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Readers of Juicy Ecumenism will remember a series of critical pieces on InterVarsity’s recent Urbana conference over the past weeks. Perhaps you even thought, “Those bloggers at The IRD only know how to criticize; isn’t there anything that will satisfy them?” So we wanted to write about the uplifting sessions of Urbana 18 that encouraged the body of Christ to embrace unity in our diversity—something which we hope will happen more in the future.
René Breuel acted as the official “expositor” for Urbana 18, explaining a number of texts across the conference (he has four sessions posted online). A native of Sao Paolo, Brazil, Breuel graduated from seminary in Canada and now pastors a church he planted in Rome, Italy. He represents the international character of the Urbana conference and the church of Christ, especially as seen in the Book of Revelation.
Breuel - Passage - Scripture - Parts - Revelation
When Breuel preached, he read the passage of Scripture and then explained what it meant, word-by-word, phrase-by-phrase, verse-by-verse. When necessary, he drew on other parts of Revelation or elsewhere in Scripture for interpretive help. That is, he used the Bible to interpret the Bible. Additionally, he incorporated historical context to illuminate passages which made references outside the Bible. Occasionally, he applied the Scripture to either politics or missions, but every application flowed naturally from his discussion of the text. It never seemed like he was imposing a predetermined message onto the passage he was teaching. Rather, he faithfully interpreted the passage he was given. Breuel modeled good expository preaching. I sometimes disagreed with his interpretation (I take many parts of Revelation to be more literal than he), but even where I disagreed I never found fault with his method.
For Urbana to effectively unite Christians across all barriers—ethnic, national, linguistic, political, economic, etc.—it has to stick to the Bible. Paul tells...
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