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