Tuesday, July 8
Jet lag isnâ€™t too bad. Slept good. Ready to roll.
My goal this week is to make cultural geniuses out of these students. Can they tackle a culture, discern what is good and can be used as a springboard for discussions of Jesus and what is not good? Are they able to discern what needs to be critiqued and challenged in the culture that surrounds them?
Itâ€™s a tall order, probably takes a few years to get decent at it – but I at least want to start their journey off. It’s dangerous work because to fail in one direction would be to create â€œaccommodationists.â€ Students who just absorb whatever culture sends them, thinking it’s okay to “When in Rome…” Paul ran into these kinds of believers in Corinth – everything is permissible, not everything is beneficial.
The other side is just as dangerous – the legalists. Everything in culture must be wrong, must be confronted and challenged and avoided. It’s just as easy to lose the plot of God in that world as well.
So we start this journey together this week with a trip to Old Town Porec.
This is the Temple of Neptune…at least was the Temple. You can climb all over the ruins, it looks like an abandon lot. It faces the ocean – makes sense (Neptune was Roman God of water).
There are 5 towers like this throughout the city. They once were the “watchtowers” on the city wall. Now they are mostly cafe’s and high dollar restaurants that you can eat on the roof. If you look closely – you can see the water falling off of this one.
This was the Euphrasius Basilica. It was incredible. The mosaics, artwork, and tower were incredible. This has bells in it and Michael, Nathaniel, Mark, and Katie (not pictured) climbed it. In the Basilica you can see a chair in the very front part of the church. This was where the Pope would sit to lead Mass.
Evening discussion we looked at John 2, Water to wine. Great discussion about cultural issues for Jews – servants, master of ceremonies, meaning of wine, cleaning jars. As an added bonus, I got to meet a guy named Brian. He’s 36 and is helping me with the students this week. He grew up Jewish so on top of all the research I’ve done – I’ve got a REAL person to ask questions and bug about Jewish traditions!