Monday, January 4, 2010

Back to Origins - Genesis 1-11

School on the Way presents an intimate and interactive look at Genesis 1-11. We will explore the wild and terrible, wonderful and mysterious scenes of Genesis.
Among other things you will:

  • Learn the difference between Greek and Hebrew thinking
  • Find out what God thinks of us (that alone may turn your world up side down)
  • Read Genesis in the context of ancient cultures and stories.
  • Understand the best translations (and options) of the original language
  • Hear what others thru the centuries have said as they have read/listened to Genesis.
  • Listen to what God is saying to and through each other.
The Journey - We will go to the very foundations of the planet and back. In many ways my job is to be your tour guide. There will be teaching and dialogue as well as reflection. This class will be a little like the TV show LOST, you gain some new understanding (as the episodes unfold) only to get a whole new set of questions. For years I've read and taught these earlier chapters of Genesis with increasing fascination and inquiry. Every new class brought fresh insights and questions with each return to this ancient record. An insatiable appetite has driven me to spend hours studying the best thoughts on the original Hebrew text.
A degree in Old Testament has me reading much of the background context for the earlier chapters of Genesis including ancient parallels to Genesis. We are interacting with others who currently and in centuries past have reflected long and deeply about these chapters. I have been blessed with the prayers of our church in asking for God to lead in the preparation for this course. Because of seeing so many things that I have missed through the years I still feel like a beginner coming to these early chapters of Genesis. My guarantee is you will learn a ton (and not just from me).

If this has your interest read on…

Back to Origins is an inch by inch re-thinking of Genesis 1-11 (leaving no stone uncovered). Initially this journey was a 32 hour trek. In order to keep the trip from becoming an American tour blitz, we have made it into two 16 hour journeys.

  • The world before we knew it -- (Genesis 1-2) first 16 hours
  • The world as we know it -- (Genesis 3-11) second 16 hours
Core beliefs of our philosophy:

  • The Heart is center (Becoming listeners of the heart)
  • We are made for intimacy with God.
  • Spiritual Warfare is real.
Because of our philosophy the format for every one will include:

  • Study partners and dialogue (No more than two people to a commentary or research book)
  • Getting prayer support for this class– We are in a battle
  • Personal reading/listening outside of meeting together
  • Commitment to an initial 16 hours of class time 
  • Listening to the body of God's people (various backgrounds and gifts)
  • Listening to both Jews and Christians thru the centuries
  • Listening to the creation – (Ps. 19 says creation "pours forth speech")
  • Listen to people made in the image of God
  • Listening to God's heart… and ours
While I am leading us thru this grand canyon of exploration everyone will be active as an observer and finder. In varying degrees every one will be both student and teacher. There will be an emphasis on hearing and seeing what the Spirit is saying to us personally both individually and collectively as we explore (dig) the vast ancient peaks and valleys.

Part of the format will be decided on by everyone in the class. This includes:

Where we will meet?
When, how often and for how long?For Example – 2 hours once a week for eight weeks or 3 hours every other week for five or six meetings or 90 minutes for about 11 weeks or a combination of the above and/or other times and lengths that work for every one.The crucial thing is for everyone to be together for all meetings short of accident or death.
How - Doing class over a meal(s) and/or communion? 

Excursion into the Wild?

If you find yourself drawn and are wanting be considered for a group we ask you to do the following:

  • Ask God whether you should be part of the exploration
  • Read Gen 1-11 in any version (The Message is one suggestion). As you read note the things you are seeing and hearing. For all of us the first assignment is to mark (take note of) all the huh's that you come across. Huh's are the things that make you scratch your head, that surprise you, the things that don't seem to fit, the things that strike you as odd… Huh !
  • Consider the cost of time, (16 hours together as a group, weekly checking in with a study partner and personal time reading/listening). 

If you find God saying yes to you, come to an initial meeting and/or personal interview in consideration of being part of this wonderful adventure. We normally look for 7 people or so and no more than 12
for the class.

Cost: In the spirit of the New Testament, we desire more than anything that you would listen to God regarding how much to “pay” (Galatians 6:6 NLT). Classes taught by others may have a set fee. We have always intended that our classes be affordable. A class of similar content would cost $1,000-$1,400 at a local seminary or college. For each of the two treks (16 hours each) we ask you to donate a minimum of $200. In wanting to honor our teacher for this course we ask you to give this by the first day of the journey.

Our personal guarantee is that you will not find a class taught on Genesis that is as interactive as is detailed as is challenging in scope.

Genesis Tour Guide,
Jan Cowles

School on the Way exists to train and release teachers for the purpose of equipping house churches for the spontaneous expansion of healthy homes of Jesus within walking distance of every person in Colorado...the world.

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