The Cirkev Bratská in Slovakia (the denomination we work most closely with) has made church planting its number one priority. The denomination estimates that over the next ten years we will need more than twenty new pastors if we want to reach our church planting goals. But where will those pastors come from? Many of them will be young, bi-vocational pastors with no formal theological education. How will they find time for theological education while juggling ministry, job and family?[Read more…]
In October of this year our seminary commemorated its 25th year with a celebration event at the university. Alumni, representatives from our founding denominations, former professors and current faculty and students got together to thank God for his work in establishing this important ministry for the Slovak church.[Read more…]
For the past few years I’ve been attending the annual meetings of the Evangelical Theological Society and the Society of Biblical Literature. These are huge conferences (about 2,000 and 10,000 theologians respectively) where I have the chance to catch up with what’s happening in the world of academia and also present my own research. This year I presented a paper on my interpretation of the Jacob narrative, explaining why I think he never ‘let go and let God.’[Read more…]
My calling is not so much to “teach at a seminary” as it is to help the church better read and apply the teaching of Scriptures to every day life. So I’m glad whenever I get the chance to teach or preach in the local church. Even better are opportunities to help pastors hone their Scripture reading and preaching skills. I recently had the opportunity to lead a preaching seminary for about 15 Slovak pastors or teachers.[Read more…]
The Institute for Biblical Research (IBR) is an organization of evangelical Christian scholars with a vision to foster excellence in the pursuit of Biblical Studies. A fellow Pentateuch scholar and I have recently started a new research group on the Pentateuch and are accepting proposals for the 2018 annual meeting of IBR (at SBL). Proposals are due March 7!
We have a special financial need coming up in early 2018 in order to continue funding the “grant” that covers my teaching position at the seminary. When First Evangelical Free Church in Rockford, IL found out about this need, they offered to match any special giving toward the grant. If you can make a special donation toward our ministry between now and the end of January, that donation will be doubled by First Free. For more information (how to give, FAQs) please click through.[Read more…]
In this post I’m going to tell you the story of Clara, who is a collage of four different students (all young ladies) who wrote research papers or Bachelor’s theses for me in the last couple of years. For each of them, the process of researching and writing turned in to a love for God’s Word and a desire to dig deeper to discover more about the depth of God’s lovingkindness and faithfulness as Scripture reveals it to us. You should be aware that since it’s a collage of my students, it’s a little idealistic. Still, it represents some of the things I love about teaching and real encouragement I’ve received from four different students.
My father grew up on a dairy farm in northern Illinois. He’s a typical Midwest farm boy, I suppose—great work ethic and an incredible range of practical skills. Growing up with him I watched (helped?) him fix our cars, the washing machine, finish the basement and put an addition on the garage (and lots more). He did all the electrical in the first house he built and he did all the plumbing in the second (passed on first inspection!).