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Make Your Mark: Getting Right What Samson Got Wrong Paperback – August 19, 2014
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"In MAKE YOUR MARK Brad Gray helps strip away our Western cultural assumptions and gives us a fresh look into the story of Samson. Along the way he gives us practical and biblical instruction that helps us navigate through our own stories as we become a part of the larger story."―TobyMac, Grammy award-winning artist, producer, song-writer, and author of City on Our Knees
"Samson is the perfect archetype for the conflicted superheroes we find in movies today. Despite his supreme strength, he's often hardly heroic in how he fulfills God's calling. What can we learn from his weaknesses? By digging into Samson's life in its ancient context, Brad Gray has excavated much fresh insight for today. I was delighted and convicted by Brad's thoughtful heart, his humor and his passion for studying God's Word in its original time and place."―Lois Tverberg, author of Sitting at the Feet of Rabbi Jesus and Walking in the Dust of Rabbi Jesus
"Brad Gray provides a rare combination of cultural understanding, geographical context, historical perspective, and biblical insight, making this book a powerful read. The life lessons from Samson's story are clear and highly relevant for today's culture."―Kirk Cousins, NFL Quarterback and author of Game Changer
"MAKE YOUR MARK brings three dimensional insights to a mysterious story. The image of Samson has long been that of a muscular one man wrecking crew. By guiding us through the geography, customs, and language, Brad Gray provides a refreshing look at an enigmatic character. In the process, he motivates us to become better stewards of our own calling, gifts, and opportunity."―Jeff Manion, Sr. Teaching Pastor, Ada Bible Church and author of The Land Between and Satisfied
"Brad Gray's mighty fine book MAKE YOUR MARK probably should be titled "It Will Leave a Mark" because it will! Over the years, I have had the unspeakable pleasure of teaching preaching to literally hundreds of young men and women all eager to take their place in the long line of preachers who have gone before them. I keep in my mind a list of the "best of the best" I have ever taught, and Brad Gray is on that list. He may actually be at the very top of that list in this particular regard; he is the most relentless studier of the text I have ever taught. He tirelessly turns over every stone in sight to see what is just beneath the surface! What a wonderful gift to once be a teacher of a person who then becomes your teacher! If you read MAKE YOUR MARK like I did, it will leave a mark on you, and you will be better for it!"―Dr. Timothy Brown, president and Henry Bast Professor of Preaching, Western Theological Seminary, Holland, Michigan
"Brad Gray has a remarkable gift for merging the best tools we use to interpret the Bible today. Here he employs historical geography, the culture of ancient Israel, Hebrew language insights, and a wide knowledge of the Bible to bring to life the stories of Samson that are frequently neglected in the church. His aim is not mere exposition, however. His heartfelt desire is to see these ancient inspired stories find new life for believers and he does it with enthusiasm, humor, and skill. MAKE YOUR MARK is as fascinating as it is inspiring. And particularly for those Christians who may think they've heard it all in the Bible, Brad Gray proves that there are fantastic surprises still to be discovered."―Gary M. Burge, Ph.D., professor of New Testament at Wheaton College & Graduate School
About the Author
Brad Gray is the teaching pastor at Central Wesleyan Church in Holland, Michigan. He has traveled extensively to the biblical lands of Israel, Jordan, Egypt, Turkey, and Greece, and currently leads biblical study trips to Israel and Turkey. Brad has a BA in business management from Cornerstone University (Grand Rapids, MI), an MDiv from Western Theological Seminary (Holland, MI), and did additional graduate work at Jerusalem University College (Jerusalem, Israel). Brad and his wife, Shallon, live with their children in Holland, Michigan. To learn more about Brad and his ministry, please visit www.WalkingTheText.com.
Top customer reviews
Brad’s book also reminded me of this statement. I have read the Samson story ever since I was a child, and I was blown away by how little I knew about the story, especially with regard to its cultural context and the insight provided once one understands the story’s context and language.
Overall I was blown away by this book and truly enjoyed it. I literally couldn’t put it down and read through it in one evening. Brad provides very thorough and insightful academic analysis, but also makes it accessible to the average reader. It many cases it seems that Biblical scholars write in a very complex way to impress their academic peers at the expense of their work being accessible to a broader audience. This is not the case with Brad. In my opinion the mark of a true scholar and teacher is someone who can make complex topics accessible to the average person, and Brad does a wonderful job at this.
Not only does Brad provide excellent cultural, linguistic, and historical analysis of the story, he also provides excellent insight in to how all of the aspects of the story of Samson apply to your life and what you can learn from Samson’s mistakes and successes.
I highly recommend this book. I often tell people that after going to Israel with Ray Vanderlaan in 2004 and living there in 2005-2006, my bible experience was like going from black and white to color in the Wizard of Oz, and I feel the same way about the Samson story after reading Brad’s work. Do yourself a favor and pick it up today!
This book makes a great and inexpensive small group study text. Brad gives away the participants guide (questions on the chapters) and if you want you can view the sermons on this book from the church where his is a pastor. The book is a great value in that respect. The small group I am in loves to do a bible study every so often, and this book fits the bill nicely.