Ron Julian

Ron Julian has been a teacher at McKenzie Study Center, an institute of Gutenberg College, since 1982. He is also a tutor at Gutenberg College, the author of Righteous Sinners, and a co-author of The Language of God: A Commonsense Approach to Understanding and Applying the Bible. He has a B.A. in linguistics and an M.A. in religion. His focus is biblical exegesis and communicating the gospel. Other interests include biblical languages, film, music, literature, and computer technology.

Below you will find the following materials by Ron Julian:

Articles

  • Infinite Passion. Addresses Gutenberg graduates concerning the defining passion of one's life. (7/15)
  • Communion Metaphor. Unpacks the metaphor of "food and drink" in communion. (6/15)
  • The Greatest Sign. Discusses what Jesus considered the greatest sign of his messiahship. (6/15)
  • Four Analogies. Presents four pictures that help explain what it means to be a Christian believer. (1/15)
  • Against Fictions. Encourages Gutenberg graduates to commit themselves to fighting what is false. (7/13)
  • Dismissed. Responds to the growing cultural trend of dismissing Christians and their beliefs as irrational and bigoted. (04/13)
  • The Way of Balaam. (2 Peter 2-3) Explores the story of Balaam to explain Peter’s teaching on false teachers. (10/12)
  • The Teaching of the Kingdom Parables. (Matthew 13) Explores the picture of the coming Kingdom of God that emerges in Jesus' "Kingdom parables." (10/11)
  • At the Right Hand. Looks at several Bible passages to discuss the past and present significance of Jesus being God’s Messiah. (12/10)
  • Hidden in a Field. (Matthew 13) Discusses one of Jesus’ kingdom parables. (11/10)
  • Hallowed Be Thy Name. Elucidates the opening lines of the Lord’s Prayer. (1/10)
  • Costly and Free. Answers the question, "Do the promises of the gospel come to us for free or at great cost?" (1/08)
  • The Friend at Midnight. (Luke 11: 5-8) Clarifies Jesus’ teaching in the Parable of the Friend at Midnight and how that teaching relates to prayer. (10/09)
  • A Dialogue. Explores Christianity's claims as a valid and coherent worldview. (4/06)
  • Joy. Looks at the biblical evidence for the nature of joy as a fruit of the Spirit. (8/07)
  • Is the Gospel Anti-Semitic?. Repudiates the thesis of inherent New Testament anti-Semitism by examining the unique relationship between God, the Nation of Israel, and individual Jews. (4/04)
  • Bad Guilt. Discusses the importance of knowing God's merciful grace and believing in His promise of forgiveness while acknowledging "true guilt." (4/05)
  • Examining the Purpose-Driven Life. Examines Rick Warren's popular book, The Purpose-Driven Life. (8/05)
  • Giving Thanks. Looks at the importance of gratitude. (11/03)
  • Is Goodness Boring?. Shows how "virtue" suffers in two book-to-movie stories. (5/03)
  • Fundamentalism and Biblical Interpretation. Looks at the impact of Christian fundamentalism on how we understand and apply the Bible's teaching. (11/02)
  • Waiting for God. Discusses the biblical virtue of patience. (10/02)
  • Osama & Me. Responds to society's growing intolerance to the truth claims of Christianity. (4/02)
  • The Thief in the Night. (Matthew 24: 42-51) Discusses what should be our attitude toward end-time events. (12/01)
  • Answers to Chapter One. Provides answers to the study questions at the end of chapter one of The Language of God. (2/02)
  • Answers to Chapter Four. Provides answers to the study questions at the end of chapter four of The Language of God. (2/02)
  • The Prayer of Jabez. Examines the popular book "The Prayer of Jabez." (7/01)
  • Longing for Glory. (I Corinthians 3:18) Defines the "glory" that is the hope of every believer. (6/00)
  • Money and Contentment. Explores the connection between genuine Christian faith and our attitudes about money. (8/95)
  • Why We Are (gulp!) Home Schooling. Presents the issues that led one family to home school their children. (11/93)
  • How the Story Ends. Reviews three movies that highlight our culture's semi-biblical view of death. (8/99)
  • A Little Light Reading. Presents a personal appreciation of Christian values in the arts, as seen in the Father Brown stories. (6/92)
  • Practically Speaking. Asserts that often the most valuable and "practical" teaching is the most theoretical. (4/99)
  • What Sort of People?. Exhorts believers to personally wrestle with and embrace the gospel. (3/97)
  • The Most Important Things in Life. Examines the nature of the true wisdom which arises from Christian faith. (9/87)
  • Drawing the Line. Proposes a biblical model for deciding when to "draw the line" over doctrinal disagreements. (9/90)
  • Chosen for Glory. Explores the way in which the Bible's teaching on the Christian life can only be understood in the light of God's sovereign control of His creation. (2/93)
  • Biblical?. Asserts that "doing what the Bible says" is not always biblical. (1/01)
  • The Next Time I Study Revelation. (Revelation) Sheds light on the nature of the Bible's most enigmatic book. (8/98)
  • My Next Mid-life Crisis. (I Corinthians 12, 13) Presents I Corinthians 12 and 13 as the ultimate answer to a believer's "mid-life crisis." (9/91)
  • In Defense of God’s Love. (Romans 5:1-11) Uses Romans 5 to describe and clarify the enigmatic love of God. (2/97)
  • The Prayers of Paul. Holds up the great prayers of Paul as a mirror in which to examine our fundamental commitments. (2/96)
  • Counting the Cost. (Luke 14:26-33) Proposes that we OUGHT to be like the man who doesn't build a tower and the king who doesn't go to battle. (8/94)
  • Testing God. (Matthew 4:5-7) Looks at the prohibition against "testing God" found in the second temptation of Jesus. (2/98)
  • The Power of the Parables. (Matthew 13) Presents the dynamic manner in which the parables of Jesus communicate. (4/93)
  • The Lord is My Shepherd. (Psalm 23) Explains the life and death issues involved in Psalm 23. (7/97)

Audio Series

  • Alternatives to Biblical Christianity: Historical. "Historical Alternatives to Biblical Christianity" was part of a year-long McKenzie Study Center (MSC) series titled "Understanding Biblical Christianity," whose goal was to provide a comprehensive introduction to biblical Christianity. The classes on "historical alternatives" help distinguish biblical Christianity from the many counterfeit versions of Christianity that have existed throughout the Church's history. MSC is an institute of Gutenberg College. (Also on iTunes)
  • Alternatives to Biblical Christianity: Modern. "Modern Alternatives to Biblical Christianity" was part of a year-long McKenzie Study Center (MSC) series titled "Understanding Biblical Christianity," whose goal was to provide a comprehensive introduction to biblical Christianity. The classes on "modern alternatives" help distinguish biblical Christianity from the many counterfeit versions of Christianity that abound today. MSC is an institute of Gutenberg College. (Also on iTunes)
  • An Anniversary Medley (Oktoberfuss 2004). On the occasion of McKenzie Study Center's 25th anniversary and Gutenberg College's 10th, Gutenberg tutors present "An Anniversary Medley" of talks at the 2004 Oktoberfuss:
    Jack Crabtree reflects on the nature, role, and value of personal Bible study.
    R. Wesley Hurd proposes that all forms of art are formed by the interplay of the artist's beliefs and the effort to create meaningfully.
    David Crabtree argues that our understanding of the oft cited analogy of the human body's "organization" has significant implications for the individual's life in the Church.
    Ron Julian takes a balanced look at the argument of the very popular book The Purpose Driven Life. (Also on iTunes)
  • Being a Spiritual Person. McKenzie Study Center teacher Ron Julian proposes a solidly biblical foundation for understanding the heart of Christian spirituality. This class explores the role of the Holy Spirit in the believer's life, as well as the biblical perspective on spiritual disciplines such as prayer, Bible study, and so on. (This series was presented in Fall 2006 as an evening class of McKenzie Study Center, an institute of Gutenberg College. The third talk in this series is not available.) (Also on iTunes)
  • Bible's Greatest Hits. Teaching on biblical texts that the MSC staff deemed crucial to an understanding of a biblical worldview in general and the biblical gospel in particular. This series was presented in 1997-1998 as an evening class of McKenzie Study Center, an institute of Gutenberg College. (Also on iTunes)
  • Biblical Christianity 101. What is the message of the Bible? What does the Christian faith mean for our lives in this world and the next? This class, aimed at both those who are new to the faith and those who have been around awhile, discusses what is biblical Christianity. This class was taught in 2000 at McKenzie Study Center, an institute of Gutenberg College.
  • Christianity & Truth. Many people no longer believe "truth" exists. Is Christianity, which claims to be the truth, a meaningful contender for how one should understand reality? This 2001 McKenzie Study Center class explored "truth" and its relation to Christianity. (McKenzie Study Center is an institute of Gutenberg College.) (Also on iTunes)
  • Christmas. Talks given during the Christmas season and at annual Reformation Fellowship Christmas celebrations. (Also on iTunes)
  • Colossians. Talks by Ron Julian on the Apostle Paul's letter to the Colossians, given at Reformation Fellowship. (Also on iTunes)
  • Coming to Truth. Gutenberg tutors and others within the Gutenberg College community describe the intellectual journey that led them to conclude that Christianity is true. (This series was presented in Winter 2008 as an evening class of McKenzie Study Center, an institute of Gutenberg College.) (Also on iTunes)
  • Corinthians (First Epistle). Talks by Ron Julian on 1 Corinthians, given at Reformation Fellowship. The Corinthian church was fractious and troubled; these talks explain Paul's corrective admonitions to the Corinthians concerning worldliness, sexuality, spirituality, and more. (Also on iTunes)
  • Corinthians (Second Epistle) (2014). Talks by Ron Julian on 2 Corinthians, given at Reformation Fellowship. By the time Paul wrote this letter, his relationship with the Corinthians had deteriorated even further; these talks explore the fine line that Paul must walk between defending his gospel and defending himself. (Also on iTunes)
  • Democracy: A User's Manual (Summer Institute 2010). We all love America's Founding Fathers, but what did they really say? Does their plan still work? Gutenberg tutors and SI 2010 participants explored through discussion of assigned readings and these lectures the history and future of American democracy. [Works discussed at the Gutenberg College 2010 Summer Institute: The Brothers Karamazov (Fyodor Dostoyevsky); The Federalist Papers (James Madison); Individualism and Economic Order (F. A. Hayek); Democracy in America (Alexis de Tocqueville); The Political Illusion (Jacques Ellul).] (Also on iTunes)
  • Disenculturating the Gospel (Summer Institute 2005). Learning to sort out the abiding truths of the gospel from the cultural assumptions of the ancient and modern world is an essential part of being disciples of Christ. The Gutenberg College 2005 Summer Institute, Disenculturating the Gospel, explored explored through discussion of assigned readings and these lectures the power of culture and how we can learn to separate the wheat from the chaff in our own cultural setting. (Also on iTunes)
  • Doing Christianity. What is a follower of Christ supposed to DO? This course presents a three-part picture of Christian discipleship: "Knowing the Truth," "Embracing the Truth," and "Living the Christian Life." (This series was presented in 2003-2004 as an evening class of McKenzie Study Center, an institute of Gutenberg College.) (Also on iTunes)
  • Easter. Talks given at annual Reformation Fellowship Easter celebrations. (Also on iTunes)
  • Faith & Science (Summer Institute 2006). Using the intelligent design debate as a test case, the Gutenberg College 2006 Summer Institute, Faith & Science, explored through discussion of assigned readings and these lectures the relationship between faith and reason, between the principled reading of the Bible and the principled pursuit of scientific inquiry. (Also on iTunes)
  • Foundations of Knowing the Truth. A series designed to promote an understanding of the basis upon which a person comes to know what they know to be true from a biblical point of view. These talks were given as part of McKenzie Study Center's Biblical Worldview Program in 1991-1992. McKenzie Study Center is now an institute of Gutenberg College. (Also on iTunes)
  • Fruit of the Spirit. Ron Julian speaks at Reformation Fellowship about the fruit of the Spirit the Apostle Paul lists in Galatians 5. (Also on iTunes)
  • How Jewish Was Jesus? (Oktoberfuss 2011). Jesus and all of his Apostles were Jews. Yet by the second century, the church had begun to turn its back on its Jewish origins. The 2011 Oktoberfuss Conference explores the significance that this "divorce" from Judaism and the text of the Hebrew Bible had on the development of Christian thought. (Also on iTunes)
  • How to Follow Jesus When You Cannot Kill the Beast (Summer Institute 2013). American culture is quickly, and inexorably, becoming an anti-Christian state. That's the thesis of a paper by Gutenberg tutor Dr. Jack Crabtree in which he explores what it will look like to exist as a follower of Jesus in the emerging hostile society and how believers can prepare for such a future. Is he right? Gutenberg tutors and others in the Gutenberg community presented responses to Jack's paper. After each presentation, a lively dialog between presenters and participants ensued. The Summer Institute, in the spirit of Gutenberg College's approach to education, was a conversation about ideas and their consequences. [The papers from the Summer Institute will be available on the website as each is ready for publication.] (Also on iTunes)
  • Issues in a Biblical Worldview. Because what we believe determines what we do and how we live, we will never do anything more practical than to clarify our thinking about our faith and our world. This series examines some of the issues Christians face as they undertake the process. The talks were given as part of McKenzie Study Center's Biblical Worldview Program in 1991-1992. McKenzie Study Center is now an institute of Gutenberg College. (Also on iTunes)
  • Issues in Biblical Interpretation. Ron Julian teaches a four-part series on issues in biblical interpretation as part of McKenzie Study Center's Biblical Worldview Program in 1990. McKenzie Study Center is now an institute of Gutenberg College. (Also on iTunes)
  • James. Talks by Ron Julian on the book of James, given at Reformation Fellowship. James is famous for seeming to disagree with Paul by urging justification by works; in these talks, Ron Julian carefully explains James' argument, showing its coherence with itself and with the rest of the Bible. (Talk 14 is not available.) (Also on iTunes)
  • John's Gospel. Talks by Ron Julian on the Gospel of John, given at Reformation Fellowship. John carefully focuses his gospel on key themes concerning the nature of faith; in these talks Ron Julian gives a big-picture overview of the way John weaves these themes throughout the book. (Also on iTunes)
  • Love, Sex, and Marriage. Sexuality is one of the most formidable challenges facing a disciple of Jesus in the modern world. This 2005 McKenzie Study Center class offered a series of lectures on sex, love, marriage, dating, and related topics.(McKenzie Study Center is an institute of Gutenberg College.) (Also on iTunes)
  • Making Sense of the Bible (Summer Institute 2004). The Bible, the written word of God, is a difficult work of literature containing many different genres and styles, each presenting its own set of interpretive problems. How, then, do we decipher the meaning of biblical texts? And how can we know our interpretation is correct? The Gutenberg College 2004 Summer Institute, Making Sense of the Bible, explored through discussion of assigned readings and these lectures the process of biblical interpretation. (Also on iTunes)
  • Matthew. Talks by Ron Julian on the Gospel of Matthew, given at Reformation Fellowship. In Matthew, we find recorded much of Jesus' most important teaching: the Sermon on the Mount, the parables of the kingdom, the Olivet Discourse, and much more. These talks will explore Matthew's Gospel in depth. (Also on iTunes)
  • Meaning and Flourishing in a Secular Age (Summer Institute 2017). Why do we suffer? How can we flourish? We humans have always asked such questions. In times past, our culture embraced (or tolerated) a Christian worldview that provided a foundation for answering those questions: meaning and purpose derive from our transcendent Creator. Today, however, we live in a thoroughly secular era, and answers are hard to come by. How did our culture end up here? How can a person of faith pursue a transcendent vision of life in such a culture? Gutenberg's 2017 Summer Institute explored such questions. (Also on iTunes)
  • Olivet Discourse in Matthew 24 & 25. Ron Julian speaks on the Olivet Discourse, Jesus' discussion in Matthew 24 and 25 about the end of the age, at Reformation Fellowship, a church in Eugene, Oregon. (Also on iTunes)
  • Paychecks, Politics & Paradigms (Summer Institute 2009). Economics is not just about dollar signs and balance sheets. It's about what we value. Gutenberg College's 2009 Summer Institute asked questions like these: What was ancient Israel's economy? What did Karl Marx really say? What was Adam Smith's "invisible hand"? Who is today's most influential economist? Lectures and small groups discussed a biblical approach to our economic and political world. (Video recordings of these talks are available at iTunesU.) (Also on iTunes)
  • Peter (First Epistle). Talks by Ron Julian on 1 Peter, given at Reformation Fellowship in 2009. In Peter's first letter, the apostle addresses the connection between our belief in the gospel and the way we live. (Also on iTunes)
  • Peter (Second Epistle). Talks by Ron Julian on 2 Peter, given at Reformation Fellowship. In Peter's second letter, the apostle urges his readers to hold fast to the true gospel and its implications for our lives. (Also on iTunes)
  • Philippians. Talks by Ron Julian on the Apostle Paul's letter to the Philippians, given at Reformation Fellowship. (Also on iTunes)
  • Prayer. Ron Julian looks at several passages in the Bible to build a biblical view of prayer. Talks 1-16 were given in 1998-1999; Talk 17, not originally part of the series, was given in 2001. All the talks were given at Reformation Fellowship. (Also on iTunes)
  • Prayer and Perseverance. The parables of the Unjust Judge and the Friend at Midnight are often thought to present the key to getting our prayers answered: perseverance. Ron Julian teaches on petitionary prayer and what these parables really say about it. These talks were given at Reformation Fellowship. (Also on iTunes)
  • Psalms. Talks on Psalms by teachers in the Gutenberg community. These talks were given at Reformation Fellowship. (Also on iTunes)
  • Reading the Book: Lessons in Understanding the Bible. Reading the Bible with understanding is a skill, one at which every Christian can improve through practice. This 2001 McKenzie Study Center class provides some examples and pointers on gaining and using that skill. (McKenzie Study Center is an institute of Gutenberg College.)
  • Reflections on Spiritual Formation (Oktoberfuss 2003). Attaining authentic spirituality is a perennial quest among Christians. Many voices--with many different suggestions--all teach the methods, practices, disciplines, or techniques to promote true spirituality. The Oktoberfuss 2003 conference offered a biblical perspective on the relationship between spirituality and the practices that are alleged to foster it. (Also on iTunes)
  • Reunion: Tanakh and the Gospel of Matthew (Summer Institute 2015). Christian culture tends to look at the New Testament in isolation, but it was written in a time and culture saturated with the thought forms forged in the Old Testament writings (Tanakh). The 2015 Summer Institute, "Reunion: Tanakh and the Gospel of Matthew," reunited the Gospel of Matthew with its Old Testament roots by exploring how Matthew, an Apostle and a Jew, used passages from the Tanakh to convey the truth about the Messiah Jesus. (Also on iTunes)
  • RF Talks: Ron Julian. Individual talks given by Gutenberg tutor Ron Julian at Reformation Fellowship, a church in Eugene, Oregon. (Also on iTunes)
  • Sermon on the Mount. Talks by Ron Julian on the Sermon on the Mount, given at Reformation Fellowship. Matthew 5-7, the Sermon on the Mount, is one of the most significant bodies of teaching in the Bible. (Also on iTunes)
  • Soren Kierkegaard (Summer Institute 2007). Often called the first existentialist philosopher, Kierkegaard has influenced both Christian and non-Christian thinkers. Talks given at Gutenberg College's 2007 Summer Institute explore the relevance of Kierkegaard's project to the Christian believer. The play "Son of Abraham" by Tim McIntosh was also presented. (Also on iTunes)
  • The Holy Spirit. Ron Julian teaches on the Holy Spirit. These talks were given in 1997 at Reformation Fellowship, a church in Eugene, Oregon. (Also on iTunes)
  • The Holy Spirit at Work. Ron Julian teaches a new series on the works of the Holy Spirit, exploring passages that show the Spirit at work in the world. These talks were given at Reformation Fellowship, a church in Eugene, Oregon. (Also on iTunes)
  • The Mind of Christ. Talks by Ron Julian exploring the major themes in the teaching of Jesus, given at Reformation Fellowship. (Talk 13 did not record, but the material taught was re-recorded in talks 16 & 17.) (Also on iTunes)
  • Thessalonians (First & Second Epistles). Talks by Ron Julian on the books of 1 and 2 Thessalonians, given at Reformation Fellowship. The letters to the Thessalonians were early letters, written to encourage young Christians in churches only recently started by Paul. In these talks, Ron Julian gives an overview of Paul's admonitions and explores Paul's teaching on the end of the age. (Also on iTunes)
  • Those Who Belong to God. Ron Julian discusses how the Bible describes the people who belong to God. These talks were given in 1996 at Reformation Fellowship, a church in Eugene, Oregon. (Also on iTunes)
  • Understanding Love, Sex, and Marriage. Sexuality is one of the most formidable challenges facing a disciple of Jesus in the modern world. MSC staff discuss love, sex, marriage, dating, and related topics. (This series was presented in Fall 2002 as an evening class of McKenzie Study Center, an institute of Gutenberg College.) (Also on iTunes)
  • What the BLEEP Can We Know? (Summer Institute 2012). Oceans of data now lie at our fingertips, but deep understanding seems farther and farther off. Science and faith seem divorced. Philosophy and everyday life seem completely unconnected. Can we bridge these chasms? Gutenberg tutors explored these questions at the Gutenberg College 2012 Summer Institute, "What the *Bleep* Can We Know?" (Also on iTunes)
  • What We Believe: Answers to Questions. Ron Julian answers common questions concerning Christian faith and practice. These talks were given in 2001 at Reformation Fellowship, a church in Eugene, Oregon. (Also on iTunes)
  • What We Have Learned (Summer Institute 2014). Gutenberg College celebrated its 20th year at Summer Institute 2014. During this time of celebration and reflection, tutors who began the journey with Gutenberg when its doors opened in 1994--David Crabtree, Jack Crabtree, Charley Dewberry, Ron Julian, and Chris Swanson--shared some of what they learned along the way. (Also on iTunes)
Ron Julian

Books

Righteous Sinners
The Language of God

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