Wed, Jun 05|
Preaching the Letter of 1 John in a Polarized Church
Janette H. Ok, Fuller Theological Seminary
Time & Location
Jun 05, 2024, 10:00 AM
About the event
Ruptures between fellow Christians and within our churches are too apparent and painful to ignore. Rather than pursue uncommon unity and fellowship among believers from different political stripes and racial-ethnic backgrounds, churches often mirror the divisions in their communities and in our nation and world. By studying the letter of 1 John, this workshop will equip preachers to promote a Christian culture of confession and visions of forgiveness and fellowship that hold their members accountable, while reconciling and uniting them in Christ's love. 1 John describes fellowship with God as being opposed to darkness and refers to its opponents as "anti-Christs." It even urges readers not to pray for those who have left their fellowship. On the other hand, 1 John also helps strengthen in-group cohesion, adherence to Christ, resistance to world, and commandment keeping--most notably the commandment to love. What good news does 1 John offer to fragmented, divided churches? How do we preach this letter in ways that encourage believers to abide in and embody God's community-forming love, rather than perpetuate disruptive divisions?
anette H. Ok serves as Associate Professor of New Testament at Fuller Seminary and as an ordained pastor at EKKO Church, in Southern California. Her research interests include 1 Peter, 1–3 John, the Catholic Epistles, and the formation of early Christian identity, with an emphasis on Asian American, intersectional, feminist, and social-scientific approaches to biblical interpretation. Janette is the author of Constructing Ethnic Identity in 1 Peter: Who You Are No Longer (T&T Clark, 2021). She is currently writing a commentary on the Epistles of John (Eerdmans) and a book with Jordan J. Cruz Ryan called To Be and Be Seen: Reading the New Testament as Asian Americans (Baker Academic). Her co-edited volume The New Testament in Color: A Multiethnic Biblical Commentary comes out in August 2024 with IVP Academic. As a teacher, Janette seeks to equip and form life-long students of Scripture--leaders who read the Bible in ways that foster faithful Christian practice and are responsive to the needs of diverse faith communities, and leaders who are not afraid of complexity but who commit themselves to rigorous and humble engagement with the Bible.