Paul and his companions then left Paphos by ship for Pamphylia, landing at the port town of Perga. There John Mark left them and returned to Jerusalem.
Scene 1: Awakening
“Barnabas? Are you awake?”
Barnabas rolled over on his cot to gaze at the younger man who had just walked in. He smiled sadly, as he saw John Mark’s nervous face and guessed the errand that prompted his late night visit.
A proposed process for fully fleshing-out the Six Syllable Gospel: as part of an accidental series on Childlike Theology:
- Join together to ask God to make us like Jesus.
- Interpret everything that happens as God answering that prayer.
- There is no step 3.
I belive the primary reason the church in America is not impacting the culture is that we expend most of our time, energy, and money doing many things badly instead of the right things well. We are amateurs competing against professional culture-makers.
To address this imbalance, I believe the church needs to “Go PRO.”
- Prioritize making disciples of Jesus who do all (and only what) He asks of them
- Recommission pastoral teams as missionaries to their community
- Outsource the business of church to professional management that does it efficiently at scale
I am confident this would unleash a flood of talent and resources that would turn the world upside down — or rather, right side up!
In Which We Abide Fruitfully Instead of Vegetating Slothfully
“Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled.” — Matthew 5:6
Sloth may seem like an archaic sin in our busy modern world, but our frenzied activity is itself a sign of sloth, which can be defined as a lack of vigor in pursuing God’s name — His character and purposes. In fact, the self-centered pursuit of our own “name” — especially under the guise of religion — is actually the worst kind of sloth! (cf. Matthew 23)
The antidote is to empty ourselves of worldly pursuits so that we become truly hungry for faith, hope, and love. Only when we abandon slothfully seeking our own comfort — which merely results in restlessness — can we experience the divine dynamism and peace that comes from abiding in Him…
Peter Kreeft: Back to Virtue
- 11. Hungering for Righteousness vs. Satisfied with Sloth
- Dick Hockett: Foundations of Wisdom
- 3.5 (Trustworthy) Example: Proverbs about the Tongue
In Which We See God Creating His World, and Our Place In It
The overriding theme of our journey has been exploring what it means to be “baptized into the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.” Having dealt (however superficially) with the ontological aspects of that “name”, we now focus on the narrative aspects. In particular, we will focus on the arc of “creation corruption and redemption” found throughout scripture (and literature), as manifested through the persons of the Trinity. Starting with the Father, and Creation…
In Which We Discover The Persons Who Make up the Godhead, and How They Relate to Us
We believe in one God, consisting of one substance — one name, one identity, and one character — sometimes called the Godhead. Yet, that name is expressed through three distinct persons, as illustrated by the classic diagram on the left. Theologians use the term “Trinity” to describe this paradoxical mystery, which is explicitly described in the New Testament and often alluded to in the Old.
In this lesson, we will be focusing primarily on the Economic Trinity (“How God Acts”) rather than the Essential Trinity (“What God is”). See the “Explore” section for other perspectives.
[Renumbering so we can start at 1, instead of 0]
In Which We Discover What God Looks Like, And Why Moses Wants to See More of Him
Continuing our discussion of God’s name — which we are supposed to be baptized into — we turn from the incommunicable aspects of His identity to the communicable aspects of His character.
[NOTE: the official syllabus is now on the “Lead” page; this post is obsolete, but kept for the sake of historical continuity].
[Yes, I should probably have written this before the first lesson, but better late than never…]
In thinking about it, I ought to take my Curriculum one step further, and actually identify the passages and key learnings for each lesson. Not only will this help ensure I’m on the same page as my pastor, but it would enable others to write some of the lessons (since class starts on September 4th!).
I’ve also cross-referenced these lessons against two common systematic theology books:
In addition to providing a sort index to the topics covered, this allows students and teachers to use those as supplementary textbooks.
- Draft 1 – Sunday, 24th August
- Draft 2 – Tuesday, 26th August: Added “Doctrine” “Essentials” chapters for each lesson
- Draft 3 – Friday, 29th August: Added “Doctrines” chapters for each lesson
[Based on feedback, this study will actually become the first lesson, prior to God’s Commission]
In Which We Discover How God Speaks to Us, and Why We Ought to Listen to Him
[Updated Sunday, August 3rd]
In Which We Discover God’s Call For Us As Leaders, And What Theology Has To Do With It
For the third part of my trilogy on leadership development, I want to focus on practical skills. Here’s my short list (twelve, again) of the key abilities I believe leaders need to cultivate. Anything you would add or subtract?