About Breaking News Studios
The idea to start Breaking News Studios was not my own. Encouraged by some friends and former students to continue teaching but in a more non-traditional way, this site was born. My hope is that this experiment can provide some space to gain perspective in order to reflect on this beautiful, terrifying, and often mundane existence we call Life.
The lost art of giving to Caesar what is Caesar's and to God what is God's has created a hot mess for all of us, religious and non-religious alike, and my modest intention is to set the record straight by paying attention, not so much to the day's events and trends, as to the under-currents and fault lines that lead to those events and trends. The surface of things only interests me to the extent that it points to the deeper truths we so easily miss because we are beguiled by surfaces.
I’m glad you’re here to find out what this will become. If you find it worth your time, stick around, and feel free to invite your friends, enemies, and family.
I was born and raised the child of missionaries in the rural outback of the Philippine Islands before moving to Spokane, Washington when I was 10. I attended Whitworth College for a year before traveling the world as the drummer of a band. After getting kicked out late in the tour (somewhere near Stockholm), I transferred to the University of Washington, where I eventually graduated with a degree in English. Following a few years working an odd assortment of jobs (commercial fisherman in Alaska, travel consultant, waiter, fish smoker, birthday pirate, photographer), I attended Princeton Seminary and received my Masters of Divinity degree. I was ordained into the Presbyterian Church and served a small congregation in Hopewell, New Jersey for three years before moving to Malibu, California in 2000 to work in Internet start-ups and advertising.
After a few years dabbling in such things, I pivoted to academia and taught for 17 years in the departments of English and Theology at Azusa Pacific University. I eventually managed to graduate with a Ph.D. in Theology and Culture from Fuller Seminary the very same week I received my AARP card and shortly before being diagnosed with a nearly fatal bacterial heart infection. I've spent the balance of my professional life writing and researching as a resident scholar at the Huntington Library in San Marino, CA. Beginning in 2016, I taught an adult Bible class at First Presbyterian Church of Hollywood called "Breaking News," which I continued teaching until we left for parts north.
In January of 2020, my family and I made the decision to leave the life we’d built for ourselves in Pasadena, CA and make a simpler life where we could catch our breath surrounded by trees and fresh air. So in March, we sold our home and purchased ten acres atop a hill in the foothills of the Selkirk mountains in northeastern Washington state. In May, we officially checked out of "Hotel California" (and actually managed to leave, too) and began working on our land and building our yurt with the help of family and friends. We hope to be done in the spring of 2021.
Our whole intention from the beginning has been to spend our days closer to the ground by growing some of our own food and supporting our local community farms. We also plan to keep a modest menagerie of animals and to manage our land using local resources whenever possible.
I'm currently working on a book with my father and completing a screenplay adaptation of a Stephen Crane short story (both to be completed in 2021). In my free time, I love working with cameras, traveling, and walking over these hills and through these woods with Jenna, Arabelle, Will, and an old cattle dog named Matilda.
~ Michael Bruner