Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Gearing Up For New Studies

This Sunday is Fifth Sunday Family Night at West-Ark. I would really like to see this event become community discussion about our life together as believers. Typically, we give attention to the various needs and activities of the ministries within this church. I am all for that. I do want that to continue. Yet, I am eager to find a way to connect all of this with our faith and theology. My hope is that we will speak of what we do and what we believe as a seamless whole.

Fifth Sunday usually serves as a mile marker for me as I order my preaching and teaching schedule. On Sunday morning I will begin a series based on Ephesians 4 -6. It will continue many of the themes from the sermon that Charles Siburt preached on unity and the 1 Cor. 12 sermon I preached this Sunday.

This year I began teaching in the Sunday evening assembly. Sunday I just finished a nine-part study of the seven classical theological topics: theology, christology, pneumatology, hamartiology, soteriology, ecclesiology, and eschatology. I was amazed that the group on Sunday evening received this so well.

I was stumped about our next study, until the eschatology lesson reminded me that I have never studied Daniel in any in-depth way. I have to admit that I read the whole book straight through for the first time that I can recall. I can see why the last part of this book can lead to a lot of misunderstanding. I understand why it is a field bed for all sorts of bizarre scenarios about the end of the world. I also observe that the language of Daniel 7-12 is foundational to the Gospels and especially Jesus' identity as the Son of Man. I look forward to this discussion.

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