A Personal Note:
My Style of Writing:
My writing skills have developed over the years, heavily influenced by a diverse crowd of random authors, musicians, and artists. Early on I found inspiration in three important books that I read multiple times; they were 1984 by George Orwell, The Time Machine by H.G. Wells, and Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas by Hunter S. Thompson. I studied those books carefully. I was deeply influenced by new journalism and the free and blunt expression found in Dr. Thompson's spin off of new journalism he called "gonzo." I read most of his books, and studied his style thoroughly. It seemed to me to hit the vein of issues, without too much dancing around. I was also influenced heavily by several other books, right around that time Fight Club by Chuck Palaniuk was becoming quite popular. His blunt expressiveness definitely influenced me. A Scanner Darkly by Philip K. Dick was another major influence on my writing. Obviously the Bible has deeply influenced my writing style as well. The Bible expresses truths in epic terms, along lines of beauty and emotion. I try to do the same in my writing. From the very beginning I wanted to paint pictures with words, and I tried to bring people into the emotional states and landscapes I was trying to portray. I wanted to capture holy moments and express them in words to carry that message of the surreal, the existential, the greater than the sum of it's parts facet of existence. I was deeply moved and inspired by the art work of Vincent Van Gogh as well, and the dark contours of his works. Van Gogh seemed to express such a dismal state, such a real dismal sadness. He expressed it even further than that, he expressed a state of hopelessness so complete. Yet there were these bright lights shining as well. So he crossed epic sadness, and epic beauty and hope at the same time. I'd always been interested in my music and writing to communicate dual states like happiness meshed with sadness, melancholy meshed with wonder, sadness meshed with hope. Because much of the time I felt that way in my daily life, sad, yet hopeful, melancholy yet filled with wonder, scared yet stoic. I knew others did too and I wanted to find ways to share the identification of that common experience. More so than most probably realize, I was deeply influenced by music. I spent a great deal of time reading lyrics sheets of musicians, studying how they put their words together to express it in vocal form. One of the biggest influences in my writing was Isaac Brock the singer for Modest Mouse. His pure, honest expressions of emotion and clarity through metaphor appealed to me. The abandon of it all was intense and expressive. Songs that communicate such an acute loneliness, yet a searching for answers. He had a way of carrying a song like a journey from one place to another. Same with Travis Morrison of the Dismemberment Plan. He could deliver a song like a story being told around a campfire. The Shins, Mew, Dave Grohl, Richard Patrick, the Deftones, Incubus, and many others played a huge part in influencing my style of writing. I had a tendency to listen to the same song, or read the same book, over and over and over, until I began to understand how it all fit together. I did that with a song called "The Past and Pending" by The Shins. Politics of the late 90s and early 2000s definitely influenced my writing style. I was an avid follower of the magazine "Adbusters" and felt a deep need to do something about political corruption in the country. But my own personal isses began to take center stage. The divorce, addiction, alcoholism, and daily life all played a part in how I wrote and I expressed things in writing. I grew up in Wisconsin, surrounded by some of the most pure beauty one can imagine. My writing during my early years reflected an internal turmoil, and depression, yet also a wonder and fascination for natural beauty, life, creativity, and philosophy. I was heavily influenced by the Star Wars movies as well, and the idea of fighting a noble cause against a powerful enemy. My writing seemed to echo a sort of rebellious defiance in the face of overwhelming odds. As my life changed and I came into the Christian fold I began to be influenced by authors like Ravi Zacharias, C.S. Lewis, G.K. Chesterton, Neil Anderson, and others. My fascination with the Bible lead to a lot of study and changes in perspective. My worldview changed but I still hung onto a lot of my earlier influences, which helps me today to communicate the timeless truths of the word of God in terms that young people like myself can understand.
"Jesus Christ embodies the perfect life, the perfect death, the perfect resurrection, the perfect teaching, and the perfect gift~ my perfect righteousness." - Justin Steckbauer
Statement of Views:
Justin Steckbauer is an employee of the Salvation Army Central Territory, but this is Justin's personal blog. The views on this blog do not necessarily represent the views or opinions of the Salvation Army, it's employees, or partners. The views on this blog are solely those of Justin Steckbauer, based on his best ability to interpret and apply the teachings of the Bible, in the Spirit.
Video Testimony (at baptism Feb 2012):
Liberty Community Online - writing website
Evangelical Intelligentsia - a website of apologetics content and videos on thinking faith.
Appeal to Heaven Politics - a blog where I share political writings
Jesus Website - Archives of my writing before and after becoming a Christian.
Justin Steckbauer - One of my websites.
Authonomy - Read & download novels I've written.
Academia.edu - scholarly works, academic writing.
Youtube: A Lifestyle Change for Peace Channel
Pinterest: Postmodern Christianity
Home Website: justinsteckbauer.webs.com
Education: University of Wisconsin Ext (2006-2009)
Liberty University (2013-2016)
Degrees: Associate of Arts: Interdisciplinary Studies (AA)
Bachelor of Science: Religion & Christian Counseling (BS)
Work: Ministry Intern/Officer's Candidate at The Salvation Army Central Territory / Salvation Army of Escanaba, Mi.
Spiritual Gifts: Evangelism, Prophetic, Showing mercy, Exhortation. Take the Spiritual gifts quiz and find out yours.
Biggest Heroes in my Life:
1. Jesus Christ - my god, my savior, he saved me from the penalty of my sins, he saved me from drug addiction, alcoholism, and an ever increasing depression. He saved me from self destruction and a broken meaningless life of self aggrandizement and pursuit of self achievement.
2. Ravi Zacharias - a Christian speaker who deeply influenced my own writing and ministry. Dr. Zacharias helped me to see the reasonable nature of the Christian faith. He also helped me to see how I could share the gospel with genuine love and grace.
3. Bill Wilson - an individual who has helped me to put my spiritual life into practice in a very real way. His writings have served as a major conduit through which a lot of healing has come into my life.
4. Ron Paul - a politician who inspired me deeply to aspire to a higher standard of excellence. Ron Paul taught me to try to be above corruption, to really work for authenticity and a principled approach toward anything I do.
5. Hunter S. Thompson - I can't say I agreed with his lifestyle or choices. But I read almost all of his books. Dr. Thompson taught me something very valuable: write it exactly how you mean it, don't apologize for being real, and thoroughly enjoy doing it.
6. Dr. Ben Carson - The retired neurosurgeon Dr. Ben Carson is a very inspiring person who has helped me to develop a firm concern for my country. That concern has led me to act and take a stand when I might've remained silent. Dr. Ben Carson is a great man, a true Christian leader.
7. Ted Cruz - The brilliant orator and lawyer who took Washington D.C. by storm has been a powerful influence in my politic philosophy. Ted Cruz is a brilliant speaker, and his arguments are sound. He's helped me to learn more about the Constitution and the intents of the founders. He is a bold Christian leader.
8. Martin Luther King Jr. - Dr. King was one of the greatest men the world has ever known. His sermons were simply astounding. His life has been a great inspiration to me. His wisdom is timeless, because his rock was God almighty.
9. Abraham Lincoln - The president who saw our nation through the civil war is bound to be admired by many. Yet I do count him as one of my inspirations, in his quiet, gentle leadership style.
10. George Washington - The great General, who could've been a monarch, but relinquished his power, well, he's larger than life. His daring fights against the British during the Revolutionary War are legendary. He is a great inspiration to me. Today and always.
Major Heroes from the Bible: Jesus Christ, John, Timothy, Paul, Jacob, Joshua, Gideon, John the baptist, Peter.
Historical Christian Influences: C.S. Lewis, G.K. Chesterton, A.W. Tozer, Francis Schaeffer, John Welsey, Justin Martyr, Bill Wilson, Origen, Augustine, Martin Luther, Charles Spurgeon, Mother Teresa, Francis of Assisi.
Current Christian Influences: Ravi Zacharias, Francis Chan, John Piper, James MacDonald, Ed Hindson, William Lane Craig, Frank Turek, Greg Koukl, Elmer Towns, Kent Hovind, Frank Minirth, Tim Clinton, Os Guinness, JP Moreland, Eric Metaxas, Lee Strobel, Hugh Ross, Francis Collins, Ed Stetzer, Darrell Bock, and others.
Favorite Gospel: John
Favorite Book of the Bible: Ephesians
Favorite Scripture Verses: John 14:6 "Jesus answered, "I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me."
John 1:4 "In him was life, and that life was the light of all mankind."
Hebrews 10:14 "For by one sacrifice he has made perfect forever those who are being made holy."
Favorite Translation: As far as study/accuracy I love the (ESV) English Standard Version. I also greatly enjoy the New International Version (NIV). New Living Translation (NLT) is good as well.
General Theological Views:
Atonement: Penal Substitution/Christus Victor
Salvation: Conditional Security
Foreknowledge: Arminian - God foreknows future free actions
Divine Image: Substantival
Protestant, Lutheran or Catholic: Protestant
Denomination: Salvation Army (Similar to Methodist)
Complimentarian or Egalitarian: Egalitarian (sort of)
Fundamental or Missional: Missional
Cessationist or Charismatic: Charismatic
Liberal or Conservative Theology: Conservative
Church Government: Locally Autonomous, democratic
Rapture View: Post-Tribulation
Old Earth or Young Earth: Undecided
Salvation: Gifted Grace through Faith alone, repentance required, faith demonstrated by works
Salvation Security: God preserves the connection but shipwrecked faith, loss of faith is possible given major lack of repentance, and/or willful rejection of God, resulting in eternal disconnection from God.
Side note: My view on theology in general is that as long as we both love Jesus and we're exclusive on Jesus being the only way, then we need to strategically ignore our minor differences, and love and support each other in sharing the truth of Jesus, impacting our local cultures, and loving each other like Jesus said.
Organizations I Support:
Alliance defending Freedom
Abolish Human Abortion
The Discovery Institute
For a full list see the Links section of this website.
Dominant Hand: Left
Jung Meyers-Briggs Type: INFP (Introverted, Intuitive, Feeling, Perceiving)
Favorite color: blue/indigo purple Favorite Bands: The Helio Sequence, Mew, French Kicks, Radiohead, God is an Astronaut, Boards of Canada, Sleep Party People, American Analog Set, Beach House, Alpine, Team Sleep, Tara Jane O'Neil, Clint Mansell, Bear McCreary, The Shins, Deftones, Deerhunter, Grizzly Bear, Tv on the Radio, Passion Pit, The Album Leaf, Modest Mouse, Postal Service, Dismemberment Plan, Explosions in the Sky, The Foals, Arcade Fire, Kings of Convenience, Four tet, Tycho, Philip Glass, Still Corners, Memoryhouse, Bear in Heaven, Passion Pit
Favorite Books: The Bible
Walking from East to West by Ravi Zacharias
A Grief Observed by C.S. Lewis
1984 by George Orwell
Revolution in World Missions by K.P. Yohannan
Christianity in Action by Henry Gariepy
No Longer a Slumdog by K.P. Yohannan
Alice in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll
Orthodoxy by G.K. Chesterton
A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L'engle
Quiet by Susan Cain
Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions by Bill Wilson
Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas by Hunter S. Thompson
Kingdom of Fear by Hunter S. Thompson
The Krytos Trap by Michael A. Stackpole
A Million Little Pieces by James Frey
Flags of our Fathers by James Bradley
The Time Machine by H.G. Wells
Walden by Henry David Thoreau
Favorite Movies: The Gospel of John, The Matrix, Lord of the Rings, Star Wars, Donnie Darko, The Fountain, Sherlock Holmes, Star Trek First Contact, Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed, Reign of Fire, Sister Act, American Beauty, The Butterfly Effect, Braveheart, The Patriot, Groundhog Day, Good Will Hunting, Apollo 13, Forrest Gump, One flew over the Cuckoo's Nest, It's a Wonderful Life
Favorite TV Shows: Battlestar Galactica, Star Trek TNG, Star Trek DS9, Star Trek Voyager, Babylon 5, John Adams miniseries
Recreation: What's that?
Political Views: Conservative Libertarian Constitutionalist.
A collage of some of my heroes of faith and truth: