Dr. Jerry Johnston Interviews Jerry Jenkins and Craig Evans

Dr. Craig Evans is the John Bisagno Distinguished Professor of Christian Origins at HBU. He is a sought-after biblical scholar and New Testament expert. His books and teaching have encouraged many and led skeptics to faith in Jesus Christ.

Jerry Jenkins is a bestselling author of numerous books, including the famous “Left Behind” series. Together, they have collaborated to create the novel, “Dead Sea Rising.”

Visit CraigAEvans.com and JerryJenkins.com.

The team behind the recently released “Dead Sea Rising: A Novel” spoke with Dr. Jerry Johnston, VP of Innovation and Strategic Marketing for Houston Baptist University. The collaboration came out of Jerry B. Jenkins’ ability to weave stories that appeal to a popular audience, and Dr. Craig Evans’ historical and archeological expertise.

Evans remembers his initial idea behind a historical fiction piece. “I was interested in writing something that relates to the past, that has real archeology, but has great implications for the present and could lead to a whole new understanding and peace,” he says. “I realized, ‘I can’t write this. Fiction is complicated.’”

That’s when Evans’ literary agent steered him to the talents held by the likes of Jenkins. “We hit it off right away,” Evans says. “It was a lot of fun exploring possibilities.”

Evans and Jenkins worked together to create a plot about a woman in her late 30s in a modern-day setting. Her story intersects with the past, allowing Evans’ expertise to play into the storyline. While Evans doesn’t consider himself a fiction writer, he did try his hand at creative writing.

“I have made up scholarly conversations – the kind you might overhear,” Evans says. “I like to feed him stuff that he can seize and incorporate. My goal is to make sure that everything has to do with history, archeology and scholarship.”

A paid writer since age 14, Jenkins considers it his mission to write for God’s glory. “In my mid-teens, I was called to full-time Christian work,” he says. “I thought that was the end of my writing. The wife of a Christian speaker actually encouraged me. She said God sometimes equips us before He calls us. If you’re equipped to be a writer, that may be the vehicle you use to fulfill your calling.”

Jenkins progressed in his gift from being a teenaged sports writer to a New York Times bestselling author, known for almost 200 books, including the “Left Behind” series.

“I’d like my legacy to be that I was obedient to the call,” Jenkins says. “That’s success.”


Listen or watch the complete podcast at HBU.edu.

Dr. Jerry Johnston Interviews Dr. John Tyler

Dr. John Tyler, Jr. is the program coordinator for HBU Legal Studies and associate professor of Government. Dr. Tyler practiced commercial, civil rights and toxic tort litigation as an attorney in Texas for 35 years. As a professor, his teaching emphasizes the dynamic conflict between the political, moral and historical dimensions of law that formed the Western legal tradition. Continue reading “Dr. Jerry Johnston Interviews Dr. John Tyler”

Dr. Jerry Johnston Interviews Dr. Lou Markos


Dr. Louis Markos is the Robert H. Ray Chair in Humanities, scholar-in-residence and professor of English in the HBU School of Humanities. He is an authority on C.S. Lewis and ancient Greece and Rome. He is a thoughtful author and a lively speaker and teacher. Continue reading “Dr. Jerry Johnston Interviews Dr. Lou Markos”

Dr. Jerry Johnston Interviews Dr. Timothy Brookins

Dr. Timothy Brookins serves as the director of Graduate Programs for the School of Christian Thought, program coordinator for Graduate Theology Programs, interim chair for the Department of Theology and assistant professor of Classics and Biblical Languages. Dr. Brookins specializes in the Greco-Roman context of early Christianity, with a primary emphasis in the Pauline epistles. A new program, Master of Arts in Classics and Early Christianity, is being launched. Continue reading “Dr. Jerry Johnston Interviews Dr. Timothy Brookins”

Dr. Jerry Johnston Interviews Dr. Chris Kugler

Dr. Chris Kugler is as an assistant professor of Theology, and an online program coordinator for Theology at HBU. His primary teaching focuses on Jesus and Paul in their second-temple, Jewish and Greco-Roman contexts. Continue reading “Dr. Jerry Johnston Interviews Dr. Chris Kugler”

Dr. Jerry Johnston Interviews Dr. Kristie Cerling


Dr. Kristie Cerling is the associate dean in the HBU College of Education and Behavioral Sciences, and an associate professor of Education. Dr. Cerling’s experience is extensive; she worked as a K-12 teacher, principal, curriculum director and superintendent of schools before moving into higher education. Her specialties include teaching strategies, classroom management and content area reading. Dr. Cerling has presented in numerous professional settings and has received multiple honors. Continue reading “Dr. Jerry Johnston Interviews Dr. Kristie Cerling”

Dr. Jerry Johnston Interviews Elizabeth Saldivar

Elizabeth Saldivar serves as chair of the Student Foundation, a group whose members serve as fitting representatives of the University, interacting with friends and guests of HBU at various events. She is a student worker in the President’s Office, at the desk of the Academic Success Center, and serves as a tutor. Saldivar also serves as a mentor for the Summer Launch and Impact programs, and is a historian for the Filipino Student Association. As a management major, she is the first person in her family to go to college. Continue reading “Dr. Jerry Johnston Interviews Elizabeth Saldivar”

Dr. Jerry Johnston Interviews Andre Walker

André Walker III is a defensive end on the HBU Football team and is a pre-med major. Walker is involved in the Fellowship of Christian Athletes and Alpha Epsilon Delta (the pre-med society). In the summer of 2018, he shadowed team physician, Dr. Vishal M. Shah, and participated in the Summer Health Professions Education Program at Columbia University.  Continue reading “Dr. Jerry Johnston Interviews Andre Walker”

Has Your Faith Affected Your Promotions?

Dr. Cristie Jo Johnston: Has your outspoken Christianity, your outspoken faith, caused any problems with your promotions here at Rice University? Because we see that in other parts of the country. What about for you here?

Dr. James Tour: Nothing has happened in promotions as far as professorial promotions at Rice. I came to Rice as a chaired professor and I’ve maintained that chair. Thirty years ago, things were different than they are now. In 2004, approximately when the Dover trial occurred, there was a sort of change where people started thinking more critically toward Christians. I have been held back tremendously in awards and in societies – in professional societies that have not permitted me to come in because of my faith – because of my not buying in wholeheartedly to the mantra of evolution.

Dr. James Tour’s scientific research areas include nanoelectronics, graphene electronics and photovoltaics, carbon supercapacitors, lithium ion batteries, chemical self-assembly and carbon nanotube and graphene synthetic modifications. He has also worked extensively on carbon composites, hydrogen storage, and practical applications in medicine and oil recovery for nanoengineered carbon. He is perhaps best known for his carbon-based fullerene-wheeled “nanocars,” a 2005 breakthrough feat in nanoengineering that produced functional, rolling vehicles just a few nanometers in size.

Tour also built small humanoids using similar technology. An example called the “NanoKid” became the basis for a school-based learning program for children that introduced them to nanoscience. His commitment to science education continued with his more recent Dance Dance Revolution and Guitar Hero science educational package development for middle school education.

Tour received his bachelor of science degree in chemistry from Syracuse Univ., and his Ph.D. in synthetic organic and organometallic chemistry from Purdue Univ. He joined the Center for Nanoscale Science and Technology at Rice University in 1999. Tour has more than 650 research publications, more than 120 patents and averages more than 3,000 citations per year.

Re-Focus on How You Think About Food and Life

Pastor Rick Warren and Dr. Daniel Amen stresses on the importance to focus on the right thoughts. If you change the way you think, then you will be able to maintain the healthy lifestyle in a long run.