Saturday, August 21, 2010

In with the Old

I realized I haven't blogged much this week.  I have been among other things, immersing myself in the Old Testament,  in preparation for this upcoming quarter of classes in which I am teaching the pastors.  Where do you start?

 

Seriously, up this point, a lot of my teaching had a starting point. I taught Ephesians a year and a half ago, and my teaching was the book itself.  Then I taught two quarters of Veritas. I taught on the poetry parts of scripture (Job, Psalms, Proverbs, etc.) for one quarter and the Gospels for another quarter.  Each had a manual that I could use as a starting ground.  Then I taught preaching two quarters ago and had a couple of books to work from and the same for this last quarter as I was teaching about the church.

 

 But, the OLD TESTAMENT?  So, I have been gathering materials, but the enormity of it has been a bit overwhelming.

 

There were a few things guiding me in direction I wanted to go:

The account from Luke 24 where Jesus says to the two men, 5 "O foolish ones, and slow of heart to believe all that the prophets have spoken! 26 Was it not necessary that the Christ should suffer these things and enter into his glory?" 27 And beginning with Moses and all the Prophets, he interpreted to them in all the Scriptures the things concerning himself."

 

And then I read in Colossians 2:16-17 - 16Therefore let no one pass judgment on you in questions of food and drink, or with regard to a festival or a new moon or a Sabbath. 17These are a shadow of the things to come, but the substance belongs to Christ.

 

There are so many more important verses in the New Testament that speak about how the Old Testament reveals and explains and predicts what will happen in the New Testament.  I wanted to teach the OT with a sense of explaining the reality in all the shadows. There is so much of Christ in the OT from the tabernacle to the Priests, from the characters to the sacrifices.  I want them to understand the thread of Christ from which He is the Word of God. 

 

I also wanted to do a type of walk through the Bible, giving the pastors something they could teach their children and people in their churches as a way to remember the stories in the OT. I did this as a student with Walk Thru the Bible and with a class at Multnomah Bible College and now I wanted to do it as a teacher.

 

And I also wanted to hit on key themes throughout the Old Testament that helped build a bridge into understanding the whole theme. There are many key themes, like Covenants, Love, Kingdom and many more.   A big picture, airplane perspective kind of thing.

 

And, I wanted to cover a bit of each book.

 

And I wanted to try and think through it with a Zambian cultural perspective.

 

So, you can see that it is difficult to accomplish all of this in only 39 classes/13 weeks to get all that I want to say said succinctly satisfactorily.   

 

But, I am making progress, pangono-pangono (bit by bit, in Nyanga), and having a good time doing it.   As any teacher says, we learn far more than the students ever will. 

 

I just about have the class schedule written up and the assignment ready and the requirements set.   And get this, I am giving them the Final Exam on the first day.  I really want to see where they are at, which will help me know how to teach the rest of the quarter.  I just can't wait to see their faces when I tell them.  I know  it is a bit cruel, and no, they won't be graded for it. It is just more an opportunity to assess and then help them understand what I want them to know at the end of the quarter. 

 

So, please pray for us and for Tracy, my partner and supervisor as he returns from furlough. 

 

 

Steve Allen

ACTION Zambia

www.aliveinafrica.com

 

 

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