David T. Koyzis

At the RBG
David T. Koyzis
David Koyzis was born shortly after the middle of the twentieth century near Chicago, where he grew up. He comes from a large family. He pursued higher education at Bethel College (now University), the Institute for Christian Studies and the University of Notre Dame. He now lives in Hamilton, Ontario, where he has taught at Redeemer University College since 1987. He is the author of the award-winning Political Visions and Illusions (InterVarsity Press, 2003), which was Christianity Today's Editor's Bookshelf selection in July 2003; and of We Answer to Another: Authority, Office, and the Image of God (Pickwick Publications, 2014). In 2012 he was awarded the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal in recognition of his contributions to Canada.

Politically he sometimes describes himself as a "fanatical moderate." While a university undergraduate, he came into contact with the thought of Abraham Kuyper (1837-1920) and Herman Dooyeweerd (1894-1977), and this had a life-changing impact on him. His subsequent studies and academic pursuits have been devoted to understanding and working out the implications of the kingdom of God for politics and other areas of life. David blogs at three sites: Notes from a Byzantine-rite Calvinist, Genevan Psalter (see below) and First Things.

He is married to Dr. Nancy Calvert Koyzis, who has taught New Testament studies at Wheaton College, Tyndale Seminary, King's University College (London), Redeemer and McMaster University. She is the author of Paul, Monotheism and the People of God (T & T Clark International) and co-editor with Heather Weir of Strangely Familiar: Protofeminist Interpretations of Patriarchal Biblical Texts (Society of Biblical Literature). They have one daughter, Theresa, who is, to coin a phrase, the apple of her dad's eye.

At the RBG
At the Royal Botanical Gardens

Theresa Dawn Calvert Koyzis was born three months premature in late 1998, at 8.28 pm, weighing in at 941 grams (approximately 2 lbs. 1 oz.), thereby becoming the only Koyzis in several generations to be early for anything. Altogether she spent ten weeks in two Hamilton hospitals before being allowed to come home. Read her story here. Theresa was baptized into the Church of Jesus Christ on sunday, 18 July 1999. She finally took her first steps six days after her second birthday and two days after the indecisive 2000 US election. (In fact, it was right during Peter Jenning's television newscast, and her politically-minded daddy almost missed it.) Theresa is an amateur ornithologist and loves to draw. She plays violin, sometimes to her father's guitar accompaniment. She has a bilingual pet budgie named Ollie, who whistles in major arpeggios with vibrato but cannot seem to handle chromaticism.

David's interests range widely throughout the humanities and arts, mostly because he was never any good at sports in his youth. He practically grew up at the Art Institute of Chicago. (In fact, he seems to recall having left behind a box of crayons there.) He is somewhat interested in the cinema. His ultimate horror flick, if it were ever to be made, would be titled Attack of the Killer Giftshops. He has gastronomic leanings towards vegetarianism, though mostly by taste and not by conviction.

He has loved music ever since he can remember and has published original hymn texts and tunes in several hymnals. He has a special love for the tunes of the Genevan Psalter, for which he has written eighty-one English versifications and composed nearly as many musical arrangements. Check out his website on the topic, which includes an introductory essay and other information, such as a bibliography, annotated discography, links to other sites, videos and a blog.

His favourite composers include Maurice Ravel, Ralph Vaughan Williams, Leos Janácek, George Gershwin, Sergei Rachmaninov and the filmscore composer Bernard Herrmann. (Remember the screeching violins in Psycho?) He also enjoys various kinds of liturgical and folk music. He has a small collection of rare books and maps, the jewel of which is a King James Bible printed in 1637.

With friend in Paphos, Cyprus, 1995
With friend in Paphos, Cyprus, 1995

Since childhood he has nurtured an interest in trains, especially trolleys and interurbans ("radials" here in Canada). All of this is part of a chronic and irrational attachment to obsolescent technology and a general dislike of automobiles. Not surprisingly some of his favourite places include the Fox River Trolley Museum and the Halton County Radial Railway. Favourite websites include the Chicago Interurbans Page and Electric Lines in Southern Ontario.

David's ecclesiastical background is rather chequered, to say the least, and he sometimes describes himself as a Byzantine-rite Calvinist. He grew up in an Orthodox Presbyterian church and later worshipped in Baptist, United Methodist, Anglican and Episcopal churches. He has a longstanding connection to the Christian Reformed Church, although he and his family are now members of a local Presbyterian congregation. (Putting it less charitably, he seems to have trouble making up his mind.) His forebears were Greek Orthodox. He still has a considerable interest in Orthodox Christianity, with further interests in icons and all things Russian and Greek, including his ancestral island of Cyprus.

Speaking of ancestors, check out his genealogical webpages and find out how you are related to him. (If you go far enough back, you'll find a connection – and possibly hundreds of them – somewhere.)