Why this site is called Canyon Crossers

A few years ago I couldn’t sleep.

Not because I wasn’t tired or because I was anxious about something. My family and I were on vacation and I felt very relaxed and at peace.

I couldn’t sleep because I was excited. We were in Arizona. We had just settled into our accommodations in Phoenix after a few days at the Grand Canyon. Spending those days with the people I love most exploring the vast beauty of that magnificent place got me thinking about applying the Bible.

Does it seem strange to you that hiking and exploring the Grand Canyon got me thinking about applying the Bible? I understand. Let me explain:

In the early 2000s I was pastoring a small church in Canton, Michigan and working on a Doctor of Ministry degree. My doctorate was focused on preaching and was led by Haddon Robinson, one of the most effective communicators of his generation. Haddon was an incredible preacher himself, a strong Christian man, and a great mentor and teacher of preaching.

I decided to research and write about the topic of applying the Bible. In the course of my research, I came across the metaphor of a canyon as an illustration of the divide between the biblical world and the modern world. The Bible’s truth is not two separate worlds to be bridged.

It is more like a crack in the earth.

In many passages, you can apply the truth from the biblical situation to our lives very easily. It is like stepping across a tiny crack in the earth. The distance between how the truth of God’s word applied to the Ephesians (or whomever) and us is not significant in many passages, so those texts of the Bible are easy to apply properly.

In other biblical texts, however, the situation the original human author was addressing seems far different from anything we Christians face today. In those passages, applying the Bible seems difficult. The distance between the truth as it related to original readers of those passages and us seems immense–like a canyon.

I wrote about the canyon metaphor for applying the Bible years before we went to the Grand Canyon on our family vacation.

But exploring the Grand Canyon on that vacation reminded me of the metaphor that was buried in the pages of my Doctor of Ministry project. Once that metaphor was in my mind again, I started thinking about creating a website to explore the concepts of applying the Bible, studying and interpreting the Bible, living the Christian life in this age, and doing Christian ministry in this age.

That’s what you’ll find on this site. In these articles I will share what I have learned about:

  • applying the Bible biblically
  • studying and interpreting the Bible properly
  • living the Christian life in our times
  • doing Christian/church ministry in this age

There will be lots of free content available. You will also find courses that you can pay for in order to study with me more formally and directly.

I live near Ann Arbor, Michigan and serve as the pastor of Calvary Bible Church. There are no canyons, to my knowledge, anywhere near where I live.

But the metaphor of Canyon Crossers is helpful. It helps me daily as I work through biblical texts and how to obey them in my life and apply them to my congregation. Join me and I’ll teach you as much as I can to help you in your own walk with God.

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