Sorry to disappoint. This is not the website of an Oxford tour company.
But, true to its title, it does share the story of one quite unusual Oxford adventure: something of our family’s journey to Oxford as I pursue a Doctorate of Philosophy in Theology at ‘the University.’
Now you might not think that the story of one young family moving from Western Canada to the UK for doctoral studies is all that interesting. And, after poking around here, you may indeed leave with that impression!
But I hope not. Julie and I and our three children have been ‘Surprised by Oxford,’ as one memoir of a student’s time here puts it.* We didn’t foresee coming here from a long way off, nor would have envisioned it for ourselves.
Instead, as I resigned my job as an associate pastor in an incredible church in White Rock, BC, where I had been privileged to serve for eight years, we sensed a call to come study in Oxford. And, trusting in the God who calls, we also embraced in faith the challenges that this path would inevitably bring.
It’s a long story, and one I surely can’t do full justice to here. But it has been a journey where we have been amazed time and again at how God’s plan for those who trust him is always far greater than what you would design for yourself – far greater both in its challenge and in its enrichment.
So we wanted to ‘open’ something of the story up, mainly for the many who have played such an indispensable role in supporting us on this path through Oxford. But it is also for any who might be inspired by something of our story to entrust their life’s path to God, trusting in Jesus Christ and therein finding assurance, as we have, that a life devoted to him and his interests in this world is not only right and true, but the best life there is.
That said, I have tried to resist the ‘airbrushed’ temptation of online presentation. I have tried to be real not only about the joys we’ve relished along the way, but also the hardships, failures, and disappointments. Clearly there is a natural limit to what one can appropriately share publicly along those lines. I have tried to present an honest overall picture, but that is hard in a Facebook age, so do help me by probing or suggesting further.
But to be true, though at times quite challenging, this Oxford adventure has been one of being gently schooled in the goodness of God. As we have stepped out onto a path that felt impossible in view of our own mere capacities, our view of God has been enlarged, and we’ve been further inspired to trust and serve him in all of life.
I hope you will be too.
* Carolyn Weber, Surprised by Oxford: A Memoir (Thomas Nelson, 2011). I started reading this book on October 19, 2013, the day I matriculated as a student at Oxford – feeling quite surprised myself! I highly recommend it.
A Call to Oxford – For more on how we came to be on this Oxford adventure
Studies – For more on the doctoral research at the heart of our time here
Only in Oxford – For a view of some scenes unique to Oxford
In addition to these main pages, find a list of recent topical blog posts below.