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Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Conversation

Back when I started this blog there was a post or two that suggested that commentaries were not a good place to start in Bible study.  But you do go there eventually.
Commentaries, journals, and systematic theologies have a place in your study AFTER you have finished your work in the Bible.
Several times here I have mentioned a Bible study I am in with three other men on the kingdom of God.  We have been on this together for over a year.  For the most part – no for the full part – my focus has been on looking at what the Bible says about the kingdom.  As a group we share what we are learning each week with the others asking questions or making suggestions for further study.

Last week I finished a synthesis of my study.  This week I enter into a new phase.  I spent the past few days looking assembling theological journal articles, systematic theologies, and other resources that deal with the kingdom.  The task now is to scan those articles to see what they say about the kingdom.

The critical difference in this sequence is that now when I read these articles I have a year’s worth of thinking through the issues and looking at the data.  Now, at some level the authors and I are on an even footing.  We are in a conversation rather than my sitting at a lecture.  There will probably be some things I did not consider.  There will be things in the articles and books with which I do not agree.  But the dialog will enhance my study rather than dictate it.

I strongly recommend this approach.

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