I’ve been thinking about what to do next in my rather large small group (Sunday School). Last time, we got into a brief but good discussion on who decided what books and even why we follow the Hebrew rather than the Greek like Jesus… LIKE JESUS DID YOU BLOODY HERETICS.
Anyway, these two titles from Baker seem to fit into where I hope we head.
The First is Classical Christian Doctrine: Introducing the Essentials of the Ancient Faith.
This clear and concise text helps readers grasp the doctrines of the Christian faith considered basic from the earliest days of Christianity. Ronald Heine, an internationally known expert on early Christian theology, developed this book from a course he teaches that has been refined through many years of classroom experience. Heine primarily uses the classical Christian doctrines of the Nicene Creed to guide students into the essentials of the faith.
This broadly ecumenical work will interest students of church history or theology as well as adult Christian education classes in church settings. Sidebars identify major personalities and concepts, and each chapter concludes with discussion questions and suggestions for further reading.
1. What Is Classical Christian Doctrine?
2. Christian Scripture: The Source of Classical Christian Doctrine
3. “The Lord Our God Is One”: The Jewish God and the Christian Faith
4. “And the Word Was God”: The Christian Faith and the Greek Philosophers
5. “He Who Has Seen Me Has Seen the Father”: The Monarchian Approach to God
6. “Today I Have Begotten You”: Origen and the Eternal Generation of the Son
7. “One God the Father” and “One Lord Jesus Christ”: Arius and the Council of Nicaea
8. Truly God and Truly Man: Defining the Nature of Jesus
9. “And in the Holy Spirit”: The Struggle to Understand the Spirit
10. God the Father: “Maker of Heaven and Earth”
11. Binding the Strong Man: The Redemptive Work of Christ
12. “I Will Build My Church”: Defining the Church
13. “The Washing of Regeneration”: “One Baptism for the Forgiveness of Sins”
14. The Christian Eschatological Hope: The Resurrection of the Dead
15. “And They Came to Life and Reigned with Christ a Thousand Years”: The Millennium
You can find it here.
The second one is Liturgy as a Way of Life – Embodying the Arts in Christian Worship
“This book signals a new ‘turn’ in worship studies: a concern for a theologically rich and culturally alert engagement with the arts in congregational worship. It deserves a wide readership and will doubtless provoke a whole series of fruitful improvisations.”–Jeremy Begbie, Duke University
Philosopher Bruce Ellis Benson explores how the arts inform and cultivate service to God, helping the church to not only think differently about the arts but also act differently. He contends that we are all artists, that our very lives should be seen as art, and that we should live liturgically in service to God and neighbor.
Working from the biblical structure of call and response, Benson rethinks what it means to be artistic and recovers the ancient Christian idea of presenting oneself to God as a work of art. Rather than viewing art as practiced only by the few, Benson argues that we are all called by God to be artists. He reenvisions art as the very core of our being: we are God’s own art, and God calls us to improvise as living and growing works of art. Benson also examines the nature of liturgy and connects art and liturgy in a new way.
This book will appeal to philosophy, worship/liturgy, art, music, and theology students as well as those who are interested in engaging issues of worship and aesthetics in a postmodern context.
Introduction: The Art of Living
1. The Call and the Response
2. Deconstructing the Discourse of Art
3. Improvising Like Jazz
4. On Not Being an Artistic Whore
5. Becoming Living Works of Art
You can find it here.
For you free-churchers out there, following a liturgy and the lectionary is indeed a spiritual experience. You should try it sometime and get right with God.