Exploring the meeting place of the biblical text and its context.
If you want 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 within 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.
This online course will be available for the Fall 2016 semester (August 22-October 16) through the Consortium for Christian Online Education (CCOE). The spearhead of this effort is Hope International University in Fullerton, California. For more information, see the link here.