To listen to my conversation on SoundCloud, click here
I almost studied with Dr. Cortez at Western Seminary in Portland, OR. He is now teaching theology at Wheaton College and I was thankful for the opportunity to reconnect with him. While his research focus is theological anthropology, Dr. Cortez has a very sincere passion for youth ministry. In our conversation we weave the two together and dive head first in to some very practical issues in modern ministry. I hope you enjoy our conversation.
Eric planted City of God Church in Lafayette, IN where he is the lead Pastor
Eric and I knew each other in Jr. High and we became friends early in High School. We went through youth group together, and though we went to different Bible Colleges and Seminaries, we helped each other endure those seasons from a distance with regular communication. For a short season we worked together at the church he planted before I moved to Portland. He and his wife, whose wedding I was blessed to be in, have been a huge blessing to me. I’m honored that they found a way to make it to Boise for my wedding. Here are 10 reasons why.
- Though I think he just did it for fun, he called me almost once a week while I was in Seminary and ended up helping me walk through some of the most daunting theological issues I have ever wrestled with.
- He and his wife Jessie were the first couple to help me overcome my fears about marriage by inviting me deep into their lives and showing me how the Gospel was at work there.
- He is the most extroverted introvert I know.
- He greased the tracks for me to attend the Resurgence Training Center, a watershed moment in my life that ultimately lead me to Portland among many other things.
- He is the only one who can get me excited about sports.
- He introduced me to Kentucky Bourbon Barrel Ale.
- In 2001, when the Arizona Diamondbacks beat the Yankees in the World Series, he ran with me through the streets of our hometown celebrating. We’re not Diamondback fans, we just don’t like the Yankees.
- He is a Semi Pro Wrestler…seriously. He is known to the wrestling world as Buck Boulder.
- In 2010 he moved his young family from a secure youth ministry position in the suburbs of Indianapolis and planted City of God Church next to Purdue University’s diverse campus where he has faithfully weathered all the storms of uncertainty that face a young church plant.
- He has three awesome kids, a great marriage, a healthy church, a pastor’s heart, a scholar’s mind, and is consistently someone I can measure my life against in a healthy way.