the weblog of Alan Knox

Getting to Know You

Posted by on Sep 16, 2010 in personal | 28 comments

Getting to Know You

Occasionally, I like to ask my readers to introduce themselves to me and to one another. This has always been a very encouraging exercise in the past. So, please introduce yourself in the comments here… even if you’ve never commented before.

Simple tell as much or as little as you want people to know about you. I will even accept anonymous comments.

I’ll get the ball rolling.

Hi. My name is Alan Knox. I’m 43 years old (or young, depending on which side of 43 you happen to be on). I grew up in Alabama (USA), and went to college at Georgia Tech in Electrical Engineering. I’m married to Margaret. We met in the fourth grade and grew up with one another. We have two children, a son named Jeremy and a daughter named Miranda. We’ve lived in Alabama, the Atlanta (GA) metro area, and (now) in Youngsville, NC near Raleigh.

I work in web development. I both work at Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary in their IT department, and I work for myself.

I’m a PhD student in Biblical Theology at Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary. My PhD mentor is David Black. I’ve finished all of my seminars and course work, and I’ve had my prospectus approved. That means that the only thing left is writing and defending a dissertation. The title of my dissertation is “Mutual Edification as the Purpose of the Assembled Church in the New Testament: A Study in Biblical Theology.”

I’ve been blogging here for just over four years, and I decided from the beginning that I was going to focus on the church, primarily the meeting of the church. Why? Because I started this blog at the same time that I started my PhD studies, and in my PhD studies I was going to focus on the meeting of the church. But, there’s another reason. You see… I’m part of the church. And, I wanted to know what the church should do when we meet together, and why. So, as I study, I also try to live these things out. This is not simply an academic exercise for me… it is life.

I love blogging very much. The best thing about blogging is the interaction from people like you.

So… please introduce yourself also.


Comments are closed. If you would like to discuss this post, send an email to alan [at] alanknox [dot] net.

  1. 9-16-2010

    Good morning everyone. My name is Pam. I am 37 years old, wife to Wes for 17 years (but we have known each other since we were 13) and mom to Jordan (15) and Deanna (13). We operate a cattle ranch in Alberta, Canada. We have been home educating our kids since 2005.

    I have been reading your blog Alan for quite along time now (maybe 3 years?). It is one of the first ones I read each day. Thanks for your great work.

    My family and I left our institutional church late 2007 due to the governing body (national and local) making some very unwise decisions. Then in 2008 (after some “wilderness” time), the Lord knit us together with some other families and we are now only part of the universal church not associated with any denomination. We meet weekly in homes. There are three main families each week and then we have those who pop in once in a while to meet up with us. It has been such a gift to experience what fellowship and community truly is suppose to be.

    That is the Reader’s Digest version of my story. I am looking forward to meeting others here.

  2. 9-16-2010

    I’m Kate, married almost 20 yrs, and in love with Jesus nearly 60 of my 63 yrs of life, loving the opportunity to live and serve the LORD in the ways He directs.

    I’ve come out of a false doctrine churchianity about 4 yrs ago and have become reconnected to my catechismal roots which are Calvinistic for the most part. I’ve learned the value of repentance & returning to Scriptural instruction over these recent years.

    I do some blogging of my own at an interactive women-only website that I adminstrate, as well as teaching, locally and online, inductive Bible studies and helping others to learn how to “structure” the text of the Written Word. I’m dabbling around the edges of learning to read the Greek text, but am by no means or in any way accomplished.

    I’ve been reading your blog for about 6-9 months now and enjoy it very much. Thanks for asking for interaction from your readers.

  3. 9-16-2010

    Hi, my name is Scott. I’m a computer geek when it comes to paying the bills and I blog and write fiction as a hobby. Hopefully down the road those will pay the bills at least to some degree.

    I’m a dad and a husband and I hope to improve at the skills inherent in those positions daily.

    When it comes to church we’re members at a Presbyterian church (PCA) and we love it. It’s different than a lot of churches we’ve attended in that it’s actually encouraging us to be active in the community in non-traditional ways. The teaching’s also really good.

    Been reading this blog for at least a couple of years I guess. My favorite part is the “Scripture As We Live It” series.

  4. 9-16-2010

    Tjena! I’m Chris!

    I’m 23 years (very) young, a student studying at the National University of Singapore. I’m currently in Stockholm for an internship/study program, working for a company called Voxbiblia and trying to find ways to use social media to spread the message of Christianity.

    I’ve grown up in a Christian family, but have always questioned the Bible and its doctrines. You could probably say that I’m not fit to be called a Christian. This was further enhanced when I saw the spiritual state of Europe in general – it was disheartening to learn that so many people were Christians in name only! But I’ll keep searching, questioning and finding. I also have a blog where I write about my questions and doubts, taking a relatively neutral standpoint.

    I’m a pretty new follower to this blog, having learnt about it recently through Idle Musings of a Bookseller 🙂 I love your posts – many of them have been inspiring and thought-provoking. Thanks for the hard work put into maintaining this blog! 🙂

  5. 9-16-2010


    I am a Finanical Analyst (Senior Analyst if you are nasty 😮 ) living in Grand Prairie, TX (about 15 minutes from Cowboy’s Stadium in the Dallas/Ft. Worth Metroplex). My company is called CAE

    I am originally from Benton Harbor, MI (Go Blue) and got to Texas via the United States Army where I spent about 6 years as a Tanker (the last 3 as a Sgt and Tank Gunner- M1A2).

    I have been married for 12 years and I have two boys with my wife ages 1 and 4 and I have a 15 year old who will be 16 who was born when I was in high school (I was playing basketball and dove for ball bumped into a cheerleader and 10 months later out pops this baby)

    I blog over at in which the wonderful but not as handsome as me Alan Knox set up for me and I am part of a home fellowship called God’s Inheritance (the name is just for identificaion we aren’t incorporated or anything).

    I like to take long walks on the beach with my shoes off at dusk, I have been called the second coming of Billy D Williams, I am Scorpio and like to sip on a very good Merlot 😮

  6. 9-16-2010

    Hi, I’m Iris Godfrey. There is a Rev. in front of my name, but I seldom use it. I am the president of an interdenominational Bible Teaching ministry in Syracuse, NY and have the joy of also teaching (and occasionally preaching) in my local Assembly of God church. My credentials are with another fellowship -Elim Ministerial Fellowship. I have been married to my college sweetheart for 49 years – we married when we were 20 – so that tells you I will shortly turn 70. We have 4 children – two of which are in full-time ministry, 4 grandchildren and one great-grand daughter. I work almost full-time and have no plans to retire. That will simply mean transitioning into more writing than speaking. I have the joy of speaking in many different denominational settings and love the church of our Lord in all her beautiful forms. I am conservative in my doctrine and charismatic in practice.
    I take care of our ministry web site (created it and maintain it) as well as my blog. and I totally enjoy my MacBook and wonder often at how wonderful it is to live in this wonderful computer age.
    I enjoy your blog Alan. Your thoughtful kind approach to the Lord’s work and His people bless me.

  7. 9-16-2010

    I’m Doug Rea from Albany GA. i am 50 years YOUNG and have been married to Regina for 26 years and have 4 daughters. I spend most of my time in “ministry” at Connections – a Christ centered Gathering that is moving more and more toward looking more like the gathering of the first century church.

  8. 9-16-2010

    I’m Steven Owen currently living in great city in Arkansas. Born and reared in Texas. I’m 43 years of age and have been married to my lovely bride for 20 years. I have 4 children, 3 daughters (two of which are identical twins) and one son.
    We moved to Arkansas 6 years ago at the prompting of the Lord.
    I have no “degree” except a high school diploma. All the knowledge and know how I have was earned the hard knocks way.
    We host a group of believers at our home on Saturday evenings and I do minister at a half way house every third Sunday.
    Raised Catholic, in 95 left and started going to a charismatic non-denominational church. Came to Arkansas got into a reformed baptist group until the Lord called us to start meeting in our home.

    I have been a stay at home dad going on 8 years. All this is the Lords will also. It gives me a chance to do the work of an at home dad and help serve others who need help at times.

  9. 9-16-2010

    Haven’t commented here in a very long time! Frankly, I haven’t had time. After all, I am Rebekah Gregg who has 4 children! Which, naturally, means there is very little time for “social interaction” of any kind beyond a quick Facebook status and to see what Alan Knox has posted as his status! And his status updates rarely disappoint. ; )

    I am a short, 34 year old woman who has been married, to the sweetest, most wonderful chiropractor around, for 12 years, 10 months and 8 days! We have 4 children ages 9 – 3. I blog at It Only Gets Better and I read many blogs including Alan’s (when I understand the post titles).

    It’s a pleasure to meet y’all!

  10. 9-16-2010

    My name is Dan. I am 26. My wife, Stephanie(22), and I live in Southern Maine with our 3 kids: Danny Jr.(6 months old), Lily(19 months old) and Gracie (3 years old). I work for Unum as a Programmer Analyst.

    I lived in North Carolina for a while where I worked with Alan. While I met many kind people during my stay in NC, Maine drew me back and I am very happy to be home!

    I have recently started blogging at The Ekklesia in Southern Maine and have really appreciated all the encouraging and helpful input by the readers, including many who have come from here! I like good food, good beer, and good conversation especially when they all come as a package deal!

  11. 9-16-2010


    Beer? Beer is sinful but wine (Paul told Timothy to drink a little) is blessed by God.

  12. 9-16-2010


    I can’t do wine. Awful awful stuff!


  13. 9-16-2010

    I am a 73 year old elder in a CMA church. Trying to introduce some of the biblical principles around community. Making some, slow headway. Years ago when I started my study I came across David Black. His thoughts really helped solidify some of my own studies and greatly encouraged me that I wasn’t on some lunatic fringe. Then I came across Alan, Lionel, and a bunch of others who have helped and challenged me.

    My blog is a site I use to encourage some of my friends in their walk with Jesus and slip in some occasional challenging ideas about community and “church life”. Most of my friends do not check blogs and would never come across many of the ideas and thoughts, so if I quote your blog (I try to be careful about giving credit and trackbacks), please know I am not trying to plagarize you work, but spread it.

  14. 9-16-2010

    I’ve been encouraged by and enjoying Alan’s blog for over a year (at least), and I’ve met Alan briefly two or three times.

    Hi, everyone. I’m Art Mealer, and I live in Raleigh, NC with Deborah (she is the kindest, most wonderful person I know). We’ve been married forty years come this Oct. We’ve two children and a grandson we love bunches: Renee, 37, living in Miami, FL and Stephen, 31, living in Cary, NC. Our grandson, Travis, is 19 and lives in Buffalo, NY.

    We’re “gypsies” of sorts, having moved over 30 times in our married lives. We even lived on Okinawa for 3 1/2 years. Most recently we moved into an apartment community in Raleigh to start a church. We’ve started a few churches over the years, been part of house churches here and there since the 70’s, and hung out/served in a lot of “regular churches” with a wide range of theological beliefs and practices. Personally, my own theological leanings are very close to the Plymouth Brethren.

    The two most driving interests for me these days are the (1) work of itinerants, and (2) the relationship between supracultural principles (the what and why) and the corresponding encultured (here, now) practices/forms (the where, when, how). In general, the church tends to reverse these two areas, making practices and forms the unchangeable things, causing great harm and confusion, and making effective corrective change an aimless impossibility.

  15. 9-16-2010

    PS. We get our Merlot at Trader Joe’s for $2.99. Might gross both Lionel and Dan out?

  16. 9-16-2010

    My name is Stephen Young. I am 34 years old, married for 8 years and have a 3-year-old son. I have been living in Brazil and working as a missionary for nearly 9 years (SBC background). I enjoy your blog and have a couple of my own.

  17. 9-16-2010


    My name is Jonathan Hutton. Age-wise I’m close to mid-life crisis point. I think instead of a new car or a new girl I’m going to try out a new view of religion.

    I’ve gown up in the church. Son of a pastor – mostly in interdenominational small ‘church’ settings. Spent a few years in Bible college. Career as a high school teacher. Always involved in ‘church’ activities and well connected. However a few years back God started speaking to me that something was not right with my box. Jesus spoke and prayed for Christian unity, but I could not see how that was possible considering the state of divisions and denominations all thinking each other was not worthy of their fellowship.
    That was my starting point. Not sure where it’s all going, but I’m sensing my faith increase as my dependence on religion decreases.

    Thanks Alan for being a voice that makes sense so often.

    God bless!

  18. 9-16-2010

    I’m Fred. I’m 54 and I currently work as a special ed. instructional assistant in a public middle school. I have a bachelor’s degree from Baptist Bible College in PA, and two master’s. I taught and coached in Christian schools for 23 years, and have served in various leadership positions in traditional churches. I’ve been married for 30 years to Jan, and we have two children, Josh (27) who is living with us while he finishes a master’s in architecture, and Jennie (25) who is the media director for a visual effects company in Los Angeles

    I grew up in fundamental churches, but about six years ago, God started changing a lot of the ways I see things. last year we left the traditional church to help start a community that currently meets in a bagel shop on Sunday mornings, and at various places through the week. We’re planning a camping trip in November. I like good food, good coffee, good beer, and an occasional good bowl of pipe tobacco.

    My journey has taken a lot of twists and turns, and I’ve been amazed at the Father’s grace through all of it. I’ve learned the past few years that following Jesus is definitely an adventure.

  19. 9-16-2010

    Randi aka Randi Jo here. Originally from New Jesrey. Now live in North Carolina (last 9 years). Met my husband here who is from NC. I’m 27 years old and a stay at home mom to 4 year old curly hair blonde boy and 5 month old dimpled princess. When I’m not walking the stroller, reading books, playing trains, feeding babies, changing diapers or cleaning – I am reading about God & the Church, writing about God & His Church or praying to God about Him & relationships. We left the traditional ritualistic Sunday only attractional church model a few months back after years of Him leading in taht direction — and have loved reading this blog the last 3 years. God truly changed my life back in 2007/2008 when my spiritual mentor died and I prayed and prayed to find a church or a person to take that place of her (my grandma – spiritual mentor) and He answered me by saying, “you are not connected to me through the church (or the way you do church or anybody else)… but you are connected to the church through me.” He really empowered me to stop looking for somebody to intercede for me and just to GO directly to HIM. It changed my life. How can you sit in the loving arms of the God of this UNIVERSE and not forever be changed?!?! Since that time the journey has been so mindblowing and hard and lonely feeling (yet not lonely because of HIM)… and I’m so thankful. I have truly accepted the fact that JESUS is the only intercessor needed between me & God. and now that I have that solid personal relationship — He is helping me be closer to brothers & sisters and truly discovering how to BE the church in a local fellowship with others. I am married to a wonderful wise man who loves the 23rd Psalm — rest and stillness. I’m more of a Romans 12:11-13 keeping your spiritual fervor & zeal type. So we’re a good balance 🙂

  20. 9-17-2010

    Hi, Steve Scott here. I’m in my late 40’s, living in Concord, CA (San Francisco Bay Area). I’m married (10 yrs) w/ three small boys, 8, 5 & 3, the first two adopted. My 20 year vocation (after being a Berkeley dropout in chemical engineering) in residential architecture evaporated in the economic crisis, so I’m a full-time stay-at-home dad and job seeker and college student (whew!), re-training for a new career.

    I’ve been a Christian 16 years, almost entirely in “Reformed” churches. The series of diffictult life circumstances for us have been accompanied by a series of difficult church circumstances, so we have recently become “unchurched”, to use a favorite perjorative of some in my church past. I have been a blogger for over five years (theology, baseball and baseball cards), and have been re-thinking out loud much of what I’ve been taught in churches and circles past. Alan’s site has been part of that re-thinking. Click on my name above for my theology blog, “From the Pew.”

    We are nuclear powered baseball fans, and our beloved Giants just took over first place last night! I’m not much for “beer,” but ales, stouts and microbrews are time honored favorites. I’m from CA, so our merlot from Trader Joe’s is only $1.99. Most of life is starting over for us right now, so everything is one big adventure. Glad to be part of Alan’s readership.

  21. 9-17-2010

    Wow what amazing people following your blogging’s, Alan. Is blogging’s a word?

    Hello everyone, my name is Greg Zamora (one old dude 61). My Bride is Evis and we have been married for 34 years. My bride is from Cape Town, South Africa. We have 10 children, 4 adopted and 6 foster. I know Art and his bride from back in the 70s, while we were in the Air Force in Michigan. I came to the Lord when I was 25 in Cape Canaveral, Florida at a little Bible church and life has been an adventure ever since. My passion as a young believer was the church but sin snared me and I got into playing church and not living church. Christ and His Church nothing more glorious. The Lord has pulled me up out of the mire and brought be back to fellowship with Him. I currently am an elder in a Berean fellowship (small denomination) in Nebraska. I find this blog stimulates my thinking about church.
    Alan I would also like to thank you for the effort to live out loud in our new world of social media. I also believe that Jesus is preparing His church for the future. Please be real, all you followers of Christ and pass on what the Lord is doing in your life. We are free to live for Him.

  22. 9-17-2010

    PS I like both beer and wine. But not the cheap stuff Art. 😉

  23. 9-18-2010

    Here I am, better late than never … catching up after a bit of a health crash…

    My name is Norma. Married to Lionel for 28 years. We have 4 daughters and 1 son, all in their twenties, and 7 grandkids (6 born in the past 2 years 🙂

    I’m a “jill of all trades” both in work experience (public and Christian school teacher, home school mom, orchardist, writer, B&B, office management, home-based business owner, etc etc etc) and volunteer experiences of many kinds.

    And a wide variety of “church” experiences too… Anglican, various middle-of-road-evangelical denominations, Pentecostal, Southern Baptist, home church, etc etc : we lived in a lot of small towns with few “church choices”, which was great, because we got to fellowship with a broad spectrum of the body of Christ over the years! Currently out of traditional church, but happily to fellowship with a great gathering of street-level believers, and other sisters and brothers who Father brings our way.

    I have a couple blogs going (well, they were going till my health hiatus – hoping to get back to it asap)… and a variety of other writing projects (book reviews, writing plays, newsletter publishing, a couple books under way).

    I live in the sunny Okanagan Valley in southern British Columbia (where it is raining cats and dogs today!)

    And I love reading other folks’ blogs, including this one of course, and several from other commenters here as well 🙂

  24. 9-18-2010

    My name is Mark Van Norden. I live in Larned, KS, with my wife Tayleene (married 5 1/2 years), son Ethan (4 1/2 years old), and we are expecting in December (due date is our son’s birthday). I work as a family practice physician, but my true passion is for the Body of Christ and His kingdom.

    I left the institution 9 years ago, and spent most of that time in desert mode, without much fellowship with other Christians. I had a good friend who was, and still is, an example to me, and partly through his friendship and example the Lord detoxified me from my previous ways of thinking. I am now excited as I see the Father positioning me to take my place in His kingdom, a place I always had, but couldn’t see until recently. My wife and I now fellowship with some other believers locally, and we are seeking an expression of His body in our area.

    I think I am finally getting over my bitterness towards the institution, and the Lord has recently given me more of a heart for my brothers and sisters still stuck in the system.

    I blog my thoughts at

  25. 9-20-2010

    Greg, BYOB. (soon!)

  26. 9-20-2010

    Art, I need some exhortation. Satan is attaching with both feet.

  27. 9-20-2010

    My name is Eric Holcombe. I’m 42, married for 16 years and have three children ages 12, 10 and 8. I live in the Knoxville, TN area and work as a mechanical consulting engineer for Griffith Engineering.

    I was raised in the Southern Baptist tradition (my wife Methodist) and we spent many of our years together in Baptist settings because it was comfortable, we knew what to expect (and not to expect) – but always felt as if we were settling for something less. The friendships, positions (teacher, deacon, choirs, budget committees, search committees etc.) and responsibilities kept us busy, but as I began to search the scriptures and find our traditions lacking what I saw there and became convicted of several things, we had to withdraw. I had no bad experiences there (in the confrontational sense, but looking back maybe I should have) and do believe God has used those experiences to teach me, but I had to walk in the light I was given. In the course of that time I was seeking counsel of other brothers who were like-minded regarding institutional gatherings and our traditions and found a few voices on the internet. I’ve been reading Alan’s blog for about three years. I’m fairly certain I was introduced to it by Steve Sensenig. So, for several months we began meeting at home by ourselves and trusting God to bring us into contact with others to fellowship and encourage. Today we meet in homes with four other families but also maintain relationships with other families still in institutional gatherings, but not nearly as close as our church family (time). Still learning what the assembly looks like and how it functions. The brothers and sisters here (Alan’s blog) have been a great encouragement to me these last couple of years. It will be great to meet you all one day.

  28. 9-22-2010

    always late..

    48 years old Grey bearded biker.
    Dad to bunches of kids (1 bio, a few step, and whoever else showed up on doorsteps with no where to go… last count 17)

    married to a nurse/missionary

    just a sinner saved by grace..

    spent many years as an addict/alcholic.
    abusive hubby.
    (insert more bad stuff here)sin is sin..

    attended bible college. (at thirty years old)
    self employed entire life.. now disabled

    ordained at church level by two diff churches over the years. ( i could sell you a packet of salt and make you think it was from the dead sea and could heal you.. those churches loved that..)

    about four years ago, after being involved in the word of faith type stuff, God began to tap my shoulder and wake me up..

    now i am more of a MacArthur/calvin/reformed.. awww heck, just the bible type guy..

    i am called “brother frankie” or “pastor” in the streets of central florida.

    i preach in the streets and the bars. To the homeless and the addicts.

    i help teach at a halfway house for aides patients/addicts.

    i help teach at an interdenominational mens group.

    i am involved with mathews Hope.

    as well as in homes in the community.

    i have a group that meets in a city park called the gathering lakeside. Sermon/fellowship/and sometimes food.

    i do a weekly movie in the park that is frequented by the homeless. (its illegal to do it for the homeless or to feed the homeless, so we make friends and picnic..)

    i dont like to talk about me.. or draw attention to what i do..

    i would like to thank all of you here for sharing your gifts and knowledge of scripture. I often glean from you and try to give credit if i remember who said it or wrote it.

    I am grateful to all of you.
    you are loved,
    Brother Frankie


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