My name is Cody Raak, and I am an apprentice of Jesus Christ. I am also a husband of four years, a lifelong student, and the pastor of Emmanuel Reformed Church in Springfield, SD. I am passionate about caring for the church in preaching the Word of God faithfully and administering the sacraments of Christ regularly; I am also passionate about the church’s continual renewal through Spirit-empowered, Spirit-led (trans)formation and Christ-shaped, theologically-informed worship.
I am a pretty “creative” person:
- I read (voraciously and widely).
- I write (obviously…this is a blog).
- I cook (and eat).
- I watercolor (infrequently; my brushes are collecting too much dust for my liking).
- I play board games (my current favorites are 7 Wonders and Ticket to Ride: Europe).
I am also a pretty “nerdy” person:
- I love watching (and quoting, and discussing, and debating…) Marvel comic book movies, and all things Science Fiction and Fantasy.
- I love to play with words, and enjoy those who are really good at it (Shakespeare, Oscar Wilde, and Amy Leach, for starters).
- I love learning new things, about a lot of things.
- Most importantly, I am not afraid to care about something so much that I speak passionately about it and work to know more about it. That’s what I think “nerd” really means.
My biggest influences right now are the Inklings, James Bryan Smith’s Apprentice series, Richard Rohr, and (as always) Jesus Christ. Authors I am eager to read include Thomas Merton, Dallas Willard, Jim Wallis, and Dietrich Bonhoeffer. I have an incubating interest in politics and what the church’s role is in “the public”.
Why is a twenty-something Christian man writing all this about himself? Surely this must be evidence of the narcissistic self-promotion and vainglorious over-sharing that has become synonymous with American young adults. Well, it might be, but I share this because what I write isn’t coming out of thin air. I write with basic assumptions, values, and biases, and I feel those should be made clear somewhere. I want this blog to be more than the thin “community” we settle for in social media (if it can be); I want to really engage you, to encounter you as my brother or sister in Christ. I want to share this journey of spiritual (trans)formation with you, as a fellow pilgrim of the Way. All this is simply the best digital equivalent to a warm handshake I can muster.