The Bible and Civil Politics in the Reformed Tradition
9:30-10:30 a.m. Held in room 102A and on ZOOM
One of the most important consequences of the Protestant Reformation was a new insistence on grounding Christian thought and practice in the Bible. Reformed Protestants were among the strongest proponents of this idea, and it had far reaching effects in many different aspects of their own lives—as well as political developments in the various places they inhabited. The purpose of this series of talks is to explore some aspects of the difference the turn toward Scripture made in Reformed political thought and practice. When Reformed thinkers turned to the Bible for guidance in dealing with public affairs, where exactly did they look? Why there? Why did they turn to the particular texts they did? How did they interpret those texts? How did their handling of Scripture compare with that of other Christians?
- January 7/Session 1-Reformed Protestantism: an introduction
- January 14/Session 2-the ethics of resistance and rebellion
- January 21/Session 3-the political ordering of holy commonwealths
- January 28/Session 4-church, state, and the treatment of religious minorities
Class Leader: R. Bruce Douglass
The Gift of Empathy
9:30-10:30 a.m. Held in room 102B
The Gift of Empathy: The Christ-centered, compassionate care of Stephen Ministry is grounded on the foundation of Empathy. You might think that listening carefully, deeply and non-judgmentally is a natural gift, either you have it or you don’t. But researchers from Stephen Ministry have studied a set of attitudes and skills that can be practiced to give everyone this gift. This course will help people feel the unconditional love of God, who is always-minded and caring towards us, as we practice ways of relating that can help in all our meaningful relationships and even casual interactions with others.
- January 7: The Power of Empathy (Jen, John Gale)
- January 14: Obstacles to Empathy
- January 21: Empathy in Relationships: children, parents, siblings, friends, workplace (Jen, John Gale)
- January 28: The Spiritual Side of Empathy
Class Leader: Jen Dunfee and John Gale
The Book of Hebrews: Jesus’ Suffering and the Anti-Judaism of the Early Church
9:30 a.m. Held in Room 102A
Lewinsville welcomes a return visit from Matt Taylor from the Institute for Islamic, Christian and Jewish Studies and a member of the Reformed Institute Company of Teachers. Dr. Taylor will provide a stimulating lecture that focuses on how we interpret the passages about Jesus’ suffering in Hebrews in light of the apparent anti-Judaism sentiments of that text.
Special Speaker: Dr. Matt Taylor
Seeing Jesus in John's Gospel led by Dan Thomas
9:30 a.m. Held in Room 102A
How do you see Jesus? Each of us probably sees Jesus in a slightly different way, And that includes the four gospel writers. But of the gospel writers John’s Gospel offers the richest and most unique view of Jesus. John makes this clear on he wants his readers to see Jesus in these words near the end of his gospel, "But these are written so that you may come to believe that Jesus is the Messiah, the Son of God, and that through believing you may have life in his name."
John seeks to provide his unique perspective on Jesus through the use of memorable metaphors. Join Rev. Dan Thomas as together we explore such rich and illuminating metaphors as tabernacle, living water, bread of life, resurrection and the life, and Passover offering and seek to discover how these can enrich our view and understanding of Jesus during this Lenten season.
Book Study: Mere Christianity led by Debbie Leavens
9:30 a.m. Held in Room 102B
One of the most popular introductions to Christian faith ever written, Mere Christianity brings together Lewis’s legendary broadcast talks during World War Two. Lewis provides an unequaled opportunity for believers and nonbelievers alike to hear a powerful, rational case for the Christian faith.
"...I have thought that the best, perhaps the only, service I could do ....was to explain and defend the belief that has been common to nearly all Christians at all times." C.S. Lewis
Participants are encouraged to purchase the book or the audible presentation of the book.
Special Palm Sunday Class-Seeing Jesus in John's Gospel/The Passover Offering
09:30 am. Held in Room 102A
One of the key metaphors John uses in his gospel to enable his readers to see Jesus more clearly is "The Lamb of God". John introduces this metaphor two times in the first chapter of his gospel; as Jesus approaches John the Baptist to be baptized; and later for John the Baptist to identify Jesus to two of John’s disciples. But this metaphor reaches its apex during Holy Week and in particular with Jesus passion on Good Friday. How can the meaning and significance of the Jewish festival of Passover lead us to a heightened appreciation and understanding of Jesus true identity and mission? How can a deeper exploration of Jesus as God’s Passover Offering (Lamb of God) inspire us to see and believe in Jesus with greater conviction? Come and begin your Holy Week observance with a deeper dive into these questions and others.
Leader: Rev. Dan Thomas