SERMON SERIES: ALLEGIANCE
We are beginning a series of messages around the topic of faith—only our understanding of faith as American Christians can often be defined primarily as intellectual belief alone. But what if a biblical understanding of faith was broader and deeper than mere cognitive belief? What if it called us into radical commitment to Jesus?
You see, the Greek word translated “faith” in our Bibles is pistis—and when you examine how this word is used in Jesus’ day, both in religious and secular settings, you find that faith carries with it the idea of allegiance. Now that changes all sorts of things and has powerful implications for how we live out our “faith” today in this cultural moment!
As you engage in a Sunday service, or with the discipleship resources below, we encourage you to join us on this journey as we wrestle with our understanding of what faith in Jesus truly means and how it is lived out in the everyday stuff of our lives.
HOW DOES THIS WORK?
We have created the following Discipleship Resources to enable you to participate in a deeper way throughout the series, in addition to attending our weekly Sunday Gatherings. While you likely cannot do everything we have included here, we do encourage you to do something to grow and focus your attention on Jesus. Therefore, we have created three pathways, each with varying levels of commitment, for you to choose from. Our encouragement is that you would choose one and stick with it , even if your participation wavers at times.
Read the Gospel of Mark
This summer, we encourage you to read the Gospel of Mark in the Bible—even multiple times, if you would like.
In addition to this, you are encouraged to use the devotional “Mark”, a Bible reading plan found on Bible.com (and the YouVersion Bible app) by the publisher Love God Greatly.
Theology on Tap
Every week this summer we will gather to discuss the theology and contents of Mark, while also reading Conrad Gempf’s book, Jesus Asked. You don’t have to be a theologian to join us, though we do recommend that you read Mark and read Conrad’s book so that you can add your thoughts and questions to the conversation.
Purchase Jesus Asked
Jesus Asked by Conrad Gempf is available for purchase at our Bookstore for $10. You can also purchase the book online.
Lectures by Dr. Kenneth Bailey
Dr. Kenneth Bailey
Dr. Bailey was a renowned New Testament scholar, seminary professor, author, and Presbyterian career missionary who died in 2016. Born to career missionary parents who served in Egypt, the Sudan, and Ethiopia, Kenneth was introduced to Arabic and Arab cultures in early childhood. These experiences led Kenneth on a path of re-reading the Scriptures—and particularly the teachings and parables of Jesus—in their cultural context. He remains noted for his uniquely insightful treatment of the parables of Jesus.
This summer we invite you watch a series of lectures by Dr. Kenneth Bailey on the Parables. Dr. Bailey has created 15 lectures on the parables, each about 30 minutes, often highlighting what is often overlooked or misunderstood, thereby brining the parables to life once again for a modern audience. We encourage you to watch the Introduction video first, then feel free to watch them in any order you wish.
Read Jesus Through Middle Eastern Eyes
Jesus Through Middle-Eastern Eyes by Kenneth Bailey is available for purchase at our Bookstore for $20. You can also purchase the book online.
In Jesus through Middle Eastern Eyes Ken Bailey leads you on a kaleidoscopic study of Jesus throughout the four Gospels. Bailey examines the life and ministry of Jesus with attention to the Lord's Prayer, the Beatitudes, Jesus' relationship to women, and especially Jesus' parables. Through it all, Bailey employs his trademark expertise as a master of Middle Eastern culture to lead you into a deeper understanding of the person and significance of Jesus within his own cultural context.
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Each week during our sermon series we invite you to participate in a devotional that relates to the sermon you heard the previous Sunday. By engaging the core ideas of the sermon personally through your own devotional it will allow the Spirit of God to move in your life in a deeper way.
Each devotion is designed to take about 15 minutes (or longer if you would like) and involves reading Scripture, engaging a Spiritual Practice, Reflection and Prayer. The two Spiritual Practices we will invite you to try on are Lectio Divina (“Divine Read ing”) and Imaginative Prayer . You can try on one practice for all the devotions or you can mix it up by alternating which one you engage in for each devotional—it’s your choice!