February 15, 2008
There seems to be as many ways to study the Bible as there are English translations of the Bible. There are:
Expository Studies - involving taking a passage in the Bible and finding out exactly what it means. You will go through a passage sentence by sentence and word by word. Start by reading and re-reading the passage.
Topical Studies – this study looks at all the passages that deal with a particular topic.Word Studies – this type of study looks at all the references to a particular word in the Bible.
Thematic Studies – this type of study is based on a particular theme or chain of thought in the Bible.
Doctrinal Studies – a study on the various doctrines/concepts in the Bible.Biographical Studies - focusing on the life of a particular person in the Bible.
Character Trait Studies – instead of looking at the person, you look at a character trait such as pride, humility or faithfulness.Geographical Studies – pick a place (city, mountain, river or country) and look up all the references to that place in a concordance.
Archeological Studies – a study of places and facts in the Bible that are reflected and verified by archeological discoveries.
On our first meet-up, we will talk about the approach that we want to take in our study.
One thing that you continually read about in the Bible are all the questions that the people in the Bible seem to have. Some Bible teachers feel a Bible study should be full of answers and not questions. I see questions as an essential part of learning. It is the lack of questions that I fear because we process much of our information through the asking and answering of questions.
February 14, 2008
On the 28th of February, I will be speaking at Bethel University on ethics and social justice issues to their World Challenge Leadership Circle.
The picture attached is the poster for the presentation that I did at Northwestern College for their documentary night in December. We had great attendance and filled the lecture hall.
In January, 2008 I did a business ethics presentation at Edinburgh in Brooklyn Park to the Credit and Finance Development Division of NACM. This group just nominated me for their Twin Cities executive of the year award.
It has been a privelage to have been invited into many high school ethics classes in 2007. I generally speak on living an ethical life in these classes. Sometimes certain things really hit home for some of the students in these classes. Many of the principles that I share can be found in the Bible.
When I speak at these events, I always allow for a time of discussion and interaction. It is during these times that I tend to learn much from those I teach. Each of us have valuable thoughts and insights to share. While I can’t wait to start leading the Bible study, I also can’t wait to hear from each of you.
peace & blessings,
February 14, 2008
There will be an organizational meeting of the Twin Cities Bible Discussion Group on Saturday, February 16th, from 11 to 12 am. We will be meeting at the Burnhaven Library in Burnsville in one of their conference rooms. We are meeting in Burnsville because it is closest to the largest number of people interested in the group.
It is possible that we can have one or two more study groups in different parts of the Twin Cities if the interest is there. Please let me know.
I am excited about the group. To me, preparing for this type of study is energizing. I work for a law firm during the day and one of the neat things is that we have an in-house library staffed with four librarians. Because of the world wide network, we can get images of documents and books from most any library in the world.
There are many different types of Bible studies that we can do and I will help us decide on what type we will do for this group. We may have a series of studies so that people know that there will be closure on the study and that it will not go on forever (which some studies I have been a part of do). Please understand that there is nothing wrong with a study that goes on for years. We will see where this leads.
January 28, 2008
This morning, I was amazed to see that there were over 50 people who had expressed interest in a Twin Cities Bible Study/Discussion Group meetup. I had always thought that it would be great to have such a group where all people were welcome and where all have an equal voice to discuss their thoughts, impressions and concerns. In the end, we would not only learn about the Bible from the text, but also from the people we meet and study with.
This study would be open to all who want to learn more about the Bible. It would not be sponsored by any faith community or religious organization, but would be formed and guided by those who attend the group. It would be a place where all were welcome and all have an equal voice. Questions and insights would be welcomed and sought.
I also thought that it would be good to have a blog to share our journey and a place where others who belong to the group or are interested, could go and see what the last discussion was about and what thoughts and questions were shared.
Where would we meet? I have also facilitated a two year life discussion group in Downtown Minneapolis. But I feel that the location where we meet would depend on the people who compose the group. I have several possible locations, but would like to know if we have people with children who would like a kid-friendly location. If there were too many people or people from a wider geographical area, we may want to have two or more separate groups.
I have read and studied the Bible for close to 50 years and I still learn new things every week. I also know Bible teachers and scholars from different schools, faith communities and backgrounds that would be glad to come and share with us if we want. I facilitated a prayer series where I had different authors and teachers speak for most of the meetings and those who attended really enjoyed the experience.
The end result depends on all of us, but if you are interested in learning more about the Bible, its meanings for your life, its origins and traditions, please send me an emails at email@example.com.
This study can be a fun, interesting, provacative and allow you the flexibility to skip some meetings and still know what is going on. The life cycle of this group may be several months, years or a lifetime. There will be no fees, offerings, requested donations or sales pitches.
If you are interested in becoming a part of this journey of discovery, please send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
peace and blessings,