UPON THIS ROCK-PART ONE- INTRODUCTION
by Charles Robey
(Trussville. AL USA)
"Now I say to you that you are Peter (which means 'rock'), and upon this rock I will build my church, and all the powers of hell will not conquer it." (Matthew 16:18)
It's been a long vacation week. I fully expected to take it easy and get a little well-deserved rest. That was until the sudden panic call from my Bible seminary Dean of Early Church History.
"I really hate to impose, knowing how you had looked forward to your well- deserved vacation, but we have a dire emergency. You see, my professor of Jewish History has suddenly become ill and I need a substitute for his upcoming lecture study entitled "Upon This Rock."
"It's a badly needed lecture on the philosophy of our Christian roots, particularly in light of God's chosen people and the church. You see, the world's viewpoint is surely changing. We need to do our part in bringing back the Old Time Religion roots."
"I know you're the right man for this quick assignment. I'm sure you'll give it your best professional service," he said, taking his hat in his hand, so to speak, by phone.
What could I say? I was really lucky, however, as that particular subject happened to be part of my thesis of my doctrinal presentation for my professorship.
Now, if I can just recover that paper. All I'll need, after blowing off the dust, is to bring it up to date to comply with the Twenty-First Century religious mind set. That should be rather simple. Let me just sleep on it and I'll get started early tomorrow.
Then it happened. In spite of trying to get some much needed rest, I seemed to have drifted off into another of my wild dreams. I just hope I can remember it, come tomorrow.
Suddenly I found myself standing on the summit of a very high mountain. Appearing in the backdrop of the clouds was a rather large ornate Jewish synagogue, surrounded by a collection of white marbled memorial pillars, seemingly aglow by some sort of divine light source. Each held an inscription of one of the Jewish high holy days, etched in the ancient Hebrew language.
Subsequent to this rather strange synagogue setting I heard what appeared to be a rustle in the surrounding undergrowth, partly hidden by fog, I looked up and standing there was a strange-looking character looking me straight in the eyes.
He was an old-fashioned Jewish rabbi, decked out in ultra-orthodox rabbi's clothing, including the big black hat, long black beard and the traditional, customary side-locks.
What a near-mythical sight he was. As he stared, his eyes seemed to take on a piercing, hypnotic effect. In his hand was a large scroll, bearing the heading "Upon This Rock."