Genesis 1-11 and Historical Overview
January 14-15, 2022
Professor George Heider
Chances are you have heard or read stories from the Bible, perhaps many of them. You may, however, still find the Bible a difficult book to understand. You are not alone, because even more people who have studied the Bible for years find that there is still much to learn.
One of the joys of bible study, however, is that it does not take years of study before reading the Bible can be rewarding. Getting to know the Bible is like watching a rosebud unfold: the experience is enriching from the very start, and it becomes even better with time.
The first eleven chapters of the Old Testament book of Genesis include five of our most famous Bible stories: Creation, Adam and Eve, Cain and Abel, Noah and the Flood, and the Tower of Babel. It is important to remember that these stories were not written as scientific explanations or history in the modern sense. They were written primality as expressions of faith. To argue about their history or scientific accuracy may cause us to miss the point of the stories, the meaning that they are intended to convey. (Witnesses to the Word, Augsburg Fortress, 1991).
Pastoral Care Assistant Training
February 12, 2022
Professor Rosanne Swanson
What do you say when you don't know what to say. Listening with the ear of the heart. Before the session, please read the book Conversation as Ministry: Stories and Strategies for Confident Caregiving by Douglass Purnell (Pilgrim Press, Cleveland (2003)). Purchase on Amazon.
Genesis 12-50 and Our Faith Ancestors
March 11-12, 2022
Professor George Heider
If you were God, what would you do next? We saw in the first five Bible stories that we humans tend to spoil our relationships and to spoil the world God created, yet God does not give up on us. To break into this mess, God begins to work through individual people to rebuild a world in harmony with God.
The stories of Genesis 12-50 begin with Abraham and his family. How do we live as faithful people of God? The story of Abraham points the way.
Suppose you are 75 years old and are told to move your family and belongings hundreds of miles to a country you have never visited. This is what happens to Abram, later to be renamed Abraham. God says move "to the land that I will show you," and he does (12:1-5).
This is the first remarkable thing about Abram. He simply does what God says, trusting that God must have a plan in mind. This is one description of faith: to do what God asks us to do. Sometimes the word call is used: Abraham is "called" by God to leave everything, pick up his family and move, literally to God-knows-where. The first remarkable thing about Abram is his faithfulness. (Witness to the Word, Augsburg Fortress, 1991).