Thu 3 Oct 2013
Attending the Abilene Christian University Lectures was a first for me. One reason I decided to go was due to the featured speakers. Luke Timothy Johnson is an internationally known Catholic scholar who teaches at Emory University’s Candle School of Theology.
Another visiting scholar was Peter Williams. He is part of both the University of Aberdeen and the University of Cambridge.
The third was Scot McKnight, professor of New Testament at Northern Seminary in Lombard, Ill. He claims an Anabaptist background.
Johnson made the significant point (because I agree with it) that each gospel should be read independently of the other, and no attempt to harmonize them should be undertaken. He also said several of the early works not included in the traditional canon were considered inspired at the time the canon was being formed. And he offered some historical proof of their early acceptance.
William’s first lecture focused on slavery in the New Testament and how that should be understood today. He presented historical data which showed the economic and cultural impact of slavery in that time, as well as the danger to unattached slaves by Rome. He stressed the point that Christian masters were told to treat their slaves as brothers and sisters, and used the scriptures which were ignored by American slave owners. He said slavery was a cultural issue that should no longer exist and that it was eliminated by Christians when they began to treat their slaves as Paul had commanded. In another area Williams has done research on the terms “elders, deacons and bishops.” He found these were not exclusively religious terms, but societal terms as well. He sited places where the term elder was not only used in Judaism, but in other countries in the “east” as a secular term. On the other hand, “bishop” was a Greek term also used in secular society, as was the term “deacon.” He pointed out that the Jewish-based churches were those with elders and the Gentile-based churches were those with bishops and that they were not exactly interchangeable terms. His point was that church leadership was formed from already accepted forms of structure and leadership. Therefore, leadership structures can change as long as they have the foundation of the servanthood model of Jesus. Most articles will say elders and bishops are interchangeable terms. Williams said whatever form of leadership which models the servant nature of Jesus is acceptable. That would put a lid on all the teaching that the only “scriptural” churches are the ones with elders.
Perhaps the most memorable moment was when I went to a class taught by Clifford Florence and Bruce Johnson, two black men who were students at ACC (now ACU) during the 70s. It was frustrating to hear the various kinds of prejudice and discrimination leveled against them as a way to try to make them quit. Florence was kicked out in his junior year simply because his father, Franklin Florence, was a well-known activist in Rochester NY. It was so upsetting I was almost glad I had a scheduling conflict that made me miss the first two classes.
I later caught up with them and asked Clifford, who is now at ACU as a M.Div. student, if any of those persons still at ACU, when he was there, or whom he sees on occasion had ever apologized. He said “No.”
It is sad to see that for centuries we have all been reading the same Bible, but when it comes to those of whom we disapprove, we claim scripture to support our rejection of them. Knowing that history, is it not wise to be sure we are not doing the same thing, because in so doing we not only reject Jesus’ teaching but Jesus himself?
CONCERNS: Betty Branch is in RMH ICU after having a brain aneurysm. No visitors, but cards are welcomed. She is in ICU 972. Erma Williams says that Richard, the grandfather of Regan, the ten year old with brain cancer, has been brought home from California, where he was involved in a serious car accident. He is at RMH. Erma’s dad is recovering from knee surgery. A teacher friend of Teryn Gaynor’s is having some stress related issues. Teryn asks for prayers. Mary Smith’s recovery is slowly improving. The Crites have traveled to Illinois to see Rich’s sister who is not well, and on to Connie’s home in Wisconsin to see her family. Her brother just had open heart surgery. Those dealing with or recovering from cancer are: Rich Crites; Hannah, a friend of Garrett Lee Williams; Leena Bolin’s brother, Nick; Connie Crites brother in Wyoming; Jim Hunter; Deana McRoy; Stephanie Rigney; Marge Greenwood; Sharon, and Stephanie Dixon has some skin issues that are being treated as cancer. Remember also Jenni Cullum; Helen Nicklas; Alma Martin; Tim Elder and Ron Matney.
OUR DAILY BREAD: OCT. 7-12
Monday: I Samuel 16:1-13
Tuesday: Mark 15:1-20
Wednesday: Luke 12:1-12
Thursday: I John 2:11-24
Friday: I Peter 4:1-19
Saturday: Psalm 11:1-7
OUR DAILY BREAD: OCT. 14-19
Monday: Joshua 24:14-28
Tuesday: Acts 9:1-9
Wednesday: James 5:1-18
Thursday: I John 1:5-2:6
Friday: Hebrews 12:1-14
Saturday: Psalm 138:1-8
PEAKS OF OTTER HIKE AND PICNIC
This annual event is scheduled for October 20, which is Super Sunday However, due to the government shutdown that area may not yet be open. However, there is a sign-up sheet on the foyer table. Please let us know if you will be attending the picnic. As before, the food will be furnished by the church. Several people have said they will miss the Super Sunday meal to go and secure a picnic spot for us. We plan to eat around 5:00ish.
As you drive into the parking lot you will see that the large, dead, and dangerous tree has been removed. The city has also removed several dead branches from the other trees lining the parking lot as well..
FOR THE TROOPS
Here again is a list of items we have been sending the troops who are closing out the war in Afghanistan. You did great on the first batch, so let’s keep them in mind as we begin another way of helping that the Phlegars will tell us about soon.
The items you van bring in are: small assorted boxes of mixed cereal, Granola bars, breakfast bars, pop tarts, instant grits, instant oatmeal, Little Debbies, but no chocolate.
With the coming of cooler weather we will soon be using the annex fireplace again. We have an ample supply of wood, but much of it needs to be split. One Saturday soon we will rent a splitter and spit as much as we can of what we have. If any day is not good for you, let Keith know, or which Saturday is best for you.
THE RONALD MCDONALD HOUSE
The 2013 annual newsletter from the Ronald McDonald House is on the foyer table. Those of you who have prepared evening meals there, as well as others, might enjoy looking at some of the stories and events of the house.