We explore the meeting place of the biblical text and its context.
If you would like to explore Bible Lands firsthand, recognize that you may join an announced tour or craft a personalized trip of your own. Each year, Mark leads a number of groups out of the classroom to destinations across the Mediterranean Basin. Travel teams range from two to fifty-two persons. Special care is given to calibrate each experiential exercise with the educational/spiritual goals of the group.
Travel strips off the insulation that accumulates around me. Possessions, comforts, food, habits, and a hundred other things dull my senses. Travel is my astringent. It scrapes off the barnacles and opens me up to new ideas, greater self-awareness, the fragility of the environment, the need for grace, and a fresh compassion for others. I feel most alive when I move lightly over foreign ground. Stories of adventure and misadventure are shared here.
It is difficult to appreciate that which is distant unless one first appreciates that which is near. Work inside the classroom is essential. Language, geography, history, art, science, and literature must be pursued with the same rigor with which we pursue theology. If the Great Quest is reduced to an "either-or" enterprise, we devalue the complexity of both the Creator and the Created.
Mark ministers from the center of the faith community of the Christian Church-Church of Christ. Based in the offices of Johnson University Florida (Kissimmee), he travels and speaks regularly, both at home and abroad. Popular topics include the biblical world, its exploration, history, and texts. If you are interested in bringing Mark to your next event, check his credentials, calendar and contact information here.
Plans are being finalized for a winter hike across Lower Galilee. Click the image below for more information.
This "Fam trip" is offered as learning tool to church leaders who are contemplating a study- or pilgrimage-tour to Israel-Palestine. It is offered at a deep discount by JCBS as an opportunity for leaders to familiarize themselves with the process, potential, and pitfalls in organizing group travel. JCBS offers these trips periodically; I have been asked to lead this one scheduled on the heels of our "Jesus Trail" hike.
Finally, we are working hard to prepare this online course that should become available soon through the Consortium for Christian Online Education (CCOE). The spearhead of this effort is Hope International University in Los Angeles, California. For more information, see the link here.