Reading the Bible For All It's Worth

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This series invites us into an honest conversation about the Bible, beginning with foundational questions such as: How and when was the Bible written? Who decided which books made it into the scriptures and why? How literally must we read it? And, Is the Bible ever wrong? And we will help people wrestle with their questions as they come to a place of deeper faith and confidence in God's Word. Sundays at 10:30am, 600 Warren Road Cockeysville.

Strategic Goals:

  1. Provide a common starting point and language for approaching the biblical texts, for both existing Christians and atheist/agnostic persons.
  2. Address common misconceptions, questions, and hang-ups people have with the Bible
  3. Nurture a deep respect and appreciation for the Bible among Christians and non-Christians alike. 

10/12 The Old Testament at a Gallop, Luke 4:3-4/Deuteronomy 6:4-5

  • Introduce the Bible, what it is, and is not;
  • explore the scope of OT scriptures;
  • gain basic understanding of when, how, and why OT books were written;
  • learn how OT books came to be included in the Bible;
  • get insight into how OT prophecy is reinterpreted through the lens of the life of Jesus.

10/19 New Testament in a Nutshell, Matthew 22:37b-40/Luke 1:1-4, 2 Peter 3:14-18

  • Examine which Hebrew Scriptures were significant to Jesus;
  • explore the scope of the NT scriptures;
  • gain basic understand of when, how, and why NT books were written;
  • be introduced to how NT books came to be included in the Bible.

10/26 People of the Book: the nature of Scripture, Genesis 32:24, 26b/Deuteronomy 6:1-6, 2 Timothy 3:16-17

  • Examine understandings of how the Bible was inspired;
  • explore ways in which the Bible is the Word of God and how God may be speaking in and through people;
  • wrestle with the question of whether the Bible is inerrant and infallible;
  • consider how to evaluate whether a passage continues to reflect God's will for God's people;
  • celebrate scripture as a living breathing document.

11/2 Violence, Suffering, and Other Troubling Issues, Jeremiah 12:1

  • Explore the seeming contradiction between the God of love revealed in Jesus and the God who appears sometimes as angry, harsh, and even unjust;
  • be introduced to the concept of progressive revelation and examine its implications;
  • evaluate two understandings of divine providence -- God the micromanager, and God the absentee landlord-- and formulate a more nuanced understanding of the term;
  • explain the difference between undergoing suffering as a punishment and experiencing consequences of one's actions;
  • explore the challenges involved in understanding suffering as a punishment or a test.

11/9 The Bible and Science, 1 Corinthians 10:11

  • Wrestle with some questions about Scripture and science, using the previous week's background as a foundation;
  • explore the kind of truths the archetypal stories in Genesis are communicating;
  • contrast those truths with scientific truths about the origins of the earth, and examine whether the two types of truth are in conflict;
  • be introduced to one ancient flood account, the Gilgamesh Epic;
  • experience the difference between a historic and scientific account of creation, compared with a poetic and archetypal account, and be able to express what each communicates.

11/16 Shaped by the Word John 3:16-17

  • What do we do now? What does a greater understanding of scripture give us?
  • How can knowing it change us, our lives, our world?
  • What does it mean to apply scripture to our lives and how do we do that?