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Wednesday, November 13, 2013

The Wall

It seems to happen every time.  This 10 week workshop is the 27th equipping people to study the Bible – it happened again.  Most people who come to these have not ever done independent Bible study.  By independent I mean that you can take a Bible and a blank sheet of paper and wring out a passage for all it is worth without a study Bible or commentary.  Most of the people have done FIBS (Fill In the Blank Studies), watched a video series, been in a lecture that was called a Bible study, a small group where the leader talked %80+ of the time, or a group that got together, read a passage, and then everyone in the group reacts to what they read…  All of those but the last are studies where someone else has done the work and is either leading you through their study with pointed questions or else simply lecturing.  We call those sage on a stage, sage on a page, sage on a chair, or sage on a screen.  The last one in the college ministry we called SYI studies (SYI = Share Your Ignorance), of course with adults one cannot use that language so now its “Share Your Insights.”  Those types of studies while really helpful are essentially like watching people exit a restaurant after a good meal and expecting to receive nutrition (ok, it is a bit of an exaggeration – they are all needed at times – we tend to lean on them too much and too long).
What holds people back in getting with the Lord in the Word?  Thoughts at DTTB.
So for the most part that has been the experience of the people who come to the workshop.  So there is some angst when I ask them to put away their study Bibles and give them the text of 2 Peter printed out without any notes whatsoever.  Truthfully some are resistant to the idea.  It is the wall of doubt, experience, lack of confidence, whatever.  Most of them have never been asked to interact with the text in that way.  They are not sure that they can.  They are not sure that they are supposed to – more than one has voiced that.  But then – and it is usually around the third meeting, which in this case was last night – the lights began to come on.

The people begin to see that what they are seeing in the text is similar to what everyone else in the room is seeing.  Their chart makes sense.  They begin to see how the book, Peter’s argument is structured and holds together.  They see the same or similar themes.  They have broken through the wall of dependency on commentaries and study Bibles and begin to have confidence that they can get stuff, good stuff, great stuff from the Word on their own.

I love that.

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