Mark S. Mitchell

Pastor, Writer, Follower of Jesus

A Stranger in the House of God

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Have you ever felt like a stranger in the house of God? If you have, I’d like you to meet a friend of mine.

His name is John Koessler. John is the chair of the Pastoral Studies Department at Moody Bible Institute in Chicago. He’s the author of several books, including True Discipleship and the award winning Folly, Grace and Power.  John also writes a regular column for Moody called Theology Matters. I am stoked because John will be our Men’s Retreat speaker this year at Mt. Hermon on February 22-24. He will speak on The Surprising Grace of Disappointment.

I discovered John about 18 months ago while on sabbatical. A friend suggested I read John’s memoir, A Stranger in the House of God. In this well-written book, John shares his own coming-of-age and coming-to-faith story. He’s disarmingly transparent and humorous, at first curiously observing people of faith as an outsider, then eventually sharing spiritual insights while never positioning himself above his readers.  A Stranger in the House of God addresses basic questions and struggles faced by seekers and believers alike, tracing the author’s journey through Catholicism and various tribes within evangelical Christianity. It also describes his transformation from religious outsider to pastor and professor.

I’m excited that John will be with us not only for the Men’s Retreat but also on February 21-22 to address our pastors and directors at CPC about cultivating the life of the mind. If you would like to find out more about John you can go to his website.

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