Saturday, May 30, 2009

JW Study Meeting #19

Today it was just myself and Uriah. After a little bit of smalltalk and petting my cat Moses, we chatted a bit about some JW publications I'd like. He's gonna bring me the copy of the one anti-spiritism publication that he'd promised a while back (I think maybe it's Spirits of the Dead--Can They Help You or Harm You? Do They Really Exist?), and another one he mentioned today (I think it's Will There Ever Be a World Without War?). When we finally got to business, we worked through the first eleven paragraphs of Chapter 7 in What Does the Bible Really Teach?, which deals with having hope after a loved one has died. Nothing was especially controversial here--he thoroughly enjoyed most of my answers--except for one paragraph (#11, I think) which attempted to use the case of Lazarus to teach that consciousness ceases absolutely at death. Since we already hashed through some of the afterlife questions in a previous session and will no doubt return to them after we get further along, I pointed past that disagreement to the point that the Bible focuses very little on the 'afterlife' and much more on resurrection.

I then managed to go on a rant about the Word of Faith movement for quite a while. I think it started when I was talking about visions of heaven and hell in intertestamental Jewish literature, and somehow shifted into the 'visions' of Word of Faith teachers... and from there I ran through some of the more eccentric teachings of the movement, including many that Uriah had never heard. So we spent some good time exploring the insanity of a third party. He agrees that they're pretty far removed from reality.

We plan to finish out the chapter next Saturday, and hopefully then discuss anything disagreeable. If I'm not mistaken, I think the chapter ends with some references to Jesus' resurrection as a spirit being, so I should probably spend some time this week reviewing the central passages in that little controversy, maybe re-read some sections from N. T. Wright's excellent The Resurrection of the Son of God too.

Also, Uriah found out that there are two scheduled publication releases for the upcoming convention, and that they're supposed to be different from previous releases somehow. At least, that's what he's heard. I'm looking forward to it. This year may see a release of a JW study companion to Acts of the Apostles. That'd be pretty interesting if so, and I wouldn't mind getting a copy and finishing it faster than Uriah can.

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