John Alan Turner
John Alan Turner is a writer, a theologian, a consultant, and a teacher who is recognized for his ability to present the story of God intelligently and accessibly. A native of California, his educational background includes studies at Pepperdine University, Pacific Christian College, Bear Valley Bible Institute, and the London School of Theology. He has studied theology, psychology, and philosophy --- earning a Th.M. with emphasis in New Testament Studies.
Turner is the son of a career minister. As a toddler, he remembers being told often that he would grow up to be a pastor “just like his daddy.” Instead, his early ministry career could be characterized as a series of false starts. Though he was a passionate and gifted Bible teacher, Turner plodded through committee meetings, hospital visits, and ladies’ Bible study groups for several years before accepting the reality that he was not minted in the traditional mold of “professional minister.” After enrolling in a research-based PhD program at London University, he packed up his wife, their two daughters, and his disillusionment with the local church and moved from Amarillo, Texas, to Atlanta, Georgia, where a friend had arranged access to the research library at Emory University. His plan at that point was to “live the bohemian doctoral student life.”
“I began calling myself a ‘theologian.’ I grew a beard. I gave in to my moody and temperamental side. I started using words like metanarrative in sentences,” Turner recalls. “While I was doing a variety of small writing jobs to make ends meet, my wife informed me that we were going to have another baby. Suddenly, the idea of spending thousands of dollars to get some initials after my name became less important. I needed to provide.”
Turner had already been doing some writing projects for his friend Ken Boa, condensing his numerous doctoral dissertations for mass consumption --- or, as Turner dubbed it, “Ken Boa for Dummies.” He soon began fielding projects from other sources, including Andy Stanley and Reggie Joiner of North Point Community Church, who eventually restored his faith in the local church. As his writing career continues to blossom, Turner has seen his work appear in several magazines including Integrity Journal, New Wineskins, ParentLife and Stimulus: The New Zealand Journal of Christian Thought and Action. He has appeared on American Family Radio and The Coral Ridge Hour television broadcast. Turner is also the co-author, with Ken Boa, of the books THE GOSPEL ACCORDING TO THE DA VINCI CODE (Broadman & Holman, ’06), HEARTS AND MINDS: Raising Your Child With a Christian View of the World (Tyndale, ’06), and the upcoming release THE 52 GREATEST STORIES OF THE BIBLE: A Daily Devotional (Regal Books, ’08).
In addition to maintaining his busy writing schedule, Turner also serves as the president of Faith 2.0 --- an organization committed to helping people live better lives by re-examining what they really believe. He has also recently fulfilled the role of teaching pastor at The Bridge, a non-denominational church in suburban Atlanta. Now that he has found his niche in ministry, Turner will be joining the ministry team of River Park Community Church, a brand new church plant in Oxnard, California, set to launch in September 2008.
Turner made one of the best decisions of his life when he married his wife, Jill, on October 2, 1993. Jill works as an editor and writer for the children’s curriculum 252Basics and was the lead writer for the character-based curricula Core Essentials and Shake This Planet (used in public school systems in more than twenty different states). Together, the Turners are raising their three daughters, Anabel (8), Eliza (6), and Amelia (4), and a dog named Coco. The Turner family currently resides in Alpharetta, Georgia, but will be relocating to sunny Ventura County, California, as soon as they can find a buyer for their house. Turner enjoys jazz, baseball, and reading --- though not necessarily in that order.
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