Rethinking the Epistles: Intro

This semester I taught New Testament Survey for the first time. Having taken many New Testament classes I wasn't surprised by any of my teaching content, I was instead surprised by my prior lack of concern for the content. 
In Hermeneutics we're taught to keep the passage we're preaching in context. But when it comes to studying theology and ecclesiology we yank our passage of choice out of context to "teach a theological point." Seldom if ever do we re-think the epistles for the sake of grasping the whole of the reason behind the epistle. 

My newest series will go through each of the Epistles sharing the background context, and the purpose. I want to ask the right questions regarding popular theological points taught taught from the book at hand.  

If you're at a loss for what an Epistle is here's my "Gumbo" translation. 

Epistle = A letter written by an Apostle for the purpose of continuing discipleship in a church.

The books from Romans to Revelation in your Bible are the Epistles (letters) of the Apostles. 

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