Bright Future

The students got it today. And I mean to tell you - a bunch of 'em got it. The campers that make the trek out to Durango are, by and large, sharp cookies indeed.

It was a great day of teaching a new way (really, it's about the oldest way you can do it) of understanding the over-arching story of the Bible.

As many of you know - I've been studying the writings of several third-quest theologians for the last few years. It's deep water for sure. These guys are brilliant - way smarter than the average bear. Yet their premise is surprisingly simple:
"Why do we, as if we are computer-programmed, consistently read back into the scriptures all manner of (anachronistic, Greek philosophising, 21st-century, western, SUV-drivin', Starbucks drinkin') ideas that would make absolutely no sense to one of Jesus' first-century listeners?

Why don't we let the historical story of the ancient Jews, their messianic expectations, their socio-political plights and their hopes for the future - why don't we let those kinds of things dictate the meaning we take from the Bible?"
I spent a year extending their approach into a working Genesis-to-Revelation theology that can be understood by "the rest of us". Really - it was for my college students.

And then over the last month or so I've been doing my level best to streamline and simplify this primarily historical yet heavily eschatological understanding of Christianity for the students here at camp. Even still - it's a MOUTHFUL for teenagers to swallow in 3 days.

But the good news is - these guys are getting it. They're stretching themselves, they're questioning some age-old assumptions and they're seeing a fresh picture of the past, the present and the future for them and for the whole world.

So I salute all of you Institute students of 2009. Bright young men and women like you give me energy for today and a new shot of hope for the future.

Father, thank you for the young leaders you're raising up to extend your kingdom. Help us all to see, to hear and to understand your Great Story - and give each of us the strength to use our unique gifts to bring it to the whole world.

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