Resources

 

Pastor's Bible Study

Every Wednesday morning during the school year, Dr. Furr teaches adults on a wide variety of topics with discussion – often a book of the Bible or some aspect of the Christian life or doctrine. All you need is a Bible and an inquisitive mind! Occasionally, a particular book is ordered for everyone who wants to purchase a copy. This group meets on Wednesday mornings from 10:30 to 11:30 a.m. in the Adult Seminar Room across from the Library. Find current topics under Latest News. Please join in.

 

Pastor's Column

 

discipleship


 

Sometimes revolutionary new insights actually represent the discovery of something from long ago that has been forgotten. It was 1984 in a landmark educational report came forward that suggested that three things could enhance the learning of college students. It was hailed in educational circles and the popular press alike: academic excellence hinges on three conditions being present:

1.     Student involvement

2.     High expectations of students to live up to

3.     Assessment and feedback

Who would have thought such a thing? Passionate interest in what you are learning, having much expected of you, and knowing how you are doing makes a difference. If we look at the life and teachings of Jesus, this is present in all that he does. He did not merely teach: his words made people get up and want to walk with him, leaving their old life behind. He confronted his disciples, rebuked them, corrected them, and repeated it until they got it.

In Churchworld, have we come to ask too little of ourselves and one another? In the great verse on grace salvation I learned in childhood was this one: “8 For by grace you have been saved through faith, and this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God— 9 not the result of works, so that no one may boast.”  (Ephesians 2:8-9)

And the very next verse says, “For we are what he has made us, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand to be our way of life.” The irony is this: grace is God’s unasked for and undeserved gift of life. The result is an insatiable hunger to have more of it, to live it out, to absorb it into ourselves and our way of life.

It is a question worth asking: is my Christian life satisfying to me? Why or why not? What is my level of involvement and personal investment? What is expected of me? How am I doing?

Eugene Peterson says when he went to graduate school under one of the greatest Old Testament scholars of the twentieth century, W. F. Albright, that the world of the mind came alive for him.

Knowledge wasn’t just storing up information in a mental warehouse. It was the disciplined practice of thinking, imagining, formulating, testing for the truth. And teaching wasn’t just getting information or data into students’ minds. There was something deeply dialogical involved, as words sparked into meaning and started truth fires that blazed with comprehension. Every week, listening to Professor Albright lecture, sitting with him in his study with five other students reading the Hebrew Bible, drinking coffee with older students in the commons, getting a feel for the immense world of the mind, the aesthetics of the intellect, I began to inhabit a world I never knew existed, a world of learning embodied, vibrant with energy... I confess I was bewildered much of the time. The famous Dr. Albright was surpassingly brilliant, but he couldn’t comprehend the depths of ignorance in his students. But an interesting culture of learning had developed around him. The older students took us younger ones in tow and tutored us informally.

Your spiritual life and mine depend, to a great deal, on getting ourselves close to other lives of inspiration, engagement and seeking.  Discipleship has no shortcuts. But at the end of our lives, no shortcut will bring us peace.  There is no magic bullet for finding a church to make you happy. But there is a way of living life in the church that will. It is a way that seems impossibly hard and at the same time the easiest way in the world.

Biblical Resources

The past few Wednesday nights I have shared some Bible study resources with those in attendance.  Take a moment to go to the Wednesday sessions page to download them or share them with others!

                                  Gary