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BY FAITH - "Prolegomena" (Hebrews 11)

Redeeming Life Church, 

Before we get into it, I should probably say that we shouldn't be afraid of big words; and at the same time, we probably don't need to use them when simple words will do.  That being said, this week's sermon will be something of a prolegomena.  "Prolegomena" is a Greek word for "to say before" and in the English, it's the title of a preliminary discussion necessary before a lengthy or complex discussion.  Sometimes you will see a prolegomena before the rest of the work in a really heady (and probably old) theology book.   

And example of a real-to-life prolegomena happened just the other day.  I was recently in a discussion where some fellows were discussing what Genesis has to say about the age of the earth.  Before I even started getting into the various ideas and theories, I shared a prolegomena.  I share the larger, over-arching point of the opening chapter of Genesis.  It is not there primarily to tell us how old the earth is, but that God is the creator and everything else is subject to his sovereignty as Divine Creator.  Sure, there are all kinds of interesting details in Genesis 1, but it's important that before we get into any other discussion or speculation, we must keep this main point the main point, and that needed to be said before we got into anything else.  

And now you know an excessively large word that is usually only spoken by first year seminary students. (And you didn't even have to pay tuition for that one!)

Why are we starting with a prolegomena?  Because we are going to spend the entire summer in a single chapter of the Bible--Hebrews 11.  An entire summer! 

Hebrews 11 is the hall of heroes of the faith.  As an example of what it is to live by faith, the author of Hebrews uses a collection of faithful individuals from the past as a compelling, detailed, example.   These faithful men and women happen to come from the Old Testament, so not only will we spend the summer talking about the faithful Christian life, we'll also be exploring the Old Testament.  I'm looking forward to this journey because there is a goldmine of interesting stuff in the Old Testament.  In addition to our exploration, we'll also be looking for Jesus in every text.  This series could get rather detailed, so I thought an introduction might be helpful for most of us.  A. . . prolegomena.  

I'd like to offer you some questions to ponder in this series.  I hope and believe our questions will be answered by the Scriptures.  

1.  What is faith?  

2.  How are we saved by faith, and faith in who or what? 

3.  What is a life lived by faith? 

4. What is possible, if we live by faith? 

We'll be looking at these questions and many others like it as we spend some time camping out in Hebrews 11. Please keep me and Pastor Brett (who will also be preaching in this series) in your prayers, and please be reading and thinking about Hebrews 11.  I might even recommend reading the enter book of Hebrews a couple times this summer!

See you Sunday, 
Pastor Bryan