Why the Old Testament matters to modern Evangelicals #ChristianEducation #biblical studies

May 2, 2013

As I organize the lesson plans for my fascinating “live” and interactive internet class introducing the Old Testament, it occurs to me that a lot of my Christian neighbors may wonder why the Old Testament would be important to 21st century Americans. Of course, there are some rocking barbecue techniques, the complete scientifically verified record of the creation, and some awesome praise song lyrics, but there is a lot more.

The OT tells the story of God’s eternal plan to bring a people to himself. He starts off really small and, when we land in the New Testament, God expands his call to everybody. It is all begun and developed in the OT. The Almighty reveals himself in stages and uses the experiences of ancient people to give us insight into what He is like. The temple is an earthly figure of the heavenly workings and teaches us about Christ’s sacrifice of himself and his Lordship.

Most of all, God does chose to do business with the best looking, best behaved, or strongest people. The creator of all things knows that we are all mere dust and our nature is deeply flawed, but the Divine Lord loves his creatures anyway. After all, human beings are created in the Divine image and likeness. Contrary to popular opinion, God shows us his grace all through the Hebrew Bible.

Jesus quotes directly from the OT all the time. The apostles make continuous reference to the inspired texts. The early church relied on the OT before there was a biblical canon. When Marcion, a second century heretic, started to remove the OT, the church leaders said, “not so fast.” The oldest church teaching is that Jesus Christ is promised and reflected throughout the OT.

The literary styles are diverse. The narratives use a sophisticated method that tells remarkable stories with an economy of language. The sub-texts frequently denounce the pagan practices of surrounding nations. The OT speaks of God’s covenant faithfulness and humanity’s changeable tendency.

My Old Testament Introduction is getting organized right now. It is available on the web “live” and you can take part in the discussions. This is what professional educators call a “continuing education” class; no academic credit, no papers, no exams. I will give a very limited number of what might be called lectures, but the meetings are generally friendly discussions of the reading material.

This is a wonderful learning opportunity for lay leaders and Christians that would like to know a bit more about scripture. Although I am an orthodox Anglican, this class is suitable for anybody with a “high” view of scripture. The course runs 12 weeks and meets on Monday or Tuesday evening for 90 minutes, beginning promptly at 7 PM CST. The syllabus has my contact information. The link is Syllabus CFM OT.It would be a pleasure to hear from you. You can enroll online here.


2 Responses to “Why the Old Testament matters to modern Evangelicals #ChristianEducation #biblical studies”

  1. Gary Shires Says:

    I assume that we will still engage in a physical meeting at St. Andrews?

    Gary Shires 37 Woodstream CV Little Rock, AR 72211

    C – 501.551.8797 H – 501.353.1444


  2. patlynch Says:

    Yes, the hand-to-hand combat will take place in the hallowed halls of St. Andrews Church.

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