It’s 95 degrees and 60% humidity here in Chennai so its actually a bit nicer out than it has been. For those of you who are familiar with the seasons of Southern India, May is the hottest month of the year. Mid June the rains are supposed to start and help cool it down some, but that has not yet happened. So I tend to spend as much time as possible hiding in my A/C office.
I’m on my way to Nagalapuram this morning for a week of teaching at the Martin Luther Bible School. Our topic for the day is the Means of Grace. Every time I teach this class my lesson plan seems to get a little longer. It is a challenge to balance thoroughness with time concerns and the educational level of the students. Ina confirmation class where you have all year to prepare the students with all the background information that leads to a good understanding of the means of grace it might be appropriate to cover it in one lesson. When dealing with students who may not even remember the difference between the law and the gospel you need a little more time. Personally it seems that if one were to be thorough in your teaching of the Means of Grace it would be necessary to touch on every major Christian doctrine. If Justification is the inner center of Martin Luther’s rose of theology, the Means of Grace must be the outer center. Although the true heart of the theological differences of the various branches of Christianity lies in their views of justification, the Means of Grace are where those differences become most vividly apparent. If you wish to know if a teacher truly understands the Gospel of Christ, examine their teachings on the Means of Grace. Their words about the gospel may sound good and “Lutheran” but what seems like tiny differences in their understanding of justification will become large gaps in their views of the Means of Grace.
The coming two weeks will find me out on the road driving from one place to another almost every day. This is pretty typical of my work. Weeks of constant appointments ( classes, preaching, etc ) driving from one place to another, followed by periods where I barely leave my study. When I am back home in the states the work is more even and similar to a typical pastor with speaking engagements generally every Sunday and office work during the week. However, here in India everything tends to get pushed together in blocks.