Some people who are retired enjoy spending their days relaxing after many years of work. That has not always been the case for Dr. John Sims, a retired professor of religion and humanities.
Sims has written 10 books over the years, and five of those have been written since his official retirement from teaching.
“I guess you can say I’ve had a very productive retirement,” Sims said with a chuckle.
Originally from Sevierville, Sims moved to Cleveland in 1961 to attend what was then called Lee College.
After graduating from Lee, he attended Roosevelt University and Florida State University, where he received a doctor of philosophy in religion and the humanities.
Sims is also an ordained minister in the Church of God denomination.
He ended teaching at Lee for 40 years. For five of those years, he was head of the religion department at Lee.
He had been offered a teaching position at Lee in 1971, and he jumped at the chance to return to his alma mater and teach students.
“I had a love for the school,” Sims said. “Though I was preparing ministry as a student at Lee, I also found I had a love for teaching.”
“A big highlight” of his career was in the 1990s, when he served as president of the European Theological Seminary in Freudenstadt-Kniebis, Germany, for eight years.
After his time in Germany, he returned to Cleveland to teach at Lee. He ultimately retired from Lee in 2010, but he did not stop teaching through writing.
Sims is the author of 10 books centered on different topics related to Christian theology.
He published two books in 2019: “Spirit and Tradition: Rediscovering Our Christian Identity” and “The Case for Christianity in a Secular World: C.S. Lewis: Articulate Defender of Historic Christianity.”
“Spirit and Tradition: Rediscovering Our Christian Identity,” published in August 2019, focuses on what is known as the Apostle’s Creed and explains how it relates to life today.
Sims argues that Christians knowing the roots of their belief systems will help them lead better lives of faith and make more of a difference in the world around them.
“Today’s culture cannot be transformed, nor can today’s churches be revived, apart from the presence of the Word of God and the Spirit of God,” the book’s description reads.
Famed author C.S. Lewis is the focus of “The Case for Christianity in a Secular World: C.S. Lewis: Articulate Defender of Historic Christianity," published in December.
This book focuses on the importance of Christian apologetics, or being able to explain one’s Christian beliefs. Lewis was well-known for his writings which explained theology in simple terms.
Sims explains Lewis “gives a human face to” theology and describes the questions Christian theology must be able to answer if it is going to “remain a viable option in a skeptical world.”
“I’m really proud of these two books,” Sims said. “Also, these are not just for the scholar. I strive to be intentional in my writing and relate it to life and the reality people face today.”
Sims lives in Cleveland with his wife, Patricia. The couple has three sons — John, Mark and Matthew — and five grandchildren.
Since retiring from teaching, he has continued to learn. As a lifelong learner, he is eager to share what he learns. That is why he doesn’t plan to stop writing any time soon.
Sims’ books are published through Kindle Direct Publishing. Both print and ebook versions of his most recent works can be bought online at Amazon.com