The Asbury 2008 Lent/Easter Reader, Abide, is available online. If you are looking to share in a “community” of reading, please experience this daily reader with the Asbury Seminary Community. Whether or not you are a member of the ATS community or not, we are all a member of the same community, the same Kingdom.
Beware, however, if you are looking for another devotional:
THIS IS NOT ANOTHER DEVOTIONAL GUIDE FOR THE COFFEE TABLE. IT IS PART AND PARCEL OF OUR CONSTITUTION AS A COMMUNITY. THE WORD OF GOD IS THE SUBSTANCE OF OUR LIFE TOGETHER. —
This is a way for the branches of the vine of Christ to experience the vine together.
Join us this lenten season. You can find the reader aggregated on my sidebar.
The good thing about Asbury having an extensive online community (even for resources and discussion for on campus classes) is that many times, tests and exams are given online and you can space them out a little and even take them in the middle of the night. The bad thing about Asbury having an extensive online community is that tests and exams can be spaced out and even done in the middle of the night! Whereas many people were finished a week ago, I finished my exams late last night. I’ve finally finished the semester!
This semester I took Comprehensive Greek 1, Inductive Bible Study: Matthew, and Introduction to the Old Testament.
IBS: M was by far the most work I’ve done in a 3 hr course, but it was definitely the most transformative and the most enjoyable. (for Frank, I’m going to post a description of what this approach and method of Bible study is later–though I think his curiosity was more of a Socratic method kind of thing). I think I will use a majority of my electives in the area of biblical studies. Greek was very hard. Every week it was a whole new list of vocabulary (cumulative, mind you) and a new grammatical paradigm. It’s only been in the last two weeks that the big picture has come into view and everything has started to fit into the larger whole (that’s how I learn best, by understanding the big picture of things). I will continue with Comprehensive Greek 2 next semester all the while praying that I can pull it off and be a father at the same time–if it comes down to it, you can figure out which one of the two will be put off! 🙂 OT Intro was interesting. We did quite a bit of historical background. At first, I disliked this approach as I wanted to dig into the OT text. However, in the last two weeks this came into full view as well; with an understanding of this background, the OT has become a richer text.
What’s next? For now, rest. Next take better care of my wife as she is in her 32 week of pregnancy. Christmas shopping–with the exception of one or two things, I’ve put this off. I’ll be working on the nursery for Jack, too. Over Christmas break, I will be planning the spring semester and summer for SMUMC Youth. This is one of my favorite things to do! A good semester plan saves me quite a bit of work on a week-to-week basis. I plan all of my teaching series and events so that I don’t have to decide what to teach each week!
Next term it’s Method and Praxis in Theology (too much reading, ugh), Comp. Greek 2 (we’ll finally be translating the NT), and The Life of the Youth Minister (which will be therapeutic as I can use my current habits as a basis for the work in this course).
As for The Greatest Story, I plan on finishing my series on Creativity and Collaboration as Church Leadership. I’m passionate about it and I’m disappointed that I haven’t had the chance to work on it in a few weeks.
Brian Russell offers some thoughts on missional preaching. One of the most intriguing (partially because of the clever subtitle) is that missional preaching must be delivered from the borderlands.
The communicator in missional preaching stands between the Church and World. This is the point of missional engagement. The God of mission is always moving toward the world on mission. It is only in the borderlands that the Word is truly unleashed for both insiders and outsiders. The Word calls from the borderland to the people of God to draw them toward the borderland in order to participate fully in God’s mission. The Word calls to the World to draw them toward the people of God in order to find their true humanity as part of God’s missional community as it seeks to embody and reflect God’s character to and for the World.
A sermon delivered from the borderlands requires you to be in the borderlands. That’s the rub. Right there. The hard part. You can pull the Stanislavski if you choose and act “as if” you were in the borderlands, but this is no substitute. It is irresponsible to lead people to places you have not been.
The pulpit often feels like it may be in the spot between the church and the world, but the pulpit is often difficult because the friction it experiences is within the body of the church. Though this is also a difficult spot to serve, the one who is truly cognisant of the calling will recognize that this is not the place to be. You must not between the church and itself, but the church and the world.
Have you been to the borderlands? What stops you from going? I’m asking myself the same questions….