Dr. Andrew McClurg grew up in the Chicago area and graduated from an engineering college. He worked in telecommunications for 14 years before attending seminary and earning a Master of Divinity and a Ph.D. He served as a non-staff elder for six years at Immanuel Baptist Church in Louisville, KY. He and his wife, Janet, are adjusting to life in the desert wilds of Arizona.
Tell us a little about yourself.
I grew up in Northern Illinois outside of Chicago. My father was an attorney and my mother was a stay-at-home mother until many years later when she became a teacher of English as a Second Language. I grew up relatively “normal,” attending a Presbyterian church, but in high school, due to such factors as rebelliousness and peer pressure, I stopped attending church and later I began experimenting with drugs.
How did you become a Christian?
Through reading on my own and through my experiences with drugs, I became interested in spirituality, particularly Eastern Religion. I began doing Yoga and meditating, but at the same time I was reading the Bible, because it was another “spiritual” book. Over time, God began unsettling my self-confidence and He also helped me to understand that what the Bible says about itself is different from what people from other religions say about it. I recognized my need not for a philosophy but for a Savior. After I turned to Christ, I began to realize (somewhat to my amazement) that He really is the Lord of the universe.
The culture around us is changing rapidly. How do you think the church should respond?
Francis Schaeffer said that for the church to have an impact it needs two things: (1) honest answers to honest questions and (2) beauty in human relationships. We need to be willing to address people’s questions honestly and unashamedly from a scriptural perspective. We need to work hard to create a loving community where God’s justice and compassion for all, including the weak and helpless, is emphasized and lived out. Truth and loving community will have an impact on society.
What do you enjoy most about your ministry in the College of Theology?
My classes contain people from all over the spectrum of beliefs – from Christian to Muslim to atheist to not sure. I have many opportunities in the discussion forums to field difficult questions from skeptics, to address people whose circumstances have led them to doubt God and to try to help Christians think about the Bible in a more complete way. I also enjoy teaching Bible classes to students whose vocational goals are more geared toward ministry.