Christians, Christmas and Easter

For many Christians, Christmas and Easter are the only times they truly reflect on the life and work of Jesus Christ” (Cartwright & Hulshof, p. 6).

This is new learning. Both moments centered on the birth and death of Jesus Christ are when I think of the life of Jesus Christ the most. Although I know the challenges and miracles He performed, the beginning and ending of his life is truly when I reflect on how He fulfilled the promises of the Old Testament.

“To effectively discuss an event or topic, it is helpful and necessary to have a firm grasp on the historical context of that event or topic” (Cartwright & Hulshof, p. 8).

This resonated because I had colleagues from countries where Christianity is banned. I believe historical knowledge provides a starting point when trying to venture into a new direction or explain current events. Whether it is politics or religion it is necessary to know to whom the information is being exchange, the environment and level of understanding.

“Job, one of the most famous books of the Bible due to its focus on the sufferings of a righteous man, is believed to have taken place during the time period of Genesis” (Cartwright & Hulshof, p. 9).

The time of the book of Job represents new learning mainly because I never considered the actual placement of the book of Job. Until now I never question why Job never just pleaded the blood of Christ (who had yet to be born). During the Old Testament God expected animal sacrifices to repent and I just released how much easier it was to repent in the New Testament.

“An understanding of the historical framework of the Bible will provide you with better perspective on any book or passage you study” (Cartwright & Hulshof, p. 16).

This resonates with me as a concept because while I do read The Bible, I have not read it completely and chronologically in several years. I tend to read daily passages or resonate with scripture applied to various to teachings, sermons, and situations. Knowing the historical framework of scripture makes it challenging to apply certain scriptures in teachings, sermons, or situations where it is taken out of context or only partially used to make a point.

“When you correctly understand the genre of a book or passage, your expectations and strategy for interpretation are better framed” (Cartwright & Hulshof, p. 18).

This resonates because my understanding and comprehension is easier when done chronologically or placed in a genre that make it relatable for me. Be it The Bible or sections in a library, genre resonates with me. Correct placement leads to better understanding.

“It is always best to understand a story within its own context” (Cartwright & Hulshof, p. 19).

This resonates because I agree with this statement. It irks me when I know something is being taken out of context. My biggest grievance in Christianity is when fragments of scriptures are piecemealed together to supports one’s misguided point.

“Revelation is also a letter, but its uniqueness sets it apart in it its own category” (Cartwright & Hulshof, 2019, p. 20).

The is new learning for me, partially because I do not venture in Revelations that often. I did not recall that it was also a letter because it was often preached to me as very apocalyptic and doomsday in sermons. I look forward to reading and understanding Revelations as an adult and in a learning environment.

“The opening verses of Revelation clearly identify the book as a letter to the seven churches of Asia” (Cartwright & Hulshof, p.21).

This is a new learning concept because I know that Christianity is prosecutable in some parts of Asia today. Knowing that Christianity has it roots in Asia to include letters to actual churches in The Holy Bible is enlightening. This concept alone makes me want to read and understand Revelations.

“Often people talk about the Bible as if it were a road map for life” (Cartwright & Hulshof, p. 29).

My concept of The Holy Bible is salvation and eternal life. While it is applicable to our lives it is not truly a road map because we have free will. However, it can be applied as instructional and redemptive as we pursue and fail in applying Christlike behavior in our lives.

“When we take up God’s Word and read it as a book of instructions, rules, and commands that we need to follow in order to be accepted or loved by God, we are asserting that, as great as Christ’s work was, we are capable of keeping the directives of God in a satisfactory manner” (Cartwright & Hulshof, p. 31).

Surprisingly this represents new learning. I often read scripture and attempt to apply it to my life as if that will get me into heaven. I know that my salvation comes through Jesus Christ and not through my works and application of my understanding of The Holy Bible.

Reference

Cartwright, J., Hulshof, C. (2019). Everyday Bible Study: Growing In The Christian Faith. (2nd Ed). B&H Academic.

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