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Jack Levison
Jack Levison is the W. J. A. Power Professor of Biblical Hebrew and Old Testament Interpretation at Perkins School of Theology, Southern Methodist University. He is the author of "Fresh Air: The Holy Spirit for an Inspired Life" (Paraclete Press, 2012), "Fresh Air: The Holy Spirit for an Inspired Life." He is also the author of spiritchatter, a regular blog at

For insight into Fresh Air, see this video:

Also, check out Eugene Peterson's praise for Fresh Air:

Jack has written as well "Filled with the Spirit" (Eerdmans, 2009) and founded a new book series, Ekstasis: Religious Experience From Antiquity to the Middle Ages.

Raised in Levittown, New York, Jack left to attend Wheaton College, where his Greek professor captured his imagination with visions of Cambridge University. When he returned from England to pursue doctoral studies at Duke University, Jack fell in love with a divinity student, Priscilla Pope, alongside of whom he now teaches at Seattle Pacific University. Jack is an internationally recognized scholar, whose books have received wide acclaim. Scot McKnight, author of The Jesus Creed, characterized Filled with the Spirit as "the benchmark and starting point for all future studies of the Spirit," and Walter Brueggemann hailed it as "inspired." Already Eugene Peterson has called Fresh Air: the Holy Spirit for an Inspired Life, "a rare and remarkable achievement."

To support his writing obsession, Jack has received grants from the National Humanities Center, the Lilly Fellows Program, the Louisville Institute, the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation, the Rotary Foundation, the International Catacomb Society, and the National Endowment for the Humanities. Jack directs an interdisciplinary, international research project, The Historical Roots of the Holy Spirit, and he is founding editor of a new book series, Ekstasis: Religious Experience from Antiquity to the Middle Ages. In the next few years, he will serve as vice-president and president of the Pacific Northwest Region of the American Academy of Religion and Society of Biblical Literature. Jack lives with his family and black lab mix in Seattle, Washington, though he will move soon to Dallas, Texas.

Entries by Jack Levison

Life After a Shooting: The Metamorphosis of a College Campus

(2) Comments | Posted January 9, 2015 | 6:47 PM

It is June 5th, 2014, a Thursday night, 7 PM. My daughter and I walk onto campus. We are numb. The auditorium is packed, so we walk along the side row to the front stage, where we sit, facing out, peering over an altar of candles, at a sea of...

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Saint Francis: The Musical!

(0) Comments | Posted October 23, 2014 | 6:06 PM

While visiting Assisi, Italy, last week, I was enjoying Jon Sweeney's When Saint Francis Saved the Church. The book jacket claims that another of Sweeney's books, The Pope Who Quit, was optioned by HBO. 2014-10-23-Aladdin.pngThat got...

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Mark Driscoll Needs a Prophet of His Own

(3) Comments | Posted August 14, 2014 | 2:39 PM

For 13 years I've worked at a college that lies a stone's throw from Mars Hill Church, where Mark Driscoll holds court. Now that court is crumbling amidst charges of financial dishonesty and abuse of power.

Driscoll has said he's changing. No more social media. No...

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After the Shooting at SPU: A Letter From the Student Who Subdued the Shooter

(0) Comments | Posted June 11, 2014 | 8:36 AM

By now, you'll have heard about Jon Meis, the Seattle Pacific University student who subdued the shooter mid-afternoon on Thursday. I didn't know him. His friends have told me he is lanky and quiet, unobtrusive -- and that they teased him about carrying pepper spray around. The Huffington...

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After the Shooting At SPU: Desolation, Consolation... Hope

(7) Comments | Posted June 6, 2014 | 12:15 PM

I expected the shock of an earthquake--not a shooting. In fact, they're retrofitting our oldest building, Alexander Hall, to prevent earthquake damage. How do we retrofit Otto Miller Hall lobby, where yesterday's shooting took place? Erase the memories? Sure, we can remove the blood-stained carpet, paint the blood-splattered walls, clean...

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Strutting With the Spirit: A Proposal for Pentecost

(0) Comments | Posted June 6, 2014 | 9:29 AM

I was broke. For our first Easter together, in 1981, Priscilla left a basket at my door with a $10 gift certificate for a haircut. That same spring, I ticketed parked cars. My mainstay meal was boiled carrots in a white flour sauce. I was a graduate student, after all....

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A Speck of Light and the Capacity to Remember the Holocaust

(0) Comments | Posted April 25, 2014 | 8:45 PM

My son Jeremy is reading Diane Ackerman's The Zookeeper's Wife during his senior year of high school. I am reading the book alongside him, giving him a crash course in how to take good notes.2014-04-25-zookeeperswife.png (You guessed it:...

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Asses to Ashes -- How to Rescue the Rest of Lent

(3) Comments | Posted March 28, 2014 | 11:38 AM

We're more than halfway through Lent. It began on Ash Wednesday, March 5th. It ends on Thursday, April 17th. And how's that self-denial going? Have you kept up your Lenten pledge?

You know what I mean. Giving up chocolate was the choice for Lent among the Holy Family Catholic school...

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Bill Nye, My Dad's Tie, and the Creation-Evolution Debate

(16) Comments | Posted February 3, 2014 | 9:05 PM

My wardrobe is, well, outdated, so I took the plunge and went to Nordstrom, where a guy named Nick helped me figure out what to do. I brought old slacks, old shirts, and about a dozen old ties. Natty Nick went nuts. He loved the old ties -- silk ones...

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Jesus at the Food Bank

(3) Comments | Posted December 20, 2013 | 9:08 AM

Even for people who aren't religious, now is the season of Altruism. We toss extra coins and bills in bright red Salvation Army pots. We respond to one or two extra appeals from the Union Gospel Mission or World Vision or Doctors Without Borders. We realize how fortunate we are...

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Fate, Faith and Fortune: A Book for Hanukkah and Christmas

(0) Comments | Posted November 26, 2013 | 10:45 AM

Hanukkah falls on Thanksgiving next week, and have I got a book for you: David Laskin's The Family.2013-11-21-MaidenformWantedad.jpg Reviews in the Washington Post and the Wall Street Journal will tell you what I know: David Laskin's

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Does the Holy Spirit Inspire Violence? Obama, Syria and the Days Ahead

(86) Comments | Posted September 3, 2013 | 11:14 AM

As Barack Obama, advisers and members of Congress consider how to confront the spiral of violence in Syria, Christians should ask themselves, "Does the Holy Spirit ever inspire violence?"

This is a dangerous question, and I am prone to answer it with a loud and clear, "No!" The Spirit...

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Back to School and Ahead to...?

(0) Comments | Posted August 30, 2013 | 10:29 AM

My son Jeremy and I golfed the other day at a nine hole, par three course. You can't exactly call it golf. I scored 49 when par was 27. That's a forgettable enough score. But what I didn't forget is this. As we walked the course, I felt the slightest...

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The Power of Regularity

(2) Comments | Posted July 24, 2013 | 6:38 PM

Three old men -- one 78, one 88, another 98 -- are sitting on a park bench. The 78-year-old says, "Geeze. I don't know what to do. Every morning I stand there and try to clear my bladder -- and nothing. A drop or two. I'm disgusted."

They sit for...

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Nothing Much: The Heart and Soul of Fatherhood

(0) Comments | Posted June 14, 2013 | 4:41 PM

One Friday night, I was sitting alone in our high school theatre. Not alone exactly, but alongside no one I knew. I was watching high school students, most of whom I couldn't name, laughing at each other's skits, receiving certificates, along with a few plaques and trophies. This was thespian...

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After the Jelly Beans Are All Gone Comes Pentecost

(77) Comments | Posted May 19, 2013 | 12:52 AM

Last night, my son and I were chatting about baseball, school, his girlfriend -- father and son sort of stuff --before he headed to bed. During our conversation, I spied the remnants of an Easter basket on top of a shelf in the corner of the room by his desk....

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What I Learned From a Master Teacher

(0) Comments | Posted May 6, 2013 | 12:57 PM

My freshman year of college, I bounced up the stairs of Blanchard Hall -- Old Main -- to a corner room on the third floor. There we waited. He entered the classroom in a three piece wool suit (those were days of formality), plunked his briefcase without a word on...

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Throw a Purim Party for Lent!

(1) Comments | Posted February 20, 2013 | 3:53 PM

Once a week, we Christians take our children, stick them in a room, sit them in chairs, tell them to be quiet, and teach them the Bible. I'm not knocking it; that's how I learned my Bible -- in cramped, windowless basement rooms with cold, cement floors, pastel colored walls...

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A Toilet, an Apple, and Hope for the New Year

(0) Comments | Posted January 2, 2013 | 11:38 AM

At 12:15 every Thursday for the next 10 weeks, students will throw a party. Not the drunken orgies of Animal House. These students will decorate a tired classroom in a rainy city with all sorts of color. They'll cook everything from fried donuts to lentil stew to three-cornered cookies. They'll...

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Like Me! Friend Me! Poke Me!

(0) Comments | Posted November 30, 2012 | 11:17 AM

Like the Parson's Patch on Facebook. Facebook sent this to me. Then it gave me two options: Like Page or View Page.

"Like or dislike" I would have understood.

"View or ignore," too.

But "like or view?" I cocked my head, furrowed my brow, and puzzled. Is this what my...

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