Categories
Articles Faculty Profiles

Faculty: In Their Own Words – Dr. Gordon Matties

10 - Gordon Matties (November 2016)Dr. Gordon Matties, Professor of Biblical Studies and Theology, will retire at the end of December after more than 30 years teaching at CMU and one of its predecessor colleges, Mennonite Brethren Bible College.

What do you love about your work here?

I love my colleagues and the students. I love that we worship together regularly. All of us are involved in a project of formation. We—faculty, staff, and students—are interested in becoming the kinds of human beings God intends for us to be: those who love beauty, goodness, and truth wherever those might be found; who long for healing, hope, and transformation in our world; and who are learning to imagine what living into God’s vision for a new heaven and a new earth might look like.

What are you teaching right now that most excites you?

Because I love movies and enjoy reflecting critically on the experience of watching movies, I continue to appreciate the course Film, Faith, & Popular Culture. I think movies have a unique capacity to offer us windows into the human condition and hold up mirrors of our joys and struggles. We see light refracted through the prism of particular stories into the colorful variety of human experience. Movies draw us deeply into the worldview questions: Where are we? Who are we? What’s wrong? Is there a remedy?

What are you researching and writing?

Recently I contributed an essay to A University of the Church for the World: Essays in Honour of Gerald Gerbrandt. The essay’s title is “Slow Food: Feasting Sustainably on Scripture.” I’m thinking about developing the idea of that essay into a book-length project. It has to do with what we expect to get from our reading of Scripture. I advocate for patient attentiveness, in contrast to the fast food approach to Scripture that assumes there’s always something in it for me on my terms now. It’s a project on biblical spirituality that focuses on ways of becoming formed slowly by Scripture.

What you are reading for enjoyment?

Besides the excellent articles posted by friends on Facebook and The Globe and Mail, I am reading Barkskins by Annie Proulx. It’s about the early settler and indigenous contact, the beginning of the global lumber industry, and the decimation of the world’s forests. I’m also reading Very Married: Field Notes on Love and Fidelity by Katherine Willis Pershey, Rumours of Glory: A Memoir by Bruce Cockburn, The Inner Voice of Love by Henri Nouwen, and You Are What You Love: The Spiritual Power of Habit by James Smith.

Where or how do students give you hope?

So many of our students are activists. They want to live out their dreams and work to change the world. They aren’t afraid of taking risks. They are impatient with thinking without doing.

What saying or motto inspires you?

In my first few years of teaching, I developed this motto: Nurturing the Mind; Minding the Heart; Mending the World. I’ve now got it tacked up on the bulletin board beside my office door. It’s my philosophy of education in a nutshell. I developed the motto after reading Parker Palmer’s book To Know as We are Known: A Spirituality of Education, which I recommend highly.

Categories
Face2Face: On Campus – Community in Conversation Video

‘Oh My God’: Making Sense of Everyday Talk with David Balzer & Gordon Matties

As the first installment of CMU’s Face2Face conversation series, university instructors David Balzer and Gordon Matties explored the way people use the phrase “Oh my God” in everyday life.

YouTube Preview Image
Categories
Faculty - Gordon Matties

Announcing the 2014 Tour! April 28 to May 19.

The itinerary for the 2014 tour is almost ready to be posted. We’ll be visiting more sites in the West Bank/Palestine, including biblical Shechem (modern Nablus), Sebaste (capital city of ancient kings Omri and Ahab), Jacob’s well, among others. Click on the link on the right side of the page to go to the tour website or to view last year’s itinerary. Faith Today magazine did an interview with me about the tour. It turns out to be a fine advocacy piece for why people should consider taking an “academic” study tour led by a professor rather than a generic tour. One good reason: someone I know is leaving today for a tour to Israel, and is not visiting the Palestinian territories at all. Not even Bethlehem. I find it odd that a Christian group would not visit Bethlehem or any other sites in Palestine. To read the article click here: Faith Today.

Photo: Gordon Matties. A window in the staircase at the Church of the Annunciation, Nazareth.

Article source: http://cmustudytour.blogspot.com/2013/05/announcing-2014-tour-april-28-to-may-19.html

Categories
General News News Releases

Gordon Matties’ Article Wins Church Press Award

May 28, 2012 – CMU Professor Gordon Matties has won an award in the annual Canadian Church Press awards program in the Biblical Interpretation category.

Matties’ article, titled, “You Save Humans and Animals Alike, O Lord,” was published by Mennonite Brethren Herald in October, 2011 and earned third place honours for the author and for the magazine from Judge Rolf Pedersen.

The award citation states: “This is a remarkable article. It is clearly, forcefully and artistically written. It is firmly rooted in scripture and in an older and wiser Hebrew (and Christian) sense of humanity’s place within the cosmos. The author cites numerous scriptural passages that illustrate and illuminate the tradition that holds to the view that there is an intimate relationship between humankind and the rest of creation, which is ignored at our peril. He also cites some of his own fascinating experiences of the divine in nature. These do much to bring the whole to life and make it entirely relevant within the context of the Mennonite Brethren Confession of Faith. Superbly done!”

Matties is Professor of Biblical and Theological Studies at Canadian Mennonite University (CMU) in Winnipeg and is CMU’s former Dean of Humanities and Sciences. He holds a PhD in Old Testament from Vanderbilt University in Nashville, TN. Matties is the author of the recently published book, Joshua, Believers Church Bible Commentary, published in May 2012. He contributed to Abingdon Press’s The New Interpreter’s Study Bible and to the forthcoming Common English Bible Study Bible.

Categories
General News News Releases

Gordon Matties’ Book, Joshua, Launched

May 28, 2012  – Taking a fresh new look at an age-old and often misunderstood  book, Dr. Gordon Matties has written Joshua, the newest volume in the Believers Church Bible CommentaryJoshua was launched in May 2012 by Herald Press. The commentary series is a joint project of six Anabaptist-related churches:  Mennonite Church (USA and Canada), Mennonite Brethren Church, Church of the Brethren, Brethren Church, and Brethren in Christ. 

Matties, professor of Biblical and Theological Studies at Canadian Mennonite University (CMU) in Winnipeg and CMU’s former Dean of Humanities and Sciences, builds on the idea of Scripture as dialogue partner.

“Over the years, Christians have often used the Old Testament book of Joshua to justify warfare, conquest, colonialism, and even ethnic cleansing,” says Matties. “This commentary imagines the book of Joshua as a participant in an intra-biblical conversation in which Joshua interprets other texts, and other texts interpret Joshua. Viewed that way, the Bible itself bears witness to a lively, if painful, debate about the relationship between violence and the identity and mission of God’s people.”

“Joshua is troubling, especially to those for whom divinely commanded warfare and conquest are major stumbling blocks to their reading of the Bible,” writes Tom Yoder Neufeld, professor of religious studies at Conrad Grebel University College, University of Waterloo.Matties takes up the challenge, letting the text have its say while inviting readers to an often difficult conversation.”

“Matties invites readers to enter a conversation marked by hermeneutical hospitality, giving Joshua its say as well as providing opportunity to listen to other biblical texts… a masterful treatment,” writes Lynn Jost, professor of Old Testament, Fresno Pacific Biblical Seminary.

In his book, Matties cautions Christians about hearing what they want to hear when they read Joshua and other difficult sections of the Bible. This includes those who believe Joshua justifies war as well as those who reject war. “We do well to foster an openness to the unexpected,” says Matties.

He suggests that reading Joshua care­fully will open windows into how and why we read Scripture at all, and will push Christians not to settle for easy answers.  

“In a time of religious justification for terrorism and counter-terrorism, Joshua may be a book for our time,” says Matties.

“Be prepared for surprises,” writes Elmer A. Martens, professor emeritus of Old Testament, Fresno Pacific Biblical Seminary, on reviewing Joshua.  “While some commentaries offer definitive answers, Matties encourages dialogue—with other biblical texts, with the early Church Fathers, Origen, and with Tolkien and modern films.”                                                                                                                                                                                            

W. Derek Suderman, assistant professor of religious studies, Conrad Grebel University College, University of Waterloo, comments: “Attentive to the often negative legacy of Joshua, Matties provides profound insight, and exemplifies a commitment to both Scripture and community that reflects the peace church tradition at its best. Sometimes resources for peace can be found in the most unexpected places.”

Matties holds a PhD in Old Testament from Vanderbilt University in Nashville, TN. His doctoral dis­sertation, Ezekiel 18 and the Rhetoric of Moral Discourse, was published by the Society of Biblical Literature.

He also contributed to Abingdon Press’s The New Interpreter’s Study Bible and to the forthcoming Common English Bible Study Bible.  Matties is a member of the Editorial Council of the Believers Church Bible Commentary.

Before coming to CMU, Gordon worked at Mennonite Brethren Bible College and its successor, Concord College.

For information or to place an order for Joshua, Believers Church Bible Commentary, visit www.MennoMedia.org/Joshua

 

Categories
Faculty - Gordon Matties

Announcing Next Tour April 30-May 21, 2012


I am beginning to plan the itinerary for my seventh study tour. I love leading these tours and experiencing the delight of tour participants as they encounter the people and places of  Israel and Palestine, and immerse themselves at the same time in biblical texts and ancient sites.

I do my best to plan a tour in which participants meet the people of the land and learn to appreciate the contours of Middle Eastern landscapes.

Stay tuned for a link to next year’s itinerary. Until then, have a look at last year’s tour website at the link to the right of this post. Please contact me if you have an interest in joining a Christian tour like this one. You’ll find my contact information on the tour website.

In various posts from now on I’ll be presenting some of my favourite photos. The one at the top of this post is a collection of hand-blown glass from a glass factory in Hebron. This stop is well off the beaten path–a shop that doesn’t get many tourist buses passing by. Hebron, of course, is rarely visited by tourist groups. Yet it has the famous ancestral burial site, the Cave of Machpelah (Genesis 23), where we also find the best example of Herodian architecture in the whole land.



Do consider joining me as we head off the beaten path now and then.

Article source: http://cmustudytour.blogspot.com/2011/02/announcing-next-tour-april-26-may-17.html

Categories
Blogs Faculty - Gordon Matties

Announcing Next Tour April 26-May 17, 2012


I am beginning to plan the itinerary for my seventh study tour. I love leading these tours and experiencing the delight of tour participants as they encounter the people and places of  Israel and Palestine, and immerse themselves at the same time in biblical texts and ancient sites.

I do my best to plan a tour in which participants meet the people of the land and learn to appreciate the contours of Middle Eastern landscapes.

Stay tuned for a link to next year’s itinerary. Until then, have a look at last year’s tour website at the link to the right of this post. Please contact me if you have an interest in joining a Christian tour like this one. You’ll find my contact information on the tour website.

In various posts from now on I’ll be presenting some of my favourite photos. The one at the top of this post is a collection of hand-blown glass from a glass factory in Hebron. This stop is well off the beaten path–a shop that doesn’t get many tourist buses passing by. Hebron, of course, is rarely visited by tourist groups. Yet it has the famous ancestral burial site, the Cave of Machpelah (Genesis 23), where we also find the best example of Herodian architecture in the whole land.



Do consider joining me as we head off the beaten path now and then.

Article source: http://cmustudytour.blogspot.com/2011/02/announcing-next-tour-april-26-may-17.html

Categories
Audio Faculty interviews Sunday@CMU Radio

Gordon Matties – Holy Land Tour Reflections 2010

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.


“About meeting Jesus in the Holy Land”

This interview aired originally in February 2010 on the Sunday@CMU radio program, just prior to Gordon’s sixth tour to the Holy Land.  See the tour blog http://cmustudytour.blogspot.com. Gordon’s next Study Tour will take place in April-May 2012 (exact dates TBA).

Dr. Gordon Matties is Professor of Biblical Studies & Theology.

Gordon grew up in Abbotsford, B.C. He studied at Briercrest Bible Institute; the University of British Columbia; Regent College in Vancouver; and Vanderbilt University in Nashville, TN, where he earned his M.A. and Ph.D.

Gordon and his wife Lorraine have two children. The family attends River East Mennonite Brethren Church, where Gordon serves on the Faith and Fellowship Commission. He is also a member of the Editorial Council of the Believers Church Bible Commentary.

Contact: gmatties@cmu.ca

Categories
Audio Faculty interviews Sunday@CMU Radio

Gordon Matties – Holy Land Study Tour and the Meaning of Stones

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.


“Ancient stones, living stones:  The Holy Land in perspective”

This interview aired originally in February 2010, just prior to Gordon’s sixth tour to the Holy Land.  See the tour blog http://cmustudytour.blogspot.com. Gordon’s next Study Tour will take place in April-May 2012 (exact dates TBA).

Dr. Gordon Matties is Professor of Biblical Studies & Theology.

Gordon grew up in Abbotsford, B.C. He studied at Briercrest Bible Institute; the University of British Columbia; Regent College in Vancouver; and Vanderbilt University in Nashville, TN, where he earned his M.A. and Ph.D.

Gordon and his wife Lorraine have two children. The family attends River East Mennonite Brethren Church, where Gordon serves on the Faith and Fellowship Commission. He is also a member of the Editorial Council of the Believers Church Bible Commentary.

Contact: gmatties@cmu.ca

Categories
Blogs Faculty - Gordon Matties

Biblical Archaeology Review

In 1978 I participated in an archaeological dig at Lachish. The site is mentioned in only 22 verses in the Bible. Yet it is one of the most important archaeological sites for understanding ancient Israelite history in relation to the imperial powers seeking to dominate the region at the time.

For me, archaeological sites are not simply “ancient stones.” They are storied places. People lived in these sites, worshiped their gods, raised families, and much more. Each site is alive with memory.

One of the ways tour members can prepare for a tour is to acquaint themselves with some of the ancient sites. Biblical Archaeology Review‘s website is a good place to visit now and then. There’s a wealth of information available there, even without subscribing to the magazine.

Here are a few examples. On this tour we will be visiting the Shrine of the Book (at the Israel Museum) as well as the ancient site of Qumran, where those scrolls were discovered. The scrolls have been in the news recently, as Jordan has asked Canada to return those scrolls currently on display in Toronto to Jordanian control. The News section of the website provides a link to the CBC news report on this item. Even more, BAR’s website includes a special section called “The Dead Sea Scrolls and Why They Matter.” BAR tends to be a bit controversial at times. But that’s part of the fun of archaeology, which is a cross between science, detective work, and creative imagination.

While I was working on the archaeological dig at Lachish, Gabriel Barkay was the junior archaeologist on the site, working under the supervision of now retired archaeologist David Ussishkin. On the BAR site I found an audio lecture by Barkay on “Ten Key Points on Authenticity of Artefacts.” Parts of this lecture may not make sense unless you’ve had a little experience with archaeology, but it is interesting nonetheless!

Do enjoy exploring BAR’s website. You might even want to download a free e-book. Excellent options might be “Israel: An Archaeological Journey,” or “The Dead Sea Scrolls: What They Really Say.”

Article source: http://cmustudytour.blogspot.com/2010/01/biblical-archaeology-review.html