Dr. Larry Hurtado contends that worship of Jesus was a very early, widespread and radical practice for 1st century believers. A renowned professor at Edinburgh College, Hurtado is an expert in Christian origins. In this course, Hurtado utterly refutes those skeptical scholars that propose that belief in the divinity of Jesus grew incrementally over time. The more plausible explanation is that Jesus believed he had a unique relationship with God and that he was God’s decisive agent in human history.
- Introduction to Jesus Devotion
- Roman and Jewish Backgrounds
- Jesus in the Letters of Paul
- Jesus in Jewish Christianity
- Jesus in the Synoptic Gospels
- Jesus in the Gospel of John
- The Costs and Consequences of Jesus Devotion
- How Did It Happen? Why Does It Matter Today?
2.0 CEUs are available.
*Please note: You will need to access this course from a laptop or desktop computer in order to view the videos embedded in this course; they will not play on a tablet or phone.
Image in the public domain, via Wikimedia Commons
Past Students Said…
“I liked the thought-provoking questions that helped me to dig deeper into my beliefs.”
“I really, really, really appreciated solid theory on the timing of the writings in the New Testament, particularly as it related to Paul being active as a Christian such a short period after Jesus was crucified. That plugged an education gap I didn’t realize I had that comes up while leading Disciple Bible study. I also found it very valuable to consider the social context at or shortly after the time of Christ’s crucifixion. For me, I had this image of there being Jews, Romans, Christians and “over there” Gentiles. I didn’t stop to think that there were professional guilds, or neighborhood gatherings or just groupings that would put significant peer pressure on everything. Again, this aspect of the course really filled a gap for me.”
“The online discussions were very valuable, and I felt like most of the questions opened up avenues of thought for me that I would not have otherwise had. And I thought this was a good group in this class, participating and commenting in a very positive and constructive way.”
About the Instructor
After spending years running the other direction, with the guidance of the Holy Spirit and the strong support of his fellow Disciple Bible study students, Kirk finally responded to God’s call to become a Lay Servant in the United Methodist Church in 2003. Just more proof that you can never outrun God’s call.
As a part of that calling, Kirk has been active as a mission trip adult leader, Sunday school teacher and confirmation mentor. He has also facilitated a number of Disciple Bible Studies and other small study groups.
In 2015, Kirk retired from Hallmark Cards after 40 years of service. Since that time, besides trying to improve his golf game, he completed the required work to become a Certified Lay Speaker in the United Methodist Church and has completed the Wesley Lay Academy through the Wesley Theological Seminary and Southwestern College. One of the greatest benefits of Kirk’s retirement has been having the opportunity to worship and share God’s word with congregations outside the walls of his local church.
Kirk is a native Kansan, growing up in Manhattan and graduating from Kansas State University. Kirk and his wife Kim currently live in Olathe, KS, where they are members of Grace United Methodist Church. Kirk is part of the Adult Discipleship team and Kim sings in the choir. Kirk and Kim have a daughter, Julienne, who lives in Missoula, Montana with her husband Andrew.
About the Course Organizer
Michael Beardslee began working for the Institute for Discipleship and BeADisciple in early 2016, developing and facilitating courses for a new project called the Wesley Lay Academy. He was born and raised in South Central Kansas, where he currently resides after a period of moving across the United States for his graduate studies.
He holds a Bachelors in Religion and Philosophy (Friends University), an M.A. (Pittsburgh Theological Seminary), Th.M (Systematic Theology, Trinity International University), and is currently a Ph.D candidate at Fuller Theological Seminary (Intercultural Studies), working under the Pentecostal theologian, Amos Yong. His doctoral research concerns the way Christians from different cultural locations relate to one another in a globalized Christianity. His writing is featured most recently in Breaking the Marriage Idol: Reconstructing Our Cultural and Spiritual Norms (IVP, 2018), and in the Religion and Theology journal (Brill, 2017).
Michael splits his time up between his academic interests, his many hobbies, and spending time with his wife, Sarah, and his two young girls. In 2017, he was awarded the Visiting Scholar fellowship at Southwestern College, after which he returned to continue the work he began with BeADisciple.