This last Thursday’s group meetings for Foundations of Christian Thought and Practice. We have 15 student teaching assistants leading 15 groups of King students. And in the last photo you see our lead teaching assistant, Sydney Bailey, meeting with our teaching assistants as we debrief after the groups. This last week’s theme was “How to Live the Good Life.” We study Hebrew wisdom literature (Job, Proverbs, etc) and think through if and how this ancient wisdom speaks to our lives today. Essentially, I am inviting the students to think creatively and feely about speaking beauty to the chaos of this world as God does in Genesis 1. Their assignment is to write at least a five-line poem that speaks beauty to chaos without denying or diminishing chaos, tragedy, suffering, oppression. When we deny the chaos we lose creation. Of course, this is opposed to most of American Christianity where devotees deny the chaos or use the baby Jesus as a magic wand to “remove” the chaos. Teaching this theme in this way is what we call 21st century teaching of the Christian Scriptures to 21st century students. Yes, it’s true, King Bible and Religion left the 1950’s awhile ago. If you want an idea of one our discussions, check out the video below on Theme 1: God Creates by Speaking Into the Chaos. The video was filmed in Palestine while on one of our digs.
This week we take on one of our most important themes essential to Christianity: God is One and Incomprehensible. This one rocks a few worlds. Yesterday in lecture we talked about Moses at the burning bush and learning the “name” of God which is not really a name. We learned that God is a verb–not a noun. Hayah. “I be who I be.” We learned that we can know God and understand certain things about God, but humans will never comprehend God. Go Latin on me here. Deus absconditus. Indeed. This begins in Judaism–it took a few centuries or 5. And this becomes foundational to Christianity also. And Michael Martin Hudson wrote another great Question of the Week prompt. And Sydney gave a great interpretation of our theme of the week and schooled these youngsters on proper formatting. This is King–we present professional papers and begin Freshman year. The older I get, the more I need smart, young translators.
Question of the week 5_God is One and Incomprehensible: Michael Martin Hudson