Opinions expressed here are my own and do not represent the views of the congregation I joyfully serve. But my congregation loves me!

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Jesus Seminar in Elizabethton



I received word from Westar that we have about 30 signed up so far for our Jesus Seminar on the Road, October 29-30. I am anticipating we might triple that number. This is the third time our congregation has hosted a JSOR. We are very excited to welcome Bernard Brandon Scott and Arthur Dewey.



When I was in seminary we used Bernard Brandon Scott's book on the parables,


Hear Then the Parable, as the text for our intro to the New Testament. I still use it when preaching on the parables as I have been lately.





Arthur Dewey is a poet and wordsmith and is the co-author of a new book just released by Westar, The Authentic Letters of Paul.

This particular seminar is entitled, Jesus: Teller of Parables. Here is the synopsis and schedule:


LECTURE
Friday, 7:30–9 P.M.

What is a Parable?
Jesus played upon the stereotypes and tensions in his world and wove explosive stories, called parables, that called into question the everyday assumptions of his audience. For centuries, these parables have been routinely misread and largely underestimated. Now scholars are attempting to recover their irony, edginess, and effrontery. This lecture will describe parables, and show how they can destabilize their listeners' world even today.

WORKSHOPS

Morning:
Saturday, 9:30 A.M.-Noon

The History and Craft of Parables
To understand Jesus' parables one must begin with an overview of the art of story-telling and the several methods involved in the interpretation of stories, ancient and modern. Participants will examine the ancient craft of parable-making side-by-side with modern examples of transparent poetry and creative songwriting. This workshop will explore not only what a parable might mean, but also how it means to be taken.

Afternoon:
Saturday, 1:30-4 P.M.

Parables and the Kingdom
Jesus' parables are both a door and a mirror to the kingdom of God. But does the kingdom illuminate the parables (Matthew) or do parables illuminate the kingdom (Mark)? Better yet, do we unravel the parables, or do they unravel us? The parables of the Banquet and Unjust Steward, the Prodigal Son, the Good Samaritan, the Leaven, and the Mustard Seed will serve as the primary texts for this presentation.
Go to the Westar site for information on how to register. It is $60 for the lecture and the two workshops if you register by October 8th! It will be well worth it to hear these top scholars and excellent teachers present the parables of Jesus.

This is great continuing education and fodder for sermons for clergy. Seminary students and college students will enjoy this. More importantly, this is primarily for non-specialists, that is interested laypeople.

The Jesus Seminar exists in a large part because scholarly information about the New Testament and the historical Jesus was not reaching the pew. Either clergy were afraid of challenging their parishioners' "faith" or they couldn't figure out how to pass this information on or they were afraid of getting written up in the LayMAN (it's actually more fun than you might think!) or...well, you could ask your minister why.


Anyway, wear a disguise if you must, but come and hear the parable!

This is not something you get everyday in East Tennessee.
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