Tuesday, October 1, 2013
Getting Familiar with the Vineyard
God Thoughts Year 1 - Naturally Supernatural
Using Gary Best's great little book on the subject, this book gives you fundamental insights into the practical outworking of the Vineyard's Kingdom theology. Best of all, in the assignment you are asked to put the insights from this book into practice.
God Thoughts Year 2 - Breakthrough
Using Derek Morphew's introductory theological text this book provides the Biblical and theological foundations for the Kingdom theology that Gary Best writes about in Naturally Supernatural. This theology is the biggest difference between Vineyard theology and other Pentecostal/Charismatic theologies. Our emphasis is not on God restoring something lost or fulfilling covenant, rather it is about the eschatological reality that broke into history through Jesus and continues to show up in our midst. Morphew does a great job of identifying this theme through both Testaments and tracing out implications for Kingdom living.
Biblical Foundations Year 3 - Nothingsgonnastopit
Bill Jackson provides an engaging biblical survey through the hermeneutic (fancy word for interpretive) lens of Kingdom. Nothingsgonnastopit is available as a book or DVD set.
Kingdom Encounters Year 3 - Doing Healing
Alex Venter is one of my favourite writers on how Kingdom theology works out in practical action. Doing Healing explores the way that the Vineyard approaches healing prayer. Again, this is an area where theological differences are important. In many covenant approaches a failure to see healing is usually attributed to a lack of faith or hidden sin, but in a Kingdom theology framework it is more often attributed to the tension of the now and not yet that we live in as we await the return of Christ. It frees us to pray with expectation but without condemnation when we do not see healing. It also provides a framework for everyone to participate, because healing is not dependent on our actions but on God's inbreaking.
Ancient Future Church Year 1 - Quest for the Radical Middle
Rounding out these courses is Bill Jackson's wonderful history of the Vineyard. It is important that we remember where we came from so that we do not lose sight of the course we are called to pursue. I love, in particular, Todd Hunter's AVC USA address "The Church that I Would Build: The 21st Century Vineyard..." which is a call to all the Vineyard can be as a unique contribution to the Church for the sake of the world God so loves.
These five courses are a helpful starting place for anyone wanting to know more about who we are as a movement. You can find them and all our curriculum at the ThoughtWorks website.
Frank Emanuel - National ThoughtWorks Chairperson