Energizing and Amazement in Jesus of Nazareth

Tomorrow morning (October 29, 2017) we will look at the elements of energizing and amazement as parts of what it means to call Jesus a prophet. We will read several short passages from the Gospels and one rather long one from the ending of Luke.

I hope you can make it. I think we will have a lively discussion.

You can find the presentation I will use here.

Class schedule, and tomorrow’s class

Antonio Balestra (18th Century)

I have updated the class schedule to reflect recent changes. Last week we were off the schedule, and now we will be back in line with what is published. Tomorrow’s class will be based around chapters 40-55 of Isaiah and pages 59-79 of Brueggemann’s book.

Pathos and Jesus of Nazareth

Rembrandt (1606-1669), Descent from the Cross

On Sunday, October 15, 2017 we will discuss the meaning of pathos as applied to the prophetic tradition and specifically to Jesus of Nazareth. While the category “prophet” is clearly not the only one we could apply to Jesus, it is one of several ways that he is presented in the New Testament.  We will look at this element of the prophetic tradition and what this implies about Jesus’ significance for the early Christian communities that produced the gospels and letters of the New Testament.

You can see the presentation that I will use here.

No class this Sunday (October 8, 2017)

Binkley Chancel Choir

The choir will be away this Sunday for our annual choir retreat, and I will be with them. I will look forward to seeing you again on October 15!

Pathos and the Prophet Jeremiah

Jeremiah lamenting the destruction of Jerusalem
Rembrandt, Jeremiah lamenting the destruction of Jerusalem.

On October 1, 2017 we will examine the role of pathos in the work of the prophets. Since Jeremiah is the clearest example of this element found in all of the prophets, we will focus our discussion on his ministry.

Jeremiah did not succeed in convincing the leadership of his day to change course and avoid the disaster that lay ahead. Can we be more successful in our own time, or are we too headed down a path that will inevitably lead to disaster?

You can see the presentation I will use here.

Cultural Consciousness and the Practice of Prophecy

Detail from Solomon at his throne, by Andreas Brugger

Brueggeman presents the notion of “Royal Consciousness” in his second chapter (pages 21-37). This Sunday we will examine this idea and our own cultural consciousness as objects of prophetic criticism and energizing. Join us for a lively discussion.

We will read three short passages from 1 Kings and explore questions raised by the royal agenda and impact of Solomon. We will also examine ways these same questions remain relevant in today’s world.

The presentations that I will use can be found here.

The Alternative Community of Moses

Moses with the Ten Commandments
Philippe de Champaigne, Moses with the Ten Commandments

On Sunday, September 17, we will discuss the Alternative Community of Moses, an idea presented by Brueggemann for understanding the impact of Moses. We will discuss the first 18 chapters of the book of Exodus in very summarized form and examine what Brueggemann is claiming about Moses’ significance as a prophet.

The presentation that I will be using can be found here.

Book to accompany the Prophetic Imagination Class

In this morning’s discussion introducing the class, I failed to mention the book by Walter Brueggemann that I will be referencing during the first several weeks. The book is entitled The Prophetic ImaginationYou can obtain a print copy of the book at Amazon.com, or an electronic copy for Kindle.

The class schedule will let you know which pages to read before each class. Next Sunday we will discuss Exodus 1-18 and pages 1-19 of Brueggemann’s book. You are not required to read the book, of course, but you may find that it makes the discussions more meaningful.

What does it mean to call someone a prophet?

Rembrandt, Jeremiah Lamenting the Destruction of Jerusalem, c. 1630
Rembrandt van Rijn, Jeremiah Lamenting the Destruction of Jerusalem, c. 1630

Our class this coming Sunday (September 10, 2017) will focus on two things.

  • First we will do some housekeeping, getting contact information, giving out information about the class and about online resources to help with our study.
  • Second, we will begin to discuss the question of what it means to call someone a prophet. If we refer to someone like Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. as a prophet, do we mean the same thing we mean by calling Isaiah a prophet? If not, what is different? Is so, what are we asserting about Dr. King? This discussion will include some examples from the biblical prophets to give us context.

I look forward to a great first class and to seeing you there.

For directions, click here.


Added September 16:

I’ve uploaded the presentation I used to teach this class. You can view it here.

Schedule page for the Prophetic Imagination class

Schedule ImageI have added a page for the new class (The Prophetic Imagination in the Bible and in American Culture). It includes a tentative schedule with three open Sundays at the end of the term. I have left those Sundays open so we can adapt the class as we go along, expanding where needed to suit the interests of those of you who attend.

I’m looking forward to seeing many of you there on September 10!