If Jesus wanted people to understand his message, why did he speak in cryptic little parables? What did he mean when he spoke about the Kingdom of God, and why did it excite some people and annoy others? What did Jesus think about the central religious symbols of his day, like the law and the temple? And what did Jesus have to say about what God was like?
Over four weeks in June, we hope to answer these questions.
Theology Matters is a series of interactive seminars, helping us to explore some of Jesus’ teaching in depth, unpacking some of the most difficult sections of the gospels.
The next four sessions will run on Sundays from June 7-28, from 13.30-15.00, and I will be teaching these along with Tim Frisby, Chris Oldfield and Andy Tuck. They will pick up from where we left off in February, but if you missed the first four weeks, you’re still more than welcome to join us! The material should still make sense, and you can get hold of the recordings of previous sessions here.
You can register for the sessions here. Each week will include teaching, exercises, and plenty of time for discussion and Q&A. And here’s a taste of what you can expect from the four sessions
Session 1: The Big Story (7 June)
How do the gospels fit into the grand story of Scripture? How should we understand Jesus’ life, teaching, ministry, death and resurrection as a continuation of the biblical story? This session will help us to understand Jesus’ ministry in its wider context, and will explore the central theme of the Kingdom of God.
Session 2: The Little Stories (14 June)
Why did Jesus spend so much time telling confusing little stories? Why are they often so hard to understand? And what do they have to teach us about the main themes of Jesus’ ministry? This session will help us understand and apply the parables of Jesus.
Session 3: Symbols: Monotheism and Election (21 June)
How did Jesus challenge and redefine some of the central symbols of Judaism? And in particular, what did Jesus have to say about who God is, and who His people are?
Session 4: Symbols: Torah and Temple (28 June)
What did Jesus say about the law? What was its purpose, and how does it function for us today? And why did Jesus say such cryptic and challenging things about the Temple?