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John C. Holbert

Columnist

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John C. Holbert was born in Indiana, raised in Arizona, and educated in Iowa and Texas, receiving a Ph.D. in the Hebrew Bible in 1975. He has been a local church pastor in Louisiana, professor of religion at Texas Wesleyan University in Fort Worth, and was Lois Craddock Perkins Professor of Homiletics at Perkins School of Theology, where he joined the faculty in 1979. He retired from this faculty position in May, 2012. John is married to Diana, a retired minister of the United Methodist Church. They have two children: a son, Darius, and a daughter, Sarah. John has extensive vocal solo experience, having sung in musicals, opera, and oratorio. Darius has sung with the Texas Boys' Choir, and is now a studio musician in Los Angeles, writing for film and TV. He and John have written an opera, based on the book of Job, entitled “Job’s Truth.” Sarah lives in Los Angeles where she works for the ABC Channel. John has authored eleven books and many articles in scholarly and church journals. He was the editor for the Psalms and Canticles material of the 1989 United Methodist Hymnal. He has also served as Interim Senior Minister of two large United Methodist churches, 1st UMC in Fort Worth in the Fall of 1994 and 1st UMC, Dallas, in the spring of 1997. He has preached and taught in over 1000 churches in 40 states and 20 countries. In 2007, he was named an Altshuler Distinguished Teaching Professor at Southern Methodist University. His first novel, King Saul, was published in 2014.

Opening The Old Testament

Lord, I Want to Be Sheep in My Heart! Reflections on Psalm 23

Does the popular and beloved 23rd Psalm really say what we think it says? Read More »

A Warning to the Righteous: Reflections on Psalm 4

Just who are God's righteous ones, and how exactly can you tell when you meet one? Read More »

An Irony at Easter: Reflections on Psalm 133

Being an Easter person is never a simple thing, and we must never assume that Jesus' glorious resurrection alone is the end of the matter. Read More »

A Troubling Day? Reflections on Easter Sunday and Isaiah 25:6-9; Psalm 118:1-2, 14-24

I used to revel in the rousing anthems and loud hosannas of Easter morning. Now, however, I wish to step outside the sanctuary and sit by myself, gazing longingly at an azure sky, and just be. The truth is, I find Easter Sunday rather troubling. Read More »

Theology's Greatest Hits: Reflections on Psalm 118 for Palm/Passion Sunday

"God's chesed endures forever." That is all we need to know, and that fact underlies all dealings with this God, even when the one we call Christ rides into Jerusalem to his terrible death and his glorious victory over death. Read More »

Yes, Virginia, You May Preach the Psalms: Reflections on Psalm 51:1-12

When I was in seminary, we were told that the Psalms were not a fit subject for a sermon, since they were in fact liturgical acts, not primarily theological ones. Let me answer that claim with a precise theological locution: hooey! Read More »

Recent Articles

Lord, I Want to Be Sheep in My Heart! Reflections on Psalm 23

Does the popular and beloved 23rd Psalm really say what we think it says? Read More »

A Warning to the Righteous: Reflections on Psalm 4

Just who are God's righteous ones, and how exactly can you tell when you meet one? Read More »

An Irony at Easter: Reflections on Psalm 133

Being an Easter person is never a simple thing, and we must never assume that Jesus' glorious resurrection alone is the end of the matter. Read More »

A Troubling Day? Reflections on Easter Sunday and Isaiah 25:6-9; Psalm 118:1-2, 14-24

I used to revel in the rousing anthems and loud hosannas of Easter morning. Now, however, I wish to step outside the sanctuary and sit by myself, gazing longingly at an azure sky, and just be. The truth is, I find Easter Sunday rather troubling. Read More »

Yes, Virginia, You May Preach the Psalms: Reflections on Psalm 51:1-12

When I was in seminary, we were told that the Psalms were not a fit subject for a sermon, since they were in fact liturgical acts, not primarily theological ones. Let me answer that claim with a precise theological locution: hooey! Read More »

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