Adult Christian Education

Adult Christian Education continues at Cherry Hill.

Please join us for our classes.

Sunday Morning Bible Study

9:00 am – Memorial Parlor

Getting the Most Out of James

     Unlike most books of the New Testament, the letter of James is best known for the people who don’t like it! It’s viewed as a scalawag among the obviously Christ-centered letter of Paul and love-concerned writings of John. People like love. They like Christ. They don’t like James! James is harsh and dogmatic. We feel the sting of his words even today: “Don’t be deceived,” “You foolish person,” “You adulterous people,” Now listen!” James can be hard to take for good reason.

     Of all the people who do not like James, Martin Luther is probably the most famous. Compared to the other solid New Testament writings, James, he felt, was full of straw – empty, hollow. Because of Luther’s feelings and those of others like him, Protestant Christians have tended to ignore this book.

     Yet the early church saw James as a book bearing apostolic authority and, more importantly, as a book that bore God’s authority. James spoke a needed and empowering word to the churches. Thus it was included in the New Testament canon alongside Paul and John, carrying equal weight with their writings. Because it has been avoided and because it bears the full force of God’s Word, James deserves careful study.

     All are invited to be part of the Sunday Morning Bible Study group as the explore James this winter. The group gathers at 9:00 am on Sunday mornings in Memorial Parlor beginning Sunday, January 8. Bob Jones will lead the discussion. Copies of the book, Getting the Most Out of James” are available for $5.00 per copy.

Monday Afternoon Study Group

1:00 pm – Memorial Parlor

Signs & Wonders: A Beginner’s Guide

to the Miracles of Jesus

     Beginning Monday, January 9, the Monday Afternoon Study Group will embark upon a six week study of the miracles of Jesus as they are recorded in the gospels. The class will be using the book, Signs and Wonders: A Beginners Guide to the Miracles of Jesus  by Amy Jill Levine. Dr. Levine is professor of New Testament  and Jewish Studies at Hartford Seminary.  Until recently, Dr. Levine, who describes herself as an “unorthodox member of an Orthodox synagogue,” taught New Testament in a Christian divinity school in the buckle of the Bible belt.

     In Signs and Wonders: A Beginner’s Guide to the Miracles of Jesus, Amy-Jill Levine explores selected miracles of Jesus in historical and theological context. With brilliant insight and trademark wit, Dr. Levine reveals wondrous details of the most prominent miracles in the Gospels. For each miracle, she discusses not only how past witnesses would have understood the events, but also how today’s readers can draw meaning from Jesus’s words and actions.

Chapter topics include:

Giving sight to the blind: Metaphors of understanding (Mark 8, John 9)

“Take up your pallet and walk” (the paralyzed man): On the role of caregivers

A bleeding woman and a dead girl: The importance of women’s bodies

Walking on water and stilling the storm: Ecological readings of the Gospels

The feeding of the 5,000 (or more): The centrality of bread

The raising of Lazarus: Taking death seriously

     All are invited to join the group on Monday afternoons beginning Monday, January 9. Copies of Dr. Levine’s book are available for $10.00 per copy. Rev. Mark Phillips will serve as group leader.