This past weekend our Sunday school class discussed what I believe to be one of the most fundamentally important passages in all the bible. We looked at Genesis chapter 3 where Adam and Eve committed sin and forever altered the course of human history. It is the single most devastating event the world has ever known. It is more cataclysmic than the fall of the Roman Empire, more disastrous than the black plague, more destructive than both World Wars combined, more sorrowful than the Nazi concentration camps. The decision Adam made in allowing the serpent to tempt his wife, the lack of fortitude he exuded when the devil contradicted God’s own word, the complacency he exhibited when Eve took hold of the forbidden fruit and finally the yielding of his will to the desire to taste of it himself trumps every global catastrophe that succeeded it. Why? All the suffering, sorrow and madness the world has experienced over the past 6,000 years finds its root cause in the Garden of Eden. Continue reading
I’ve decided to break new ground and journal my adventures in Sunday School class. There are several reasons for this. I don’t really have a prime motivation but many small ones. Mainly, I simply wish to chronicle the more interesting and challenging discussions we have over the bible texts we study. I must admit it is a challenge to perhaps be the lone Calvinist in a class full of ‘free-will’ adherents. I anticipate much lively dialog in the coming months if God so emboldens me to speak out.
I have only been at this church for a short time and the Baptist culture is new to me. Over one year ago I left my old Pentecostal church because it had been consumed with the Church Growth/Purpose-Driven way of doing ministry. In other words, they made the gospel appealing to the flesh and doctrine shallow and essentially unnecessary. The Lord directed my steps and I ended up at my community’s largest Baptist congregation. I started attending Sunday school about 5 months ago. The classes are divided into age groups. I first attended a 30’s group, (a natural selection given that I am in my 30’s). I enjoyed the fellowship with the members, many of whom I had actually gone to high school with. I thought the teacher did a fine job of teaching. However, I didn’t much care for the curriculum. My church is affiliated with the Southern Baptist Convention, so we use Lifeway materials for Sunday school lessons. Lifeway publishes a wide variety of material, custom designed for people in different stages of life; children, youth, young adults, old adults and really old adults. The curriculum used in my class (Life Truths) did not impress me much. I felt it was written basically for a fifth-grade audience. I also sensed that the authors wrote the lessons by looking at the bible through the lens of life rather than life through the lens of the bible – a subtle yet important difference. Continue reading