Saturday, 15 December 2007
Living U or Yale? Hmmm...
What are they really teaching about the Bible these days?
No, not at Meredith's back-room Bible college, or any of the shonky operations run by the various COGs... Instead let's pick Yale.
Imagine being able to sit in on an undergraduate Old Testament course. Attend the lectures, access the readings, and do it all for free.
And imagine your lecturer actually knows something about the subject, with a genuine PhD (not a pretend one from a defunct unaccredited Bible college) and is a published author of textbooks and scholarly books (as opposed to booklets about the End Times.)
Quite a bargain.
Welcome to Open Yale, and Introduction to the Old Testament (Hebrew Bible) with Professor Christine Hayes.
This course examines the Old Testament (Hebrew Bible) as an expression of the religious life and thought of ancient Israel, and a foundational document of Western civilization. A wide range of methodologies, including source criticism and the historical-critical school, tradition criticism, redaction criticism, and literary and canonical approaches are applied to the study and interpretation of the Bible. Special emphasis is placed on the Bible against the backdrop of its historical and cultural setting in the Ancient Near East.
Probably just a bit different from offerings at ACCM and Ambassador Bible Center... Biblical Studies, when properly done, isn't in thrall to wishful thinking.
Open Yale Courses provides lectures and other materials from selected Yale College courses to the public free of charge via the internet... Each course includes a full set of class lectures produced in high-quality video accompanied by such other course materials as syllabi, suggested readings, and problem sets. The lectures are available as downloadable videos, and an audio-only version is also offered. In addition, searchable transcripts of each lecture are provided... No enrollment or registration is required. Anyone with access to the internet can enter the web site and view the lectures and other materials.
Did I mention the FREE bit?
So why not check it out. Embrace a challenge. Push the horizons out further. Move out from the popular misrepresentations and grow a little.
And if it turns out not to be the thing for you, what have you lost?
There's a range of other courses available too: astronomy, modern poetry, philosophy, physics, political science and psychology. Amazing! It's got to be a great opportunity to sample real higher education - risk-free, and without the pressures of assignments and exams.
CGI website - doh! The new, improved, super-duper CGI website was supposed to be online November 16. It's now almost December 16, and poor Vance Stinson must be tearing out whatever hair he has left. The Texas-based church is still adrift in cyberspace or, to change the metaphor, up the virtual creek without a paddle.
So why oh why did the lads at CGI flush the old website prematurely? How competent/incompetent is the firm they hired to do the work? Or are they relying on someone's sister's friend's cousin's teenage son to do an el-cheapo job for a few bucks under the table?
Any way you look at it, it's hard to take a church seriously that can't at least manage to create a few transitional pages on the Web to tide them over.