"Culture Meets Scripture" Services Team Leader

bioTom final

“Growing up in Peru, I became fascinated by culture and the variety of ways that people do life together. As I make friends with people from many cultures, I see how each culture and language offer us amazing insights into life, relationships, the world we live in, and Scripture. Anthropology, science, philosophy, theology, art and music are like windows on God’s creation that help us to see the richness of cultures with all of their favorable aspects as well as their need for redemption and renewal. What especially excites me about the Culture Meets Scripture workshops is that it a great opportunity for people to take a fresh and thoughtful look at their cultures in the light of Scripture, and to experience how God can enable them to learn to reflect his glory inside of their cultures in practical and life-changing ways that they may never have thought of before. I live for that moment when they realize that the social and cultural settings in which the events recorded the Bible took place are not magical accounts in a mythical world (which is a very common underlying belief), but rather are real-life situations that can be explored, compared and applied to their own life. I see this as the ongoing power of Christ’s good news of salvation and redemption continuing to bring about transformation.”

Tom and his wife have two children, one grandchild, and enjoy hanging out with international students. Tom likes to walk and bike, and is a big fan of Peruvian, Thai and North Indian cuisine.

Tom speaks English and Spanish, and has had the opportunity to experience life in Amazonian villages as well as high in the Andes; he has also worked with refugees on the Caribbean coast of Honduras, and more recently lived in Thailand where he learned to speak Thai and taught anthropology at the university level in Chiang Mai. All together he has experienced life in over 20 countries.

Tom served for six years as SIL’s International Anthropology Coordinator.  He has helped to develop software for fieldwork, has advised on research projects, and has provided administrative support for academic colleagues. 

Tom’s current focus is to build the Culture Meets Scripture workshop into a resource that is available to indigenous peoples across the Americas. The goal is to enable cultural insiders to develop biblically contextualized applications of Scripture in practical ways that reach down into the very fabric of their cultural and social reality. Tom brings to the Culture Meets Scripture experience a broad understanding of how society and culture works in ways that are hidden, dynamic and pervasive.

Tom holds a Master’s Degree in Social Anthropology from the University of Texas at Austin. His undergraduate degree is in Cultural Anthropology, from Bethel University.