Adult Christian Education

Our very own Pastor David is leading our adult education classes. Here are the classes he has led for the past two school years:

  • Our current adult class is titled "The Rise and Fall of Israel: 1 Samuel - 2 Kings" and runs from February 11, 2018 through April 15, 2018. The Bible, as a book of books, is filled with all sorts of literature.† It contains poetry, song, prophecy, wisdom teachings, and good olí fashioned storytelling.† In telling the great history of our faith, it also contains books of history.† Of those historical books, the story of the rise of the kingdoms of Israel and Judah is well worth the reading.† Full of intrigues and conflicted friendships, battles and betrayals, it describes a history as complex as any George RR Martin novel, all while providing the groundwork of the story of our faith.
  • From Janaury 7, 2017 through February 4, 2018, our class was titled "Faith and Fiction: Till We Have Faces by C.S. Lewis". C.S. Lewis is arguably one of the most influential and well-loved Christian writers of the 20th century. His works are witty, earthy, spiritual, and deeply informed by his own faith journey. The best of them use fiction and storytelling to unlock the teachings of Jesus. "Till We Have Faces" is arguably his best work. While Lewis is still widely read, itís no small irony that the book he considered his masterpiece is the least well known of his novels. Of his works of fiction, it is the most complex, dark, and mature. Itís a book of faith and identity, a nuanced retelling of the ancient myth of Cupid and Psyche, all written in the voice of a cynical, world-weary queen as she comes to terms with her life. For five weeks, we moved our way carefully through this sophisticated, rich book, looking at the themes and characters Lewis creates.
  • From October 22 through December 17 we reviewed the first book of the Bible. It's the Book of Genesis, which starts off the great narratives and stories of our faith, and man, does it ever. It's a book filled with wild and strange adventures, a book filled with stories that were first sung in ancient temples or spun out by the fireside as the family gathered in from the fields at night. These are stories that go back deep, that answer the question: why is there anything? Who are we as human beings? Why are things so messed up? We who walk the way of Jesus have these stories casting out some of the foundational understandings of our faith, and if you've not really taken time with them...it's worth it. In this nine week series of classes, we took a slow, intentional walk through each of the sections of this millennia-old text.
  • Mid-October marked the end of a six-week study of C.S. Lewis' The Screwtape Letters. Of all of the Christian writers and thinkers of the 20th Century, arguably one of the most influential was C.S. Lewis. His works are readable, thoughtful, and engaging...and the best of them use fiction and storytelling to unlock the teachings of Jesus. Among his works of adult fiction, one of the most entertaining is The Screwtape Letters, written as a collection of letters from a senior devil to his young nephew about techniques for tempting and destroying the soul of the human being to whom he's assigned. Alternately amusing and spiritually profound, this delicious, knowing satire gives some fascinating insights into the dynamics of faith and human brokenness.
  • Prior to our Summer 2017 break was "A Book of Mess and Violence: Judges". Reflecting on what books of the Bible might make for a good three-week study, we somehow ended up with...the book of Judges.† It is a little...dark.† More than a little. ††It's one of those books of the Bible that we tend to overlook, kinda sorta on purpose.† Sure, yeah, there's the story of Samson, which we happily share with the kids.† But Samson's kind of...well...it's not exactly sweetness and light.† And Gideon?† We know him from the bibles in the hotel rooms, but that's actually a hard story too. Sure, it's in the Bible.† But it's just a rough book.† Period.† It's as full of love as your average Conan the Barbarian novel, as merciful as a Mad Max movie. For all of that, it's still worth looking at this three thousand year old collection of stories, ancient and strange and a little peculiar.† What does it tell us about the faith of those late-bronze age Hebrews?†What does it tell us about our own faith...we human beings, who are perhaps not as far removed from the violence of that culture as we might want to tell ourselves? Bring your bible, and yourself, and join us for this journey.
  • Prior to "A Book of Mess and Violence: Judges" was "C.S. Lewis and The Theology of Narnia". Of all of the Christian writers and thinkers of the 20th Century, arguably one of the most influential was C.S. Lewis. His works are readable, thoughtful, and engaging...and the best of them use fiction and storytelling to unlock the teachings of Jesus. Perhaps the best known are his Narnia books, which use a warmly wrought fantasy world to explore some of the most vital concepts in the Christian faith. While nominally for kids, they are...like all good books for kids...still a whole bunch of fun to read as an adult. So over 15 weeks, the Adult Ed class worked their way through the seven books in the series, with each book being reviewed over a two week period. They're available as relatively inexpensive paperbacks, and there's a full selection of the series at the Poolesville library in the Juvenile Fiction section. And while they're all part of a larger tale, each book is entirely accessible on its own...so you could feel free to drop in as you can!
  • Prior to "C.S. Lewis and The Theology of Narnia", Pastor David led us through "The Sermon on the Mount". The heart of the teachings of Jesus lies the Sermon on the Mount, three pungent chapters right there in the thick of Matthew's Gospel.†Of all of the things Jesus said, these teachings are perhaps the most essential distillation of what he expects of those who want to follow him. So, with that in mind, we're going to slow down a bit, and walk our way methodically through this remarkable set of statements and instructions.† If you can get this, and do this, you're most of the way towards walking along the Way.
  • Prior to the "The Sermon on the Mount", this Fall our first adult class studied one of the Bible's wisdom books, Proverbs. Pastor David led us through this book where the fundamental goal is to teach the acquisition of wisdom and the avoidance of folly. In a world where new ideas and new ways of doing things is a norm, as well as the possibility of our mistakes being broadcast instantly, it's reassuring to know GOD didn't leave us out hanging in the wind, but instead left us not only bread crumbs but also a detailed map for surviving and thriving along our journeys.

 

Adult CE