The Newsletter of IBTM
with Douglas Jacoby

Good evening from London!

I’m en route to Iceland (London stopover)—to teach in Reykjavík. We hosted Norwegian friends (the Bloms) this past weekend—a wonderful time in Lancashire and the Lake District. (Photo: Douglas, Vicki, & Darcy. Bowness, on Lake Windermere, Cumbria.) We’re also enjoying producing the new devotional series, “On Location with Jesus.”

If you liked last week’s piece, the Devil’s Decalogue, you may appreciate Lisa Quintana’s article (yesterday), “Creating Our Own Commandments?” In today’s bulletin: “Portraits of the Church.”



Our next “conversation” is now ready. Vicki and I consider various biblical images of church, challenging cherished ideas while seeking a workable way forward. CLICK HERE to listen.

As some of our ideas have been shaped by Ron Highfield’s excellent book Rethinking Church, I’d like to promote this slim but powerful volume, repeating the promo from 17 March 2021 in today’s bulletin.


Rethinking Church: A Guide for the Perplexed and Disillusioned (Ron Highfield) may be a quick read, weighing in at under 100 pages, but don’t be deceived. It’s packed with considered theological reflection, scriptural engagement, and encouragement. I re-read Rethinking Church a few days ago, and was even more impacted!

Ron Highfield is Professor of Religion at Pepperdine University—also a fellow lover of the Bible.

From the publisher:
"In Rethinking Church, veteran church leader, theologian, and professor Ron Highfield tells the story of how he came to the conclusions that most institutions we call 'churches' are really parachurch organizations, much of the 'church work' we do focuses on making something happen on Sunday mornings, and much of our donations go to pay staff to keep parachurch functions running.
     Highfield writes for older believers who feel burned out and disillusioned by years of institutional maintenance. He addresses young people who have never seen the relevance of institutional churches to their lives. To all who view institutional churches as self-serving, hypocritical, money grubbing, growth obsessed, clergy dominated, and backward, Highfield offers a different vision of church life..."

My own endorsement: 
     “The vibrancy of 'church' envisioned in the Bible tends to happen in smaller settings, while traditional church is hamstrung by numerous programs and other commitments. Truth be told, for many who seek authentic and transformative fellowship, going to church is discouraging. Yet there is hope. Rethinking Church is a compelling and biblically refreshing read, penned by the clearest thinker (and most concise writer) I know.”

ORDER Highfield's Rethinking Church.


Reykjavik, Iceland — Where Is God in this Crazy World?
AIM North America — Family Life (by Zoom)
European School of Missions (Zoom) — Islam & Key Biblical Passages
European School of Missions — Monotheism, The God of the O.T.
Manchester (Cheadle Hulme), UK — Sunday message
AIM North America — Family Life Q&A
San Antonio, Texas — Teleios Conference: Spirituality & Scripture
Dallas, Austin, San Antonio, Texas — Fellowship events
European School of Missions — Denominationalism, Postmodernism
AIM North America — New Testament Survey
European School of Missions — Atheism, Agnosticism, Pre-Evangelism
Watford, UK — AIM UK-Ireland — Spiritual Life
Conversations 13-15 — “Conversations” series
Naomi series — In Vicki Jacoby’s podcast
Zoomunion Series: On Location (13 messages)


Next week, you can expect an excellent new resource for understanding the incredible history of the Bible. There’ll also be an insightful article by Malcolm Cox (English evangelist and teacher) on church covenants.

God bless you all, and thanks for your support.

In Him,