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501 - THE RUNNING FATHER

Through The Running Father, we find that Jesus often “ate with tax collectors and sinners.” The religious leaders of the day grumbled and muttered – they did not approve of Jesus' actions. What was Jesus up to then...and still up to now?

In Luke 15, Jesus responds to the grumbling of the religious leaders with a trilogy of parables. Westerners know them as the parables of the lost sheep, lost coin, and lost ("prodigal") son. In the Middle East, God is the focus of each biblical story – a lens which uniquely shapes Middle Easterners' understanding of these parables.

Discover these cultural differences, as well as how Jesus defined "repentance," in The Running Father!


Your Instructor


Kristi McLelland
Kristi McLelland

Kristi McLelland is a professor at Williamson College and serves as a biblical culturalist. She has a Masters in Christian Education from Dallas Theological Seminary and has dedicated her life to teaching people how to study the Bible.

After studying in Israel and Egypt in 2007 and discovering that God is better than she ever knew, Kristi has been teaching the Bible through a Middle Eastern lens, in its historical, geographical, cultural, and linguistic context. Kristi encourages believers to be postured to receive what God is saying, which is best done through communally experiencing Scripture. Kristi teaches about the goodness of God, experienced through table fellowship, practicing hospitality and collaborative wisdom.

During her years as a professor at Williamson College and Director of Christian Education and Women’s Ministry at local churches, Kristi has taught and shepherded thousands. Since 2008 she has led biblical studies trips to Israel and studied and trained under Dr. Jim Martin, Rabbi Ken Alpren and world-renowned Israeli archaeologist Dr. Gabi Barkay.

Kristi’s trips to Israel, Turkey, Greece and Italy, along with her Middle Eastern Lens classes, help Westerners study and appreciate the Bible as it was written by Middle Easterners in a Middle Eastern context. This lens offers a deeper look into what the biblical characters meant in what they did, said and wrote. This enhanced understanding of the biblical framework positions us to better open our eyes, ears and hearts to the Living God who is constantly pursuing us.

Kristi is available to assist churches, colleges, organizations and other groups in discovering the Bible through a Middle Eastern Lens.



Frequently Asked Questions


When does the course start and finish?
The course starts now and never ends! It is a completely self-paced online course - you decide when you start and when you finish.
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