Essays & Bible Studies

Bible Study 2

I write little essays from time to time, usually in response to frequent questions I receive from my students (sometimes in conjunction with my responsibilities as a ministerial trainer). I have gathered as many as I can think of here. Enjoy. Feel free to reuse them in noncommercial contexts. Likewise for the Bible studies.

Bear in mind that I am not writing as a representative of any organization — all views expressed are my own (and, hopefully, God’s).


  1. pdfWhy Jesus.pdf This little essay is something I’ve begun making available at my meetings for nonbelievers to take on the way out. I talk about three simple reasons to believe in God, and then show how to go about deciding whether Jesus is truly the path to God.
  2. pdfThe Jesus FAQ.pdf This is a companion piece to the Why Jesus essay — it explains what we can know about Jesus even if we don’t think that the Bible is inspired. Questions include: “Is There Any Record of Jesus Outside the Bible?”, “What Did Jesus Look Like?” and “What Did Jesus Teach?”
  3. pdf The Spirit of Jesus.pdf This is an introduction to baptism in the Holy Spirit and spiritual gifts for those who are nervous about the Holy Spirit.
  4. pdfThe Elephant In The Room: Not All Religions Are Equally Correct Aren’t all religions basically the same? NOPE.
  5. pdfShould I Date Outside The Faith? One of the most common questions I get is whether Christian students should date people who do not share their faith. tl;dr no. This article explains why.
  6. docChange the University, Change the World I wrote this piece for my seminary’s alumni magazine, Rapport. If you ever wonder why people like me are so passionate about college ministry, this will clear things up for you.
  7. docThrive at Stanford 2010.pdf This is a 10 day devotional guide for new students at Stanford which begins on the first day of New Student Orientation. This is the Fall Quarter 2010 version.
  8. docThe Essence of Integrity by Glen Davis.doc This is a meditation on one of the foundational concepts of character.
  9. pdfThe Flaming Goats of Edom — Thoughts on Hell.pdf This is one of my favorite essays. Thinking about hell makes many Christians uncomfortable and (ironically) even keeps some unbelievers from considering the faith, so in this essay I seek to make the doctrine comprehensible to people.
  10. docTesting My Faith — Being Confident of My Salvation. Every once in a while I meet someone who’s not sure whether they’re a Christian or not, and so I wrote this meditation on 1st John to help them discern where they’re at with Jesus.
  11. docEvangelism in the New Testament.doc This isn’t really an essay on how to share your faith effectively so much as an essay on how not to irritate God when sharing your faith.
  12. docHow Can I Tell If I Am Being Effective.doc Some thoughts on evaluating my use of time.
  13. docDiligence In The Bible by Glen Davis.doc A very short essay directed at ministers (although there’s really only one line making it minister-specific).
  14. docStanford Chi Alpha Small Group Guide.doc Nothing very original here, but we find it helpful.
  15. docWhat the Bible Says About Money.doc This isn’t really a full-fledged essay. It’s a one-page summary of what the Bible says about money (which is more than most people think).
  16. docDoes the Bible Assert that Jesus is God.doc: a very short summary of the Biblical evidence for the deity of Christ. It’s written for believers, in case that wasn’t obvious from the title.
  17. pdfWhat the Bible Says About Baptism: an exhortation to Christians to be baptized along with an explanation of what baptism is all about.


  1. docA Week of Praying With the Apostles.doc This 3 page handout guides you through a week of praying for those whom you serve using the prayers of the New Testament as a model.
  2. docApplying the Bible.doc This one page handout is one of the most important things I teach people. I forget where I first learned this idea, but I know it is not original to me.
  3. docHow To Read False Religious Texts.doc This is an unusual little tool. I wrote it because I require my ministerial trainees to read from the writings of other religions. This little handout explains why and how.

Pastoral Letters

During the coronavirus pandemic I began sending physical letters to my students. Here they are.

  1. Easter Pastoral Letter.pdf — a brief reflection on the implications of Easter

Bible Studies

Most of these are for personal and not group use. They could be adapted for group use, but don’t think you can download them and stroll into a small group meeting with no extra prep.

  1. docBeing Filled With the Spirit Personal Bible Study.doc This is a very good study to give to a student who believes that Bible is God’s word but is uncertain about what it means to be baptized in the Holy Spirit. It is for personal and not group use.
  2. docGod And His Rivals — a Personal Bible Study.doc This study will require a lot of thought and a willingness to think outside the evangelical box.
  3. docWorship — A Personal Bible Study.doc This is a study for worship leaders, although I suppose any Christian could profit from it.
  4. docPreaching — A Personal Bible Study.doc I really like studies like this one which list many examples of something from the Bible and ask you to infer conclusions. They feel so scientific.
  5. docMinistry of Women — Bible Study.doc This is a handout I give my ministerial trainees before they wade into the vast literature for and against women in ministry. It’s a way of making sure that they’re familiar with all the relevant texts before they see them cited.
  6. docAccepting Correction Gracefully.doc This personal Bible study is about giving and receiving rebukes. Mostly receiving. Okay, it’s really about receiving rebukes and only implicitly about offering them.
  7. docBy Night and By Day — Evangelism Bible Study.doc This is a very short Bible study comparing how Jesus talked with Nicodemus with how he talked with the woman at the well.
  8. docCultivating Noble Character — Prov 31.doc A very short study about not being a slacker.
  9. docDavids Fall and Restoration.doc A one page study of a passage most people don’t know as well as they think.
  10. docHow To Be A Servant — a Personal Bible Study.doc A very short study for new campus ministers.
  11. docProverbs — Watching Your Words.doc I bet there are people shocked to know that I’ve spent time reflecting on what it means to speak wisely.
  12. docWhat Is Blamelessness.doc A study for new ministers.
  13. docWhat to and What not to Study.doc Kind of self-explanatory.
  14. docWork and Sabbath — A Personal Bible Study.doc This study is worded for new campus ministers, but 98% of it works for people in other vocations.

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