Making Sense of the Cross – Lenten online study

This Ash Wednesday, March 5, 2014 ChurchNext is sponsoring a free course Making Sense of the Cross, a series that invites online learners to “listen in” on an open conversation about the cross.  Click here to learn more and register for free.

From March 5–12, the Rev. Dr. David Lose, professor at Luther Seminary, St. Paul, will teach The Big Class, a program of ChurchNext. The course will expand on the popular Making Sense of the Cross, a six-session, small-group course published by Augsburg Fortress, Minneapolis.

Dr. Lose will moderate the course and answer online questions during the week of The Big Class. Participants can take the class anytime during the week at The course will take 45 minutes to complete and need not be taken in one sitting. No special software is required.

Throughout Making Sense of the Cross, readers are encouraged to think about and experience the cross and its meaning for their lives. “The Cross has been as life-giving as it has been mysterious,” said Chris Yaw, founder of ChurchNext, a producer of online learning experiences. “However, David possesses that rare gift of theological insight and communication prowess that will makes this course incredibly helpful to anyone looking to gain deeper insight into Jesus’ death and resurrection.”

“How we understand the cross shapes how we construe and construct our life in the world,” writes Dr. Lose. “By diving deeper into the message and meaning of this, the greatest event in the world’s history, we grow deeper into the kind of people we want to be. I’m excited to be able to offer this course free to a worldwide audience, as a way to use new technology to unpack ancient truths.”

As a sample, here is an introduction to his course. This section is "The Cross and Experience": 

"While theories, such as theories of the cross, are helpful in collating and organizing a large amount of experience, knowledge, and data, they can also be limiting and static. Reading or theorizing about something is not the same as experiencing it.

"David uses the example of reading about how to water-ski versus actually skiing on the water, or reading about how to be a parent versus actually having to make decisions and act as one. The same goes for our understanding of the cross. What if the gospels are not simply records of the cross but inspirations for our own experience of the cross?

"What if the cross is not something we just read or hear about but something we live and do and experience? It’s not just the gospels that tell the story of the cross; the entire Bible offers overarching cross narratives that generally follow a 5 step pattern:

"1. God creates and blesses something in love and sets it free.

"2. Something goes awry.

"3. God isn’t content to let us go off on our own, and God comes after us in love and to make things right again.

"4. God’s creation is not happy about being sought after by God but insists on pretending to be in control.

"5. But God comes anyway. That is lifegiving.

"In this lesson, we can begin to rethink the cross as a powerful story we experience and through which God seeks us out and saves us."

Leave a Comment