“See Through the Scriptures,”                                          Session 1: Course Introduction/Overview

This last week, we began a Fall series at A&M UMC:  a survey of the Christian scriptures…  for beginners and those seeking a refresher.

Incorporating materials that I have used in other settings (with thanks, in part, to Lutheran pastor, Harry Wendt, for some of his materials which I employ), “See Through the Scriptures” seeks to illuminate the narrative to which the Bible points – as well as the life that “metanarrative” seeks to define and inform.

“Prolegomena” [literally, words said beforehand] was a fancy word they used in Seminary to define opening comments in a course.  It was and is very much the spirit of this first session: a sense of foundational issues [suggesting the importance of having clear eyes as we approach the Scriptures] and some definition of our path forward.

In addition to the video, below (which takes the session audio line and positions it behind session PowerPoints and video clips), materials [downloadable by clicking on the hyperlinks] from this first session include:
A student handout for the session,
A Supplemental Reading Handout (expanding upon the evening’s discussion of Brian McLaren and some of his approaches to the Scriptures), and
A copy of the Iceberg Image (employed in the evening’s Power Point) – an image we used to define the concept of metanarratives (as the foundational worldviews upon which values, rules of life/living, and surface behaviors are all founded).

Yes, I feel the pressure to talk more about “metanarratives.”  (I am tempted to expound upon a thought-provoking discussion by David Gary Stratton, over at his blog, “two-handed warriors” [cf., http://garydavidstratton.com/2017/05/04/casablanca-and-the-four-levels-of-worldview-why-everyone-meets-at-ricks/]–a post which creatively dialogues with the movie, Casablanca.  [What a movie discussion??!?!?!!])

I save that for another day, though, as, again, the press to get this material out there prevails!

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A Survey of the Life of Jesus, Session 8: “Showdown in Jerusalem” (Holy Week)

The video of the concluding session in our Summer “Survey of the Life of Jesus” (focused on the events of Holy Week in Jerusalem) here follows…

Tempted am I to put in writing a few reflections, including some corrective comments.  (For all the ways I try to be confident and competent on my feet, too many times I am that “tour guide” throwing out comments that I later wish I could adjust.)  Too, I’d like to define a final list of “implications for our daily living.”   (Here, I wish we’d had one last session just to process!)

Such posts are forthcoming — hopefully soon (while things are fresh on my mind)!  As always, though, a consideration for timing (and folks potentially wanting to engage this last session) has me posting materials here, now… and blogging a epilogue or two in the near future.

As always, there is a student teaching handout — this week, because of its focal import to the life of Jesus and our Christian faith, complemented by a “maps” supplement and a reading supplement (yours by clicking on each of the hyperlinks, below):

AMUMC, LoJ, Session 9, Holy Week & Easter (student-lecture handout)

AMUMC, LoJ, Session 9, Holy Week & Easter (supplemental reading)

AMUMC, LoJ, Session 9, Geography of Holy Week & Easter (supplemental maps)

And so, with one last final word of appreciation to Dr. Jim Fleming… and one last set of warnings to “seek simplicity but learn to distrust it” (Whitehead) and to “test the spirits”, I commend to you the video of this final session…

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A Survey of the Life of Jesus, Session 7 (Retreat [to Caesarea Philippi] and Determination [Towards Jerusalem])

This week we visited an important interlude in the Life of Jesus–a time of preparation and anticipation between his popular ministry around the Sea of Galilee… and the “showdown” which was “Holy Week.”

This week’s [downloadable] student-study handout is yours by clicking here.

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A Survey of the Life of Jesus, Session 6, Parables, with an especial focus on “The Parable of the Prodigals”

The discussion was lively and meaningful at our sixth session in “A Survey of the Life of Jesus,” this last Wednesday evening–a session focused on the Parables of Jesus (and more especially “The Parable of the Prodigals”).

Tempting it is to try to recount that discussion — and even add to it.  However, time constraints and a sense of “triage” (acknowledging what’s most needful at this point) has me settling with a posting of the session’s video and student handout (available/downloadable by clicking here).


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A Survey of the Life of Jesus, Session 5 (Characteristics of the Disciples)

Session 5 video here, below.

Downloadable materials related to this session include:

* a pdf (mentioned in the video) of Clarence Wagner’s Rendering of Jim Fleming’s Lecture on “The Seven Characteristics of the Disciples”

* a pdf of Session 5 Class-Student Handout

[P.S. Not sure whether the world is ready for the “Mr. Worm” video or not!]


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