Theology Update for Christmastide

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Dear friends in Christ

As we celebrate Christmas, for the next couple of weeks there will be no weekday classes here at Saint Thomas. The Sunday class, however, meets every week, and if you are in town, I invite you to join me at 10 a.m. on the 5th floor.

On December 29 we will look at Job chapters 36-37, the conclusion of Elihu’s speech. Here we get into something new in this book on suffering: Elihu seems to endorse something like a divine right of kings. And that will lead to the breath-taking Voice of the Tempest that, finally, speaks to Job, starting at chapter 38. It’s perfectly acceptable to come to this class even if you haven’t been before, and in fact, one can learn something from Job starting just about anywhere.

The Job class will meet again on January 5.

Sunday, January 12, our parishioner and friend Dr Robert Duvall will give us a break from Job and turn to The Epiphany and Poetry: T. S. Eliot and Others. Like every Sunday, this class will be at 10 a.m. on the fifth floor.

The weekday classes then resume:

· Doctrinal Tuesdays: The Rector’s Christian Doctrine class starts on Tuesday, January 14, meeting from 6:30 to 7:30 p.m. in Andrew Hall.

· Thursdays: On Thursday, January 16, the Job Bible study will resume. This is a repeat of the Sunday material; the class meets 12:40 to 1:20 on the 2nd floor.

· Ethical Wednesdays: On many Wednesdays (6:30 to 7:30 p.m.) we will have classes on Christian ethics, starting with four sessions on my book, Christian Ethics: A Guide for the Perplexed. The first session will be Wednesday, January 29.

· Christians Reading Greeks: A series of monthly seminars on Greek classics will begin with Homer’s Iliad on Monday, February 3. In a week or so I will publish the exact reading assignment; it will include a selection of about 6 or 7 of the 24 books. Book I will be included.

A book review:

The current issue of Books and Culture (a bimonthly broadsheet that by the way I think is worth reading in general) has a feisty but substantial review of Reza Aslan’s Zealot: The Life and Times of Jesus of Nazareth. Since this book is a best-seller, I am sure a number of you have read it, and perhaps it has raised questions for you. Robert Gundry’s review gives what I would take to be a mainstream biblical-critical-scholarly response. You can find the review here.

May Jesus bless us as we celebrate his nativity.