Wednesday, July 26, 2017

A Series on Stephen

I am going to try this agin. To blog a series, a new series. I have not been successful at this for a while.

I don't know if I'll finish.

I also want to try a new subject.

So I will do a series on Stephen. A short series--probably about six lessons.

Why Stephen? I have always viewed Stephen as the most short-changed, underappreciated New Testament saint. His credit generally stops at being recognized as the heroic, first martyr.

I think his story is much richer. It includes bigotry in the nascent church against the Greek-speaking Christians (the 'Hellinists'). It includes how God used this bigotry providentially. But mostly it includes a catyclysmic interaction between Saul and Stephen, which is normally just reported as nothing more than a tragic clash between a persecutor and a martyr.

I think it was way more than that. I think it was the deadly meeting between two men who were the first to arrive at a paradigm shift. In my opinion, it was Saul and Stephen who were the first to appreciate, fully, that "the Way" was not merely a misdirected sect of Judaism hopelessy clinging to a dead, humiliated rabbi.

No, it was something altogether different.

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