2021-22 Sunday School Class Information
Table of Contents
Using the Bible as well as videos from "The Chosen TV Series", BibleProject.com, and Harvard's Veritas Forum , we will explore how we can encounter Jesus and deepen our personal relationship with Him through contemporary media sources. Taught and facilitated by Dr. Wesley Fryer.
This is an adult Sunday School class at First Presbyterian Church of Edmond, Oklahoma, taught by Dr. Wesley Fryer. Our 2021-22 classes start on August 22, 2021. We meet in person at FPC Edmond each Sunday from 10-11am Central Time. (room TBA)
The Bible is our primary source text and curricular focus in our Sunday School class. Each week we have a focus Bible verse of the week, and start with both prayer and a reading from the Bible of the focus verse(s). Members are encouraged to join and use the YouVersion Bible (bible.com) and friend / follow each other for mutual encouragement and inspiration throughout each week. The YouVersion Bible is free and includes multiple translations and versions of the Bible. We use the New International Version (NIV) and The Message (MSG) among others in class.
We are also guided by and will periodically read from The ECO Book of Confessions.
In 2021-22 we are primarily using two media projects as curriculum for our course.
The first of these is “The Chosen TV Series.” (thechosen.tv) The Chosen is the largest crowdsourced Christian television series in history. Angel Studios (portal.angel.com/about) is the producer of “The Chosen.”
Dallas Jenkins in the director of “The Chosen.” According to the series’ official press page:
Dallas Jenkins, son of celebrated Left Behind author Jerry Jenkins, first produced the independent feature Hometown Legend at the age of 25 and shepherded it to distribution by Warner Brothers. In the nearly 20 years since then, he has directed and produced over a dozen feature and short films for companies such as Universal, Lionsgate, Pureflix, Hallmark Channel, and Amazon. His most recent film, The Resurrection of Gavin Stone, released in theaters in 2017. He is now directing and producing the largest crowd-funded media project of all-time, a multi-season series about the life of Christ entitled The Chosen.
More information is available about “The Chosen” on:
TheBibleProject.com started in 2014 with two people, Tim Mackie and Jon Collins. This 2.5 minute video (www.youtube.com/watch?v=vFwNZNyDu9k) provides a good overview of the project and its goals.
According to the Press” page (bibleproject.com/press/) of their website:
Our mission is to help people experience the Bible as a unified story that leads to Jesus.
BibleProject is a nonprofit animation studio that produces short-form, fully animated videos to make the biblical story accessible to everyone, everywhere. We create videos, podcast[s], and study guides that explore the Bible's unified story by focusing on its overarching themes and each book's literary design. We are committed to understanding the Bible in its historical context and communicating its wisdom for the modern world. Ultimately, we want to change how people read and use the Bible.
More information about the team responsible for TheBibleProject.com is available on bibleproject.com/team/. That page provides the following background about the co-founders:
Tim Mackie is a writer and creative director for BibleProject. He has a PhD in Semitic Languages and Biblical Studies. He wrote his dissertation on the manuscript history of the book of Ezekiel, with a focus on the Septuagint and Dead Sea Scrolls. What a total nerd! He is a professor at Western Seminary and served as a teaching pastor for many years.
Jon Collins is a writer and creative director for BibleProject. He has a BA in Biblical Studies from Multnomah University (where he met Tim). Jon is affectionately known by the team as the Architect of Ideas. He is a master of making complex ideas simple, and has spent the last decade founding and leading digital media and marketing companies.
Since the start of this Sunday School class in fall 2019, resources from “The Veritas Forum” (www.veritas.org) have provided theological inspiration and ideas for our weekly lessons. According to the “About Page” of the Veritas Forum (www.veritas.org/about/), the project specifically focuses on addressing and answering some of the toughest questions involving the intersection of Biblical truth and contemporary life:
How can we mend a broken world? How should we seek justice? What is the good life?
The Veritas Forum helps students and faculty ask life's hardest questions. Many of the world's leading universities were founded to answer the big "why" questions. Our mission is to help them confront these questions anew. The first Veritas Forum was planned by students, faculty and chaplains at Harvard University in 1992. Since then, over 200 universities in North America and Europe have hosted over 2,000 Forums.
The Veritas Forum is committed to courageous conversations. We place the historic Christian faith in dialogue with other beliefs and invite participants from all backgrounds to pursue Truth together.
Dana Allin (eco-pres.org/author/danaallin/), an ECO-ordained pastor and ECO denominational leader, recommended “The Veritas Forum” to Wes Fryer in summer 2019 as he was searching for resources for the “Jesus and Science” adult Sunday School Class. Veritas Forum videos provided the catalyst for several of the texts we’ve used and studied in our class the past two years, including “2084: Artificial Intelligence and the Future of Humanity” by John C. Lennox and "The Reason for God: Belief in an Age of Skepticism" by Timothy Keller which we read and discussed in 2020-21.
More information about our class including past class lesson slideshows, lesson recordings, and resources are available on followjesus.wesfryer.com. A fall semester syllabus is under development and will be added there soon.