Follow Christ, Lead the Way
Easter - the Extraordinary Found in the Ordinary image

By Rev. David Brown, Associate Professor, Religion & Ministry Department

It was during my trip to Israel that I realized the absurdity of it all.  I had read about the characters and events in scripture and seen many maps of the nation, in fact, I had even taught students how to draw maps of the Holy Land by folding a paper into four quadrants. But after we landed in Tel Aviv and were on the bus trip to Jerusalem, something I was completely unprepared for happened.  As the bus drove up the incline towards the city of Jerusalem, our guide pointed to a ravine next to the bus stating “Ladies and gentlemen, on the left side of the bus you can see a ravine that is probably like the valley that was between the army of Israel and the army of the Philistines when David fought Goliath.” The first thought that entered my mind was “there isn’t a lot of distance between those two hills, in fact this place is considerably smaller than I imagined that it would be.”  For the rest of the trip I was shocked by how insignificant each place seemed.  The Jordan river was unimpressive, the Garden of Gethsemane, the Mount of Olives, the Upper Room, the Temple Mount were all much less ostentatious that I had expected, much more ordinary. But isn’t that one of the surprising things about Easter? God takes the ordinary things and changes history through them.

Jesus seemed to be just an ordinary person. He was so ordinary that people in his hometown rejected him asking “Is not this the carpenter, the son of Mary and brother of James and Joses and Judas and Simon? And are not his sisters here with us?” He appeared just another hometown boy who had grown up among them, a carpenter whom they had seen working, doing commonplace things in conventional ways. But, contrary to appearances, this was not just an average man but the Son of God who invaded both time and space to not only change the course of history but change the destiny of millions.  A light has broken through the darkness that had ensnared and engulfed humanity, offering them forgiveness for their sins, redemption from their bondage, reconciliation with their Creator and a glorious hope for the future.

Easter poignantly demonstrates how absurd this salvation actually is. Who would expect that the God who created everything from nothing and formed man from the dust of the earth would choose to reconcile the world to himself by sending his only begotten Son into the world as someone who was just as ordinary as everyone else?  That’s absurd because that’s not how it’s supposed to be. It should be that the people who do wrong acts should be the ones who pay the penalty for their own actions, they are the ones who suffer the consequences of their sinfulness, they are the ones who are punished for their wrongdoing. But that’s not the way it is. Easter tells us that the one to whom the debt was due, the one who had been offended, the one whose trust had been broken, came to an inconspicuous place, lived a remarkably ordinary life and accomplished something truly unfathomable, incredible and extraordinary, the redemption of humanity. 

Articles of Interest

Dr. Caleb Friedeman Publishes Major Reference Work

Published: April 1, 2021

Ohio Christian University is pleased to announce that Dr. Caleb Friedeman, David A. Case Chair of Theology and Ministry and Assistant Professor of Biblical Studies, has published A Scripture Index to Rabbinic Literature(ASIRL) with Hendrickson Academic. This volume is a comprehensive Scripture index to classical rabbinic literature in English that contains approximately 90,000 entries and represents over 2,500 hours of work by a seven-person team over the course of two and a half years. In addition to the work of the editorial team, a group of OCU staff and students assisted in
Ohio Christian University is pleased to announce that Dr. Caleb Friedeman, David A. Case Chair of Theology and Ministry and Assistant Professor of Biblical Studies, has published A Scripture Index to Rabbinic Literature(ASIRL) with Hendrickson Academic. This volume is a comprehensive Scripture index to classical rabbinic literature in English that contains approximately 90,000 entries and
Ohio Christian University is pleased to announce that Dr. Caleb Friedeman, David A. Case Chair of Theology and Ministry and Assistant Professor of Biblical Studies, has published A Scripture Index

Archived Articles of Interest

Former OCU President's Tribute to OCU Grad Dr. Stan Toler image

Former OCU President's Tribute to OCU Grad Dr. Stan Toler

Former OCU President's Tribute to OCU Grad Dr. Stan Toler image

Published: December 13, 2017

By Doug Carter, OCU President 1980-1989 Forty-seven years ago (1970) at the Taylor County Camp Meeting in Central Georgia on a hot July day, my wife and I were the missionary speakers representing our ministry to Native Americans in Arizona with World Gospel Mission. There was a quartet singing in the service–a group of young preacher boys representing Circleville Bible College (now Ohio Christian University). One of the lads was very small in size with a gracious smile and a perfect haircut. When the offering was received, he pledged to give $5.00 monthly to our support in spite of
By Doug Carter, OCU President 1980-1989 Forty-seven years ago (1970) at the Taylor County Camp Meeting in Central Georgia on a hot July day, my wife and I were the missionary speakers representing our ministry to Native Americans in Arizona with World Gospel Mission. There was a quartet singing in the service–a group of young preacher boys representing Circleville Bible College (now Ohio
By Doug Carter, OCU President 1980-1989 Forty-seven years ago (1970) at the Taylor County Camp Meeting in Central Georgia on a hot July day, my wife and I were the missionary speakers representing
Salvation Army Red Kettle - Doing the Most Good!

Dean on Generosity - Kicking Off Salvation Army's Red Kettle Campaign

Salvation Army Red Kettle - Doing the Most Good!

Published: November 22, 2017

"How to do the most good?"  On Nov. 14, Rev. David Dean, Director of Church Relations for Ohio Christian University, addressed this question to Fairfield County business leaders assembled at Lancaster Country Club to kick off this season's Salvation Army Red Kettle Campaign. Reminding participants that altruism—thoughtfulness of the well-being of and generosity to others—means giving, Dean explained, “Studies show the happiest people are the most generous."  He elaborated on this theme, explaining that the “Generosity Factor” is a characteristic of people who give generously:  Those
"How to do the most good?"  On Nov. 14, Rev. David Dean, Director of Church Relations for Ohio Christian University, addressed this question to Fairfield County business leaders assembled at Lancaster Country Club to kick off this season's Salvation Army Red Kettle Campaign. Reminding participants that altruism—thoughtfulness of the well-being of and generosity to others—means giving, Dean
"How to do the most good?"  On Nov. 14, Rev. David Dean, Director of Church Relations for Ohio Christian University, addressed this question to Fairfield County business leaders assembled at
Top Counseling Schools Ranks OCU 8th of 20 Best!

OCU Online Pastoral Counseling Master’s Program Is 8th in Top 20!

Top Counseling Schools Ranks OCU 8th of 20 Best!

Published: November 16, 2017

TopCounselingSchools.org has ranked OCU’s online Master Degree in Pastoral Counseling 8th among the top 20 best programs available! According to Top Counseling Schools’ evaluation:  OCU’s program is “One of the most affordable pastoral counseling master’s programs online on our list is the online master’s in ministry from Ohio Christian University. This 34-credit hour program is designed to equip students to analyze situations and choose proper interventions to help others cope with crises, exploring pastoral care and counseling topics. Some of the classes offered include history of
TopCounselingSchools.org has ranked OCU’s online Master Degree in Pastoral Counseling 8th among the top 20 best programs available! According to Top Counseling Schools’ evaluation:  OCU’s program is “One of the most affordable pastoral counseling master’s programs online on our list is the online master’s in ministry from Ohio Christian University. This 34-credit hour program is designed to
TopCounselingSchools.org has ranked OCU’s online Master Degree in Pastoral Counseling 8th among the top 20 best programs available! According to Top Counseling Schools’ evaluation:  OCU’s program
David and friend at African mission site.

Mentor Leaders' Rev. David Whetstone Speaks during OCU Mission Week

David and friend at African mission site.

Published: October 23, 2017

Rev. David Whetstone, founder of Mentor Leaders, is a featured speaker during OCU’s Missions Week, October 23-26, on the university's main Circleville campus. Mentor Leaders, based in Nolensville, TN, is a non­profit organization using community-based efforts to bring aid, restoration, and sustainability to global neighborhoods. Mission Week presentations are being held in OCU's Detty Chapel.   Mentor Leaders has teams in Togo and Haiti who are providing emergency aid, restoration—supported by education, financial investment, and relational development—, and sustainability training
Rev. David Whetstone, founder of Mentor Leaders, is a featured speaker during OCU’s Missions Week, October 23-26, on the university's main Circleville campus. Mentor Leaders, based in Nolensville, TN, is a non­profit organization using community-based efforts to bring aid, restoration, and sustainability to global neighborhoods. Mission Week presentations are being held in OCU's Detty 
Rev. David Whetstone, founder of Mentor Leaders, is a featured speaker during OCU’s Missions Week, October 23-26, on the university's main Circleville campus. Mentor Leaders, based in Nolensville
Tyler Forney Leading SOS Project

Student Profile: Tyler Forney Is Learning Service over Self

Tyler Forney Leading SOS Project

Published: August 27, 2019

Building safer houses, constructing new roofs, and laboring in Tennessee’s hot summer sun isn’t routine for OCU Junior Tyler Forney. What is routine is witnessing about Jesus, having a heart for Youth Ministry, and placing others' needs above his for the glory of God. Choosing to spend his summer with Service Over Self (SOS) in Memphis, Tyler, along with 40 other young adults, spread the Good News to middle and high school students and learned to be an SOS team leader. An avid OCU community member, Tyler appears happy-go-lucky, working for SAC, serving as a hall chaplain, and walking
Building safer houses, constructing new roofs, and laboring in Tennessee’s hot summer sun isn’t routine for OCU Junior Tyler Forney. What is routine is witnessing about Jesus, having a heart for Youth Ministry, and placing others' needs above his for the glory of God. Choosing to spend his summer with Service Over Self (SOS) in Memphis, Tyler, along with 40 other young adults, spread the
Building safer houses, constructing new roofs, and laboring in Tennessee’s hot summer sun isn’t routine for OCU Junior Tyler Forney. What is routine is witnessing about Jesus, having a heart for