Dr. Daniel Napier

Dr. Daniel Napier
Daniel Napier (Ph.D., Vrije Universiteit, Amsterdam) is an Adjunct Professor (formerly Associate Professor of Theology) at Austin Graduate School of Theology. He was also the preaching minister for the Holland Street Church of Christ in San Marcos. Prior to joining the faculty, Daniel served in Greece, Bulgaria and Croatia, and as a preaching minister in Texas, California and Toronto, Ontario. In tandem with his ministerial calling, Daniel has pursued advanced degrees in Biblical Studies, Theology, and the History of Philosophy. Since 1997, Daniel has been married to Karly.

Recent Posts


What is “the Way”? Part 2: Rediscovering the “Ancient Way” of Hebrew Hope

In order to grasp the deep roots of "the Way" in Israel’s past, I will ask you to sequentially follow a series of clues in Scripture. By following these hints and allusions, we will peel back the temporal onion to reveal the core significance of the early Christian’s self-description as "the Way." So, returning to Paul’s words in Acts 24:14–16, we find the language of ancient philosophic practice overlapping with unmistakably Hebraic emphases.   … [Read more...]

What is “the Way”? Part 1: Fulfillment of Philosophical Aspirations

Three hundred years before Christianity was a religion, Jesus taught his disciples to walk in “the Way.” Alongside the simple term “students,” his earliest followers most common self-description was "the Way.” But what's that? Categories can help us narrow in on the target. When asked by their Greco-Roman contemporaries to plug themselves into an existing category, early Christians had only one answer. “Although we gather to worship, we are not a religion – much less a mere superstition.” (Superstition was the derisive term the Romans’ used to designate various religions of foreign extraction.) “Although we provide, from our own pocket, … [Read more...]

Got Milk? Finding Words to Nourish a Seeker

Where does one begin in sharing the faith with a seeker? We’ve all asked the question. Perhaps it flashed through your mind as you sat across a coffee table from a friend. He unexpectedly expressed curiosity about our devotion. “Where do I start? What should I say?” It’s an important question. Fortunately, we don’t have to make up our own answer. There is biblical guidance. Early Jesus-followers employed a particularly telling metaphor complex to name the first instruction offered to seekers. Multiple authors of the New Testament (Paul, Hebrews, Peter) use the teaching as milk metaphor. In this post I unpack it in search of wisdom for … [Read more...]

Join Me for Lunch or Dinner Monday at Austin Grad

If you are considering church planting as a vocation, then you're invited to visit with Charles Kiser about a new apprenticeship program in church planting. Charles is director of training for Mission Alive -- a premier, discipleship-based, church planting organization.  … [Read more...]

Dare to know God

Jesus redefines reality for us. God is still at work in our world, Jesus says, and he invites us to walk with God. (‘The kingdom of God is near you’ and all are invited to ‘enter into the kingdom’.) Since we’re not accustomed to seeing God all around us, it’s natural to feel a little skeptical. So I want to ask the obvious, but crucial question. How can I know God?  … [Read more...]

You’re invited to campus Tuesday to hear Professor of New Testament & Jewish Studies

  I'm flying Rabbi Dr. David Rudolph in next Tuesday April 4th to speak in my Christian Encounters with other Cultures class. Since I'm bringing him from a distance, I'd like to open the class to a bit broader audience. Please consider joining us. Read on for the details. … [Read more...]

Gentleness: How Jesus Overwhelms Evil with Good

Will you reflect with me upon the need for gentleness in our moral judgments? In our world, the words ‘gentleness’ and ‘moral judgment’ don’t often converge. Morality primarily functions as a stick to beat outsiders – a way to condemn and thus imply our own superiority. We can get real clear and precise about what’s wrong with other people. That’s an everyday skill. Gentleness, on the other hand, shows up mostly in those intimate encounters reserved for family and close friends. Here we tend to avoid clarity, especially if wrongdoing has occurred. Moral clarity is too painful, so we avoid straight-talk in order to be ‘kind’ or ‘considerate.’ … [Read more...]

Being Children of Light

There’s an old trade secret among preachers. The word is that there are three topics any of which will ensure an audience. If you want to draw a crowd, you can preach on sex, on the end times, and on will there be sex in the end times? The religious mania over imagining and predicting the future is well known today. We even have TV series that turn on popular conceptions. Evidently, some in Paul’s churches would have understood the attraction – they might have even tuned in. But this impulse isn’t unique either to religious groups or to one particular age. It’s a human thing. … [Read more...]

Speech and Spiritual Sincerity

May I ask you to reflect with me on the topic of spiritual sincerity and interpersonal communication? We live in a world full of ‘spin’ and even outright misinformation. Bluster seems to be the norm in media interactions. This can even bleed into church settings. What should a Jesus-follower’s practice be in such a world? Whenever we speak to another person, some sort of relationship is presupposed. And that relationship will shape how you and I use words. Too often our words are the byproduct of competition. Each person vies to look more smart, or cool, or impressive than the other person. That competition shapes our everyday interactions. … [Read more...]

Jesus’ Way Beyond Pride: Growing in Humility

My last post examined Jesus’ teaching concerning the nature of pride from Luke 18:9-14. We’ve all heard sermons against pride and know it is something we should avoid. However, too seldom do we receive accompanying teaching for growth in humility. We know we ought to be humble. However, we might not know how to grow in humility or adequately understand what has prevented us from doing so. In this post I’ll focus on the positive or growing side of the equation. Let’s begin with some troubleshooting at the level of thought. Two prevalent assumptions – unspoken ideas in our culture – often block us from growing in humility. Perhaps it would … [Read more...]