Gary joined the seminary faculty in the fall of 2017 after completing 25 years as professor of New Testament at Wheaton College and Graduate School. His interests center on the gospels (particularly the Gospel of John), the historical Jesus, and the contextual and cultural background of the first century Judea as a framework for interpretation. He has also taught graduate seminars on the integration of psychology and theology as well as the integration of theology and the politics of the Middle East.
Gary is ordained in the Presbyterian Church U.S.A. and is a frequent speaker at conferences, retreats and churches. For over 15 years while at Wheaton he was on the teaching staff of Willow Creek Community Church (S. Barrington, IL). He also leads faculty development workshops at colleges and seminaries based on his 2015 book, Mapping Your Academic Career. He is also deeply invested in the Middle East and its churches from Iraq to Egypt and travels there annually. He has organized pastors’ conferences, taught at seminaries, and been a frequent conference speaker in settings from Iraq to Egypt. He is often called on to interpret the Israel-Palestine conflict at American churches and denominational settings.
Taste and See: A Study Tour of Biblical Lands
Areas of Expertise
What are the parables of Jesus and how do they work?
How can I be confident in the historicity of the gospel story?
The New Testament and women in leadership
How Jesus upended ancient notions of clean and unclean
Jesus, gratitude, and the secret of happiness
The three promises of the sermon on the mount
Do you really believe in the church?
The Holy Land as a platform for spiritual formation
How Jesus reinterpreted the festivals of Judaism
Ecclesiastes as a guide to aging in America
Using the Psalms in spiritual formation
What I’ve learned from the Arabic-speaking church
The background of the conflict between Israel and Palestine
Using the Bible and theology in the Israel/Palestine conflict
The New Testament in Antiquity. Second Edition, with G. Green, (Zondervan, 2009, 2020)
Life Questions Every Student Asks: Faithful Responses to Common Issues, edited with D. Lauber (IVP 2020)
The New Testament in Seven Sentences (IVP, 2019)
Mapping Your Academic Career: The Three Cohorts of a College Professor’s Life (IVP, 2015)
A Week in the Life of a Roman Centurion (IVP, 2015)
Theology Questions Everyone Asks. Christian Faith in Plain Language, edited with D. Lauber (IVP, 2014)
Interpreting the Gospel of John. A Guidebook for Students. Second Edition (Baker Academic, 2013)
Whose Land? Whose Promise? What Christians Are Not Being Told About Israel and the Palestinians. Second Edition (Pilgrim Press/Paternoster, 2003, 2013)
Jesus and the Festivals of Judaism (Zondervan, 2012)
Jesus and the Land (Baker Academic and SPCK, 2010)
Commentary on the Gospel of John. The NIV Application Commentary (Zondervan, 2000)