Theology Update for the Week of January 18

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Dear friends in Christ,

Today (Sunday, January 18, on the 5th floor at 10 o’clock) we will begin a new Bible study, Abraham: Return to Genesis.” My intention is, over the next several weeks, to look at the “narrative arc” of the Abrahamic stories. We will begin tomorrow with Genesis 11, where humankind is divided into many languages and thus spread out over the earth. God calls Abraham to go to a new land and be the founder of a New Way of Law. And yet Abraham is able to say yes, it seems, because his father had, on his own and unbidden by God, done something similar. Then through chapter 12 it seems that Abraham recapitulates in advance the future life of his descendants! It is fascinating — and I hope you will be able to join me. Also please note that beginning Monday, January 26, the class will be repeated at 12:40pm. Each of these classes lasts about 40 minutes.

This Tuesday’s topic for the Rector’s Christian Doctrine Class is “God the Son: Incarnation, Atonement, and Glory.” The Doctrine Class is particularly for people interested in confirmation or reception into the Episcopal Church, but it is open also to anyone interested in the topic of the day: Andrew Hall from 6:30 to 7:30pm.

And looking ahead:

Christopher Beha has been well-described as a courageous writer who “places sincere religious feelings at the very center of contemporary young urban life.” His first novel, What Happened to Sophie Wilder, will be discussed on Monday, January 26, from 6:15 to 7:45pm. Anyone who reads the book is welcome to the conversation.

Then on Wednesday, February 4, starting at 6:30pm (following the short Eucharist that follows the 5:30 Evensong), Christopher Beha himself will speak in the church on Faith and Fiction. Parishioners (and writers) Heather Cross and Andrea Lippke will then respond to his talk and, with me, engage him in a public conversation. There will be time for questions; a reception will follow. This event is free and open to the public.

And on the web:

Sara Maitland (whose book on the stations of the cross we read a few years ago in the monthly book seminar) has written a beautiful Christmas short story with a thoroughly satisfying surprise twist towards the end. It was published in The Tablet, and here is a link (but with apologies if it turns out to be behind a paywall).

Father Austin