Odenton resident's New Testament course at First Baptist Church aims to unite community

Odenton resident, St. Mary’s Seminary and University professor and Biblical scholar, Michael Gorman, will offer a free course on understanding the New Testament Mondays this fall at First Baptist Church in Crofton.

““I wanted to see people better understand the Bible because people quote it a lot but don’t understand it,” Gorman said. “It was important to me to bring people from several different churches to discuss their beliefs and interpretations and create a sense of unity despite their differences.”

“We need to find commonality. There is a lot of division (in our country).”

This class is for the “serious, interested layperson” according to Gorman and requires no prior Biblical knowledge. It begins Sept. 17 and starts at 7 p.m.

“This is not Sunday School,” Gorman said. “It is more in depth and more historical. It will not be a straight lecture class. There will be question and answer, small group discussions and much participation.”

There is no required reading, however, an optional text by Mark Alan Powell titled: “Introducing the New Testament: A Historical, Literary and Theological Survey,” 2nd edition may be purchased.

In the first class of the course, individuals will be learning about the historical context that gave rise to the Biblical writings and what was happening in the Roman world at the time. Subsequent classes will cover each book of the New Testament.

Once one comprehends the situation in the Roman world at the time of the New Testament writings, Gorman said the books will be more understandable.

“The Book of Revelations was like a political cartoon,” Gorman said. “It is a series of verbal portraits of thing you wouldn’t combine. (There is) over-exaggerated, strange imagery in Revelations and once you understand the situation, it makes more sense.

“We will be spending only one night on Revelations, but I teach an entire course on it as well as writing a book on it. The Bible is something that can be taught in a way that is shallow enough for the beginner to wade in and deep enough for the most experienced person to almost drown in.”

Gorman said the community needs the course because many people rely on the Bible for guidance in life and the course will help people understand the New Testament better.

There is interest for the course from seven churches of five different denominations as well as one non-denominational church. Gorman sent invitations to area churches in the hopes of bringing diverse, interested individuals together.

“I want to bring people of different faiths together. People who wouldn’t normally see eye to eye,” Gorman said. “That’s one of the main missions of St. Mary’s Seminary and University.”

With a Masters and Doctorate degree in Divinity from Princeton Theological Seminary, Gorman has been a faculty member at St. Mary’s Seminary and University in Baltimore for 27 years.

Gorman has taught more than 50 graduate courses in biblical studies, spirituality, ethics, church history and related disciplines. He is also the author of more than a dozen books and articles in New Testament studies, biblical interpretation and Christian ethics.

Gorman’s book, “Apostle of the Crucified Lord” has been translated into Korean.

Fluent in English, French, Greek and Spanish, Gorman has taught all over the United States as well as Cameroon and Canada. He will leave soon to teach at Carey Baptist College in Auckland, New Zealand.

“One of the nice, side benefits of doing what I do is taking my wife, Nancy with me on my travels,” Gorman said.

High School sweethearts, the Gorman’s have been married 42 years and have three, adult children and six grandchildren.

The Gorman’s have lived in Odenton for 29 years and have been members of Community United Methodist Church in Crofton for over 14. They attend church weekly where Gordan teaches an adult class Sunday mornings and leads the Adult Formation Committee.

Gorman’s Christian faith has been lifelong.

“I came to a personal faith while I was in high school,” Gorman said. “I studied Greek while getting my bachelor’s degree and got hooked. I felt called to be a professor of the New Testament. I never felt called to be a pastor.”

His course is free, however, interested individuals need to pre-register at: https://nt2018gorman.eventbrite.com. For more information on the course, email Gorman at mgorman@stmarys.edu.

Dog show

The Crofton Farmer’s Market will hold its Third Annual Dog Show and Dog Pie Eating Contest Sept 12, 4:30-7 p.m. There are new categories this year: Best of Show, most tricks, most original trick, best costume and the new “Simon Says” obedience category divided for dogs two and under and three and up age brackets.

There will also be a new dog pie eating contest with all-natural pies baked just for the dogs. There will be small pies for dogs under 25lbs and standard size pies for over 25 pounds. Participation in the contest is free for all entrants, however contestants should reserve their place in the show by registering at https://croftonchamber.com/events. For more information, visit https://croftonchamber.com/events.

Kiwanis Club

The Crofton Kiwanis Club will hold its monthly meeting at the Blue Dolphin Seafood Bar and Grille in the lower level banquet room at 1166 Route 3 S. in Gambrills Sept 12, 7:30-8:30 p.m. The featured speaker will be Kiwanis member Clark Ross who will present “The First United States Congress: Marvels, Precedents and Parallels to 2017-2018.”

Additionally, there will be an update on the programs and progress of the Crofton Caring Christian Council (CCCC) as well as the Crofton Kiwanis donation check for $4,000 this year. All Crofton Kiwanis meeting are open to the public. For more information, visit: www.croftonkiwanis.org.

Melissa Driscoll Krol can be reached at aroundcrofton@gmail.com and on Facebook at Around Crofton.

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