American Baptist Churches of Pennsylvania and Delaware

ACTS 4 Week Class (How Does The Good News Begin)

Advent Bible Study



An online class for laypersons and church leaders.

Some pastors and church leaders are considering using
 this class as their Advent Bible Study, to allow their congregations
 to experience a different type of learning during
 this special season of the year.

When:  Nov. 27,  Dec. 4, 11, and 18, 2018
Time:  7:00pm - 8:30pm
Where:  GoToMeeting
Cost: $10.00 Individual Registration / $50.00 Church Registration

On-Line Registration

On-Line Payment 

Dear friends and fellow disciples,

Following the ACTS pattern, I wanted to suggest a book that you could read as an integral part of our study of Advent this year. I was unable to find a single book that approaches Advent the way we will. (If you have a recommendation for a book that does [i.e., a book that uses the Advent theme of God’s coming in Christ as a framework within which to look at the unique way that each inspired Gospel writer opens the story of Jesus, and vice-versa], please let me know!)

Instead, I have found two recent, short, readable, thoughtful and thought-provoking books that do not repeat or even parallel our approach, but that offer a nice complement to it. They are both available as new or used physical books, and also as digital/e-books:

Timothy Keller, Hidden Christmas: The Surprising Truth Behind the Birth of Christ (NY:Viking, 2016)

This little book is full of wonderful insights and useful material, but only Chapter 2 connects directly with our study, and it connects to only 1 of the 4 sessions. But Keller works with Matthew’s genealogy in some of the same ways that we will.

Walter Brueggemann, Names for the Messiah: An Advent Study (Louisville: Westminster John Knox Press, 2016)

Like Keller, Brueggemann has a huge and well-deserved reputation. Here he uses the four titles that appear in Isaiah 9:6 as the framework for reflecting on Jesus at Advent. Some of his assumptions or opinions may be disturbing to some, but there is a lot of good thought-provoking material in this little book. If you choose to read Brueggemann as we go through Advent together, my sense is the order that will best connect with our Gospel-by-Gospel approach is to read Chapter 1 when we do Luke; Chapter 2 when we do Mark; Chapter 3 when we do John; and Chapter 4 when we do Matthew [though, to be honest, Brueggemann’s focus in this little book is such that he works relatively little with Matthew in a specific way, so all the chapters go about equally well or poorly with Matthew).

May the Lord bless you—and all of us—as we read, study, reflect and encourage one another throughout Advent.



WHAT IS IT? This is a four-week study, offered totally online, under the auspices ABCOPAD’s Academy of Christian Training and Service (ACTS). The hour-and-a-half classes for BOTH laity and church leaders (clergy and lay) within your congregation will be offered each of the four Tuesday evenings from 7:00 to 8:30 pm. The cost is just $10 an individual registration or $50 for a church registration for the entire four-week study.

WHO IS TEACHING?  International Ministries Global Consultant Rev. Dr. Stan Slade. Stan is a teacher whose “classroom” might be located almost anywhere in the world. Whether leading a workshop for pastors with almost no formal schooling or serving as a visiting professor with doctoral students in high-tech classrooms, Stan is passionate about helping church leaders become more effective servants of Christ, especially in the area of understanding and communicating the message of Scripture.  Learn More about Dr. Stan

HOW DO I PARTICIPATE? You can register online by going to You can pay the registration right there online or send in a check with a printed form. Class handouts will be provided to you along with your registration confirmation.

Don’t delay. SIGN UP TODAY!