Monday, September 3, 2012

Support a Catholic Speaker Month 2012: Dr. Tim Gray


Some Catholic speakers dazzle with their amazing intellect. Others draw you in with tales that make you feel like you are there. And still others astonish their listeners with surprising ideas never fathomed before.

Then there are the Catholic speakers who are all of the above, plus more

The best of the best Catholic speakers are the kind of people who see their work as a service, not as a form of self aggrandizement. They humbly love God and strive to help others grow closer to Him. They have unique insights and knowledge, but they see their talents and skills as gifts meant to be shared. They also have the rare ability to inspire their listeners to believe they are capable of similar insights and holiness, through the power of being in relationship with God. 

September is Support a Catholic Speakers Month and over 11,000 people voted and came up with a list of the top 100 Catholic speakers. I don't know if everyone on the list fits my criteria above. 

But I can definitely vouch for one: Dr. Tim Gray 

Tim is one of the foremost Scripture scholars in the Catholic world. He holds a PhD in Biblical Studies from Catholic University of America. After receiving offers from prestigious universities to teach Scripture, he opted to become president of the newly established Augustine Institute in Denver at the invitation of then Bishop Chaput. He has written several books on Scripture on the popular and academic level. He is also the co-developer of The Great Adventure Bible Timeline Series, which has been a hugely popular program for learning Scripture in parishes around the country.

Tim Gray giving a teaching by the River Jordan
When Tim Gray speaks, the audience does not walk away thinking, “Wow that guy is smart, I am so impressed and dazzled by his intellect,” (although this is certainly true). But rather, people walk away inspired to grow closer to God and thinking in new ways about Scripture.

I speak about Tim Gray's ability to inspire from experience; I spent two weeks last summer on a pilgrimage to the Holy Land listening to him delve into Scripture as our group guide.  

I started out the trip as a typical Catholic. I knew Scripture well enough, but, to be frank, the Bible bored me. Been there done that. When I would read passages that I had read recently or that I felt I knew well, I would inwardly groan, “Again?!” 

But by the end of the trip to the Holy Land, my attitude had drastically changed. After listening to Tim Gray bring alive Scripture in a way that was filled with reason, faith, texture and vibrancy, I felt like running and signing up to get a graduate degree in Scripture. Every day, he would tell us something I had not known. Many of the things he would point out, he had unearthed in Scripture himself using the ancient form of prayer, Lectio Divina, (a prayerful academic is worth a thousand academics who do not pray). After each talk, I would feel excitement about studying and praying with Scripture and I truly started to see that the layers of meaning are endless. 

We can never be done with Scripture, just as we can never be done with God. There are always things that have not been unearthed, that remain hidden and buried. And one thing that Tim Gray taught me that I will never forget is that there are treasures in Scripture for every single one of us. There are things waiting to be discovered by each person’s unique eyes and insight and then shared with others.

Are you going to let these treasures remain undiscovered?

Do you want to become excited about praying with and exploring Scripture?

Here are some ways you can learn from Tim Gray:
1. Check out his books:

Praying Scripture for a Change: An Introduction to Lectio Divina
Walking with God: A Journey Through the Bible

2. Book Tim as a speaker at your parish by contacting the Augustine Institute
.

3. If you are into free things you can listen to the show he did for EWTN on the Gospel of Mark

4. Watch this video he did for FOCUS on the ancient form of prayer with Scripture known as Lectio Divina

5. Download radio programs he has done for Catholic Answers
Whether you buy his books, listen to him speak or take advantage of one of the free options above, I guarantee you that you will walk away feeling more excited about Scripture. 

Reading God's Word is truly an adventure. 

Tim Gray can help you make the first steps.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Great post, I admire the writing style :) A little off topic here but what theme are you using? Looks pretty cool.