Monday, May 19, 2008

The Spider's Weekend (Prologue)

This weekend I was on our church retreat We Christian soldiers retreated to a place about 25 miles north of Tampa called the Word of Life Conference Center in Hudson, Florida.

This is the place to go if, like me, you have the attention span of a gnat. And I needed to keep my attention because we always invite a speaker to teach us something out of the Bible. Over the weekend our church gathered together in a conference room to hear four sessions of pretty intense stuff.

Sometimes I read the Bible and wonder why certain parts are there. For example, Exodus chapters 25-40 are instructions for the recently-departed-from-Egypt Israelites on how to build the tabernacle, the tent which housed the Ark of the Covenant.

Now I don’t want to show disrespect for God’s Word, but Exodus 25-40 isn’t exactly riveting prose. A modern editor would have helped Moses chop five chapters out of it. And one can wonder why it is in the Bible anyway. What does it tell me? Many of us can think of verses in which the importance is self-evident. (John 3:16 is an obvious one.) But 16 chapters of detailed instructions on making tents and gold objects and altars and priestly garments?

Our speaker for the past few years as been a gentleman named
Dan Hayden. Over the weekend he told us of the importance of these chapters. I am sure he has a doctorate in something because when he started translated the Greek and Hebrew I realized that I was not in the entry-level class anymore.

This week I am going to briefly summarize these four sessions. I know that there are many of you who are Catholic, Episcopal, Presbyterian, Methodist, Lutheran or otherwise unaffiliated, and I can use this as an opportunity to explain evangelical theology. Or at least to the best of my feeble abilities.
Cussin', fussin', and discussin' are greatly encouraged. (Well, maybe not too much cussin'.)

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