About the Author
Beginning my life as a Kansas farm boy who found books (and the farm’s flora and fauna) more interesting than farm chores, I completed my bachelor’s degree at the University of Chicago in 1971 with a major in political science and a secondary emphasis on the history of American thought and culture. Convinced by my studies and personal experience that the best and most satisfying answers to life’s problems come only in connection with God, I expected that my life was to be dedicated to discovering and building faithful and fulfilling ways of living.
I completed my Master of Divinity degree at Vanderbilt University Divinity School, Nashville, Tennessee, where I majored in church history and spent much of the rest of my time in Bible study. I later had to unlearn much of what I learned at divinity school, but nevertheless it was during these years that (1) the concept of a living, reigning God as a major thematic thread of the Scriptures was first planted in my mind, and (2) I made my first feeble attempt to write “whole Bible theology” as a basis for a new vision of church.
I began pastoring churches. As rich and educational as the experience of pastoring was, it was not at all what I had dreamed it would be. As I experienced it, it was far too much about keeping the institutional wheels turning and keeping the members pleased, and far too little about creatively living out biblical faith, vision, and mission. None of my churches were without faithful and committed Christians, but their efforts were largely swamped by the institution, even if it was a small institution.
My conscious personal experience of a living, reigning God did not begin until 1978 and did not become dominant until the period 1984 through 1992 when I experienced that God still speaks and works miracles. This discovery (surprising to me at the time) required that I go back and intensely study the Bible with the help of published scholars who allow God to be God. I have not stopped the intense study since. The more I have studied, the more I have become convinced that the Bible is divinely inspired from beginning to end and that it has a unified set of themes that are vital to our leading full and satisfying lives. I hold my view of divine inspiration without flattening out the amazing diversity of literary genres, cultural settings, and covenant relationships contained in the Bible. The unity is evident even through the diversity.
In addition to reading Bible scholarship, my thoughts have been tested in interaction with Christians of many backgrounds: laypersons and ordained religious leaders from a very wide spectrum of churches and faith perspectives. In the end, the value of this book will be determined by its fruitfulness in the lives of people. I trust that God will bless your decision to allow this book to influence your faith and life.
Since I do not have either the credentials or the linguistic capabilities of someone with a Ph.D. in biblical studies, some might call me an amateur Bible scholar. I am willing to accept that label on one condition: that we agree to understand amateur in terms of its linguistic roots as meaning for the love of it. I truly and intensely love and value the Scriptures and hope that I may help readers to do the same. The proof will be in the reading!
The Christview Story...
In the fall of 2004, John and Judy Turner founded the Christview Ministries Center near Eureka Springs, Arkansas. Christview personalizes its ministries to individuals and small groups.
Christview Ministries is about seeing Jesus and being formed in him through:
- Spiritual Direction
- Personal and Group Retreats
Our key verse is 2 Corinthians 3:18: And we all, with unveiled face, beholding the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from one degree of glory to another. For this comes from the Lord who is the Spirit.
Christview Ministries helps people:
- encounter God through the Scriptures
- open their lives to the Holy Spirit through prayer
- become effective for Christ through mission
- receive inner healing, new direction, and recovery from burnout
Christview Ministries serves people and churches of all denominations as well as nondenominational Christians. We gladly work with people who are searching and not sure what they believe.