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Becky Castle Miller on Caring for Vulnerable Victims: Living the King Jesus Gospel (Blog Series)

Becky Castle Miller on Caring for Vulnerable Victims: Living the King Jesus Gospel (Blog Series) November 17, 2021

This is a blog series on some of the participants in the new book, Living the King Jesus Gospel. Today we have Becky Castle Miller, graduate (and now staffer) of Northern Seminary and a contributor for this tribute book for our friend Scot McKnight.


How do you know Scot?

I started reading his blog in 2015 after hearing about him via Rachel Held Evans. I read The Blue Parakeet, and it helped change my view on women in ministry. I joined Scot’s first NT cohort online and took classes from where I was pastoring in the Netherlands. I ended up writing study guides for the new edition of Blue Parakeet and for Reading Romans Backwards, then did a discipleship workbook with him called Following King Jesus. I’m currently writing the study questions for his Everyday Bible Guide series. Now I consider Scot and Kris friends and mentors.

How has else has Scot made an impact on you?

I wanted to study with Scot because I wanted to learn not only the Bible from him but also how to write clearly and engagingly for the church. He took me under his wing and gave me more than I could have even asked for. Scot has affirmed my gifts and calling in so many ways. He has advocated for me both personally and professionally. Most of my publishing opportunities are directly a result of his advocacy. He and Kris were sounding boards and pastors for me when I went through a devastating ministry situation, and I know they have done the same for countless others. I truly would not be who and where I am in life without him.

For your book chapter, What subject did you choose and why?

Caring for vulnerable victims in the church is a cause near to Scot’s heart, so I chose this topic to honor his advocacy work. I unintentionally became a specialist in providing care for abuse survivors while I was serving in an international church. So many of our congregants had been harmed through various forms of abuse and carried trauma. I realized I didn’t understand the dynamics of abuse or how to support people and help them heal, so I started reading everything I could. Now I notice how few other pastors understand abuse — so their well-meaning but incorrect advice often causes more harm. A third of women and a sixth of men have experienced abuse, so pastors must understand what abuse is and how to safely help victims. My chapter is an “Abuse Response 101” course for ministry leaders.

What is your vocation? And how do you see yourself attempting to “Live the King Jesus Gospel” in that context?

I served at an international church in Europe for eight years and am now back in the US. I’m working down the hall from Scot at Northern Seminary as the Program Manager for Seminary Now bringing discipleship content to churches and individuals. I am pursuing ordination and further biblical education and hope to become a trauma-informed pastor. Jesus cared for the vulnerable, and that’s what I want to do as well.

Do you have a favorite Scot McKnight book?

The Blue Parakeet changed my life, both in altering my views and in bringing me to Northern. I’ll always be grateful I picked it up.

Any personal stories about Scot you want to share?

Scot can do a spot-on impersonation of David Fitch, another prof at Northern, and he has performed this for our class. Scot also told our cohort about the time decades ago when one of his students showed up to present to Scot’s class dressed up as Scot and gave the whole presentation in Scot’s clothing and speech style at the time. The story end in a punchline about types of German Bible criticism: “Redaktionsgeschichte, Formgeschichte, und Bullgeschichte!”
For my last in-person class with Scot in my MANT program, I was going to be giving a presentation, so I collected a men’s short-sleeve, button-up yellow shirt like he often wore (and asked him without context to wear his that day), a bald cap, and round, silver wire-rim glasses. I walked into the classroom in costume and gave my presentation in impersonation of Scot, including starting the class with the Jesus Creed. (The costume and character made an appearance again at the end of a trip to Israel with Scot.)
I deeply appreciate Scot’s ability to laugh at himself…and to let his students get away with laughing at him. In a perfect coincidence, it turns out that the other student who had done this is now our editor at Zondervan for the writing projects we have done together! Kris was recently cleaning out their closets and mentioned on Facebook she had thrown away Scot’s old wire glasses. I told her I wanted them, so she dug through the trash to fish them out for me! They are on my bookshelf of Scot’s books just waiting..

In terms of writing, what are you working on next?

I’m trying to follow in Scot’s footsteps by writing about Jesus in accessible ways for the church–currently working on a book about Jesus’s emotions.
Check out some of Miller’s work on Medium.com.

 


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