Tuesday, January 29, 2008

How To Study The Bible: Session 3

In case you missed it... notes from this morning's, uh, highly animated session... there's a lot to be said for keeping it real, friends!

Pop Quiz! The three “discovery” steps are…

1. __________
2. __________
3. __________

Process for discovery is guided by:

5 W’s/1 H and… So What?

So What? (Prof. Hendricks build)

Exegesis (exuhjeesus)

What It Means: Determining the meaning of text from historical and literary context: think about putting the words and sentences under a magnifying glass!

Goal: What does the text, itself, tell us?

Observation is key!

Let’s watch a two-minute video and test our skills!

Group Exercise

Luke 23: 32-49

1. Observe (Ex. A modified)

a. Study: vs. 32-34 (5 W’s/1H & So What?)

b. Analyze: vs. 32-34

Next Session:

1. Do Practice B (pages 34-35) at home (vs. 32-49):

a. Imagine how you would feel if you were (pick someone)…

b. Ask questions… (e.g., “Why ‘wine vinegar’?”)

c. Hunt for answers with… (dictionary, commentary,
http://www.crosswalk.com/, notes at bottom of Study Bible, etc.)

2. Read Chapter 14…

On my iPod... Why Don't You and I by Santana & Chad Kroeger

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

How Do I Study the Bible? Session 2

Notes from January 15 Sonrise Bible Study

Discovery Steps (The New Joy of Discovery in Bible Study/Oletta Wald):

1. Observe: What does it say? (exegesis versus eisegesis!)

2. Interpret: What does it mean?

3. Summarize: What is the big idea?

4. Evaluate: What is the value for today?

5. Apply: What does it mean to me?

6. Actualize: What shall I do?

A Popular Synthesis

1. Observe

2. Interpret

3. Apply

The Bible as Revelation

Reveal: To draw back a veil so that something previously hidden can be seen (verbal or visual).

  • Propositional Revelation: “Verbal”

    The Bible is “propositional revelation” from God through human mediators (2 Tim. 3:15-16).

Protestant Bible Stuff

o 66 books (39 OT/27 NT)

o Message is inspired: God worked supernaturally through human authors to bring about His revelation.

o OT written prior to life of Jesus/NT central focus is Jesus

o Original languages (primarily): Hebrew/OT & Greek/NT

o Genres (general "headings" for types of literature... though there are genres within genres!):

1. Narrative (Genesis, First half of Exodus, Numbers,
Joshua, Judges, Ruth, 1 & 2 Samuel, 1 & 2 Kings,
1 & 2 Chronicles, Ezra, Nehemiah, Esther, Jonah)

2. Law (Last half of Exodus, Leviticus, Deuteronomy)

3. Wisdom: (Job, Proverbs, Ecclesiastes)

4. Poetry: (Psalms, Song of Solomon, Lamentations)

5. Prophecy: (Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel, Daniel, Hosea,
Joel, Amos, Obadiah, Micah, Nahum, Habakkuk,
Zephaniah, Haggai, Zechariah)

6. Apocalyptic (subset of Prophecy): (Daniel, Revelation)

7. Gospel: (Matthew, Mark, Luke, John)

8. Epistle (letter): (Romans, 1&2 Corinthians, Galatians
Ephesians, Philippians, Colossians, 1&2 Thessalonians,
1&2 Timothy, Titus, Philemon, Hebrews, James, 1, 2 &
3 Peter, 3 John, Jude)

Next Session: January 29

1. Read Chapter 5 in Discovery

2. Read Luke: 23: 32-49 (but don’t do exercise… we will do this
together in two weeks!)

Random comments...

"There are a number of ways to approach Bible Study. We're looking at one way to do it. My prayer is that we don't lose sight of the fact that this is not about processes and methods... or learning for learning's sake... but about better equipping ourselves to know and love and serve our God."

"What is application? Could be putting our feet to the ground in active service. Could also be the heart change that comes from being jolted awake by the God we meet in Scripture."

"The Bible in the broadest sense is narrative... it tells a story... there's a protagonist... an antagonist... there's a plot line... there's tension... and ultimate resolution. First time I heard this explained, it made me uncomfortable. When I hear 'plot line,' I think about a human accredited work... like Macbeth or something... makes me think 'fiction.' But when we talk in these terms... we don't negate the fact that the words of Scripture are inspired... by God... and because it's from God... it is utterly inerrant... is is true. So when we say things like "narrative"... we're merely suggesting a style of communication that was employed to convey God's truth... an assemblage of thoughts into words... such that people could understand."

"... and from this broad perspective... we can begin to see how the various books relate to the whole. This is an important perspective to keep in mind as we go along... and we try and guard against the inclination to pluck out and run away with chunks of Scripture in isolation... not only from an historical and near textual context ... but from the context of the whole."

"My lipstick has lead in it... does yours???"

On my iPod... Say by John Mayer

A Dose of Wisdom: "I can tell you how to study the Bible... pick it up... and start reading it!" -My Mom!

Sunday, January 13, 2008

Funny video from YouTube on Evelyn's blog...


Saturday, January 12, 2008

Perceptions About Hugs

I was making lunch the other day and turned on the the twelve o'clock news. There was Deborah LaFavre, the high school teacher convicted a while back of having sexual relations with a student, in trouble again. This time for non-sexually hugging a female coworker who was crying. Tax dollars are obviously hard at work on this one. But it did make me think about the hug and what it communicates to people.

Some Kinds of Hugs

The passion hug: Hey, baby... (This would be, um, verboten for us married folk outside the marriage, 10-40?)

The consoling hug: I'm so sorry you hurt.

The oops hug: I'm so sorry I did that.

The grateful hug: Thank you so much!

The genuinely glad to see you hug:: I have missed you!

The I-think-I-should-hug-you-because-it's-been-a-while-but-I-really-don't-want-to:: Let's just do this and get it over with, shall we?

The oh, no, we made eye contact and here he/she comes hug: Bleeeech!

One of my friends asked me a while back, "When you hug someone... who breaks the hug first?" I said, "I don't know!" but was intrigued by the premise. My friend says she never wants to be the first to break a hug. She hangs in there until the other person is doing hugging and this communicates something. I will say, she is a world-class hugger.

Have you ever hugged someone and it's like encountering a dehydrated fish? Like there are so many walls and barriers that you just know that they would really rather not? This is the equivalent of a limp handshake and when you encounter it, you are up close and personal with the way in which our body language can contradict our words. If "I'm so happy to see you" accompanies the dead fish "air hug"... one might wonder whether or not that person really is happy to see you.

Perception or Reality?

"... Man looks at the outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart." (1 Samuel 16:7)

The Bible tells us that our perceptions can be pretty shallow. We people tend to button up all sorts of conclusions on the basis of how things look versus how things really are. So we should really try to avoid judging one another on the basis of porous externals that may or may not represent our true feelings. A dead fish "air hug" doesn't necessarily expose the nature of someone's heart. The fact is, some people are more demonstrative than others. This doesn't really mean that they necessarily care more. Some people have had physical boundaries violated in the past and are wary of close encounters. There are any number of reasons some people would rather not get too close.

However, you should know... especially if you have a Christian ministry to hurting people... that they may be judging you! Making assessments about the genuineness and compassion of your ministry based upon how things appear. Was it a real hug you just gave me? Or a fake hug? A real smile? Or a fake smile? Real concern? Or fake concern? And on and on. And, as it relates to body language, if there's something that appears disingenous, it can undermine your ability to minister to others most effectively.

Bottom Line: Hugging or physical contact is not always appropriate, especially in non-ministry work settings. But if the context is right... and you do make the effort to hug someone... but you stop short of really hugging them... you may be communicating something different than what you really feel. The next time you hug... think about the gesture. What do you suppose you communicate to others by the way you embrace?

Can you tell I'm between semesters...

Tuesday, January 08, 2008

Study Notes from Today's Sonrise Session

Hey, friends. If you missed our Bible Study launch this morning, here are the notes...

Sonrise Bible Study: How Do I Study the Bible?

Notes: Session 1

You are a theologian!” (Stanley Grenz, Who Needs Theology?)

Goals of Study

o Learn process or "method"

o Personally interact with text

o Grow confidence in ability to interpret, teach and live out Scripture

o Have fun!

Primary Materials

o Bible

o The New Joy of Discovery Bible Study (Wald)

Conventional Bible Study "Tools"

o Bible(s)
o Concordance (Index of words)
o Greek/Hebrew Lexicons (Original vocabulary words: Hebrew/OT & Greek/NT)
o Commentaries (Someone else’s “comments”)
o Encyclopedia
o Key Word Study Guide (Where is a specific word used and how?)
o Bible Dictionaries
o Atlas
o Internet resources, e.g., www.crosswalk.com, www.netbible.org

Are There Other Tools?

Truth can only be discovered when it is personally appropriated.

William Barclay (Bible scholar)

Question: How would you teach the story of Creation to someone if you couldn't use written words?

1. ____________________

2. ___________________

3. ___________________

4. ___________________

5. ___________________

Critical Success Factors

1. The Holy Spirit is our group leader!
2. Yearn to learn!

Bring Each Week…

1. Bible translation of your choice
2. Discovery Book
3. Pen/paper

Prepare for Next Session: Read Chapters 1-2 in Wald book!

Some Random Comments...

"It takes me 30 minutes to find Philemon if I don't use the Table of Contents. So if you need to use the Table of Contents, please do! There's a reason it's right up front... a Table of Contents is a good thing!"

"OK... this is not a muffin. This is a cake."

"If my faucet drips, I have to call a plumber. I need a professional. The good news is... as it relates to God's Word... if you have the indwelling Holy Spirit, you are the professional. If you have a heart and a desire to learn, God will teach you. He has graciously given us all we need to know right here [in the Bible]... and it is well within our reach. Are you thinking right now about God? Then you are a theologian!"

"We're going to learn some big words. Not so we can throw them around and impress our pastors with the big words we know. We may not even use some of these words ever again in our own little group. But there are a few key terms you should know... so that when you are in an academic setting... or BSF... or someone else's Bible Study... and someone starts throwing around these big, old words... that this doesn't become a distraction for you... or a source of frustration... such that you're so intimidated by what you don't know that you miss the whole point of what's being taught, which has happened to me many times. They are just words..."


Some Scary Words (…that really aren’t that scary)

They Say: Hermeneutics (hermanooticks)

What It Means: The process of understanding the meaning of Biblical text. Think broad “interpretation” using both the text and insights of others (commentaries, etc.).

Goal: What did God mean by what He's revealed on the basis of the text and what we can learn from the insights of others?

Mental Picture: I think of an umbrella under which exegesis and exposition (see below) fall.

They Say: Exegesis (exuhjeesus)

What It Means: Determining the meaning of text from historical and literary context.

Goal: What does the text, itself, tell us?

Mental Picture: I think of putting the words of Scripture under a magnifying glass!

They say: Exposition

What It Means: Communicating what the text means and its relevance today… and it is relevant!

Goal: What does this mean to you in 2008?

Mental Picture: I picture a Bible teacher... someone who writes or speaks or somehow instructs... and students saying "Aha!"

On the top of my book stack... Love in the Time of Cholera by Gabriel Garcia Marquez

Are your cosmetics safe to use? Check it out! http://www.cosmeticdatabase.com/index.php?nothanks=1
(Sorry to see my favorite lipstick on the "no no" list for lead...

Saturday, January 05, 2008

Next Sonrise Meeting: 1.8.08

Hi, Friends!

Remember our next Sonrise Bible Study meeting is this Tuesday at 8:15. We're meeting at 121 Community Church in Grapevine. We are just launching a "How to Study the Bible" series and would love to have you join us! We'll be working from Oletta Wald's The New Joy of Discovery in the Bible Study. Scroll down a couple posts for a peek at the cover.

A major goal of our study is to equip one another to explore God's word independently. We'll be learning a simple approach to getting into the Bible and sharpening our powers of observation and interpretation. Most importantly, we will look at how we apply what we discover to daily living, relationships and our all-important spiritual life... developing skills to better understand not only what God has revealed through Scripture... but what He is saying to you as you navigate and explore his indescribably wondrous Word.

On Tuesday, would be great if you could bring:

1. Bible
2. One Bible study "tool" (e.g., alternate Bible translation, concordance, commentary, dictionary, favorite website, etc.)
3. Note paper/pen

We'll be reading Chapters 1-2 (don't panic... they are short :) in Wald's book for the following week... so you will want to order the book ASAP if you haven't already.

Looking so forward to our discoveries, dear friends!

Love, Sarah

p.s. A huge "thank-you" to everyone who participated in the Ronald McDonald House meal delivery last week. There was a lot of love that came from your kitchens. It was a beautiful sight...

on my iPod... Once in a Lifetime by The Talking Heads