My Conversation with Dr. Keith Reeves and Dr. Dana Harris

(If you would like to listen on SoundCloud, you can here)

I was in studio with Dr. Keith Reeves last year, filming a course on a Biblical Theology of Wealth for Mobile Ed. He was a very kind man, a very capable New Testament scholar, and in no short supply of wisdom in matters of business. A rare and helpful mix. I enjoyed working with him, and learned much from him. Dana Harris was in the second of two video studios at Faithlife that we use for Mobile Ed purposes. My colleague, Daniel, worked with Dr. Harris and recorded a course on the Theology of the Book of Hebrews.

Because our lunches all together were warm and conversational, we decided to interview them both at the same time for the podcast. They both displayed a great care for their students in conversation, and I wanted to take the interview in a practical direction. I found their advice to students on financial issues and regarding the challenges of discerning one’s call to ministry very insightful and wise. If you have questions about those things, or know someone who does, this conversation will be helpful. Enjoy.

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My Conversation with Dr. Paul Ferris

(If you would like to listen on SoundCloud, you can here)

Last year, Dr. Paul Ferris from Bethel Seminary taught a course for Mobile Ed. Again, I was not the one with him in studio making the course, but had the pleasure of interviewing him for our podcast.

He was here the same week as Dr. Jon Paulien. Two of my Instructional Designer colleagues were in studio and I was working on preproduction for future courses. They joined us for a week in Mobile Ed shortly after I started here in June of 2014.

Dr. Ferris is a magnificent grandfatherly sort of man. He had an incredible presence on camera. We usually, and understandably, spend a lot of time getting professors comfortable with a studio environment that is quite different from their classroom setting. Dr. Ferris took to it very easily, and was quite comfortable. Furthermore, he is a great Old Testament and Hebrew scholar, and delivered a great course for us on a Survey of the Major Prophets.

I was still getting used to our podcast context doing these first two interviews. I wanted to get personal if I could, and Dr. Ferris was willing to go there. He talked about church planting, and the hardships of ministry and his passion for teaching. I also started asking a question I ask all my speakers, sometimes on the record sometimes off, regarding trends they see in their students over the years. Ferris’ response has mirrored what I’ve learned from many others. Most profs I talk to see an increase in Biblical skepticism and a decrease in Biblical literacy, from their perspective. There have been a few interesting exceptions which I’ll discuss in posts to come.

For now though, I hope you enjoy the podcast.

War

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I think the most powerful performances of any kind are by those with battle scars of some kind. The injured athlete, the wounded soldier, the truly tortured artist. The talented folks who haven’t had to bleed for something important behind the scenes are noticeably arrogant. It’s true in churches too.

I’m still thinking about the circus, and the comparisons that were made instantly in my head with production value in church services. The thing is, the only noticeable scars behind the circus performance were hours of hard work and practice. A great thing in it’s own right, but you won’t find me dying for it. If those in Cirque du Soleil show weakness, they lose credibility. In church, in a lot of ways it’s those who don’t show weakness that lose credibility. Those without battle scars aren’t proven, and are hard to trust. Rightfully so.

Part of the Christian identity is that our weaknesses show God’s strength, our great sins and failures expose the depths of a great war being fought on our behalf to defeat our sin, the Gospel. Our corporate gatherings are important in order to highlight that, but often it gets missed, and a lot of times we highlight talent. We make idols of gifts we have in place of the God who gave them to us. We focus on the entertainment value of our gifts, and not their value to the mission of God, to make disciples and plant churches.

All indications from Scripture are that when Jesus returns, it’s going to be quite a show. He’ll have center stage, and everything he does will be perfect. He’ll be finishing the war. The war that will end all wars. He’ll have something else too, scars on his hands, his feet, and his side.

Jesus leads with his battle scars exposed, are we?