Historical Context Matters

These two quotes aptly describe the nature and goal of my doctoral studies in New Testament Context. “The ideal interpreter would be one who has entered into that strange first-century world, has felt its whole strangeness, has sojourned in it until he has lived himself into it, thinking and feeling as one of those to…

QUOTABLES: Bonhoeffer on Preaching

“When a preacher opens the Bible and interprets the Word of God, a mystery takes place, a miracle: the grace of God, who comes down from heaven into our midst and speaks to us, knocks on our door, asks questions, warns us, puts pressure on us, alarms us, and makes us joyful again and free…

A Desert Prayer

I need to drown again in the regenerating waters of my baptism. I’m drowning on the world’s air and gasping for water this week. I preached about abiding in the Christ on Sunday, and have spent the entire week making sand castles in a God-forsaken desert.

QUOTABLES: Dallas Willard

The question of the evangelist should be: “If you don’t die tonight, what are you going to do tomorrow?” And the answer should be: “I’m going to trust Jesus with all my life, with everything, and that will allow me to live in the Kingdom of God.” -DALLAS WILLARD

God’s Lazy River

John describes his experience of Christ — his faith — as far more than a collection of beliefs. He sounds like he’s completely immersed in God-reality, floating on a lazy-river of Christ-awareness, and being swept up in the easy, life-renewing currents of Trinitarian Presence.

The Me God Made Me to Be

I wrote an end of the year reflection in December, doing some introspection. Its the final chapter in my Soul Artisan book. I thought I’d risk sharing some of it here.  -JB Planting the church almost killed me. There are parts of me that still haven’t recovered 6 years later. I think I’ve been burned out since…

ESSAY: Jesus: Scribe, Prophet or Both?

This short essay seeks to answer the question: “Did Jesus act more like a scribe or a prophet (or both)? Martin Hengel concludes his careful exploration of Jesus’ identity stating “Neither the misleading term “rabbi” nor the designation “eschatological prophet,” which is likewise open to misunderstanding, can adequately characterize his activity. Jesus’ “charisma” breaks through the…

A Steady Guide in an Unsteady World

It was an evening back in early September 2002. The weather was perfect, as usual. It was San Diego. I had left everything familiar behind and moved west for my first semester of seminary at Bethel West. I was lonely. I was scared. I was adrift without a clue of what the future held. That’s…