Political Discipleship in the Christian Colony

This is an excerpt from a much longer essay I wrote called “Royal Scribes in the King’s Court: Ancient Education & Christian Discipleship.” Enjoy! I hail from good Lutheran stock from the Midwest (Minnesota) where we shared potlucks (with an endless variety of “hot dishes”) in the church basement, and Bible studies in the Fireside…

The Emotionally Real Pastor

Here’s a portion of my latest doctoral essay exploring the power of “Embodied Wisdom.” This section looks at the role of emotional vulnerability in a pastor’s leadership and example. A popular phrase I’m hearing these days is “People don’t care how much you know, until they know how much you care.” I’m a guy who…

Teachers & Role Models in Ancient Times

My current doctoral research has me exploring the relational dynamics between ancient Greco-Roman moral philosophers and their students. I’m hoping the historical context will shine fresh light on the Apostle Paul’s interactions with those under his care and teaching. I’ve been digging into the likes of Plutarch, Seneca, Epictetus, Cicero, Lucian, Quintilian, Dio Chrysostom as…

Discipleship Through the Seasons of Life

“For everything there is a season, and a time for every purpose under heaven” (Eccl. 3:1). When we answer the call to follow Jesus and get swept up into the new life of the Kingdom, we should surrender all to God. Jesus wants all of us, not just a small, convenient corner of our life….

Disciples as Scribes in the Royal Court

Here’s a snapshot of my current research project I’m finishing up this week. I’m exploring ancient pedagogy and fresh angles on the task of discipleship in the church today.  POTLUCKS & POLITICS I hail from good Lutheran stock from the Midwest (Minnesota) where we shared potlucks (with an endless variety of “hot dishes”) in the…

Tossed by the Waves (Eph 4:14)

On the one hand, we have a loveless Truth wrapped in verbal explosives running around blowing things up and worsening the divide. On the other hand, we have a soft, squishy inoffensive Love parading herself around as the best way forward for society, but she forgot to pack the Truth when she set out on her journey. 

The Danger of Bible Apps

I am a huge fan of the YouVersion Bible app for your smart phone. I use mine daily and tell everyone I know to download it. That said, there is a danger and major weakness to using such Bible apps.  It tends to foster an individualistic, me-centered devotional approach. All those helpful, well-meaning personal Bible…

Jesus, Sages & the Mishnah

Isn’t it interesting the early church never developed into anything resembling the rabbinic model of education and organization? Paul was a Pharisee who studied under the great Rabbi Gamaliel in Jerusalem, and yet the style of his teaching and apostolic ministry never resulted in training up Christian rabbis to pass on Jesus’ interpretation of Torah to eager students. Just read Acts and the Epistles and you find nothing rabbinic in shape about early Christian education.