Monday, May 31, 2010
Try it out: search for topics like Forgiveness, Fear, Grief, Holiness -- you'll see that this takes you to a lot more than just a few Bible verses.
Saturday, May 29, 2010
Thursday, May 27, 2010
Wednesday, May 26, 2010
Curators, in contrast, are preachers who do very little of their own thinking and meditating on the Scriptures. They mainly read commentaries and theologies, and listen to others' sermons. They then cut and paste it all together. Their sermons are usually sound and well organized, but often somewhat stale and predictable.
Tuesday, May 25, 2010
Time is winding down, you have maybe 1 minute left, people in the class are shuffling and you're losing their attention -- they're thinking about where they need to go next. You finish off your thought from that part of your outline, ask "Any questions?" and give it 1 second. (You actually aren't expecting any questions, and secretly know that peer pressure of a group makes that very unlikely!) Then you say, "OK, let's pray" and say a short appropriate prayer that is your official close.
Teachers often miss the opportunity to end classes and Bible study times with a strong "launch."
Sunday, May 23, 2010
There is an addictive appeal of addition ministry: I feel important and needed. I'm still at the center of things even years from now. Many people will know my name. I don't have to trust people to get things right, because I'm still doing ministry to them. I don't need to share as much.
If you find those statements resonating with you, join me in repenting and returning to the biblical mandate of multiplication ministry.
Friday, May 21, 2010
When I was 21, I had finished 2 years of Bible college. I went to an Arminian School, learned Arminian doctrine, and read Arminian books. I had no previous learning in religion until I attended that school, so I was indoctrinated in that theology without ever knowing whether it was true or false. In my naïveté I believed what I was taught (Surely not to question doctrine was my own mistake, but being indoctrinated in that way helped me to understand more about what I believe now. So it was the providence of God which kept me in my sin of false doctrine for a time.) Not too long after my second year, a friend of mine, who believed the doctrines of grace Calvinist began to challenge me on many of my "biblical" doctrines. I had a well rounded handle on the doctrine I possessed and propagated it thoroughly among my friends at school. But when this young man challenged me as he did, I was not able to refute him. The reason I was not able to refute his arguments had nothing to do with not understanding my own doctrine, for I did. But he came at me with something I did not expect; the Bible. He proposed a whole new system of doctrine which ran completely contrary to my own beliefs. My understanding of sin was so unbiblical that when he told me to read Romans 3:10-18, I was taken back by Paul’s poignant words. I was challenged by the very book I thought I understood. My views of man, Christ, God, salvation, sin, sovereignty, the will, and others were so warped and twisted that my young friend didn’t even need to rebuke me, for the Scriptures were doing it quite well. I had understood doctrine, it was just not the doctrine of the Bible.
So over the next summer, because of that day and that particular challenge of my friend, I devoted my time to reading through the entire Bible and endeavor to take it as it stood rather than what I wanted to read into it. My prayer was that the Lord would teach me His word by the power of the Holy Spirit so that I would know what it said rather than what I wanted it to say. After three months my views on man, Christ, God, sin, salvation and the like were radically transformed. (you would be amazed at what the Spirit of God will do with such a prayer and a simple reading of the Bible.) The point is this, my theology came out Calvinist without ever knowing what Calvinism was. I had not known what Calvin taught or that he was even a person. But my theology reflected nonetheless. The study of the Word of God transformed me. The Scriptures taught me, instead of me trying to teach it. So we see that being a Calvinist is not following after one man, but submitting under the authority of the Bible.
Would that more of us would pray and read Scripture this way! I'm not promoting Calvinism by referring you to this, because I have friends who have read and studied deeply and become convicted Arminians. (We can't all be right on all the elements of our theological frameworks, but we can work towards what builds up one another and makes for mutual edification.)
Wednesday, May 19, 2010
In short, he reasons "NO!" But why do we feel guilty so often?
1. We don't fully embrace the good news of the gospel.
2. Christians tend to motivate each other by guilt rather than by grace.
3. Most of our low-level guilt falls under the ambiguous category of "not enough."
4. When we are truly guilty of sin it is imperative we repent and receive God's mercy.
This problem of persistent guilt is a genuine issue today, and if you haven't encountered it amongst your students yet you will. Teachers, I strongly recommend you review this article and use the material here to help you respond to people's situations. You could even create a good lesson on this topic from what's in Kevin's article.
Create the habit of reading good articles, and imagining yourself using the information in the articles to help your teaching. You'll retain the information longer if you imagine yourself using it. Print things like this off, and file them for future reference.
There's a whole world of great information like this, if you're open to finding and using it.
Monday, May 17, 2010
Saturday, May 15, 2010
Kevin deYoung gives some excellent advice in this short article, "What To Do When the Bible Baffles." An excerpt:
What to do when the Bible baffles?
To begin with, we recall the sovereignty of God. God wrote the Bible and he inspired the hard texts. He breathed out his revelation through Paul. And he willed it so that some things in Paul’s letters would be hard to understand. Hard texts are still God’s texts. They must be hard for a reason.
What to do next? We embrace our finitude. We admit we are not terribly smart, nor all that clever, and so we pray. As the Irish theologian McHammer said, “You’ve got to pray just to make it today.”
And as we pray we work. “Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for men” (Col. 3:23). So we pour over words and sentences. We read commentaries. We talk to other Christians. We interpret Scripture by Scripture. We ask God for breakthroughs. He wants to teach us. Remember, Paul wrote to slaves and the uneducated, those without wisdom, influence, or nobility (1 Cor. 1:26). They could learn and so can we.
Don’t give up on hard texts or hard doctrines. Don’t settle for platitudes or for bewailing “I’m not theologian.” We must not give up on understanding the Bible without a fight. As C.S. Lewis once remarked, “God is no fonder of intellectual slackers than any other slackers.” We are all tempted to shy away from life’s difficulties, be they hard people or hard texts. But consider the wisdom of Proverbs: “Where there are no oxen, the manger is clean, but abundant crops come by the strength of the ox” (14:4). In other words, oxen make messes, but they also help with the harvest. If you never think through difficult Bible passages, your life may be simpler, but it won’t be stronger.
God gave us brains so we could be obedient with them. And he has spoken to us in the Bible so he might be more easily known, even when some things are hard to understand.-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-
Read the whole article. This is good information to help your students.
Thursday, May 13, 2010
Tuesday, May 11, 2010
Sunday, May 09, 2010
Friday, May 07, 2010
"Send a remarkable awakening that results in…
- hundreds of people coming to Christ,
- old animosities being removed,
- marriages being reconciled and renewed,
- wayward children coming home,
- long-standing slavery to sin being conquered,
- spiritual dullness being replaced by vibrant joy,
- weak faith being replaced by bold witness,
- disinterest in prayer being replaced by fervent intercession,
- boring Bible reading being replaced by passion for the Word,
- disinterest in global missions being replaced by energy for Christ’s name among the nations, and
- lukewarm worship being replaced by zeal for the greatness of God’s glory."