Dave Black is teaching New Testament Theology this Fall at Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary. He is teaching this course as a seminar, with students and outside lecturers leading much of the discussion.
Dr. Black has asked to speak on “The Church in Corinth” in his class on Wednesday, September 30 from 2:00-3:00 p.m. (Consider this your invitation to join us that day.) I’m looking forward to preparing for this lecture and the following discussion. I’m also planning to develop this lecture as a presentation, perhaps for a regional meeting of ETS or SBL.
This is what Dr. Black said about my session on his blog on Thursday, August 13, at 5:10 p.m.:
I am looking forward with eager anticipation to Alan Knox’s lecture in our theology class this semester. The church’s corporate behavior in “worship” is often â€“ perhaps normally â€“ inhibited by a thousand conventions that have nothing to do with the Bible or even the Gospel. The gathering of the church, according to the New Testament, has quite a different focus. The New Covenant is new because, and only because, it is a function of love. It is authenticated by the drama of a koinonia that ought to be a mixture of mutual exhortation and encouragement among persons talking freely, sharing burdens, and receiving the comfort of truth. Here they realize that this world is their Father’s house, not some “worship center.” The law of love is the one constraint that governs their actions. I would say that unless the leaders (elders) of a church community can be persuaded to talk quite freely to one another about the need for mutual encouragement as the focus of the gathering (Heb. 10:24-25) their stewardship in the community will not be worth two cents.
On the one hand, this looks like a very provocative statement. Can you imagine saying to church leaders that “their stewardship in the community” is not worth two cents? However, if we are not following the instructions of Scripture – if we are happy and content to follow our traditions without comparing them to Scripture – then perhaps our efforts are not only worth less that two cents, but perhaps our efforts (as well-intentioned as they may be) are costing the church tremendously.