Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Lectures, 26 February

Two 75-minute lectures today; Tuesday & Thursday are my heavy days. (I have an online class that I tend on MWF, no lecture classes.)

In my Gospel of Matthew class, we covered Mt 12.22-50 (which sets the stage for the parables in chapter 13) and then chapter 13.

It's always interesting to watch students, most of who are VERY familiar with these parables, try to read them historically. I take them through the parables once in a very surface reading, something like what they'd get in Sunday School. "The farmer represents _____? The seed represents _______? Why does some seed grow and some seed NOT?"

But then I back them off and show them how critical difference changes the meaning of a text. In Matt 12.22-50, Matthew shows us how and why (from his perspective) Israel as a group was rejecting Jesus as their Messiah. Their reasons: Jesus wasn't doing what they thought a Messiah should do! They thought the Messiah would come with force, and immediately reward the good people and punish the bad. That's what they expected when the Kingdom came.

Instead, Jesus says:
  • When the kingdom comes, it comes through teaching.
  • It comes by invitation, not by force.
  • It comes in secret, and works secretly until BOOM suddenly it's taken over the whole place.
  • It coexists with evil; you won't be able to tell who the good people are and who the bad people are, because appearances will be deceiving.
It's one of my favorite lectures every year; in fact, I give it both in Gospel of Matthew AND in Biblical Theology class.

As for my theology class; I tried to cover the high points of OT theology from Moses through Jeremiah in a single 75 minute lecture. Simply not possible.

The high points as I see them:
  • The law, how do New Covenant people relate to the Old Covenant?
  • Theological patterns from the Exodus; the tenderness and harshness of God;
  • The conquest;
  • David: 2 Sam 7.11 "Son of David," David and Bathsheba, how his sin effects his reign as king;
  • Isaiah 1-39 and the military messiah; Isaiah 40 - 66 and the Suffering Servant;
  • Jeremiah 31.31-34 and the new covenant.
I covered all of this EXCEPT Isaiah. I was running out of voice, and I knew that I would not have time to cover all of Isaiah and Jeremiah. So I jumped ahead to Jeremiah. Next lecture, I'll go back and cover Isaiah and how confused the Messianic expectations were when Jesus came. Then I'll get into the gospels.

Thursday, I only have one lecture to give (GMatt.) My Theology class will be meeting in the library, where I will show them tools for their vocational theology papers. I told them; "If you need help with your vocational theology paper, I will be available Thursday to do crisis counseling, show you what books you should begin with and how to use them, etc."

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Blogger Neyhart said...

I was talking to Rachel Lorenz about your class on Matthew - I wish I could sit in on those lectures to add even more depth to the study I've been going through with my Bible Study on Matthew!

11:28 PM  

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