Thursday, January 24, 2008
STL Days 3 and 4
Wow 2 days and 1 word can sum these past two mid-week days-overload!! Wednesday started of with Professor Perry discussing the Kingdom of God and our role in it. I cannot even begin to say how beneficial this talk was. Probably one of the most illuminating thoughts was when Prof. Perry discussed how in evangelical Christianity particularly in the U.S. we discussed Fall---→ Redemption as the scope of the gospel, but he challenged us saying that the bible includes that, but has much more as well and to start looking at the gospel as Creation→Fall→Redemption→Consummation; Really what that means is the gospel brings all things under Jesus’ feet. It is not just about a “personal” relationship with Jesus, but the scope reaches restoring the poor, and showing mercy to the oppressed, working for the good of the community. Prof. Perry then asked us a very interesting question let me paraphrase it and ask you this too:
If you are a city councilman and you look at the neighborhood in your district and see a few churches, churches that do not pay property taxes so in essence do not contribute to the economy of the neighborhood, the next logical question is what does the church do for the community?? If it is not contributing to the economy of the community through taxes, what is it contributing to for the betterment of the community??
That question still is pounding in my head 24 hrs. later. We then continued in our journey through books of the NT, that was crazy.
After some work on my project that covers Revelation 5 (which is where the picture is inspired) I spoke to my wife and then off to bed.
Today we started off with a great discussion of the missional commitment of Paul. That he did contextualize the gospel, in other words he was aware that he was speaking to a specific audience with specific issues and the showed where and how the gospel reached those circumstances. It was a great talk that really encouraged me with looking at Paul’s letters with new eyes, missional eyes.
The afternoon had some more NT books exploration, which was yes you guessed uber-intense.
The day finished with more research into Rev. 5 which I am seeing the huge impact the world that John was writing in, Roman Dictatorship, Caesar worship and mighty kingdoms, as playing into what Revelation shows. To think that what John is saying is that Caesar even with his “grand” empire that stretches over all the world, and with the biggest, baddest army in the world, does not truly rule, Jesus rules, Jesus is the slain lamb that will be coronated King and worthy to open the scroll to bring about the fullness of time. Wow!!!
All in all it was a great 2 days and after I look over my notes and take some time to let everything sink in I know will be beneficial with my thinking and preaching.