Thursday, September 13, 2007

Disciple Bible Study - Christian Believer

Just started our Christian Believer course, a part of the Disciple Bible Study series. I am a certified facilitor for CB and for Jesus in the Gospels.

CB is a study of the basic doctrines of the Christian faith.

I may have forgotten, but isn't the local church supposed to teach doctrine?

Hmmm, I seem to remember being told in seminary to teach theology. Or was it to live good theology? Maybe I was asleep that day. Oh, I went to class, believe you me I went to class. But . . . I was known to take naps on occassion . . . And, seminary was a long time ago . . .

I just got down my old Dictionary of Theological Terms and reminded myself that:

Theology comes from the Latin words theos (God) and logos (Speech). It literally means the language we us to describe, or talk about God.

Doctrine comes from the Latin doctrina (teaching) and docere (to teach). Doctrine is that which is officially taught by the church.

Sometimes the Roman Catholic church uses the word dogma for doctrine.

Within general Christendom, the word doctrine is intended to mean "teaching approved by the church" (CB Study Manual, p. 10).

In conjuction with my daily readings for the CB study, I have begun to read again our UMC Doctrinal Standards from the 2004 Book of Discipline of the UMC. And I must admit that this is something I have not done in a very long time. I don't want to admiit how long it has been since I read my credo from seminary (I just did and threw it away . . . what immature narrowminded drivel!) and my paperwork for my elders orders (I am trying to find a copy somewhere in my office).

I think I could write a pretty good sermon series on the Doctrinal Standards. But would most of the people in the pew care? Would doing so draw people to worship. Would they understand how important, powerful and scary it is to utter the words from our mouth, "I Believe"?

I can't speak for anyone else, but I know I would enjoy it.

I think I am going to enjoy, or at the very least be challenged on this new road of reading and studying again our Doctrinal Standards and in facilitating the 30 week CB course. I have grown in my faith a lot since seminary and ordination. I want to see if I can appreciate doctrine through eyes that have lived life a while. I've made a lot of mistakes and I've celebrated a few successes as a Christian and pastor. Perhaps the foundational doctrines of my faith will have more and sweeter meaning.

I'm better than I deserve! ><>

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