Over the 19 years of my teaching career I have taught in 12 community colleges, colleges, universities, Bible colleges, and seminaries in the USA, and I have also been blessed to teach in Belize, Nigeria, and India.
In Louisville, Kentucky, in the library of The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, behind the stacks of books, stands bookshelves containing doctoral dissertations. (In order to graduate with a Ph.D. degree, one has to write a 150-300 page “dissertation.”) Amongst those dissertations is one with the long title of “The Slave Religious Experience in Biracial Churches in North and South Carolina from 1822-1861.” That would be mine.
This past Tuesday night, I was happy, busy, terrified, stressed, relieved and shamed. Yes, and all those emotions were within about a 20-minute timespan.
I turned 55 last week. But that's not what makes me feel old. It's the fact that all of the icons and mentors of my life are dying off. Andy Griffith, Andy Williams, Davy Jones, Mike Wallace, Dick Clark, "Stormin'" Norman Schwartzkopf, George McGovern, Phyllis Diller, Sally Ride, Earl Scruggs, and Ray Bradbury are just a few of the influential people who've passed away in 2012. They all left their footprints on my soul.
Happy New Year! And, since we live in a country with a Christian background, then have a great 2013. The number “2013” is, of course, based on the birth of Jesus Christ.
This article looks at the very earliest church history. Our time period: the first year of Christianity. Jesus was crucified in the year AD 26 [more on that next week], so we will look at the growth of Christianity from AD 26 to AD 27. The only source of information for that first year is the Bible itself, specifically the book of Acts, although other New Testament books add clues.