Faith | Resource

Reflecting on my time in Seminary

This May I graduated from Bethel Seminary with a Master of Divinity Degree. The day before commencement the graduating seminary students, the staff, and faculty gather for a communion service. I was asked by the commencement committee to offer the student response to the scriptural texts for the weekend. While the seminary asked that I…

Cultural Backgrounds | Hermeneutics

Resource Review: Adam and the Genome – A Must Read for Young Adult Ministers

I have taken up stands on both sides of the evolution and creation issue. As an avowed atheist in middle and early high school I liked to pick fights with Christians specifically over evolution. For me, at the time, the fantastical interpretive hoops of a young earth creationist perspective simply didn’t make sense. All too…

Cultural Backgrounds | Faith | New Testament

Rejected and Alone? How tradition obscures the nativity story

You were lied to about Christmas. I am willing to bet that the Christmas pageant you’re used to featured a very important character: The Innkeeper. This heartless soul was so concerned with his inn having no-vacancy that he turned away the mother and father of Jesus. Leaving them to give birth to the messiah rejected…

Archaeology | Cultural Backgrounds | Geography | New Testament

Why a Trip to Turkey could Take your Ministry and Bible Study to the Next Level

​I used to hear the terms “Holy Land” or “Lands of the Bible” and immediately associate them with Israel and Palestine, maybe Egypt for good measure. I’ve come to realize that the biblical text gives primary setting to its stories in an area some four thousand miles across including parts of Iran, Iraq, Syria, Palestine,…

Cultural Backgrounds | Hebrew Bible | Interview | Languages

How the Bible’s Original Audience “Read” Scripture: An Interview with Tom Meyer

Today, we take for granted our ability to have the biblical text at our fingertips – almost anywhere. According to one study, 89% of American households own at least one bible and the average American household owns 4.1 bibles (not even to mention the digital copies we carry in our pockets and backpacks). This wide-access to…

Faith | Quote

Nouwen’s Father of the Prodigal

This father’s day I was reminded of Henri Nouwen’s description of the prodigal’s father in his book The Return of the Prodigal Son: God is not the patriarch who stays home, doesn’t move and expects his children to come to him, apologize for their aberrant behavior, beg for forgiveness, and promise to do better. To the…

Cultural Backgrounds | Faith

Knee deep in Excrement

What Jeremiah can teach us about the stresses of Modern Life In the first half of the 6th century BCE a bunch of Judean officials let their anxiety get the better of them. Stressed out and overworked they betrayed their best hope for salvation, the Prophet Jeremiah, and left him for dead at the bottom of a…

Archaeology | Faith | Film Review

Another broken arrow in the quiver of Apologetics: A Review of the film “Patterns of Evidence”

After twelve years of work, filmmaker Tim Mahoney is finally releasing, for one night only (tonight) his documentary, “Patterns of Evidence,” about the archaeological and historical evidence for the biblical exodus. I had the opportunity to view a pre-released version of the film back in November and can attest to the production value that twelve…