Adult Christian Education
The Adult Christian Education program offers classes on Sundays and Wednesdays. The classes run for thirteen-week-long quarters, beginning in September, December, March and June. Typically, there is a choice of two or three classes on Sunday morning (9:00 -10:00 A.M.) and one on Wednesday evening (7:00-8:00 P.M.).
The current offerings are:
Is God Good? The Problem of Suffering and the Goodness of God – Pastor Jon Enright (Sunday)
1 and 2 Peter – Doug Kuhn (Sunday)
ESL Introduction to Christianity – Bob Hirons (Sunday)
The Parables of Jesus – Pastor Jon (Wednesday)
Is God Good?
The Problem of Suffering and the Goodness of God
The Bible declares that God is loving and good, and yet the world is full of suffering, evil and pain. Is it possible that both can be true at the same time? This is the question posed by the classical “Problem of Evil,” but the problem of suffering and evil is much more than an intellectual exercise. It is personal to each one of us, because we all face suffering, pain and brokenness in our lives and even seasoned Christians find themselves wrestling with the question of God’s goodness and sufficiency in the midst of their very real and personal suffering.
This class will explore the problem of suffering and the goodness of God from both directions. We will discuss the answers the Bible offers to the classical problem of evil. We will also consider the very personal impact suffering has in our lives and on our faith, and the encouragement, help and hope Scripture offers us when our lives are scarred by the evil and brokenness of the world in which we live.
1 and 2 Peter
Naturally, the gospels, the life and teachings of our Lord and Savior, along with the voluminous and special teachings of St. Paul, get most of the attention in any given church’s Sunday School classes, and rightfully so, but the first named apostle in any list of them, St. Peter, also has added two crucial and insightful books to our canon of Holy Scripture and they too need to be poured over with the same due diligence. And so, this class is intended to give the First and Second books of Peter their own proper place in our purview of prose, practicalities and parables of this most senior of the disciples of Jesus. It is also fascinating and I find hopeful, that the brash, boastful, braggart that is the rugged fisherman of Galilee can be turned into such a sincere, powerful man of God by the Holy Spirit, who can sanctify anyone if they are willing. Come let us pick these two tomes apart together and see just what the “Spirit saith to the Churches!”
ESL Introduction to Christianity
This class is geared toward introducing students in our ESL program to the Bible and Christianity. The class is oriented to people who are learning English; people who are not believers but would like to investigate the claims of Christianity; new Christians who would like to learn more about the Bible and Christian doctrine; anyone who would like to participate in our ongoing Cross Cultural ministry to internationals.
The Parables of Jesus
We will be studying the parables of Jesus using the Deeper Connections Bible Study Series from Rose Publishing.
About a third of Jesus’ teaching that survives in the New Testament was delivered in the form of parables. Jesus used stories about real life situations that 1st century people would have been familiar with to teach the spiritual truths he meant to convey. If there is one central theme on which the parables focused, it is the Kingdom of God. Jesus began his ministry by travelling around the Galilean countryside announcing that the kingdom of heaven had arrived and calling people to repentance. The coming of the kingdom that Jesus announced, however, had very little in common with the expectations of the Jewish people who had been anticipating it for centuries. Jesus used the parables to correct common misconceptions of the kingdom, and to instruct people regarding what the kingdom is, and what it means to be a participant in it. His parables often begin with the phrase, “The kingdom of heaven is like…”
This series focuses on six important themes in Jesus’ teaching about the kingdom in the parables:
1) The Coming of the Kingdom (Mt. 13:24-33)
2) The Grace of the Kingdom (Lk. 7:36-50)
3) The God of the Kingdom (Lk. 15:11-32)
4) The Demand of the Kingdom (Mt. 13:44-46)
5) The Mission of the Kingdom (Mt. 22:1-14)
6) The Fulfillment of the Kingdom (Mt. 25:31-46)
As contemporary Christians with our own assumptions and expectations about the nature of the kingdom of God, we have much to learn from Jesus’ teaching in the parables. While many of the connections to everyday first century life no longer reflect our own experience, we can translate the parables into our own time and learn the valuable lessons they have to teach us.