The Gospel Project
Seriously. Well, based on the lessons I've been involved in, so far.
As I understand it, the idea is to study the Bible, both Old and New Testaments, with an eye on the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Go through the entire Word of God Christologically, so to speak, if I have the right word. And from what I've seen, it's set up to do just that.
Now: I've heard a lot of complaints about the material from teachers who don't seem to see that. But then, I fear that too many of the teachers I know have not been using the prior Lifeway Teacher's Material correctly, anyway. See, I've heard from Lifeway people, current and former, that the purpose of Teacher's Guides is to assist the teacher in preparing his lesson, so the teacher may then teach his lesson to the class. It was not designed to be carried into the class and read from. And before you get all upset about "his", I was raised in the gender-neutral "his" era, so get used to it, OK?
Needless to say, I've heard plenty of reading from Teacher's Guides, in Baptist SS classes.
The rub, with the Gospel Project: you can't do that!
Take the current lesson, I'm working on, at the present time. It concerns God's giving Kings to the nation of Israel, after the time of Judges. The three main points of the lesson are:
- God will rule His people through a human King.
- God will rule His people through an unlikely King.
- God will make His name known through the obedience of His people.
Now .. the lesson material dealt pretty much with those passages, and made some references to modern-day believers. But there are also some huge points that can be made in this lesson, that I'll be making next Sunday (I guess this is one week I hope my class doesn't read my blog....).
- First, His people are, today, ruled by an earthly King. True, He ascended into Heaven, but He indwells us today via His Holy Ghost. That tells me we must need that to guide us in living the abundant life He came to provide. Otherwise We wouldn't need the Holy Spirit, and He wouldn't have had to return to Heaven so He could send The Spirit down here to be our "Comforter".
- Second, Jesus is certainly unlikely as a King. He's anything but the sort of royalty we expect to see when we crank up the TV and watch some nation's monarch doing something on behalf of his people. And can you imagine a monarch in, say, England, being born in a stable? So we, as was true with Israel, are ruled by an unlikely King, even 2000 years later.
- Last, how else is God made known today? Sure, He could do the job any way He chooses. Apparently, though, He chooses to reveal Himself through His people. Particularly those who obey Him and do things like love one another ... thus showing forth His love ... and use their gifts for the building up of the Body of Christ ... that the Body may be built up for the work of service.
Hey. This is getting good!
ps: Ed & Trevin: Thanks for being challenging with this. We need it!