October 20, 2009
"Stories for Life: Jesus' Parables of the Kingdom in Matthew" will be the topic for Oklahoma Baptist University's annual Winter Bible Study Clinic Friday, Oct. 30, from 9 a.m.-4 p.m., in the Geiger Center on OBU's campus in Shawnee. Dr. Bobby Kelly, Ruth Dickinson professor of religion, will lead the clinic.
Each year, pastors and lay leaders from across the state attend the free clinic to receive training from qualified Bible teachers to prepare for the upcoming Winter Bible Study. The clinic is available to both pastors and lay leaders. Although most attend in preparation for teaching a book of the Bible in their own church, some attend for personal study.
Specializing in Greek and New Testament, Kelly is a popular professor and highly sought-after Bible teacher. He joined the OBU faculty in 1997, and he received OBU's Promising Teacher Award in 2000. He served as OBU's Faculty Council chair in the 2004-05 academic year.
A native of Kentucky, Kelly earned a bachelor of arts degree from Clear Creek Baptist College in 1988. He completed a master of divinity degree from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in 1992 and earned a Ph.D. degree from Southwestern in 1998. His dissertation was titled "Divine Guidance in Luke-Acts: The Function of Commissioning Narratives as Encouragement and Apology."
Prior to coming to OBU, Kelly served five years as a teaching fellow at Southwestern Seminary, leading classes in biblical language appreciation, New Testament and preaching. He has served as an interim pastor at several churches across Oklahoma, and is a frequent Bible study and conference speaker.
Kelly has written for several publications, including "Biblical Illustrator" and "The Baker Handbook to the Bible." He and his wife, Angie, have two sons, Luke, 8, and Levi, 3. They are members of the First Baptist Church of Shawnee. An avid runner, Kelly completed the Marine Corps Marathon in 2000 and the Oklahoma City Memorial Marathon in 2008.
"A study of the parables of Jesus offers an opportunity to focus on some of the best known and influential stories ever told," Kelly said. "Their importance can hardly be overestimated. They teach in ways lectures in a classroom or a structured sermon with points cannot. It is too easy to duck a sermon filled with commandments, or to doze off in a lecture on four methods for interpreting parables, but a story can't be ignored. In the case of stories, and even more the stories that Jesus tells, the hearer can hardly resist getting caught up in the narrative. Suddenly, we catch a glimpse of the world as it is, or see ourselves for who we really are, and we are challenged to live a life as revolutionary as the Gospel itself.
"It is my hope that you might come to the January Bible study preview not simply to glean information about Matthew's parables, but that you might come ready to be transformed by them. The best preparation for teaching Jesus' parables so that your people are transformed is first to be transformed by them yourself. I hope this study offers an opportunity for that level of intimacy with Scripture, allowing it to examine us."
While there is no charge for the clinic, an on-campus lunch will be available for $3.50, which can be paid at the door. Registration and refreshments begin at 9 a.m., with the Bible study beginning at 9:30 a.m. For more information about the Winter Bible Study Clinic, contact OBU's campus ministry office at (405) 878-2377 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.