Who was this human being named Jesus who walked about Galilee in the first century, the person who showed what God is like and what a human life full of God is like? This question will be examined by William M. Linden in the Candlelighters adult Sunday School class at St. Paul’s United Methodist Church. The eight-part series runs from October 5 to December 7 at 9:45 a.m. in S-109, first floor of the Sanctuary building. (The series will break on the third Sunday of the month when Dr. Niels Nielsen, chair emeritus of the Rice University religious studies department, normally teaches the Candlelighters.) Linden holds a postgraduate Diploma in Theology from Oxford University and is board chair of Houston’s Foundation for Contemporary Theology. He also is an associate member of the Westar Institute, which sponsors the Jesus Seminar, the leaders in academic historical Jesus research. Emerging from such research is a Jesus of Nazareth unadorned with layers of traditional Christian theology and church dogma. This Jesus shows what God is like and what a human life full of God is like. Particular emphasis in this series will be placed on the Jewish context of first-century Israel, Jesus’ treatment of women as equal with men in ministry, and his opposition to the patriarchal system of his day. Participants will be introduced to a new way to read the Bible and to think about God — not as the God with rules, guilt, and punishment, but as a God of Justice, compassion, forgiveness, and acceptance. The weekly schedule follows: October 12: Two Voices of the Gospels October 26: How Jesus’ birth stories and the Virgin Mary have resulted in the subjugation and exploitation of women November 2: Parables November 9: Equality vs. Patriarchy November 23: Post-Easter Jesus November 30: Earlier Paradigm Christian Theology, including Fundamentalism December 7: Emerging Paradigm Christian Theology Linden teaches a similar course through the Rice University School of Continuing Studies. For more about the class, contact Rev. Shelli Williams at email@example.com or 713-528-0527. At 5501 Main Street, St. Paul’s is on the corner of Main and Binz/Bissonnet, across from the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston. The church is within one block of both Museum District MetroRail stops, and free parking is available in two lots across Fannin Street from the church. For more about St. Paul’s, see www.stpaulshouston.org.
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