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Rethinking the Western Perspective of Jesus

HEROIN AND COCAINE
Robby was raised in a Catholic home in New Orleans.  He got a basketball scholarship to UNC Greensboro, but his girlfriend at the time asked him to attend college near home.  So he went to William Carey University, a Baptist college in Mississipi.  (His girlfriend broke up with him two weeks later!) He heard the Gospel message about salvation in 1995, but didn’t respond. In 1999, driving home from work, Robby was in a horrific car accident. An 18-wheeler crossed two lanes of traffic and pinned his car against the guardrail.  Robby’s seat was completely knocked off its hinges.  He was fortunate to be alive but suffered severe damage to his back.  The extent of his injuries caused him to become addicted to prescription pain killers like OxyContin and Percocet.  Robby, who had never done drugs before, turned to street drugs like cocaine and heroine.  That led to a $180 a day addiction.  To support his habit, Robby began to deal drugs.  For three years, he battled his addiction but not before he stole $15,000 from his parents.  He was living without electricity, gas and water for months using his money to buy drugs. During this time, he lost eight friends to drugs, watched six friends arrested and completed two drug rehab treatments unsuccessfully. His parents took him back in and he began the road to recovery. One day, Robby was in his room and remembered the Gospel message he heard in college.  He cried out to the Lord, “If You’re real, I’m going to surrender my life to you,” he says.  That day, Robby was radically transformed.  “I had a 24-hour Paul-like transformational conversion.”

Immediately after his salvation, Robby felt the call of God on his life.  “I knew I would be in ministry,” he says.  Robby began meeting with David Platt, a seminary student and church member at that time, on a weekly basis for accountability, prayer and Bible study.  For the next two years, Robby developed a passion for missions, expository preaching and disciple-making in his life.  David encouraged Robby to go back to school to pursue a theological education. In 2007, Robby completed his Masters of Divinity in Expository Preaching and his Ph.D. in Preaching in 2011 from New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary.  

THE FORGOTTEN JESUS
As Robby began to study the Bible, he realized not many believers knew of the importance of understanding the culture of biblical times.  Many times when new believers begin reading their Bibles, they are instructed to start with the New Testament. “When you have a robust understanding of the Old Testament, the New Testament comes alive,” says Robby. He says cultural perspectives overshadow the Bible.  “We live in a day and age that no one wants to read the Old Testament,” says Robby.  “Many people misunderstand Jesus’ words. By understanding the Eastern culture, the Bible comes alive.  It makes the Bible go from standard definition to high definition technicolor,” he says.

Jesus said in Matthew 5:17, "I did not come to abolish [the law] but to fulfill.” Robby says Jesus meant that He came to properly establish, correctly interpret and complete the Old Testament scriptures.  When he was a teenager, Robby wanted to be an artist so his parents enrolled him in art classes.  He sketched pictures in pencil before painting with paint.  “I sketched the picture in pencil as a foreshadowing of the finished product,” he says.  “After I completed the outline in pencil, I would fill in the drawing with paint.”  In many ways, the Old Testament is the sketch and that makes Jesus the proverbial paint. “My hope and prayer is that you will be encouraged to give the Old Testament another try,” says Robby. As he learned to read the Bible through a Jewish lens, it has enhanced his understanding of and appreciation for God’s Word.  Robby developed his F260, a Bible reading program designed to complete the Bible in a year which took 8 months to develop.  The program is in the back of his book, The Forgotten Jesus.

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Guest Info

Credits

Author of several books, his latest: The Forgotten Jesus, Zondervan 2017

Pastor Long Hollow Baptist Church, Hendersonville, TN

Founder: Replicate Ministries to educate, equip and empower believers to make disciples who make disciples

Masters Divinity in Espository Preaching; Ph.D., Preaching, New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary

Married to Kandi

Two sons 

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