Every winter at Eternity Bible College, we bring in a guest professor to teach a class within their expertise. This “Winterim,” as it’s been called, is close to my heart since I was Eternity’s first official Winterim teacher. When I was teaching at Cedarville University (Ohio), I flew out to Eternity to teach a course on “Pauline Theology” in December of 2007. A year and a half later, I was hired on at Eternity and the rest is history. Since then, I’ve overseen the Winterim program and have tried to bring in teachers who have an expertise in areas that we are wrestling with at our school. And so over the last three years, we’ve been blessed to have Drs. Charles Kraft, Tom Schreiner, and Todd Wilson visit Eternity and talk to us about various issues facing the church.
This January (21-26), I’m very please to have my good friend Dr. Joel Willitts from Northpark University (Chicago) come to teach a class titled “Jesus and the Kingdom.” I’m not sure if you’re aware of it, but there is a major issue brewing in the church today about the meaning of the gospel. Some people want to define the gospel narrowly in terms of Christ’s death for our sins. Others look to the teaching of Christ for a broader definition of “gospel” (or “good news”), finding in Jesus’ statements about the “kingdom of God” an extensive meaning of what good news means. I won’t spoil the fun here on our blog. But I will say: if you’re close to Simi Valley, you won’t want to miss this exciting class!
In the past, we’ve tried to make the Winterim relevant for both students and laypeople in the area. But it hasn’t always worked. To pull off the Winterim, we have to cram 5+ hours of teaching into a single night for 5 consecutive nights. While students can commit to this, most lay people can’t. So this year we’ve adjusted things a bit to meet the needs of both students and non-students. This year, Joel will lecture in-depth for 3 hours each afternoon, and then for 2 hours each evening. If you’re taking the class for credit, you’ll need to be here for all 5 hours. But if you’re not a student and want to simply sit in on the class (we call this “auditing”) to further your knowledge about Jesus and the Kingdom, then you can come and sit in on those 2-hour nightly sessions (Mon-Thurs). These nightly sessions are self-contained (i.e., you can follow the topic, even if you can’t make the afternoon sessions), so you’ll get a lot out of the class, even if you can’t take it for full credit.
I’m looking forward to what will be an invigorating discussion this January! Joel is an outstanding teacher with a pastoral heart. He’s got a Ph.D. from Cambridge University (England), and has been involved in church ministry for a number of years. He currently serves as a College pastor in Chicago along with his duties as a professor and writer. I am so excited to have him out to Eternity!
Learn more about the Winterim course here.
Update: The audio for this course is now available for free download here: http://facultyblog.eternitybiblecollege.com/2013/01/the-kingdom-of-god/