Rock SchulerRock Schuler is the Rector (Pastor) of St. John’s Episcopal Church in Olney, Maryland. He has served as an ordained minister of the Episcopal Church since 1990 after studying for the priesthood at Seabury-Western Theological Seminary in Evanston, Illinois. He was awarded a Doctorate of Ministry in Congregational Development in 2002. In the course of his ministry, Rock has served on an Indian Reservation, in rural Wyoming, and in major suburban areas. In addition to pastoring the people of his congregation, he has been involved in community service projects to serve the homeless, refugees, and the addicted. He’s also been involved in international outreach projects in Latin America and Africa. Rock’s spiritual roots lie in the early Christian Church, in Native American spirituality, in the liturgical worship and traditions of the Episcopal Church, and most especially in his own personal relationship with the living Lord Jesus Christ. He appreciates the mystery and mysticism of the Christian faith while offering thanks for a lifelong and joyous love of Jesus. Rock, born in 1965, is from Wyoming, where he served his first two churches. He is married to Jennifer, whom he met while serving a parish outside of Philadelphia, and has two beautiful daughters, Leia and Rebecca. Rock is into science fiction and fantasy (especially "Battlestar Galactica," "Star Trek," "Lost," and "The Lord of the Rings"), movies, reading, kayaking/canoeing, hiking, and running.
Host: In what order should I read the Bible?
Rev. Dr. Rock Schuler: I often advice people to read the Gospel of Mark first. It's a Cliff Notes version of Jesus' life. It shows us an overview of his ministry in very rapid order. Then I would recommend that somebody read the Gospel of Matthew. Matthew gives us a very human portrayal of Jesus, a man rooted in a particular culture, time and place. We can readily identify with Matthew's Jesus. The Gospel of Luke helps us delve more into Jesus' ministry. It shows us the kind of care and compassion and concern that Jesus had particularly for people who were outcast and poor. So I advice reading Luke next to get a deeper understanding of Jesus' ministry. Then the Gospel of John. John soars above the other Gospels and gives us the most complete picture or theology of Jesus.
It shows us Jesus in all of his divinity as the son of God, as the great hero whose quest releases us from the bondage to death that has been the fate of humanity. John reveals to us Jesus coming to us to rescue us and save us by the power of God. It's the most thorough, most complete and deepest of all the Gospels, so I recommend that people read it last.