The essays, excerpts, homilies, and personal reflections in this collection have all been published previously, publicly presented, or both. These selections, however, are not merely being republished, but rather recontextualized and resituated with the expectation that they will become more than the sum of their individual parts, that they will be mutually informing. In most cases, a period of time has elapsed since they were first written or spoken, and that has given time, with the help of reflective memory, to think about how these various selections might relate to each other and to the larger body of James W. Aageson's professional work as a teacher and scholar. These relationships and connections in most cases have only become apparent in retrospect, as Aageson has been able to see the larger mosaic of his own work and thinking. In some cases, he has changed his mind. In other cases, Aageson's thinking has only been reinforced and expanded. But are there conceptual threads that run through the selections in each of the book's three sections? Indeed there are. For these reasons, Aageson is presenting them together here to a new set of readers.