As promised, you can now view my New Testament Theology lectures for yourself! These lectures were recently recorded live to 92 seminary students at Myanmar Institute of Theology during the 2018-19 school year. The semester long course covers all the main messages of the New Testament. Together, they provide the biblical foundation that these future pastors and ministers are going to rely upon over the next 40 years of ministry.
You may access the lectures by following the links below to my newly created YouTube Channel. Each lecture is about 2 hours long. Lectures 7-9 and 13 have yet to be recorded, but 12 of the 16 lectures are available for your listening now. Please subscribe to the channel (it's free) so that you can be notified every time we post a new teaching online.
- understand the key issues and challenges involved in doing New Testament Theology (NTT),
- learn the dominant theological messages of the New Testament, and be able to discuss the unity and diversity to be found among major NT writers,
- grasp the significance of the New Testament and Christian spirituality for addressing contextual social issues in Myanmar, such as poverty, injustice, discrimination, oppression, and suffering,
- be able to articulate how New Testament theologies inform the modern debate on exclusivism, inclusivism, and pluralism; and the implications of students' conclusions for evangelism and inter-faith dialogue, and
- reflect on how to present a coherent Gospel message and practical Christian teaching within the context of a local church, rooted in the New Testament and relevant to their particular context.
My students come from all over Myanmar, representing most of the eight different major ethnic groups, though the majority are Chin, Kachin, and Karen. They are all college graduates, preparing for future service in the church. Most of them are in their mid-twenties, though occasionally I get someone in their forties or fifties! The students are very excited to have a native English speaker as a professor, but many are also slightly terrified. The best students can understand most of what I say, but the majority struggle to understand, and a few can't understand much of anything.
To help students comprehend my teaching better, I prepare a 142 page Student's Guide in English, so that they can read the bulk of my lectures before and after class. I also repeat myself a lot, use diagrams, and put them in small groups where they can discuss the material in Burmese. At the end of each three hour class, we conclude with a Q&A session, which you can observe in each video recording.
I have so many wonderful students, but teaching in the Myanmar context is very challenging. A handful are particularly strong academically, but most suffer from the effects of a poor educational system, leaving them ill-prepared for a Master's level course. The classes are big and the language barrier is real.
In spite of all these challenges, it is a real privilege for me to serve as one of their professors. Offering core courses at MIT, such as New Testament Theology and Homiletics, it is also a great service to the church in Myanmar, which is chronically under-resourced and still suffers from discrimination, persecution, poverty, and so many other hardships. While many students struggle to catch everything we teach, they receive the love, concern, and dedication to their growth and development with open arms and grateful hearts.
In May, Jill and I will be leading a retreat day for MBC Regional Ministry Directors in Singapore, followed by a three day Spirit-Led Leader workshop for the MBC Women's Department Regional Leaders back in Yangon. As God so leads, please pray for safety, open heart and minds, the Spirit's moving, and effective teaching and ministry.
Thank you for your prayers and continued support for our teaching and Christian leadership development work in Myanmar and elsewhere globally. Together, we're making a difference.