“One of the most important things to teach young people is that scripture can hold up against questions and culture,” said Justin Rose, who with his wife, Courtney, contributes a monthly Bible Study column and reading calendar for Peer magazine.
“In youth ministry we see a lot of questioning and doubt, but we don’t run away from the hard questions,” he continued. “We want to show the power of scripture and how it is still relevant.”
Soldiers at the Chicago Mayfair Community Church, Ill., (Corps), the Roses are zealous about biblical literacy and are dedicated to teaching God’s Word. Courtney, an adjunct professor teaching Old Testament at Olivet Nazarene University, volunteers as an adult Bible study teacher,mentor and guest speaker. Justin serves as the corps youth director and co-leads English-language services on Sundays with John Kim.
The couple started writing for Salvation Army publications by submitting entries to the Young Salvationist’s creativity contests. They were eventually asked to create and submit a monthly Bible reading plan, and when the Young Salvationist morphed into Peer, they were asked to expand that ministry through contributing a Bible study.
Given freedom to create and develop the space, Justin and Courtney knew just what they wanted to do.
“We’re passionate about helping people cultivate a love of scripture through learning how to read the Bible,” said Courtney. “We want them to have permission to question and move into spaces they’re not necessarily comfortable with, but with emphasis on accurate interpretation that’s in line with Salvation Army theology and doctrine.”
According to the Roses, one of the best ways to engage with scripture and learn to interpret and understand it is through story. They strive to address passages that are often misinterpreted and to highlight lesser-known characters, particularly women, who have important stories to tell.
Courtney concluded, “My hope is that our writing is refreshing and that our readers are shown a new way to interact with and relate to the scripture.”