Breakout Session: Harry Lee Poe C.S. Lewis on the Psalms - When C. S. Lewis undertook his study of the Psalms, he said that it "is not what is called an 'apologetic' work," by which he meant a book
"trying to convince unbelievers that Christianity is true." In another sense, however, apologetics is precisely what this devotional book for believers really is. In addition to believers, Lewis indicated that he wrote the book for "those who are ready, while reading, to 'suspend their disbelief." He does not deal with all the psalms, but he focuses on the ones that cause "difficulties" and that for modern readers "are at first most repellent." This session will explore how Lewis made the psalms accessible to a modern audience without changing their meaning. Session Notes
Breakout Session: Paul Jackson Don't Miss the Forest for the Trees - The Psalms are like a densely thicketed forest with five distinct yet connected sections. As a forest is only as beautiful as the sum of its trees, the Psalms overarching glory eludes us if we mainly study them individually. Sometimes interpretations and applications are missed because a key observation has been overlooked by focusing on just one "tree" - the key of observing how the author crafted the transitions between each large section. This session will explore how understanding the structure of the Psalms is essential for proper interpretation and application. Session Notes
Breakout Session: Kevin Chen God as a Poet: The Poetry of the Psalms - It is easy to forget that the Psalms are 150 separate poems. They are creative, emotional, lyrical poems designed in the mind of God. The poetry is easy to overlook because we read the Psalms in English translations. This breakout session will help us to rediscover the poetry of the Psalms. We will examine the use of descriptive imagery, helpful comparisons, and some uniquely Hebrew characteristics as well. Just as we read and interpret English poems differently from, say, essays or personal letters, we should also read and interpret the Psalms according to their style. Session Notes
Breakout Session: Heath Thomas The Magnificent 7: Seven Ways of Reading (or Misreading) Scripture - A crucial question in reading Scripture is surprisingly simple: "What am I reading for?" This session will take us through some major reasons we read Scripture. We will see that people normally read the Bible to understand: ancient history, ancient literature, ancient culture, God's rules, God's promises, or simple facts. We will see that each of these, while important, fall short of what it means to read Scripture. We will explore a seventh way that helps us hear the voice of God in and through His Word.
Breakout Session: Andy Davis The Bible Comes to Life: How Scripture Memory Transforms One's Life - In this breakout session we will discuss the benefits of extended memorization of scripture for maximum fruitfulness in the Christian life. Practical insights on how to do memorization will be given.
Psalmfest Psalmfest - Led by Dr. Chris Mathews and the Union University Music Department, this was a wonderful opportunity to experience the singing of the Psalms in a variety of styles which have been used in the church through the ages.
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