I’m Brian Casey. I was raised in a fairly normal home with good parents and two reasonable younger sisters (as sisters go). My dad often worked a second job, and my mom was primarily a mom and homemaker. I played organized baseball and some basketball and tennis, traveled a lot in cars, and had what I needed. I was a decent kid who made very good grades, but I had some very rough years when I was 13-15.
Personally, I’m 48.6% obsessive, very verbal, and somewhat high-maintenance. I’m not a natural listener (I work at it because it’s so relationally crucial), but I am naturally somewhat empathic. My words and thoughts are too quick on the draw sometimes. I wish I were more wise. I’m a Briggs-Meyers INFJ/P, and in some situations more a left-brain thinker than a right-brain one. I’m cynical about society, the entertainment and sports “industries,” laws, over-confident scientific studies, big business, and most other institutions. I love the beauty and grandeur of nature and have climbed two of the tallest mountains (14’ers!) in the country despite having bad foot joints and arthritis before my time.
Vocationally, I’m a musician. More specifically, a conductor. But I was more of a generalist until the last 15 years or so: I have experience with choirs but have a mediocre voice; I play horn in bands, orchestras, and chamber groups; and I arrange and compose. I’ve written more than 100 Christian hymns and songs and have arranged nearly 300 more; my present focus of brass and mixed instrumental works make up most of the rest of my portfolio. I think only about 2% of the pop music “artists” out there are genuinely artistic, and I think the Beatles, Barbra Streisand, Britney, Eminem, and Elvis are all overrated. Linda Ronstadt, Kansas, Billy Joel, Mariah Carey, Michael Card, and Michael W. Smith, however, had/have more talent. (Elton John and Michael Jackson and maybe Madonna might had/have talent, but their personas or personal habits were so repulsive that I could never watch or listen long enough to find out.)
I worked in banking and computer technology during the 90s, but the third big merger presented me with the opportunity to take the severance package and run with it. I took two graduate degrees, had a lot of great experiences, and taught in five institutions of higher learning between 2001 and 2015 (three of those positions were one-year interim appointments). I now find myself back in banking, in a much more down-to-earth organization that regularly shows its care and concern for people and community.
I am a pretty strong Windows user who abhors all things Mac. I used to nest “if” statements and write mainframe-access scripts, and I got a Web/HTML certificate from a university’s night program while working days. I dictate (and compulsively capitalize and punctuate) my texts, because, in the words of Lynne Truss, I think “proper punctuation is both the sign and the cause of clear thinking.” The Windows “My Music” folder label makes me do a double-take, because music is first visual/score-based for me, and I have more notation files and way more hard-copy music scores than I do .mp3s and .wavs. I also have 1300+ CDs, 200 vinyl records, and, 200+ cassettes. Every time I have to make a technology or electronics purchase, I have difficulty communicating with the teeny-boppers who have been alive for a shorter period of time than I’ve been computing, and who think every device or app is a toy. I maintain a sense of the derivation and history of the word “app” and the notion of “stereo,” full-frequency-range sound that attempts to imitate good acoustics.
The red states on the map above are the ones in which I have spent more than a night. I have visited all of the contiguous 48 states and have lived in 10 of them (NE, AR, DE, TX, TN, KS, MO, CO, NY, and WY).
I prefer plain potato chips but love salsa and cinnamon and horseradish; I like veggies and all fruits and berries I meet, and I do eat cow (and crow, sometimes). I like riding on two wheels (both the motorized and non-motorized kinds), and I like baseball (mostly the bygone days) and frisbee and racquetball, but not football or golf, and definitely not soccer. I should exercise more, because it’s now officially difficult to shed a few pounds.
I sense that my personal faith has weakened considerably in my current phase of life, and I’m anxious about that. I am deeply inspired by Jesus-centered, well-grounded-in-scriptural-reality faith. Serious investigation into biblical texts is energizing for me, and I’ve recently done much work in, and have gained significant, contextual understandings of, the texts of Mark, Philemon, Galatians, John, and 1Corinthians, Philippians, and Matthew. I resist the influence of the KJV in our age, preferring the NASB and NRSV, comparisons of various versions, and the Message sometimes—but have never found a translation I fully trust or use consistently. (They’re all flawed.) I have seriously studied Koiné Greek, because I continue to find riches in the New Testament Greek text. I believe in serious, responsible study of the scriptures.
Spiritually, my greatest and truest callings are (1) responsible biblical teaching for adults and (2) guiding hearts in worship of my God, both in the assembly and out. My wheels regularly turn with related musings, but I now doubt the long-term impact of corporate worship experiences, and my hope in the work of established churches with signage out front decreases with the passing years. For four years, we benefited from, and gave ourselves to a weekly Christian gathering in our home with dear friends—friends who love serious study and worship and spiritually based relationships as we do. We have been active in various small groups everywhere we’ve lived. “Simple church” ideals are now magnetic for us.
I’m a restorationist, a reformer and challenger-of-the-status-quo—essentially a neo-protestant who protests the Protestants. I’m also
- historically, strongly tied to the “American Restoration” Church of Christ, to be more specific
- 49% Arminian, 12% Calvinist, and the rest—who knows?
- a non-charismatic who is trying, in the face of a lot of charlatans and marketing muck, to believe that God still can
- a worshipper who doesn’t worship as much or as well as he used to and who isn’t all that turned on by hipster styles—or by oldsters who can’t manage those styles
- rationally resistant to the influence of the Roman Catholic institution (and I find it difficult to keep from sputtering at the silliness of certain other cult-like and/or ludicrously migsuided denominations)
- an organic/simple/house church advocate who hasn’t completely let go of his traditional church roots
I don’t believe in “big religion” any more than I believe in careless, obese government, but the former is eternally significant, and the latter is not. Churchianity, overblown liturgies, and blind, denominational loyalties consistently abrade my spiritual skin … but the people in the pews in all the church buildings are still God’s creatures, and I care about their destinies. The diagram here gives some indication of my opinions and views on secular society and civics, but I really try not to stress too much over the politics of this globe and am not aligned with any political party, taking the stance of a conscientious nonparticipant (e.g., I could never have served in the military because of conflicting spiritual and philosophical convictions) in process but trying to be a good citizen in other ways.
My sometimes-offbeat or groan-inducing humor may be obscured by a recurring, stressed feeling of time constraint … which in turn may lead to expressed annoyance with helmet and no-cell phone laws and over-taxation and misplaced apostrophes and the overabundance of handicap parking spaces.
I do hope that whatever thoughts appear here will shed light and ultimately help me, you, and/or the everlasting Reign of God in human hearts.
 I’ve had a lovers’ quarrel (read: conflicted feelings of affection and frustration) going with the people of my basic religious heritage for most of my adult life. I persist in valuing the CofC and in cherishing many of her historically held ideals (if not all of her de facto practices), but my practical direction is often somewhat different. Some of this difference is my choice, and some of it seems to be choosing me.
rev. Nov. 2016