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Hope Institute Winter Session
February 2 @ 10:45 am - 12:00 pm
An event every week that begins at 10:45 am on Sunday, repeating until March 29, 2020
“Disappointment with God: When God Stops Making Sense”
Feb. 2- Mar. 29, 10:45-Noon, room 106. (no class 2/16, holiday weekend)
The Old Testament tells a story, a story of God’s people, from Adam, to Abraham, to Moses, through the monarchy and to the return from Babylonian exile. And the story goes something like this:
God formed a people of his own, delivered them from slavery, and gifted them a land and the promise of his presence if they remain faithful to his covenant, to the law of Moses. Obedience ensures perpetual presence in the land (i.e., good things) and disobedience ensures eventual exile from the land (i.e., bad things).
So Israel’s main storyline is pretty black and white, a lesson to be learned, a story with a moral. However, those of us who live in the world recognize that life not black and white – it is messy, unpredictable, and often makes no sense. The books of Job, Ecclesiastes, and select psalms recognize this and function as a great counterbalance to the retributive theology of the Law and Proverbs.
In this class, we will take a deeper look at these books and consider the questions that they ask: “Why do bad things happen to good people?” (Job), “Does anything I do really matter in the end?” (Ecclesiastes), “Why do the wicked prosper?” and “Why does God appear to not care very much about injustice?” (Psalms). These questions become an invitation to seek God differently–even through confrontation and debate, as these biblical books model for us.
The only requirements for this class is a Bible, a notebook and a willingness to wrestle with some difficult issues. All other materials will be provided.