Journal: Creating Our Final Outline For Romans

My co-minister and I have been developing our 2020 teaching outline for the book of Romans.  We began by comparing existing outlines from the Expositor’s Bible Commentary, College Press Commentary, Randall House Commentary, IPV Commentary, and the Socio-Rhetorical Commentary on Romans.  Then we read through each section together and took note of the key points being developed, how they connected throughout Romans, and discussed how certain key texts play in the greater scope of Biblical theology.  And then we made our selection for each teaching week.

Blue headlines serve as section introductions where we will read the text together in our church and then summarize the flow of Paul’s arguments.  This will allow us to touch on some of the points that we won’t have time to go into greater detail on so that our members will be aware of the broader context into which the key points that we teach on are meant to fit into.

We have two duplicate weeks marked in red where we have identified sufficient theological diversity to warrant giving our members two looks at these texts so that they can understand how these texts affect the theological conclusions and apologetic applications that we can draw from them.  This is part of our effort to show the unity of Christ’s body in theological diversity without compromising the integrity of Biblical truth.  Our hope is to show that there are texts where we can have different views that are still valid and do not compromise the Christian faith.

Although we did not put any time constraint on ourselves and were willing to go beyond a year, our final schedule will run 50 weeks (just two weeks shy of a full year).

Considerable consideration and deliberation was given to the missiological section of Romans in chapters 9 to 11.  We recognized considerable theological challenges in this section that could warrant several more weeks, but we also recognized how tightly woven the context of those sections are.  We also had to take into consideration our own theological limitations and capacity to adequately address some of the most difficult questions that are raised in these sections.  We concluded that our church would be best served by explaining the major flow of Paul’s argument and showing how it advances his overall teaching in such a way that carries his thought forward into the next section and conclusion.

Steps to finish this outline:

  1. Add our argument-flow headlines for each week to provide a clear structure to guide teaching progression
  2. Determine how many weeks to assign our teachers
  3. Give assignments
  4. Schedule followup meetings

We began this outline in August and expect to finish in November, which will give us enough time to give out teaching assignments to all of our teachers (between 3-4).  As part of our discipleship and leadership training effort, once we set how many weeks we will assign to our teachers, we can give them their assignments and offer to schedule meetings with them where they can bring their lessons to us for help answering questions and developing the structure of their lessons.




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