Kurt Struckmeyer is an artist, writer, and theologian. After retiring from the General Motors Design Center in 2005, his theological avocation became a full time occupation, resulting in this web site and two books.
Kurt grew up in St. Louis, Missouri in the aftermath of global war. His youth was shaped by the decades of the conformist fifties and the contentious sixties. At the age of twelve, he discovered a very radical and passionate Jesus in the gospels and responded to his call to “follow me.” Four years later, Kurt read The Cost of Discipleship by the German theologian Dietrich Bonhoeffer.
1964 Edition. Price: $1.45
The original German title of Bonhoeffer’s book is simply Nachfolge, which means “following” or “the act of following.” It is centered on an exposition of the Sermon on the Mount, in which Bonhoeffer spells out what he believes it means to follow Christ. Bonhoeffer wrote this during the rise of Nazi Germany in the 1930s. He contrasts what he calls “cheap grace” with “costly grace.” Cheap grace is the preaching of forgiveness without any demand on the sinner; no real repentance or transformation is demanded or expected. In contrast, costly grace offers a life of discipleship. Cheap grace leaves the sinner fundamentally unchanged, while costly grace offers a life of radical transformation and sacrificial service.
Based on a growing understanding of the love and nonviolence taught and modeled by Jesus, Kurt became a conscientious objector to the war in Viet Nam. The two martyrs—Jesus and Bonhoeffer—had launched the trajectory of his life.
After graduating from the Washington University School of Fine Arts in 1969 (now the Sam Fox School of Art + Design), Kurt pursued a varied career at the General Motors Design Center in Warren, Michigan. For over 35 years, he worked in a wide variety of positions as a sculptor, digital technician, process and technology planner, business strategist, historian, writer, and visual communicator, serving under every vice president of the Design Center except its founder Harley Earl.
Kurt retired from General Motors in 2005 and now lives in Farmington Hills, Michigan. Today, he spends much of his time in study and writing.
In 2008, Kurt was asked to write a history of automotive design at General Motors titled Driving Style: GM Design’s First Century.
Yet, throughout his adult life, Kurt’s true avocation and calling has been theology, biblical studies, and historical Jesus research, focused on the vision of peace and social justice that Jesus called the “kingdom of God.” Over the years, Kurt has written a number of classroom studies about the mission and message of Jesus, nonviolence, and community building. He has now turned his attention to writing about the future of faith. theology, and the church in a postmodern world.
In 2004, Kurt founded the Mustard Seed School of Theology, launching this website “Following Jesus: a life of faith in a postmodern world.” In 2016, as web standards changed, he completely redesigned the site and integrated a related blog, using a WordPress responsive format for improved readability on all devices.
Over a number of years, Kurt has written three manuscripts for publication based on the material in this website. Wipf & Stock publishers in Eugene, Oregon is publishing all three of these proposed books about aspects of following Jesus in a postmodern world.
The first, A Conspiracy of Love: Following Jesus in a Postmodern World, presents the contours of a secular postmodern faith based on the way of Jesus as a conspiracy of social transformation in contemporary society. (Released in February 2016)
The second, An Unorthodox Faith: A New Reformation for a Postmodern World, calls for a postmodern reformation of traditional Christian theology, replacing it with a theology, ethic, and lifestyle based on an understanding of God as love. (Released in February 2017)
And the third, People of the Way: Passion and Resistance in a Postmodern World, will outline alternative forms for a declining church in the developed world through small activist communities that are dedicated to selfless service and the pursuit of peace and justice. (Targeted for sometime in 2019)
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Kurt Struckmeyer may be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Your comments, questions, suggestions, and critiques are always welcome.
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