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Episode Info: How can you teach the New Testament in ways that make it come alive to modern people? In this episode we speak with New Testament Professor Shively Smith about innovative approaches to teaching the gospel that disrupt our staid and familiar notions of the biblical text. Transcript Announcer: Leading Ideas Talks is brought to you by the Lewis Center for Church Leadership of Wesley Theological Seminary in Washington, DC. Subscribe free to our weekly newsletter, Leading Ideas, at churchleadership.com/leadingideas. Leading Ideas Talks is also brought to you by Simply Christian, a video-based adult study featuring Biblical scholar N. T. Wright. This 10-session study addresses questions of the reasonableness of the Christian faith in the modern world. Simply Christian is an excellent study for believers and seekers alike. Learn more at churchleadership.com/studies. How can you teach the New Testament in ways that makes it come alive to modern people? New Testament Professor Shively Smith discusses innovative approaches to teaching the gospel that disrupt our staid and familiar notions of the biblical text. Doug Powe: Welcome to Leading Ideas Talks, a podcast featuring thought leaders and innovative practitioners. I’m Douglas Powe, the Director of the Lewis Center and your host for this talk. Joining me is the Reverend Dr. Shively T. J. Smith, Assistant Professor of New Testament at Boston University School of Theology. Our focus for this podcast is teaching the New Testament. Shively, thank you for joining us today. Shively Smith: Thank you so much for having me. Doug Powe: I’ve been looking forward to this conversation because so many people and congregations, pastors, and other leaders really love teaching the New Testament but sometimes struggle. So, I just want to start off by asking you, what are some challenges that church leaders face in teaching Bible to modern audiences? Shively Smith: I think one of the first challenges — that’s a really great question. I think one of the challenges that we have, I would say, is honoring the social and historical distance that we actually have from the New Testament — that we have when we’re teaching, preaching, engaging the New Testament, especially in our congregations because on some levels there’s a real sense of familiarity. We know what the Bible says. We know what the New Testament says. We know what Jesus said. What Paul said. But in fact, there should be a whole lot that we are actually puzzled by, that feels unfamiliar or strange, or even “other” to us about the text. And so, I think it’s really hard sometimes — disrupting the tradition and the culture of familiarity with the New Testament in order to make it come alive in new ways to our congregations. Doug Powe: Thank you for that answer. And I think that you’re right. I remember one time doing a study, and it was actually sort of funny because, in the text, it talks about wise men. But of course, we’ve always said ther...
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