Over the course of this year, I’ve been teaching a series of seminars at ChristChurch London giving an overview of the gospels. This has been really fun (for me at least!) and has provided a great opportunity to go into more depth than we typically get to in a Sunday sermon. Whilst I’m sure there’s plenty more we could still have covered, I think that across these twelve sessions we’ve done a pretty decent survey of many of major themes in the gospels. As I said when I started, the gospels really are “shallow enough here for a lamb to go wading, but deep enough there for the elephant to swim.” And finishing a series like this makes me realise just how much deeper the elephant could have dived before he hit rock bottom!
And this week we’ve finally finished! So I thought I would pull all the material together into one place, in case you fancy wading through the 15+ hours of teaching and many pages of notes.
Click the links below to check out each of the sessions. On each page you will find the audio file and relevant handouts. There’s also a reading list, in case you want to follow up on any of the material.
Theology Matters: The Gospels
Session 1: Context
What was the historical background to the gospels? And how does that help us read them effectively?
Session 2: Genre
What are gospels? Why do we have four of them? Why are there differences? And how should we read them?
Session 3: Purpose – Matthew and Mark
Why do the gospels tell the story of Jesus in different ways? And what details did Matthew and Mark particularly want to emphasise?
Session 4: Purpose – Luke and John
What did Luke and John want to communicate about Jesus? And how did that affect the way they arranged their gospels?
Session 5: The Big Story
How do the gospels fit within the grand story of Scripture? And what did Jesus mean by the Kingdom of God?
Session 6: The Little Stories
Why did Jesus speak in confusing little stories? And how should we interpret and apply the parables?
Session 7: Symbols – Monotheism and Election
How did Jesus treat the central unifying symbols of Judaism? And what did he say about monotheism and election?
Session 8: Symbols – Temple and Torah
Why was Jesus so critical of the Temple? And what did he have to say about the law?
Session 9: Signs
Why did Jesus do so many miracles? And what can they teach us about his self-understanding and his ministry?
Session 10: The Coming of the Son of Man
What is the ‘coming of the son of man’? And what should we make of Jesus’ cryptic sayings in Mark 13?
Session 11: Why Did Jesus Die?
Why did Jesus die? What were the Roman and Jewish charges against him? And what was his own intention?
Session 12: Why Did Jesus Rise?
What did the gospel-writers make of Jesus’ resurrection? And what can the events of Easter Sunday teach us today?