How to Study the Bible
We would like as many of our attenders to participate in a 12 session Bible Study that is probably different than any Bible study you have ever done. Instead of doing a book study with the book of a good Christian author or a topical study on a particularly relevant subject for Christian living, we are going to do something that I (Bob) believe is even more relevant to the Christian who wants to be a critical and analytical (but believing!) thinker. We want Christians to know how to use their Bibles for themselves. Thus, we are presenting to our congregation a study that has been honed and crafted over the years to instill five important pillars for the thoughtful Christian by using only the Bible. Here is a brief explanation of the five pillars:
1. Redemptive History. Throughout the twelve bible studies we will try to teach by example and instill an automatic instinct for discerning the paradigm-shifting worldview and storyline of redemptive history. Redemptive history is the record of all the events in history, recorded in the Bible, that are fulfilled in the Christ-work of God.
2. Inductive Research & Reasoning by learning fundamental skills for data-gathering and processing in our Bible study. Here we learn to customize bible notation and marking, what to highlight and what not to highlight, how to process all the information that we read in order to come up with sound and logical conclusions. On the premise that you find things you weren't looking for if you approach your search with specifics in mind I will try to show the participants that every Christian has the education and discipline necessary to do some exciting study for themselves.
3. Basics of Interpretation Consistent with Christian Tradition. We will learn the value of traditional Christian Creeds and Confessions as benchmarks, authoritative guides without absolute authority, to hedge in our interpretation of the Scripture. In other words, our interpretation of what we read in the Scripture must be informed by the Church. There is no private interpretation.
4. Gospel-specific Application Skills for Immediate Relevance We want to train our minds to read the Scriptures and hone in on the immediate (immanent)fact of Jesus in the particulars of our lives at home, work, play, and church.
5. Life-experience Fellowship. We want to learn to identify the sine qua non of Christian fellowship, the essentials. Turning away from a consumeristic understanding of fellowship to a theological understanding of fellowship has a wholesome psychological effect on the Christian thinker.
These Five Pillars of Christian Thought are not an exhaustive list, but they are fundamentals that need to be cultivated in any intelligent Christian who wants to be follow Christ. Please consider signing up for this bible study. You'll love it. We'll be all over the 66 books of the Bible!
I look forward to our moments together.