Those of us doing the Foundations course on a Sunday are in the middle of a five-part series on 'Soteriology' - the doctrine/s of salvation. Last time we looked at God's free, gracious choice to be a Saviour God. Next time we'll be looking at how exactly Christ saved us by the cross.
Last night, however, our focus was on the power of the Cross - its horror and shame. This is an aspect of Christ's sacrifice rarely described, partly because death by crucifixion was unspeakably evil. (Literally 'excruciating' - ex [from] + cruciare [to crucify].)
The Romans perfected this cruel, sadistic method of execution. In addition to the pain, there was the social and cultural dimension - the desire to shame the victim forever. For the Jews it was even a cursed way to die, given what's described in the law of Moses. (See Deut 21:22-23.)
AND YET - Paul could say, "I will not boast of anything except the Cross" [Gal 6:14].
AND YET - we're told that "the Lamb was slain before the foundation of the world" [Rev 13:8].
All of this for you - so that you might be saved, and follow after Christ with your own cross.
Find notes from last night's session below, as well as the song we played by Graham Kendrick, which fits rather perfectly with the subject in hand.
Whilst a whole bunch of new guys have just started the Foundations course in recent weeks, the 'second years' are now coming to the end of it. We met on Sunday evening to begin our last ever series - on eschatology, or our theology of the end times.
In this first session, our focus was on living the Christian life before Christ's return - how does Scripture imagine the walk of discipleship? What about suffering and tribulation? What about prayer, and evangelism?
IMPORTANT: we will not be meeting for the second instalment in this eschatology series, instead I'll be providing written notes. These will focus on the Church's life before Christ's return - how are we to engage (for example) with the state, and with politics? We will then be meeting on Sun 9th Dec at Gill Brown's house for our last ever Foundations session, looking at the triumphant Christ's return, and the end of all things. Exciting stuff!
Find below a link to the notes for last Sunday's session, as well as two videos. The first is a copy of the Tommy Walker song we played, which asks how we'd behave if we knew Christ was returning tomorrow. The second is a time-stamped section in the 'Revival Hymn' video referenced in the notes (beginning at 31 mins 18 secs) - which describes the fundamental Christian disposition in all things. We do evangelism, we do prayer, we do everything - not because it 'works', but because the Lamb deserves the reward for his suffering. We rejoice in him in all things - and so, there can be joy in all things.
Second year TTS students - click here for the S23 notes! If you can't remember your password, please do get in touch.
Fiona led our Scripture session on Sunday, covering 2 Tim 3:1-9 - Paul's description of the Jannes & Jambres 'type' of false teacher, those who possess the form of godliness but deny its power.
What does that power look like?
How do we negotiate passages such as this?
How do we responsibly apply them?
Ultimately, Fiona had us see the power of godliness in the power of the Cross - the cruciform life of the Christian, taking up their cross.
Find notes below, a summary of the evening's discussion!
My original intention for this session was to cover not only the horror and shame of the Crucifixion, but to examine how Jesus' death procured our salvation, specifically. God had other ideas. After just six pages of notes, having looked at what Jesus endured for us - the pain, the mockery, the shame, the curse - God moved so tangibly amongst us that we were forced to stop.
We spent the rest of the meeting in prayer and worship, giving thanks to God for what he did for us. It was a beautiful time. It was truly 'Theology That Sings'!
So God interrupted my designs - but that's more than fine. You can click here to read how we'll do the next few weeks a little differently in response.
In the meantime, find notes from yesterday's shorter session below - as well as a couple of songs played during our time of worship.
Second year TTS students - click here for the S11 notes!
Welcome to the Theology That Sings blog. Here you'll find news of upcoming events, as well as notes and notices.