‘Exile’ expresses the discomfort and dislocation we often feel as Christians living within an increasingly secular society. ‘Empire’ is the context in which we are exiles. Empire is the system that we live within and that we are part of. In many ways we are as at home in this system as everyone else. We are part of families and communities, we work and engage in leisure activities, and we share many of the same hopes and worries as our neighbours and friends. Yet, we also feel a sense of difference and that we do not quite belong – because we have a different loyalty.
Living as exiles within empire is a constant theme throughout scripture. This course will explore this theme in a variety of ways. The aim is to stimulate and challenge so that we might live faithfully as God’s exiles scattered throughout our society (1 Pet. 1:1).
Week 1: Joseph, Egypt and Exodus – Locating ourselves in the empire
Week 2: Jeremiah – Coming to terms with exile
Week 3: Philemon - When values clash with the system
Week 4: Faith or Foolishness – Contrasting the wisdom of the empire and of Jesus
Week 5: Contrasting Values – Developing an appropriate lifestyle
Week 6: The Alternative Community – Building a supportive community of exiles
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