For an introductory course, Dr. Bock has made some excellent choices. Rather than trying to cover the entire topic, he selected a handful of topics to discuss in some detail, teaching approaches and skills to allow the student to explore further on their own. He injects humor into his lectures which insures the continued engagement of the student. I have two minor complaints. First, the course material was often on the defensive treating alternative popular views as a threat. While I also reject the alternatives, I prefer classes to focus on what is in the texts rather than what modern culture says about the text - brief defenses are certainly appropriate but I don't like defensiveness as the tone of the course. Second, in the final sessions on the thrust of the Gospel and the house church Dr. Bock was addressing issues of the centrality of forgiveness of sins vs. kingdom of God and of church structure where I could not follow what he was defending against. With the breadth of audience taking the courses, it is important to define issues in the presenter's theological tradition that may not be familiar to others. Overall, however, this course earns a very positive recommendation.
- I also got a little confused by the forgiveness of sin in relation to the Kingdom of God in the course. To have the forgiveness of sin it is clear from Acts 2:38 that it is a formula of: repentance + baptism in the name of Jesus Christ. That has to do with the cleansing needed for the core of the Kingdom of God: indwelling of the Holy Spirit. The chiastic center of the Gospel of Matthew is: Kingdom of God (according to Dr. Heiser in Bi mob ed course), and the required God way is as detailed above, which seems to be missing from the formula suggested in the NT 211 course. For more on the details pertaining my perspective, see my review in the discussion area. Blessings.