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Topics and Expected Results

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Case One: How Conservative Peter Became the Daring Innovator
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
* Purpose = . . . to follow Peter's spiritual journey as the
Spirit of God takes him way beyond the boundaries established by
Jesus . . . and discover how food aromas coming from the cooking
fire ultimately leads Peter to the conviction that "God has no
favorites" (Acts 10:34).
* Personal Expectations = . . . to discover how the disciples
of Jesus were pastoral innovators . . . and that Jesus never
encouraged a wooden application of his own teachings . . . and
how every Christian stands attentive to the living God: "Today, if
you hear his [the Lord's] voice, do not harden your hearts" (Heb
3:7, 15; 4:7; Ps 95:7).

Case Two: How Jesus Came to Be Chosen as High Priest
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
* Purpose = . . . to explore what the Christian Scriptures put
forward regarding the "priesthood" of Jesus as well as the
"priesthood" of his disciples . . . and why "if Jesus were on earth,
he would not be a priest at all" (Heb 8:4).
* Personal Expectations = . . . to rediscover what sort of
sacrifice is pleasing to God . . . and how one can worship God
WITH Jesus and AS Jesus did . . . and retap the empowerment
evident within the early Eucharist or Lord's Supper.

Case Three: The Transformation Effected by Ordination
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
* Purpose = . . . to determine what understanding of
ordination guided the practice of the early church . . . with special
attention being given to how the Spirit of God functioned before,
during, and after ordination rites.
* Personal Expectations = . . . to rediscover how an
irreversible transformation is effected by an ordination rite . . .
and to soberly reevaluate how God acts relative to ordination rites
and to ordained ministers both yesterday and today.

Case Four: When Jesus Sided With the Women
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
* Purpose = . . . to discover how Jesus deliberately used
women's experience in his preaching . . . and how he shamed the
men in order to stand up for women bowed down under the weight
of patriarchal institutions.
* Personal Expectations = . . . to allow women to claim their
dignity and freedom as part of the Jesus tradition . . . and to allow
men to reevaluate themselves and their church relative to the
norms Jesus gave to his disciples in this regard.

Case Five: Whether the Twelve Fancied Themselves as Bishops
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
* Purpose = . . . to explore how the early churches organized
themselves . . . and how "bishops," "elders," and "deacons"
originated . . . and what role Jesus had in designating church
offices.
* Personal Expectations = . . . to settle once and for all the
claim made by so many diverse churches that their organizational
structures replicate what the Divine Savior had in mind as the
organizational plan for his church.

Case Six: Collaboration as the Hallmark of Peter's Authority
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
* Purpose = . . . to explore how Peter exercised his pastoral
authority in the early church . . . and what impact this has upon
papal claims and pastoral leadership according to a shared Catholic
and Protestant perspective.
* Personal Expectations = . . . to discover how the Gospels
call into question many existing forms of church leadership . . .
and form the foundation for a consultative and collaborative
leadership style by all those who honor Peter.

Case Seven: The Transformation Effected by Baptism
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
* Purpose = . . . to explore the origins and nature of baptism
as is was understood by its first-century practitioners . . . with
special attention being given to the role of the Holy Spirit before,
during, and after baptism.
* Personal Expectations = . . . to deepen one's understanding
of how sins were forgiven in John's baptism quite apart from an
atoning death . . . and to recover how and why baptism can
continue to be a conversion rite in today's churches.

Case Eight: The Kingdom Come and/or Going to Heaven?
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
* Purpose = . . . to explore how the Synoptic Gospels present
Jesus' own metaphors respecting what future God has in mind for
those who love him. [Not recommended prior to doing Case
Two and Three.]
* Personal Expectations = . . . to rediscover what one can
expect as the future God reserves for those who love him . . . and
how some current notions of heaven and hell have lost contact with
the teachings of Jesus.

+====================
Hardware Requirements
+====================

The Case Studies require an IBM compatible computer with
Microsoft Windows. The Case
Studies are in compressed format on two HD 3.5-inch diskettes.
A sophisticated and easy-to-use installation program determines
whether there is sufficient space on the hard drive before each case
is loaded. All eight Case Studies occupy nearly 3000 kb.

A sound card is helpful but not necessary. Without a sound card,
the user will experience a limited range of sounds being played
through the PC speaker. With a sound card, a rich variety of
religious and classical mood music can be enjoyed (MIDI files).
The user can elect to operate all the Case Studies in a silent mode
(by clicking on radio button found on the lower-right of the title
page).

+====================
The Guardian Angel
+====================

My most satisfying discovery is that, when using the
software edition of my Case Studies, you are never alone. The
{Guardian Angel} in this program consists in dozen subroutines
which monitors your use and your input and, when triggered,
makes her presence felt by the offering some help and, in most
cases, some blessing as well. Besides the presentational
immediacy, the simple animations, the sounds of the synagogue,
this is what no hardcopy version of these Case Studies can begin
to accomplish. With each successive version of this software, the
{Guardian Angel} will become more effective and more helpful.

+==================
Setup and Troubleshooting
+==================

The setup routine is foolproof, and first-time users begin
sleuthing within minutes. No complex instructions or previous
experience is necessary. While a sound card enriches the mood
music available, an ordinary pc speaker suffices. Technical
assistance and feedback are available to registered users via
telephone and e-mail.