Before and After: Transformation in the Bible and Brain Science
with the Rev. Dr. Allen R. Hilton, Ph.D.

Contact Marianna Kilbride, marianna@godsacre.org for the Zoom invite.

01/06/2021
Our Change – Making God – Human Need and God’s Desire
Luke 22.54-62 vs Acts 4. 1-13; Romans 12.1-2; 2 Corinthians 5.16-21

Click here for Session #1 supplemental information, a course schedule, and an article by Charles Duhigg. This is for those who would like and have time to prep. It is not necessary to attend or gain insight from the series. Also for those interested, in addition to the Bible (good to have!), Allen will use The Power of Habit: Why We Do What We Do What We Do, and How To Change by Charles Duhigg. If you order from our local Elm Street Books via their website it should come in 1-2 days. Again, the book is not necessary for the series, it is completely optional.

Click here for the recording of Session #1.

Everything begins with God. In our lift-yourself-up-by-the-bootstraps world it’s easy to forget that the prime mover in our lives and in the world is the one who made it all in the first place – and that’s a good thing. So many of us are frustrated by our inability to break our old bad habits or form new good ones. This week we’ll begin our series with a spirit of reliance on the change-making God.

 

01/13/2021
A Role Change – Method Acting and the Task of Transformation
Colossians 3.1-11; Romans 13.11-14; Galatians 2.20-21; 3.26-29

Click here for Session #2 supplemental information. Also this link will take you to an interview of Daniel Day Lewis about his role as Lincoln. Finally, many asked to receive Allen’s devotionals, click here to sign up.

Click here for the recording of Session #2.

Method actors assume the persona of their character. For weeks and months, they eat like them walk like them, think like them. In fact, they sometimes go so far into roles that they fear they can’t get out. That’s not great if you’re Darth Vader or Hannibal Lector, but it’s pretty good if the one we’re putting on is Christ. This week we’ll see how Bible and brain science both picture us becoming a new character…and staying there.

 

01/20/2021
Choosing the ONE – Narrowing Focus to Widen Results
Matthew 6.33

Click here for Session #3 supplemental information.
Click here for the recording of Session #3.

I know a guy (couldn’t be me!) who gets all inspired and wants to change 17 things about himself at once. “I’m going to become better at thank you notes and workout every day at 4 AM and….” The recitation goes on…. His wife gently stops him and says, “Maybe one at a time?” The Bible and brain science agree that focus is a key to transformation. Choosing well the habit (not habits) to address can make all the difference between transformative success and futile failure. This week we’ll learn how to choose and stick to our choice.

 

01/27/2021
Movin’ Out – Turning Focus Toward the World
Acts 8; John 13.34-35; 17.20-23; Matthew 25.31-46; 28.16-20; 2 Cor 5.15

Click here for Session #4 supplemental information
Click here for the recording of Session #4.

A funny thing happens whenever Jesus talks about transforming Christian groups toward unity from division. Just when we begin to think that he will celebrate the great new feeling of togetherness, he track shifts to the world. “A new commandment I give you: love one another,” are his famous words in John 13. Sounds pleasant, warm, and fuzzy. But when we get to Jesus’ “why” for the command, it’s about the world, not the church: “All people will know that you’re my disciples” is the payoff. This week, we’ll talk about God’s desire to redeem the whole world and how transforming us fits into that plan.

 

02/03/2021
Changed Together – Exploring Group Transformation
Galatians 3.26-29; Romans 12.3ff.; 1 Corinthians 12.12ff.

Click here for Session #5 supplemental information
Click here for the recording of Session #5.

Groups can change, too. Most of us know this from experience. We’ve been on teams that went from worst to first, or corporate work groups that turned performance around, or churches that became a new thing. But how can a group change habits? Of course, the project of the Apostle Paul and other early Christian leaders was precisely this: the transformation of persons by the transformation of a church. And leadership gurus in our time draw heavily on brain science to move change through teams. This week we’ll focus on group change, and the Bible and brain science have plenty to say about it.

 

02/10/2021
Transformation That Travels – Sustaining Habits for the Long Haul
2 Timothy 4.6-8; 1 Corinthians 9.24-27

Click here for Session #6 supplemental information
Click here for the recording of Session #6.

Most people’s New Year’s resolutions notoriously, woefully fall by the wayside by February. Futility reigns, and some people give up on the whole enterprise. But the great transformation stories of scripture feature one-way change – the kind that endures. Peter and Paul both transformed, neither turning back or losing the fire. Both the Bible and brain science go deep with the crucial topic of maintenance, continuation, change that lasts – and so will we, in this final week of our series.