Campus-wide Exodus study to complete first four-year rotation through Biblical genres
With this fall’s campus-wide Exodus Bible study, Calvin College will complete its first full rotation through four Biblical literary genres: epistles, Old Testament writings, gospels and Old Testament narratives. Since the fall of 2010, Calvin has devoted one semester per year to studying Philippians, Psalms, the Sermon on the Mount and now Exodus.
“[Campus ministries] wants our community to have a deep engagement with all genres of scripture. We want students, staff and faculty to be able to study all types of biblical literature. Rotating through the genres allows us to do that,” said Mary Hulst, college chaplain.
She explained that by studying this variety of genres we learn how God interacted with his people over time and, in doing so, we recognize how he interacts with Christians today. The four year rotation allows students to spend one fall semester in each genre.
Campus ministries selected Exodus to fulfill the Old Testament narrative segment of the rotation.
“[The story of Exodus shows how] God interacts with his people, how he shapes them, challenges them, disciplines them and loves them. These stories are incredibly relevant to our lives,” explained Pastor Mary.
Pastor Mary also hopes the study will ease the concerns of students who wonder how the Old Testament is applicable to Christians today. In each LOFT sermon, she promises to use Exodus to point to Christ, emphasizing how Old Testament writings have been fulfilled, not nullified, by Christ.
“There is great importance in studying the book of Exodus for its message of God’s deliverance in times of bondage, and this great need is so relevant in the American life today, proving that the Bible truly is the living and breathing Word of God,” said sophomore Krista Malbouef, Barnabas on second Noordewier.
“In training, we were encouraged by campus ministries not to get hung up on many of the difficulties involved in the study of Exodus,” explains Malbouef. She comments that the girls on her floor are eager to study Exodus. Many have never studied the book in depth.
Sophomore Katie Carbone, Barnabas on third Rooks, also commented that campus ministries helped her prepare for the possible dangers when studying Exodus.
“Dangers such that God is portrayed in a different light and it stirs up more difficult questions. But questions and challenges to our faith are how we grow […]. Our faith is like a tree. A tree cannot grow strong and healthy if it does not learn how to weather the storms that come through,” says Carbone.
Associate Chaplain Aaron Winkle reports that 70 to 75 Exodus study groups have already been established and he expects to register about 15 more. Winkle extends an invitation to all the Calvin community to join one of these small groups offered at a variety of times and locations.
To register and see a full list of groups leaders, times and locations see www.calvin.edu/faith. This year’s study guidebook, “Exodus and Leviticus for Everyone”, by John Goldingay, is available at the campus store.
Calvin offers a variety of ways for students, professors and staff to engage in the Exodus study beyond the small groups, including Sunday evening LOFT messages, a Bible study blog and the Calvin Symposium on Worship.