Jessica Lowery will be teaching the class "Spiritual Confidence" starting January 8th. Jess shares with us her thoughts on why she developed the class and what she hopes to address:
In the early days of college group, people were very sensitive about anything potentially boastful. Many used (and I would now argue misused) the verse about our “righteous deeds being like dirty rags to God.”
As I started to study the Bible more, I was surprised by the ways that New Testament authors talked about boasting as a positive thing. This got me thinking, and started a lot of interesting conversations. Then I read "God's Strategy in Human History." The authors argued that the verse about our righteous deeds being like dirty rags was being misinterpreted by many Christians. The authors went on to make all sorts of interesting arguments about human agency and the providence of God. This really helped me get some more clarity about a confusing part of theology.
Eventually, these studies and discussions led to the formation of this class, the "Spiritual Confidence" book I wrote, and a yearlong study in my challenge group on this topic.
In this class we seek to explore confidence in a way that goes beyond the worldly idea of self-confidence or "self-esteem." But at the same time, we want to really understand how to have the boldness and the good understanding of human agency that the biblical authors had. This class would benefit anyone who wants to understand these ideas more. In the class we'll have some interesting discussions about “super-spirituality” and man-centeredness, about human agency and the providence of God, and about how we as Christians can be boastful and brave in the right context. Students will look at some examples of devotional writings from modern Christians and evaluate them based on what we learn. I hope in the end that students will come away with a good appreciation for God's part and our part in ministry.
Some parts of our church still tend toward super-spirituality while others have the opposite issue and try to build a personal ministry or kingdom by force. Misunderstandings in this area of theology really affect our daily lives and interactions with people.
You can learn more and register for the class at xenos.org/classes/register.