Foundations of Christian Thought and Practice Groups

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.

Foundations of Christian Thought and Practice Groups
Foundations of Christian Thought and Practice Groups
Don Michael Hudson, PhD
Foundations of Christian Thought and Practice Groups
Don Michael Hudson, PhD
Foundations of Christian Thought and Practice Groups
Don Michael Hudson, PhD
Foundations of Christian Thought and Practice Groups
Don Michael Hudson, PhD

“The Widow, the Orphan, and the Foreigner”: God Cares for the Oppressed

This week we take on the controversial and subversive message of the ancient Hebrew prophets such as Jeremiah and Micah. Their message was disturbing and disruptive 2500 years ago, and their message continues to interrogate any and every religious or political impulse today. These ancient prophets offered an entirely different way of viewing life, religion, and God. We have to remember that they were social and political critics and not soothsayers divining the future. Think of Nathan and David here. Or Elijah and Ahab. What is true religion? What does it mean that God is holy, and Christians are called to be holy?
Unfortunately, many Western Christians think in the same ways as the ancient Judahites: religion is morality, not holiness; God is my comfort, not my disrupter. The Hebrew prophets will come along and preach a few simple messages. One is quite simple and yet almost never practiced. “The widow, the orphan, and the alien: God cares for the oppressed.” True religion is this: caring for those who cannot care for themselves–taking care of whoever “lives” in your world no matter their country, color, or creed. Morality in society is needed, but morality is not paramount. Never does the Bible say that God is “moral.” “More'”–a Latin word signifying the idea of building fences around to guard against. Morality easily slips into oppression and hatred for the other(s). It used to be moral to deny African-Americans their civil rights. Morality really stinks when it is used in arrogance and greed.
God is holy. Holiness means that Jews and Christians are set apart unto Yahweh. For what? Set apart not to defend our possessions and use others for more possessions–think Ahab and Naboth’s vineyard here–but set apart so that we can swing wide the gates of mercy and compassion. “Welcome, my friend, whoever you are.” Ignoring the poor, turning our eyes away from the desperate, looking down upon those who struggle, stealing other peoples’ lands–the list is endless. All these are travesties of injustice. God is vulnerable here in God’s holiness; we are most vulnerable here too. To be holy means to open our clinched fists and crossed arms–to open ourselves up to the suffering of others and, most importantly, their care and well-being. “God has told you, O human, what is beautiful. Now what does Yahweh “I-be-who-I-be” require of you but to do the right thing, to love kindness, and to walk in humility with your God?” (Micah 6:8 trans. mine) And check out

Michael Hudson’s prompt for this week’s question of the week. And you should have heard Sydney Bailey’s personal words as we wrapped class this last Tuesday.
“The Widow, the Orphan, and the Alien”: God Cares for the Oppressed
Don Michael Hudson, PhD
Michael Martin Hudson
“The Widow, the Orphan, and the Alien”: God Cares for the Oppressed
Don Michael Hudson, PhD
Michael Martin Hudson
“The Widow, the Orphan, and the Alien”: God Cares for the Oppressed
Don Michael Hudson, PhD
Michael Martin Hudson
“The Widow, the Orphan, and the Alien”: God Cares for the Oppressed
Don Michael Hudson, PhD
Michael Martin Hudson

Foundations of Christian Thought and Practice: God is One and Incomprehensible

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.

Foundations of Christian Thought and Practice Feb 16 2021
Don Michael Hudson, PhD
Foundations of Christian Thought and Practice Feb 16 2021
Don Michael Hudson, PhD
Foundations of Christian Thought and Practice Feb 16 2021
Don Michael Hudson, PhD

Question of the week 5_God is One and Incomprehensible: Michael Martin Hudson

Question of the Week #5
Michael Martin Hudson
Don Michael Hudson, PhD
Question of the Week #5
Michael Martin Hudson
Don Michael Hudson, PhD