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How Many Basic Sermon Types?


glintofpewter
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I happen to look up basic plots. found the following site and it made me wonder if there is an equivalent categorization of sermons.

 

http://www.ipl.org/div/farq/plotFARQ.html

 

some quick ideas

 

1. Only one? One with God in thought word and deed.

2. Two: be good. Do good.

2. Love God. Love humankind.

3. Ten commandments

4. Three: love god, love others, love sacrificially.

5. 1) God as other;2) in personal relationship with God, ultimate reality, and 3) as God, the embodiment of God in the world

 

Any thoughts?

 

Dutch

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Dutch,

 

The church I attended some years ago had a pastor who was an extremely spiritual man, but could NOT give a sermon. He always talked on the day's scripture, and his sermons could put anybody to sleep. Yet, there were times when I felt as if he were speaking directly to me, about my concerns.

 

I think your ideas about "plots" were pretty right-on. For me, the sermons that touch me deeply concern anything to do with addressing the shadow and animus/anima. That can involve anything from interpersonal relationships, addiction, hate/anger, etc.

 

Don't know if that's what you were looking for, but there it is. :unsure:

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Yvonne,

 

Just a casual enthusiasm I thought would be fun.

 

I especially like your response. Shadow and animus/anima could be one of seven basic themes I think.

 

And soma - well that's the criteria most of us use. I use to expect to be ambushed, to be deeply touched either in song or word in worship. My grumbling had overcome that until recently. At least I find less to grumble about.

 

I used to take organized notes to stay awake during bad preaching. Three and out. Three points and a conclusion. Then met a preacher who said he used a bulls eye as an outline. Interesting to consider. But structure aside I just wondered what the response would be.

 

Dutch

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I'm uncertain here...are you talking about possible topics/themes, or structural forms for delivering them? O kinda like that 'bulls-eye' idea....I've noticed a lot of what Jesus taught was in that form, but many people miss it because they read each parable and saying separately, as stand-alone, when the point is acutally being delivered in stages....most often three, that often go from general idea, to specific demonstration, to personal application (bulls-eye).

 

Jenell

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for fun -- my models are in the link above. That page considers 1, 3, 7, 20, or 36 ways to catergorize of plot types. I think some are structures or arcs. Sermons are a different genre. More like an essay? The seven plots I remember from childhood

7 Plots

 

7 basic plots as remembered from second grade by IPL volunteer librarian Jessamyn West:

  1. [wo]man vs. nature
  2. [wo]man vs. [wo]man
  3. [wo]man vs. the environment
  4. [wo]man vs. machines/technology
  5. [wo]man vs. the supernatural
  6. [wo]man vs. self
  7. [wo]man vs. god/religion

three types of essays

 

The argumentative essay is a piece of creative writing in which authors express their thoughts and provide arguments for or against a specified idea.

The narrative essay is a description of events as they follow one another. Facts are organized in keeping with the actual course of happenings.

The descriptive essay is different from the narrative type in the order in which ideas and facts are arranged. It is not determined by the actual succession of events but rather by characteristics of happenings or the writer's pattern of the presentation.

The essay is made up by three main compulsory structural parts: the introduction, the main body and the conclusion. It is worth remembering that coherence, clarity, consistence and logic are features of a perfectly arranged essay.

 

Way too serious. Maybe something like this.

 

  1. Supplication (in which the Supplicant must beg something from Power in authority)
  2. Deliverance
  3. Crime Pursued by Vengeance
  4. Vengeance taken for kindred upon kindred
  5. Pursuit
  6. Disaster
  7. Falling Prey to Cruelty of Misfortune
  8. Revolt
  9. Daring Enterprise
  10. Abduction
  11. The Enigma (temptation or a riddle)
  12. Obtaining
  13. Enmity of Kinsmen
  14. Rivalry of Kinsmen
  15. Murderous Adultery
  16. Madness
  17. Fatal Imprudence
  18. Involuntary Crimes of Love (example: discovery that one has married one’s mother, sister, etc.)
  19. Slaying of a Kinsman Unrecognized
  20. Self-Sacrificing for an Ideal
  21. Self-Sacrifice for Kindred
  22. All Sacrificed for Passion
  23. Necessity of Sacrificing Loved Ones
  24. Rivalry of Superior and Inferior
  25. Adultery
  26. Crimes of Love
  27. Discovery of the Dishonor of a Loved One
  28. Obstacles to Love
  29. An Enemy Loved
  30. Ambition
  31. Conflict with a God
  32. Mistaken Jealousy
  33. Erroneous Judgement
  34. Remorse
  35. Recovery of a Lost One
  36. Loss of Loved Ones.

 

If it is fun to consider this ---

 

dutch

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Yvonne,

 

Could you say a little more about Shadow and animus/anima type/theme sermons? I am vaguely aware of shadow from Myers-Briggs but am not sure how that is revealed or examined in a sermon.

 

I knew a pastor who, at least for the 18 months I heard him, seem to have one sermon: God loves you and so do I. He chose examples from his experience each week to accompany the Scripture.

 

Our Christmas eve sermon included the story about the 4th wiseman who was unable to give Jesus his jewels because he used them along the way to help others. I would call this a "Give sacrificially"

Lets make the quest for themes rather than types

 

What if you were part of the "leadership" of a house church which picked a different topic each week. Would those topics fall into categories?

  1. Shadow
  2. God loves you
  3. Love God

    1. Sub category?

[*]Love your neighbor

  1. sub category?

[*]Give sacrificially ( A third commandment after love God and love your neighbor.)

[*]

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I think a lot of the themes and categories mentioned have excellent potential. Whatever the form or type of presentation, certainly the basic goal is to inform, to tell the listener, or reader, something they didn't know before, or to reveal to them an insight, a perspective, a way of thinking about something, in a way they may not have before. Since we are talking specifically about sermons, as compared to any other kind of essays, I think there is a basic requirment, expectation of, something with potential to ellicit thought toward positive change, growth, in the hearer or reader. Something that sparks new directions of thought, that may lead to new insights, new realizations, new perspectives.

 

That's why, I guess, my first thought example above about Jesus's teachings was how He used the 1-2-1 of general, specific demonstration, personal application. I think we all have weakness there, myself included, in translating something we might "know" in a general sense, may be able to apply in a sense of specific demonstration that is non-personal to ourselves, generally, as we see it demonstrated through/in "someone else", but then fail at the point of translating it into how it applied personally to one's self. That underlies the problem in thinking to remove the mote from another's eye while unaware of the beam in one's own eye.

 

I think an often neglected element in sermons, in this sense of being informative, is that of presupposition that the hearer/reader has a sound working understanding of any term or topic item, crucial to comprehending the message presented in the sermon. In my own experience, despite having been in a religious environment all my life, it wasn't until I studied in Religious Studies, most especially "Christian Ethics" that I was presented with really working understandings of such things as idolatry, hypocrisy, adultery, and a number of other moral and spiritual weaknesses, failings, and errors in thinking, that I recognized in how many I had fallen, or could have fallen, without even realizing it. While I already "knew" those as things I should try to avoid, I didn't understand what they actually were, actually involved, and how vulnerable I was, and others can be, to falling into them unawares. The chapter on Idolatry alone, in Paul Ramsey's book, "Basic Christian Ethics", in which he described the psychological course and process of falling into idolatry, set shock waves reverberating throughout my whole beliefs system that are even still, more than 5 years later, still working to transform my thinking, ideas, beliefs, and perspectives. No one had to point out to me my specific failures toward idolatry, which of course i would have actively rejected, once given the information, I was empowered to do that within my own self.

 

Likewise, beginning to understand how our thoughts, behaviors, actions, really do "arise out of the heart", works toward bringing understanding of why Jesus said such things as that to even look upon a woman with lust was to have committed adultery with her already. Rather than that being just another "sinful" thing we "shouldn't do" for sake of itself, there comes understanding of why, the practical effects of consciously attending to our thoughts, emotional responses, and personal attitudes. Again, having the information, the understanding, I didn't need someone else to point out, tell me, where I was astray, which I would have naturally rejected, even resented, I was empowered to begin recognizing and rooting out those things within myself.

 

Jenell

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Glintopewter, In Korea when I first got married and my wife wanted to attend church. I use to memorize poems so I could mentally recite them during the service. I didn't understand the Korean, but the service was rewarding because of the time spent inside. Would you count Alan Watt's discourses as sermon?

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Another thought.....something I remember that came up on a DOC discussion board a few years ago...some pastors/teachers spoke of a matter of the Holy Spirit effectively working through a sermon presentation they had experienced at times...how it can happen in unexpected ways.

 

 

The topic was how a pastor may experience having someone from within the congregation come to them after a sermon presentation, expressing gratitude at how the pastor's sermon affected them, moved them, in a very personally relevant way, perhaps helping them come to a new insight about a personal problem, while the pastor becomes more and more puzzled at how they got that out of the sermon just presented, that what they were saying didn't seem to have anything to do with anything the pastor actually said. Some experienced pastors in that discussion said they had just come to accept it as the power of the Holy Spirit at work in ways beyond their understanding or control.

 

It was observed that perhaps in this kind of thing, we find true understanding of what happened when the Apostles began to speak on the day of Pentecost, of every hearer, despite their own language, "heard and understood" what was said, in their own language. That "hearing in one's own language" can have a deeper, spiritual meaning beyond mere differences in different naitve human languages, but in the sense we today might say of how someone is expressing something, "now you are speaking my language," or "he/she know the language" as it pertains to a sub-cultural, social, religious, or ethnic group.

 

In this case, the matter may be that what the pastor says in the sermon, the way he/she says it, may strike the ears, mind, sparks thoughts, of another, in a very different way than anticipated or as the pastor him/her self "hears" it.

 

Jenell

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Dutch, in having gone back over both your posts, and the information in the links, I feel there is something missing between ideas of themes vs plots. Theme is the overall or underlying idea one is attempting to present, but plot is HOW you get there. In most the suggested themes, i see suggested topics, rather than actual themes....the theme chosen for any presentation of each topic might vary considerably according to the point one is attempting to make, or in old fashioned terms, "the moral of the story" intended.

 

As noted in one of the links given, one might, depending on how plot is structured, present very different "moral of the story" from each set of ---- vs---- topics. Depending on how plot unfolds, the outcome can be success, sastisfaction, overcoming, or failure, or even the hopelessness, futility of man's efforts against fate.

 

As an example of a theme handled with an unexpected plot development toward an end message, or "moral of the story", I remember reading a story, I'm thinking it may have been by Depak Chopra, though I'm not a big fan of nor have I read much by him....but as I recall, it was from the perspective of a boy/young man, trying to resolve issues in his world view as taught by his father or grandfather, and community, vs his observation of reality and application of reality. The boy was struggling to find satisfactory resolution between such things as how his elders dogmatically insisted that if one does the right thing, the right outcome, reward, is inherent and inevitably follows. The elder man seemed totally convinced that if he was always kind, caring, generous toward others in helping meet their needs, there was some cosmic force at work that would assure his own needs would be met in turn as they arose. And the boy could see that wasn't evident in real life...he saw kind, generous, caring people, even his own elder in the story, suffer horrible mis-treatment and neglect of their own needs. So while the theme was of doing good/right = assured reward, positive outcome, the "moral of the story" was the error, the futility of that belief. That if the boy was to integrate being kind, caring, and generous toward others into his personal world-view and beleifs system, he was going to have to find some reason other than expectation of positive outcome, reward.

 

Jenell

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Soma,

what counts as a sermon is category with almost boundless horizons but even in a narrow view Watts talks would be considered "sermons." I didn't listen to many but perhaps those are "an opening new vistas" discourse?

 

Jenell,

Of course something is missing. We haven't finished exploring. I wasn't clear about where we started and I have no measure of where we are now. But we are having fun :blink: ?

 

That if the boy was to integrate being kind, caring, and generous toward others into his personal world-view and beleifs system, he was going to have to find some reason other than expectation of positive outcome, reward.

expecting reward for good behavior is a good candidate for sermon type I think. Quickly - the story of James and John wanting to be at the right hand of God. The rejection of Cain's offering. Would the mirror of this - expecting the worse and getting something wonderful be a different theme/topic.

 

I guess that expecting reward for good behavior and expecting the worst might be two on a list of theme/topic such as the list of 36 "plots" which aren't plots so much as themes.

 

And so the list grows although I am not sure all here are at the same distance from some center heart of the matter. If we used a bulls eye Love God, Love your neighbor might be on the first ring and expecting reward might be one ring further out.

 

Jenell I'll read your posts more closely soon. For now on the imaginary dry erase board I have

  1. Shadow
  2. God loves you
  3. Love God

    1. Sub category?

[*]Love your neighbor

  1. sub category?

[*]Give sacrificially ( A third commandment after love God and love your neighbor.)

[*]Expecting a reward for good behavior

  1. with/without a twist
  2. self discipline

[*]Expecting punishment for bad behavior

  1. with/without a twist
  2. environmental pollution

[*]opening a new door (Alan Watts)

 

Dutch

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Yes, Dutch, we are! :D

 

On the matter of the shadow, anima, animus.....I'd say its very important that before one begins to attempt to utilize those concepts, certainly before attempting to present them through a sermon or otherwise introduce those ideas and principles to others, that one first does some study of them, seriously and deeply enough to accurately understand them, before hand. I know that is "standard good sense" advice about anything, but would stress that these are ideas and concepts for which there is enormous amounts of eroneous information and false presuppositions about in the general lay population (lay in sense of formal education in psychological disciplines involving those).

Much of that problem arises out of how terms such as how "the shadow" is too easily presumed to be related to age-old concepts about humans' "dark (evil) side", which "the shadow" in this context has nothing to do with at all, and unfortunately, use of gender loaded terms such as masculine, feminine, and androynous, that get terrible mixed up with unretated cultural/social concept of acceptable and appropriate gender roles. Kindness, nurturing, and caring are no more "feminine traits" than are defensive, possessive, and other forms of agression, "masculine traits." In many ways, concepts involved in ideas of the anima and animus correspond well to such concepts as that of Yin and Yang in Eastern thought, and 'the shadow" to the natural tendency toward balancing those elements, or forces. On some basic ways, the concept the "the shadow" also incorporates some of the same ideas as Freud's theories about supression and repression of natural urges toward meeting basic needs as source of internal conflict and inapproprate acting-out behaviors.

 

At the core of it is a basic shift in perspective away from attempting to determine, judge, right/wrong, good/bad, evil/holy, as constants, toward that of evaluating what is appropriate in any given situation or context or matter. Not quite the same thing as situational ethics or relativity, but something even more primary, basic, that undelies even those ideas.

 

Within the shadow resides all those things, those parts of ourselves, that are natrural and normal needs and urges, that are not inherently "wrong" or "bad", but that for life's choices and experiences along the way, we've had to subvert, suppress, repress, for any an all kinds of reasons....the very most basic being that we simply cannot be, do everything, in this one life. We HAVE to make such choices between what we will do, what we will expereince, in our life. A very common tradtional conflict of this kind, for example, is the woman confronted with life choices that would faciliate her developing to her fullest potential the urge to experience of full-time devotion to wife and motherhod, vs that of dedicated career and outside accomplishment. Or, a man may have to subvert the urges to exploration, adventure, and the freedoms of wunderlust, to the also compelling urges toward developing his potential toward a solid, responsible role as family provider and active member of community. Another person may have found themselves pressed early in life to set aside, suppress further development of a creatve, artistic part of his or her nature, in order to take up the pursuit of more practical occupation to provide financial stability and security.

 

These suppressed parts of ourselves do not just go away, they do not just disintegrate through disuse....suppressed, repressed, they find alternative ways to express, often in ways we would consider dysfunctional, negative. Or, we keep the conlfict internalized, and they eat us up inside. Since we can't just make them go away, the only alternative to dysfunctional and negative expression is to seek some acceptable, positive, productive outlet for them. Another pardigm that deals much with this same kind of issue is the shamanic principle of "soul retrieval" in which the healer's, the shaman's task, is to enter the underworld (the deep psyche of the 'patient') to find and retrieve these pieces of the soul that have become lost in the person's life, so as to be re-introduced, and integrated into, the person's present life experience, in a positive and acceptable way. Most often, the shaman cannot simply tell the person what the missing piece is, or how they must go about re-integrating it, but rather much choose and assign to them some task to be accomplished on their own, through which the shaman hopes they will discover for themselves the missing piece in a way that brings it into their life expereince. At the outset, the patient him/herself may not see any relevance at all in the assigned task to what they seek...as example, a saying I've heard, I think its Buddist or Taoist, of the teacher assigning one that has come to him seeking the path to higher enlightment, to the task of chopping wood and carrying water for such a period of time....and when the would-be pupil returns after the allotted time, having done as told, asks, what next? the teacher responds by telling him/her to go chop wood and carry water for yet another period of time....and so on, until the pupil returns, not with the question, what next? but to tell the teacher what they have learned through accomplishing the task.

 

Jenell

 

Jenell

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If there were to to be only one premise for all sermons I nominate two possibilities for single foundations for all sermons

  • What the #%&* was that?!- Kim Fabricus from Nick the nevermet. To my mind this is a more primitive stage :blink: in the evolution of religions and so I think
  • God is Good , which is part of the struggle with theodicy in the old testament, creates a tension for all messages.

If there were to be only two premises for all sermons I nominate Holiness and Hospitality.

 

Take Care

 

Dutch

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Jenell

In this case, the matter may be that what the pastor says in the sermon, the way he/she says it, may strike the ears, mind, sparks thoughts, of another, in a very different way than anticipated or as the pastor him/her self "hears" it.

In all communication there is that disparity between "input" and "output". Artists expect it and seek it. Pastors observe it: some are in awe of it and others frustrated by it. Perhaps the difference between appreciating this gap in transmission and being frustrated is the degree to which a sermon is an attempt to persuade, a narration, or a description. Certainly if the intention is persuasion then frustation would be common. Narration suggests story which always has more possible individual readings. I think a sermon can have all elements or goal, persuasive, narrative and descriptive. Maybe sermons, in particular have a 4th elemnent or goal: to be inspirational

 

I don't think this disparity between "input" and "output" is particular to sermons and would not be a topic or theme or goal or organizing principle.

 

the theme chosen for any presentation of each topic might vary considerably according to the point one is attempting to make, or in old fashioned terms, "the moral of the story" intended.

Distinctions like this are valuable. I am struggling to get a handle on them.

 

If one takes a minimalist approach and asserts that there are only two themes or even only one then could these be called lenses or doors?

  • All sermons are a response to the question "What the #%&* was that?!"
  • OR
  • All sermons are a conversation about the statement "God is Good".
  • OR
  • All sermons are a response to the call to of Holiness or Hospitality or the tension between them.

dutch

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Yes, I can see the lenses or doors idea.

 

One can enter into a room through one door, but there are many different areas and objects in the room that might be further and independently explored. And further...any of those areas and objects might be examined through various lenses, from different perspectives, on different levels.

 

I'm not clear on your "Holiness" and "Hospitality" idea though. First, I honestly don't have a good, consistent definition or shchema, I guess it might be, for "Holiness" as it might be used in conversation or sermon with/to others. By that, I mean I have something of a concept of what is Holiness for myself, but feel quite confused at what it means to many others. Holiness seems to me one of those ideas people define and use in many different ways.

Second, and quite possible because of the first, I'm not recognizing or understanding a "tension" between Holiness and Hospitality.

 

Jenell

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From the double love command, love God, love other, I think there are a lot of potential themes that can take off from there. All of these possible themes are accessed through one door, the double love command, but explore different areas of the room and obects within it.

 

Some I'm thinking of that I was introduced to in a Christian Ethics course, in which the selected theme for our required term project was "God's Love for Us and Model for Christian Love"...These are some of the sub-topics as were explored:

 

Christian love as disinterested love (without regard to personal selfish interest)

 

Christian love as obedient love (acting in loving ways even when we don't "feel the love."

 

Christian love of others as both sourced in God's love for us, and the route through which we love God in return. The double love command as reciprocal in nature. (ie, that it is through loving others that we love God, we cannot think to love God without loving others)

 

Christian love toward others is how the blessings of God's love is brought down to those others from above, and in return, it is through the Christian love of others that God's blessings are brought down from above to us.

 

Christian love as responsible love. Taking responsiblity for both our own actions and consequences as they affect both ourselves and others. (am I my brother's keeper?)

 

Many of these theme explore how Christian love departs from, goes beyond, the 'brotherly love' concept in the Greek "agape". Greek concept "agape" insufficient for Christian love.

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For me Holiness and Hospitality are another way to talk about Loving God and Loving Neighbor. To my way of thinking we go astray when we think that what we do in living out our relationship with the Divine is what other people should do. We keep our selves pure or holy in some way and want to legislate others behavior to match ours. 'I am not a homosexual and you shouldn't be either." is a current example. If one is not homosexual in response to the call to be Holy or Pure OK. But requiring others to follow one's own Holiness practices is a violation of the call to be Hospitable.

 

I like your "Christian love as . . . ". And obviously it could begin with "Love as . . ."

 

I find my self moving toward a minimalist position and would add a third candidate to the two I listed earlier.

 

Compassion as understood in Karen Armstrong's Charter of Compassion. Right now I could not list the twelve ways to express compassion but I know that one of them is to have compassion with oneself. Certainly under the Grand Unifying Scheme (GUS) of "God is Good" one can find "care for self" but since I want to stress what I believe is the highest evolved value to date I like "Compassion" as the GUS. :lol: It is farther removed from the very basic "What the #%&* was that?!" which we must not lose sight of. In this case the choice for a GUS is "where do or did we Begin" and "what is our highest value to date".

 

Have Fun,

 

Dutch

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As for "Christian Love" being simplified to just "love", I think there would have to be something more qualifying than just the term 'love', because there are so very many different human understandings and meanings for "love." In the sense I used it here, and as we focused on it in that ethic course, it seemed important to set it apart somehow, from any other "ordinary" idea of love.....perhaps "godly love" would be appropriate? "Cosmic love?"

 

Whatever, as was drawn out in that course, the kind of love we are talking about goes way beyond, and in some ways simply different from any usual ordinary idea about love. The instructor gave considerable focus to this "Christian/godly love" as it goes beyond the concept expressed in "agape" in its Grekk meaning, and had been traditionally the term Christians have adopted for it. But as he pointed out, "agape" was already a well developed concept of love among the Greeks, in common acceptance and use at the time, and clearly what Jesus and others in NT writings was talking about was/is something that went beyond anything, any concept of love, commonly held among the culture, society and people of the day.

 

It seemed especially important to me in trying to comprehend what sets it apart from any other human love to comprehend such qualities as impersonal, disinterested, obedient, indiscriminate, unconditional, and radical...all terms we studied as they might be understood in this context, all those are really difficult concepts to grasp, let alone try to integrate. But it is in such that this godly love is set apart from any 'ordinary' human love. All are expressed in such as Matt ch 5:38-48 (? I think it is).. as God causing the rain to fall on the just and the unjust alike, and the idea that this concept of love IS the "perfection of God" that may be applied in any number of other text passages about what is involved in what is asked and expected of us, at least as the high point for us to shoot for, even if we fall short.

 

To me, that naturally leads into "holiness", as I comprehend "holiness", though I know not for everyone. As you note, ideas of "holiness" most often get all messed up with conforming to some set of religious/social standards devised by people.. I also have formed quite a strong bond in my own concept of "holiness" to "wholeness", which interestingly was also a strong theme in a Psychology/Religious Studies course I took, that as we would consider seeking toward mental and emotional wholeness psychologically, are we doing the same, or at least closely paralleling, the quest for holiness in a religious/spiritual/faith sense?

 

Yes, hospitality, but also compassion, they have to be there, I think both are subheadings under this extraordinary love, this Christian or godly love, that we speak of...they must be there both as components and expression of that love.

"Care for self" is, i think critical, as the command is to love others AS oneself, not more than oneself, but again, a more difficult to grasp concept that at first may seem, since it is easily confused with selfishess, which in truth is not loving, even of oneself. I don't think we can possible love anyone else more than we've learned to love our own self, in truth.

 

Jenell

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One I forgot, left out...how could I leave out "Christian love as sacrficial love." Yeah, that's a tough one! But a bit different sense than sometimes understood, not so distinctly sacrificing oneself for others, but in a sense of being loving, do the loving thing, even when it doesn't seem in our best interest to do so. Most often it isn't something like our physical life we sacrifice, or worldly goods, but things like pride, power, feelings of superiority, personal advantage, winning arguemtns, the need to be right/more right than the next person, arbitrarily right (because I said so, because its what I beleive).

 

Jenell

Edited by JenellYB
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On the imaginary dry erase board on my left we see, from Jenell's suggestions,

that if the Grand Unifying Scheme (GUS) for all sermons is Godly Love as a Model for Christian Love

then we might see the following as the list of themes/lens/doors (See post 18&20 for Jenell's elaborations)

 

a rough draft

  • disinterested love
  • sacrficial love
  • obedient love
  • Loving God is completed in loving others
  • Loving others is the manifestation of God's love to the world
  • responsible love
  • compassionate love
  • love of self
  • impersonal love
  • indiscriminate love
  • unconditional love
  • radical love

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You organized it so well!

I was just pulling off the top of my head some of what I remembered from that course theme and what I ended up with in my term project by that title (which got an A+ btw :) )

 

I thought at the time, and have thought since, that term project, along with my course notes related to that theme from that course, which I still have in my files, could be worked rather well into a useful bible study series, utilizing a PowerPoint presentation format and handouts including reference source sheets, (references from both the bible itself and the several supporting texts we used in that course) along with a body of course instructor texts and notes. Dr. Mitchel provided some excellent scriptural text references for demonstrating each point, that were very effective 'springboards' from which one might further explore any one of these aspects of Gods love for/toward us and how that provides the model for seeking to further develop our ideas of our own Christian/godly love in both principle and practice in our lives.

 

We of course had several required texts for that course (Dr. Mitchell consistently assigned the heaviest required text reading load of any instructor I encountered in the entire course of my degree plan! The required reading load listed, as well as writing intensive requirements, on syllabi for his courses was undoubtedly a top reason 1st day students hurried over to admissions to drop his courses they'd assumed would be easy electives!) one that quickly became and remains a mainstay that I keep handy so as to refer to and re-read often is Paul Ramsy's "Basic Christian Ethics."

 

Jenell

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Actually, I even have the entire set of lectures for that course on VHS tapes....although I took it on campus, I was so impressed by that course, got so much out of it, I chose to purchase the box of tapes (DVD's weren't yet the big thing they are now) as they were sold for those taking it off-campus, so as to have the entire course. According to Dr Mitchell, this and most his other 3/4 level course offerings in thhat dept were actually courses he had taught at post-grad level elsewhere. I think mostly at the U of St Thomas which has a full level degree program for Religious Studies. I loved that, I wasn't after 'easy' in my college experience, i wanted meat! I think at times of rewatching the whole course, even began watching the first few, haven't seemed to be able to stay on it.

 

jenell

Edited by JenellYB
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