Context, Content, and Connection with Art Edwards
A Book-by-Book Engagement with The Bible,
Sunday mornings from September 22 to November 3 in the Leslie Classroom
Art writes, “I’ve always thought of myself as open minded. Some would say ’empty headed’ is a better descriptor, but be that as it may.
I have believed since I was a teenager that there is wisdom and truth in all major religions. I still do, but a mistake that I’ve made by affirming all religions is to sell short the faith tradition that I’ve been trying to follow for about 55 years.
My mis-use of Christianity comes from failing to give the right kind of attention to the Bible. Make no mistake, I can recite lots of verses, but I’ve missed a big picture. This picture can only be seen by looking at individual books one at a time and engaging with a community of people to figure out what each book has to teach me/us today in every stage of life and circumstance.
Thanks to Ralph Bowlin, I’ve discovered a resource that has opened up the Bible’s books for me in ways that neither my individual study nor seminary has ever done.
I’d like to share what I’m discovering with you in a study that will look at the Bible’s first seven books in different ways:
  • Genesis – it’s not about evolution,  apples, and a snake
  • Exodus – the point is not plagues, miracles, and a baby in a basket
  • Leviticus – when was the last time you read this book?
  • Numbers – quote one verse from Numbers for me, I dare you
  • Deuteronomy – why do we need a “second” giving of the law?
  • Joshua- forget about how the “the walls come a tumbling down” and
  • Judges. – short stories to make Stephen King afraid.
I’ll talk about the context of each book – when was it written and why was it written. We’ll look at a seven-minute summary of the content in each book. Then, will work together on discovering how to connect the book to our joys and concerns today.
The premise of the class is that pursuing all religions on the surface is not as useful as committing to one religion in depth. I believe those who want to journey through life as part of a Christian community have an obligation to take a deep dive into the books that have been ‘a lamp unto the feet and a light unto the path’ of billions  of people for thousands of years.
The books can do the same for us.  I hope this is the right time for you to make the journey.”