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'Is My Mind Warped?' How Francis Chan's Visit to Israel Changed His Understanding of the Gospel

Francis Chan (Photo: Screen capture)

Author and Bible teacher Francis Chan says his recent trip to Israel has changed the way he teaches the Bible at home. 

On a recent episode of the Relevant Magazine podcast, Chan talked about his recent trip to Israel where he shot his recent video series on the Gospel of Mark

Chan told the interviewer the Bible comes alive in Israel because the country is experiencing conflicts as it did during Jesus time. 
"Being in Israel changed everything, because you could touch it. You could imagine. You could see people walking around," he explained. "You could look at their lives. And you could say, 'Gosh, he was literally standing here. (referring to Jesus Christ) What would I have felt? Like being on the Mount of Olives and maybe standing there with Lazarus, who's been raised from the dead. And here's Jesus. You've seen him walk on water."
"Here's the most powerful being who's ever stepped foot on this Earth and you suddenly you realize, 'Oh my gosh, he's going to be tortured.' If I follow him, I'm going to be tortured," Chan said.  "And you start to think, 'What would Francis Chan have done at that moment? Would I have followed him to the cross? Or would I have backed off? This is Christianity. This is as real as it gets." 

"And you wonder, 'Wow, what kind of message have we been preaching here in America? Has it been the true gospel? And is my mind warped, just because of the world I live in and how can I escape from it?"

In the 11-part series, Chan traces the steps of Jesus and the 12 disciples through Israel and asks the question: Are we willing to take this journey to embrace discipleship?

Chan, 51, is the former teaching pastor of Cornerstone Community Church in Simi Valley, California, a church he and his wife started in 1994. He is also the founder and chancellor of Eternity Bible College, also located in Simi Valley, and is the author of several books, including the New York Times Best Seller Crazy Love

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