Urbana studies the Bible…
Through patient listening we start with the data of the text and move toward a synthesized understanding of Matthew, both as it was written to an original audience and then as it applies to our contemporary situation.
Studying the Bible this way helps us be both curious and humble. We intentionally hold our presuppositions at bay so that God’s word can shape and reshape us, not the other way around.
The process of studying the Scriptures is as important as the content of the study. Because the Bible was written for communities of people (not merely individuals), and because we are called to Christian community, the best interpretation of Matthew will come out of communal reflection, dialogue, and application.
We learn from each other as we seek together the meaning and application of the text. Specifically, we want to grow in our ability to interpret the Scriptures while at the same time being transformed by the content of the Scriptures.
By Making Space
We are embodied beings, and as such the physical environment in which we study the Scriptures is not an afterthought. The set-up of the room is important, as are keeping distractions to a minimum and allowing enough time for study and dialogue. Patient communal listening to the text and the Holy Spirit happens best when we make space for it.
Relying on God’s Power
The power of a Bible study does not rest primarily in the skill of the teacher or the skill of those gathered to study it, but in the intrinsic power of God speaking through his word. Study leaders, then, participate with the Holy Spirit in helping the group encounter this power.
Again and Again
Those of us planning Urbana have spent months studying the passages everyone will dig into during Urbana 15. And we’ll keep studying them all the way through Urbana 15 so that we are shaped by the Scriptures as we plan.
Those who are leading and teaching the Bible at Urbana are being communally transformed by the themes of Matthew by studying these passages in multiple community settings over time.
As you prepare for Urbana 15, be transformed with us by studying Matthew’s Gospel.