Professor of Theology, Emeritus, at Union Presbyterian Seminary, Dr. Donald G. Dawe, defined the theology of our collection.
The Living Dialog™ Collection is a project in ministry to bring the Christian message to an affective strong and intellectually clear expression. The aim is to establish a process by which the biblical witness to revelation can be encountered afresh in contemporary terms to call women and men to a life transforming faith in Jesus Christ. These books are guides to people willing to dialog about the great questions of life and its meaning.
The Collection provides practical guidance in a process for apprehending the biblical faith personally by bringing existential questions and needs into dialog with the biblical Word. The Word of God and the Spirit of God belong together. For it is the Holy Spirit that animates our minds and hearts to receive the living Word of God through our encounter with Scripture. This means that we turn to the Bible, not just for historical information or doctrinal formulations but also for encounter with the living Word of God – the Risen Christ.
The presence of the Word of God in the Bible is not proved by the authority of the Church, or by a theory of biblical inspiration, but by the presence of the Holy Spirit in the believer and the community. The Holy Spirit makes Jesus Christ existentially present in our time and space.
This Collection does not stumble over the shibboleths of fundamentalism or modernism, evangelical or liberal. Its vision includes evolution in its view of creation. It gets illumination from modern biblical scholarship but is not dominated by it. The freedom to have such an encompassing vision is based on the conviction that Jesus Christ is our contemporary as Risen Lord.
Amidst its riches, the modern world is in ethical collapse, affective sterility and spiritual numbness. The crisis of modernity is not something we learn academically but experience personally. This experience is the entry point for the encounter with the Word of God in the Bible. The Living Dialog™ Collection uses this as the starting point for a personal encounter with the life-giving Word that comes to us in the Bible.
This collection of books is not inviting us to return to an imagined past, nor does it offer a social or psychological panacea for all our woes. It is a call for renewal that believes God will meet us in the present as God has met us in the past. It draws on classic theological traditions. It stands on its unique vision, as must any voice that is to be heard in our time.
Reader feedback quotes differentiate our Series from other bible studies.
- The genius is the process and guided method of open, reciprocal questioning of unknown, unexplored, and unexplained ground.
- The how- and why-type questions demand that we dig into our own beliefs in order to fully interact with the text.
- The group and I particularly liked the focus on small segments of scripture giving the opportunity to dig in and reflect more intentionally on the then and now meanings.
- I enjoyed this Socratic method giving me a new experience in Bible Study – I gained a stronger faith.
- It was a unique, thought dominated approach to learning.
- When people open themselves to the questions Jesus raised, they touch his redemptive power.
- By faith we encounter Jesus Christ as present reality, not a shadowy figure of the past or a set of theological ideas.