Sunday, December 17, 2006

Mm Mm Good

Seminary classes can be really interesting sometimes, especially when you have 10+ hours in the car to think about the semester you just finished. Even more so when it's the first semester that you've finished all the work within the semester. North Park's in Chicago, Chicago and so we get people from all parts of the city and all parts of the faith traditions that are represented here. More than one would think, we get a lot of people from the South-side, which, according to my roommate, is just as ethnically diverse as the North-side, but without all the glitz--which is probably a good thing. Many of our South-side brothers and sisters come from more vocal traditions than the rest of us. (It seems Presbyterians and Covenantors have a few things in common.) During lectures, one can hear "mmm" or a few "Amens," and an occasional "Preach IT, Brother [or Sister]!"

During most car rides, I listen to sermons or talks, along with the usual plethora of music. Today, I listened to Dr. Timothy Keller's talks from the Reform & Resurge Conference 2006. He's the Senior Pastor at Redeemer Presbyterian Church in NYC. In his three talks, he spoke on "Being the Church in our Culture," "Preaching the Gospel," and "Doing Justice." I can't begin to do them justice even though I've listened to them several times now, so I'll resort mainly to the descriptions of them from "Being the Church in Our Culture" puts a lot of emphasis on doing Church in the cities, having a better understanding of the Gospel, integrating their faith with their jobs, committing to the good of the city and contextualizing the Gospel. In his second talk, "Preach the Gospel" he spoke on preaching the gospel as the building of God's Kingdom through people being redeemed by the atoning work of Jesus Christ on the cross, combining older evangelical thought with the pervasive postmodern outlook. In "Doing Justice" he provides the first Gospel centered explanation of being justice-oriented that I have heard--and I've been at a justice-focused seminary for 2.5 years--speaking to what is justice, as defined by the Bible, what it means to do justice, who should do it, and how you can be one of those people. It's well-worth your time and should bring you to think of Campbell's Soup--mm, mm, good.

P.S. I'm not trying to side-step any more conversation about Women in Ministry. I'm just writing what's going on in my life right now. Plus I'll be in New Testament 2 this next semester, and have a feeling we might run across a few verses on the topic.

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