and teaches Theology and Church History as an adjunct professor in the San Francisco Bay Area at Western Seminary, Fuller Seminary and William Jessup University. He wrote his PhD thesis on scripture and hermeneutics in T. F. Torrance’s theology under the supervision of John Webster at the University of Aberdeen. A graduate of Bethany University (RIP) and Fuller Seminary Northern California, Adam lives by the beach with his wife and two children. He is also an avid enthusiast of 80’s and 90’s punk rock, having recorded and toured with several Santa Cruz bands.

Jon Coutts Jon Coutts is Tutor in Theology and Ethics at Trinity College in Bristol, England. He wrote his PhD thesis at the University of Aberdeen on forgiveness in Christian life and community as it is articulated in Karl Barth’s Doctrine of Reconciliation — an interest instigated and deepened by Canadian Bible College, Briercrest Seminary, and pastoral ministry. It will soon be published by IVP Academic under the title A Shared Mercy. In addition to life with his lovely wife and four sons he enjoys vibrant conversation, quality music & film, and the sports of hockey and football. (Web Site)

Justin Stratis Justin Stratis wrote his doctoral thesis on the subject of divine love with the help of Friedrich Schleiermacher and Karl Barth. When he’s not doing theology, he enjoys spending time with family, drinking whisky with friends, and consuming the lowest forms of television entertainment our vacuous and decadent Western culture has to offer. He currently teaches Christian Doctrine at Trinity College in Bristol, England.

Darren Sumner Darren Sumner teaches theology and church history in the Pacific Northwest, including at Fuller Seminary’s Seattle campus.  A native of Oregon, he studied at SPU, Wheaton College, and Princeton Theological Seminary before completing a PhD in systematic theology at the University of Aberdeen.  Darren lives in Washington State with his wife and three children. (Web Site)

What is the significance of the blog’s name? First, it simply reflects the fact that these discussions began in the common room of our office at university, which is named after the campus street on which it sits: College Bounds.  More than that, however, the name also reflects the kind of conversation we want to have.

To speak of God is beyond the realm of human possibilities. Nevertheless, because the Son has gone into the far country, we have been commissioned and therefore freed to speak of God, precisely in our humanity. Karl Barth once wrote:

[God] is inaccessible to all human perception and thought as such, yet being the Lord also of the human capacities for thought and perception, He is not bound by these limits, but free to give Himself to be known by man within these limits.

(Kirchliche Dogmatik IV/2, 164)

We can say nothing of the God of all creation unless God first calls and sanctifies us. And as we recognise and confess that the triune God has indeed met us in just this way, so are we formed into a community which together seeks to articulate and enact the reality of the gospel of Jesus Christ.

We hope that you will join us for the conversation.

10 Comments leave one →
  1. Steve Palmer permalink
    December 22, 2011 10:47 pm

    Hi All,

    Looks like an exciting blog. My comment is a request to Justin. Is your presentation ‘Predestined in Love: Actualism and Election in Karl Barth’s Doctrine of God’ available in journals, online, or elsewhere? I’m writing a master’s thesis on the Trinity and election controversy. I found your article in the IJST helpful, but would like to find further material on actualism, election, etc. Any help you can provide is greatly appreciated.


    Steve Palmer
    Trinity School for Ministry
    Ambridge, PA, USA

  2. December 23, 2011 11:18 am

    Yo Steve,

    You caught me – that paper was the skeletal version of the IJST article (but a little CV padding never hurt anyone, eh?)

    As far as sources, I think there’s a book that just came out that compiles most of the major documents in the exchange – “Trinity and Election in Contemporary Theology” edited by Michael T. Dempsey. Also, if you happen to read German, Wilfred Härle’s “Sein und Gnade” is helpful as well (and the stuff by Jüngel of course).

    By the way, have you come across my friend James Merrick? He’s adjuncting at Trinity these days I believe. He would be a good person to chat with (he’s writing his dissertation on Barth as well).

    Cheers man.

  3. October 21, 2012 3:27 am

    I just realized that out of all you young scholars, none of you wear glasses; this is strange phenomenon (what’s in the water at Aberdeen?).

  4. October 22, 2012 2:56 am

    I’m wearing contacts. I can’t see anything without them. But the others are perfect physical specimens indeed.

  5. October 22, 2012 10:50 pm

    Rest assured, I make up for my keen eyesight with numerous other physical deficiencies …

  6. October 28, 2012 5:23 am

    I refuse to believe that any of you uber men have any kind of deficiencies … I won’t hear it! 🙂

  7. March 11, 2015 7:14 am

    Is this the same Adam Nigh that was in the band Too Bad Eugene? If not, please ignore this post. But if so, thanks for your music…it was a part in changing my life for the better many, many years ago and the albums are still very much in the rotation to this day even though I’m old(er).

  8. March 13, 2015 12:54 pm

    Hi RG, this is indeed that Adam Nigh, equal parts rock star and theologian. Thanks for the kind words and the reminder that my musical career is now many, many years ago.

  9. Craig Hughes permalink
    October 27, 2015 1:37 pm

    I am an Music Minister from NJ I can’t tell how many times i’ve sung bad (or confusing theology) about God’s wrath being satisfied (eg “In Christ Alone” )We often sing these lyrics with hurtful confusion and unless discussed openly can have devastating effects on our faith journey.
    Thanks so much Adam – the truth does indeed set us free! re: God’s love and Wrath


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