Teaching Luke Theologically in America

We have spent more time discussing theological interpretation of the Old Testament than the New. Nevertheless, theological interpreters insist that both testaments deserve to be read with a view toward their full significance in light of the whole Christian faith and the whole sweep of creation and redemption. The Gospel according to Luke practically begs for such treatment in the way that it locates Jesus in past and future world history, universal human genealogy, and divine purpose.

Meanwhile, Ann Monroe has been showcasing examples of biblical interpreting, many if not all of which could be called theological in some respect, which she finds satisfying or dissatisfying.

Our task as steward of the gospel and the scriptures is to be worthy of our charge. Here is a chance to prepare ourselves for it.

Imagine you are an intern at a church. One day your pastor calls you and assigns you a month-long adult education class on the Gospel of Luke. Your job is to teach it in a way that will best serve the church.

In the first two weeks of that month, you treat passages in Luke that come before the readings we treated in class. You have already gotten to know your attendees. They are a diverse bunch. At least three of them would fit well in some of the environments Monroe describes in The Word. You have learned to anticipate their questions, objections, and responses.

This is now the third week. Choose a passage from Luke 13:10-16:31 (but not one on which you preached a sermon) and draw up a lesson plan or an outline listing the main points you will want to make. Keep your audience in mind.

Then write a transcript, a journal entry from after the event, or an attender's notes from the event, including questions and even 'surprises' from your audiences and how you handled them (either well or poorly).

I want to see substantive engagement with your Lukan passage, the course's considerations of theological interpretation, and Monroe.

Use your imaginations, and have fun!

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