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Thank you everyone who made it possible for me to participate in my doctorate studies over the last two weeks.  The goal of this program is simple: to increase my effectiveness as a preacher.  So what did we do?  Here’s a rundown:

The bulk of our time was spent studying the literary and rhetorical features of different genres in the Bible and discussing strategies to preach them.  This time we studied Psalms, apocalyptic literature, Acts, prophecy, miracle stories in the gospels, passion narratives in the gospels, radical wisdom literature, and imprecatory Psalms.  I know you wish you had been there with me for all 9 days of lecture.

We participated in an online interview of three important scholars in the field of homiletics: Drs. Bryan Chapell, Paul Scott Wilson, and James Thompson.  It was enlightening to talk with these men and ask follow up questions regarding their work and experience in preaching.

I was responsible to teach a seminar on the literary features of the Law.  I also had the privilege of preaching two sermons for evaluation: one from an apocalyptic text (Daniel 7:1-28) and one from law (Exodus 22:1-15).  Those should sound familiar to some of you.

My thesis project proposal was approved by my mentors, which means that I am now free to write.  My thesis is titled “Towards Applying Canonical Apocalyptic Literature to Postmodern Culture.”  I will be writing on how apocalyptic literature in the Bible addresses hopelessness in postmodern culture.

I also managed to get to Fenway for the first time, although that won’t be included in my grade.

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All in all I am always grateful for the expert input of my mentors and fellow students, and I can’t wait to be back in the pulpit at Green Pond on Sunday!

Ryan serves as the Senior Pastor of Green Pond Bible Chapel in Rockaway, New Jersey. He is married with four children.

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