The lecture today focussed on Ecclesiology, the Church. Several interesting things I learnt include:
1. Sociologists were said to comment that by right a church in its setting should not have existed within a sociological framework. I totally agree - if not for the one tenet of the church, viz. the saving grace of God through his Son, Jesus Christ, there is no basis for all of us in all our differences to be one in Christ, as we are now.
2. The church can be described in relation to the Trinity - the nation of God, the body of Christ and the temple of the Holy Spirit.
3. The church consist of the following:
* the invisible church - the one true Church, of believers regardless of time, be it from the past, in the present or in the future
* the visible church - that which is seen by our eyes, consisting of "wheat" and "tares"
* the universal church - all believers at any one time
* the local church - the community of believers at one locality
4. The church is basically involved in 4 areas:
* social concern.
5. Social concern are acts of ministry to the needy and suffering with ends in itself, i.e. not as means to achieve something else. This is also where we discussed a very practical issue I brought up. What should a church or a Christian do in these situations and what are the implications:
* when approached by a non-Christian religious body for assistance in the social organisation that they run, be it an orphanage or an old folks home
* when approached by a temple to buy their building fund food fair tickets in reciprocation of their purchase of your church's building fund food fair
During lunch Kar Yong suddenly remarked that since I have the intention of taking the module on parables, I need to go get the recommended text from the "bookstore" in STM. So off I went and thankfully I already have Klyne Snodgrass' Stories with Intent. Thankful because of my book-fast, albeit ironical since it was also the reason for the book-fast!
And since I have committed to the fast through this blog, this has to be reported: that I broke my fast again. On a food fast, I'd still have to eat! I reasoned that this should an acceptable break and I took away with me:
1. Craig Blomberg's Preaching the Parables (for the module on parables)
2. William Dumbrell's The Faith of Israel (for my Interpreting OT assigments but more so because it was only RM26)
3. Daniel Maguerat's How to Read Bible Stories (it was a bargain at RM15 but I thought it will be useful for my sessions with the youth)
I was contemplating 5 other books but I exercised self-control - for good or for bad?