VerMeer's Geographer

VerMeer's Geographer
The Geographer, by Vermeer, c. 1669


Just a brief Bio, who I am, and about my family:
  • Please don't confuse me with the MAGNIFICENT Presbyterian scholar D. Ralph Davis.  I highly recommend his books--required reading at my seminary--but he is no relation, except as a brother in Christ (whom I have yet to meet).
  • Baptized in Clarendon Methodist Church, Arlington, Virginia  (Born to and raised by strongly evangelical parents, my father being a missionary-bishop's son, and mom the daughter of an MD.  Two sisters and one brother, all older, and all evangelical Christians.  One sister died in 2001. Both my parents are still alive and together after over 60 years of marriage.
  • Joined 4th Presbyterian Church, Bethesda, Maryland {A large, well established evangelical church in the Washington DC area} as a teen. Our parents led the family to this place of outstanding preaching and teaching when I was a little kid, at which time I first understood and accepted Jesus as my Savior and Lord.  I attended "4th" as we call her, until moving to Charlotte, NC in 2005.
  • Confirmed in the Anglican Church just recently, on 19 Nov. 2010. (A bishop must perform confirmations according to Anglican practice.)
  • Bachelor of Arts (BA):  Messiah College, Grantham, Pennsylvania {A conservative Christian college with Anabaptist (think Mennonite-crossed-with-Methodist) roots}
Major: Political Science Activities:  Rode a bicycle coast-to-coast with "Wandering Wheels" organization, and taught English in Tokyo, Japan with Campus Crusade.
  • Master of Theological Studies (MATS):  Reformed Theological Seminary, Charlotte, North Carolina  {A very conservative Presbyterian (Calvinist) seminary} 
Focus: Primarily Church history, with many extra Bible and Preaching courses from the M Div program.
Activities:  Studied Church History three summers in Wittenberg, Germany with scholar Dr. H.O.J. Brown, including study of the German language for two months with the Goethe Institute in Dresden, Germany.

Needless to say this time spent in the study and enjoyment of Germany, has created in me a deep love for that land, history, and spite of the evils in their history (which peoples' history is without sin?). Interestingly, before ever visiting Germany, I had developed a few German friends here in the states as well--of course I have more now.  Honestly I hope and pray to do ministry in Germany someday soon...

Also time with Brown, and study in seminary, have led me to be convinced that God is leading me into the Anglican communion.   Conservative Anglicanism is more broad than Presbyterianism, and does allow persons with traditional Calvinist convictions like me, who also has some Lutheran theological convictions as well....a happy home.   I cannot say my theological convictions have radically changed in seminary, other than my knowledge being broadened and deepened, however I do have, by evangelical and even Presbyterian standards, a rather high view of the Lord's Supper and Baptism, most certainly due to my study of Luther on the subject.

Currently I'm struggling greatly financially--since it appears jobs for MATS types like myself are apparently few and far-between.  I am working, but only part time, substitute-teaching at private Christian schools.

I do feel a call toward ordination--but--it's hard for me to focus on anything other than job one has to eat (and pay bills).  I don't expect those who've never gone through this to understand....but since graduating from RTS, I've never known such trial and unhappiness--due to my inability to gain (enough) employment--ANY employment.  I think, in the electronic age--where job applications are required to be done entirely online--overqualified people are just not hired, or even interviewed.

I love the beauty of the worship with Anglicans, and the genuine attempt at "Reformed Catholicism" which was, after all, the goal of the original 16th Century Protestant Reformers, especially Luther and Calvin.  (They were NOT attempting to throw-out Catholicism and invent a new religion...rather, they wanted to really reform the existing Church--for which the corrupt Roman hierarchy rewarded all the Reformers with excommunication...)  The "three streams" concept (Traditional/Biblical/Spiritual, or, Traditional/Evangelical/Charismatic) of Anglicanism is also one I think that has great virtue.  As an evangelical of Reformed convictions I want to influence those who have a more Roman Catholic inclination (traditional) as well as those who have a more spiritual gifts (and sometimes anti-intellectual) inclination (charismatic), as well as being helped and renewed by the Holy Spirit working in those streams too.  I still regard as brothers those evangelical Christian friends of different convictions, while my Reformed and Anglican theology has helped me, I think, approach biblical truths with more clarity, worship and wonder...


My brother, Ltc Van Davis (USAF, retired) , is married to the Rev. Holly Davis (of the PCUSA denomination) and is an agent for AFLAC (yes, that duck). Their children are Keller (the brains behind newly wed with wife, Kate, in Seattle, and Margie, an adventurer living in Jordon.

My surviving sister, Miss Lois Davis, works professionally as a elder-care-giver and also watches over our aging parents.  Lois is a remarkable person, and a remarkable organizer.

My plucky parents, Ed and Elizabeth, reside in a retirement community now, and in spite of physical infirmity are keeping up their minds and their spirits, as they continue to hope in the resurrection and the life of Jesus Christ, our Savior & Lord.

My sister Dede, who is with the Lord now, has a daughter, Beth, newly married to a TERRIFIC guy, Brandon. They are living in Boston. Beth's brother, my nephew, is Mark, in college, and living in Colorado.  My ex-brother-in-law (he is only "ex" because, according to Jesus, marriage is finished after death (Matt 22:29, 30)), Harry (also an USAF Ltc, retired)(formerly, actually, a rocket-scientist & college professor), was a devoted husband to Dede, and he also lives and works in Colorado.

Why the painting of Grindlewald above?  Well, my sister Lois and I happened have been there--and saw just that view--very soon after our (other) sister Dede died.  I've traveled a lot in the Rockies and the Sierras, mostly as a kid, and in college I rode a bicycle on a tour through the Rockies in Colorado...the year thereafter going coast-to-coast through the Rockies in Idaho and Wyoming.  Long story short, I've seen a LOT of breathtakingly beautiful snow-capped mountain vistas.  However, the most beautiful of all, in my opinion, was that alpine vista in Switzerland I saw with Lois (and the rest of a Church tour group) back in 2001.  As Dede, a strong Christian, had just died, I knew she was in Heaven, and the thought came to me that as utterly unbelievably gorgeous as that pure Grindlewald vision of the Eiger, Mönch, Junfrau, glaciers, and the whole alpine valley there was, Dede was experiencing far greater beauty with complete love too, all in the embrace of our loving Father God.