Tuesday, 8 April 2014

What Brad Jersak is learning about the Bible.

Dr. Brad Jersak is an author and teacher based in Abbotsford, BC, where he attends Fresh Wind Christian Fellowship and serves as Reader at All Saints of North America Monastery. He is also apart of the faculty of Westminster Theological Centre (UK) with an emphasis on the New Testament and Patristics. Jersak contributes regularly to Plain Truth Ministries, the Clarion Journal of Spirituality and Justice, the Owl, and the Red Virgin. [1]

I first met Brad Jersak at a school retreat in my last year of Bible College. Brad was teaching on a topic that he aptly titled, 'Listening Prayer'. I was really impacted by that weekend of teaching and prayer. I thought, "I like what this Jersak is saying." I observed that Brad conducted the meetings in a really responsive and sensitive manner. I did not see a wild a preacher trying brew up a firestorm. I did not hear the old time message of 'sing louder, prayer longer, and try harder', that I often encountered in my Pentecostal upbringing. [2] What I encountered was an invitation to tune-in to the God who was already speaking. I couldn't believe it! It seemed revolutionary that I didn't have to work myself up in order to hear God speak. I didn't need to sing ten worship songs, or pray for an hour before the Lord might speak. I just need to listen. God was and is ready and waiting to talk to me, to walk with me, to tell me that I am God's own. Imagine that! (I have written a few reflections on Listening Prayer here.) 

I've since read his books, listened to podcasts, and seen Jersak at a few conferences. This guy is legit. This is all to say that I could not recommend Brad Jersak more highly to you. He is Christ-Centred, graceful, and a brilliant communicator. That being said, I bring us to the following helpful teaching video from Jersak: 

"What I am learning about the Bible"

1:50 - Chapter One of reading the Bible: "God said it, I believe it, that settles it." 

11:04 - Why we should not read our Bible 'flat'. 

13:03- "I ended up in a Mennonite church" OR...reading our Bible through the lens of Jesus.

14:42 - Reading the Bible as training and not just for information. 

15:54- "The Youth Pastor teaching cycle"

16:50- Chapter Two: "Jesus Centred Training Time". 

24:27 - Chapter Three: Confronting the Ugly Parts of the Bible. "Why didn't I see the 'icky stuff' before? I was either skimming or reading the Bible like a cartoon.... I think I was ignoring the 'bad parts'."

25:52- Here is the problem with ignoring the ugly parts of the Bible. "Atheists are NOT ignoring it". 

36:13 - "I am glad I didn't stop here." 

37:00 - Two suggestions for reading the ugly parts of the Bible. 

45:00-  Chapter Four: The Jesus Lens: Reading the Bible with Jesus as our Rabbi. 

46:47- Closing exhortations and application.  


1. Information lifted from www.bradjersak.com 
2.I don't mean to say all Pentecostals present this approach. I am merely conveying my personal life long experience of growing up as a Canadian Pentecostal. I remember all too many meetings where God was not going to 'show up' unless we yelled louder, prayed harder, and sang longer. 

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