I am inviting you to study the book of Galatians with me and, more impressively, with New Testament scholar Tom Schreiner. While I will be facilitating the course, Dr. Schreiner will be teaching it and engaging with those of us who study it. In case you are not familiar with the name, Dr. Schreiner is a well-known New Testament scholar who teaches at the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary (where, as it happens, my son has just completed his New Testament class).
Why study Galatians? I can think of a few reasons. Galatians is clear on the precious doctrine of justification by faith alone—the doctrine Protestants have long understood to mark the distinction between a standing and falling church; it addresses the universal human tendency to veer from faith to law; it helps us understand how the Old Testament relates to the New; it describes the wonderful work of the Holy Spirit in the lives of God’s people; it teaches how to live in Christian community as people who have been called by God, saved by Christ, and indwelled by the Holy Spirit; and much more. On a personal note, I find Galatians one of the more difficult of Paul’s epistles and am sure I will benefit from studying it with a trusted guide.
How It Will Work
To study Galatians we will follow Dr. Schreiner’s video series via Zondervan’s MasterLectures platform. Many of you have already signed up for MasterLectures, so already have access. But if you haven’t, I’d encourage you to do so. You can get the first two weeks of access for free. I’ve worked with the MasterLectures team to offer access for a reduced rate of $9.99/month with the code TIMCHALLIES. (You can cancel anytime.) If you’d like to get a taste of what the study will be like, take a look at the first session.
Here’s how the study will work:
- As soon as you sign up, you will gain access to the entire series of videos. We will watch the first batch of videos beginning on May 11.
- Over the course of 5 weeks, we will watch 5-6 videos per week. You will do this on your own as you have time. If you prefer to listen, the MasterLectures app also allows you to download and stream as audio lectures.
- We will use a private Facebook Group to study and discuss the book together. You can request to join the group here: https://www.facebook.com/groups/studygalatians.
- At the beginning of each week I will post the videos to watch that week. I’ll also pose questions that will guide our study.
- I’ll close each week by hosting a short conversation with Tom Schreiner about the lessons from that week; I will also ask him some of your questions as well as other questions that have surfaced from the group discussion.
To join the study, you’ll need to do two things:
- First, sign up for the Galatians video course through your MasterLectures account (and be sure to use the code TIMCHALLIES to get the discounted rate).
- Second, request access to join the private Facebook group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/studygalatians. (If you are not a Facebook user, you can still take the course, of course, but you won’t be able to join the interactive part of it.)