The Privilege of Teaching

I have the privilege to teach at several seminaries in the United States and sometimes in Canada. I teach an intensive course, six to eight hours a day for five days, Monday through Friday, and at a later date the students send me their book reports and course papers. The only exception is at the Colorado Springs branch of Fuller Seminary, where I teach the course over four weekends. The smallest number of students that I have had in the past was six, and the largest was twenty-five. 

Character Studies

Another year is behind us, along with the ups and downs that we have experienced. May the year 2015 be a year of rich time in the Scriptures as we live our lives in a broken world.

Christmas... A Different Perspective

Here is the account of the birth of Christ found in Luke 2:1-7, followed by an unusual interpretation of this text – especially Luke 2:7. This interpretation appeared in my book, The Crescent through the Eyes of the Cross, pages 156-157, and is based on Dr. Kenneth Bailey's book, Jesus Through Middle Eastern Eyes. I have read this book twice and I plan to read it again. Dr. Bailey spent forty years living and teaching the New Testament in Egypt, Lebanon, Jerusalem and Cyprus, and has written many books in English and Arabic. Reading his book will transform how you see the Bible, especially the Gospels.

Identity Crisis

ISIS stands for the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria and it originally comes from the Arabic name "Islamic State of Iraq and Sham." The word Sham in its contextual Islamic meaning stands for ancient Syria that included more than the current state of Syria. Countries like Lebanon, Jordan and Palestine were all part of ancient Sham. A more accurate translation of the name is ISIL – "Islamic State of Iraq and Levant" –  rather than ISIS. Levant stands for ancient Sham. Later on ISIL leadership changed their own name to Islamic State (I.S.). Their ambition is to spread east, west, south and north. For instance, if one day in the future Boko Haram in Nigeria submits to the current leader of the Islamic State, Abu Bakr al Baghdadi as the Caliph Ibrahim, then the territory in north Nigeria which is under the control of Boko Haram becomes in their view a part of the Islamic State although it is not geographically connected to it, like Alaska to the United States. 

Cracked Jar of Clay

On our front yard we have a large red pot as a decoration. A few years ago the winter was very cold and as a result the pot cracked but held together as you see in the picture. With time this pot became very precious to us because it reminded us of 2 Corinthians 4:7 and this text describes who we are as redeemed people. "But we have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us."