God’s Heart for the Nations
From the beginning God has welcomed all kinds of people into his family. He only asks that they follow him.
Russ’s passion for the Bible derives from seeing the grace and glory of God in the stories and poems of broken people in the Old Testament. The psalms give voice to our darkest moments of pain and anger, showing us that God welcomes our rawest emotion. Ecclesiastes and Job help us confront suffering and injustice in life. The failures of Noah, Jacob, David . . . these are the stories Russ identifies with, and these are the stories that introduced him—and kept him tethered—to the God of the Bible.
Russ is convinced that these stories and poems still speak to the brokenness of humans today, beckoning us into the arms of the God who made us and loves us even though we, too, are riddled with sin, hurt, and a longing to be loved. Because of that conviction, he studied Old Testament at Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary (MA, biblical languages; PhD, Old Testament) and has been teaching at various colleges and seminaries since 2011. Russ writes widely for lay and academic audiences about all things Old Testament and its relationship to the Christian life. He, his wife, and their three sons live in beautiful north Idaho, where you’ll find them gardening, cooking, and trying to tame the havoc that three boys wreak.
Nijay loves to draw out the significance of Scripture for living life well in the real world. The Bible sits in many houses collecting dust, because people sometimes don’t think it has practical value. But the Bible is full of wisdom and insight for all the things that give our lives meaning: work, friendship, family, love, loss, play, success, failure, eternity, and the present moment. He has dedicated his career to studying Scripture carefully and teaching God’s Word with faith, hope, and love. In this column, he shares some of his insights.
Nijay has taught the New Testament for over a decade, and currently serves as professor of New Testament at Northern Seminary. He has written commentaries on several New Testament texts, and also topical books like Paul and the Language of Faith, 15 New Testament Words of Life, and Tell Her Story: How Women Led, Taught, and Ministered in the Early Church. Nijay lives in Portland, Oregon with his wife and three children. He loves reading, riding his electric bicycle, drinking strong coffee, and watching soccer. He co-hosts a podcast with AJ Swoboda called Slow Theology and blogs at Crux Sola.