Teaching & Interpersonal Relationships

Matt Friedeman’s book The Master Plan of Teaching (1990) examines Jesus’ teaching style and suggests the following formula emphasizing that content alone is not enough, but the teacher-student relationship is a central ingredient: COMMUNICATION = CONTENT + RELATIONSHIP He then offers some steps toward effective interpersonal relationships in the graph below. Pastors and teachers who want to…

Ekklesia: A Radical Social Experiment

My heart breaks for our country and world today. Racial inequality, deep seated mistrust, increasing violence and boiling hatred fill our headlines daily. I write this in the aftermath of the horrific white nationalist rally and car crash in Charlottesville. Followers of Jesus must denounce such evils clearly and in the strongest terms. (Read  statement from…

Imagine a World: Grateful Stewards (Matt 21:33-40)

Jesus’ parables, in the words of my teacher Scot McKnight, invite hearers to “imagine a world like this…” Like a good novel or film, you get swept up into another world for a moment and when its over you’re dropped back into our world pondering what you just saw, heard, experienced or imagined. Jesus’ parables fire…

Christ Encounter #5: Who am I Really?

This is from a Bible Study series I wrote called Christ Encounters exploring some of the most well-known encounters with Christ in the Gospels.  Each study provides (1) initial observations/questions, (2) interpretation & exegesis, and (3) practical life application questions. 27Jesus and his disciples went on to the villages around Caesarea Philippi. On the way he asked…

Chasing Lambs

“Rejoice with me because I have found my lost sheep.” LUKE 15 I often begin my day with a morning walk with God at Gale Woods Farm near our home. Rolling hills, a wooded path, a lake and pastures with grazing cows and playful sheep are the background to this life-giving routine. Today as I was…

Cabin 16: The Neighbor’s Well

I’m reposting this in light of recent conversation in our Heaven LifeCourse about the nature of heaven and hell, freedom of choice, being ‘given over’ to the destructive consequences of sin, and how we are daily becoming creatures more fit for heaven and hell. -JB _________ This post is in memory of Robin Williams and a…

Going Green with Jesus

“Plant the good seeds of righteousness, and you will reap a crop of my love; plow the hard ground of your hearts, for now is the time to seek the Lord. HOSEA 10:12 Jesus spent his entire ministry teaching one main message: Open your eyes and see a new way of being human available to…

Move the Stone, Come Out & Be Unwrapped

I’ve been studying the raising of Lazarus recently. I love how a closer examination of a very familiar passage can reveal new spiritual truths. Here are a few little insights I’ve gleaned. First, this story is full of deep emotions and coated with tears, grief, loss and longing. Just think of the last funeral visitation you…