We have a tendency to think about the early church as a pure and uncorrupted time, before Christianity was changed by councils, schisms, and power. But the earliest Jesus-followers disagreed about as much as they agreed on, and their early attempts to understand Jesus’ life and death were creative, contentious, and often mutually exclusive. The early church’s history is more complicated than we often give it credit for, and the echoes of that complicated history can be found in the pages of the earliest New Testament books.
Using Paul’s letters and the canonical gospel accounts of Jesus’ life and ministry, Rev. Dr. Eric C. Smith will help us think through the lives and faiths of the first followers of Jesus, who took the religion of an executed Jewish teacher and turned it into a major religion in the Roman Empire. This study will enrich the knowledge of clergy and laity alike, and it will help frame and inform your knowledge of the Bible, Christian theology, and history.
This retreat for lay and clergy alike will help you make sense of your own histories, and the texts you already (think you) know well. If you’ve ever wondered about how the New Testament got formed, or what the earliest followers of Jesus thought or argued about, or how the letters of Paul and the gospel stories about Jesus tell us about the earliest Jesus traditions, this retreat will help you see the roots of the Jesus traditions in the pages of the New Testament.
One of the most powerful things you can do for yourself is to take intentional time to be refreshed, more awake, and more alive. Nestled in the 365 acre pine forest sanctuary of La Foret Conference and Retreat Center, just one hour south of the heart of Denver, this retreat is not only a chance for intellectually engagement, but refreshment of the heart and soul. We hope to see you in the forest.