Welcome! My name is Zach Hoag. I’m a writer and creator committed to revealing truth & radiating hope. Want to know a bit more?
I live in the brave little state of Vermont with my wife and three girls. Yes: we are big fans of both Bernie Sanders and sugar on snow (if ya don’t know, now ya know). And, we love our life here, delighting in the small and relishing the real.
Once upon a time, I was also an all-or-nothing church planter in Vermont’s biggest city, Burlington. It’s one of the most post-Christian cities in the U.S., and it’s where I first became passionate about connecting the Word to the words of our cultural conversation. It was a formative season of ministry that brought intense growth, piercing pain, and irrevocable change — as formative seasons often do. Really, the end of that season was kind of like a death.
But after death comes resurrection, right? Now, I’m finding a flourishing life in Christ outside the church leadership camp, with a calling that’s evolving: centered on writing and creating in a way that reveals truth and radiates hope. I wrote a book last year called The Light is Winning: Why Religion Just Might Bring Us Back to Life, my first with Zondervan Publishers. Like most of my writing, the book is a mashup of faith, culture, and personal narrative, with a strong emphasis on my dedicated TV-watching habit. And yes: even after everything, I still believe what old Rust Cohle realized in that wheelchair, gazing at the night sky.
Last but not least, I may or may not be laying the groundwork for book two with Zondervan…so stay tuned!
TL;DR: If you want to read some of my writing, the very best way to do that is to subscribe to my weekly newsletter, The Letter Z. I send out a completely original article on calling, culture, and creativity — plus an assortment of hot links — every single week:
But if you wanna dig in a bit deeper, you can buy (and for the love of everything holy, please please please, review!!) my books over on Amazon. I also post weekly here on the blog, and there are a number of meaningful articles that you can peruse to get a sense of who I am and what I do:
And here are some other places around the internet where my work is popping up:
- Full Circle Center, Part 1: Beyond Doubt (Patheos)
- Deconstruction, Not Demolition (The Deconstructionists)
- The Nashville Statement is a vision of Christian salvation, Trump style (RNS)
- Why Christians can stay hopeful in this time of political darkness (RNS)
- Positivity won’t save Christianity, but embracing reality will (ChristianWeek)
- What Lukewarm in Laodicea Really Means (Bible Gateway)
I’m also working on bringing my writing into the so-hot-right-now realm of podcasts, and I’ll keep you posted about that as well. As the kids say, watch this space!
It’s true that everything we write or create is a form of teaching, informing, enlightening. But similar to the podcast plan above, you’ll have to watch this space for dedicated resources and courses where I’ll be doing more in-depth teaching on calling, culture, and creativity. There will also be an upcoming category of longer-form articles called Guides that will take a deeper dive into a particular topic or issue. So yeah, stay tuned on that too!
Having a clear vision is vital in both writing and life, and for me there’s some hardcore overlap there…because I live a writing life! But let’s focus on the writing part of the equation. As you’ve likely already gathered, the vision that drives my writing and creating is revealing truth & radiating hope:
1. Revealing truth.
Revealing truth makes honesty of utmost importance in the writing and creating life. It ascribes an apocalyptic character to what writers do: we are those who pull back the curtain, who take down the facade, who push past pretense to get to the Real. Indeed, these are times of great revealing, and we need writers and creators who lean into that revelation rather than shrink back into the status quo — now more than ever.
2. Radiating hope.
Radiating hope means the telos, the trajectory, the aim and goal of all writing and creating is the bright, flourishing future awaiting us and the world. It is into this future that we write the words that make worlds. If that sounds ostentatious and high-minded, don’t get it twisted: radiating hope is simply realizing that the most mundane parts of daily life are pulsating with the energy of eternal love — and then shining light on that.
Rounding out this vision are the main topics I write about here and elsewhere, which are best summarized in three C’s — Calling, Culture, and Creativity. Calling pertains to the ultimate calling of a flourishing Christian faith and life, as well as our unique callings and vocations. Culture pertains to politics, media, and, let’s face it, lots of TV show commentary. Creativity pertains to the “how’s and why’s” of writing and creating, to help all of us along the creative journey.
And I’d be remiss if I didn’t let you in on the one little phrase that I return to whenever I need to recenter on just what it is I should be doing with my life:
Write, teach, and be funny.
But enough about me!
I’d love to hear more about you. What do you do? What’s your vision? Need some guidance or want to collaborate?
Just hit me up via the action bar below: