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Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Finishing Strong

First an update on a couple of things.  We got the results of my granddaughter’s biopsy back today, a day early, Hirschsprung’s requires a biopsy to have a definitive diagnosis.  Although the previous tests indicated she had it, she does not.  Answered prayer.  Second, I shared a few weeks ago that my wife and I were unable to go to a memorial service in Colorado Springs due to weather.  I shared that Priceline would not refund our money.  After several phone calls, they have.  More answered prayer.

Now for today’s post.

If you are studying a Book of the Bible, say Romans.  How do you usually proceed?  For sake of this discussion, post – you are not using a guide like a fill in the blank study.  Typically, in book studies that I have done in the past, we started by doing a chapter analysis of chapter one, then chapter two, then chapter three, and so on.
Finishing Strong
When we got to the last chapter we dove into another book.

Not the best way to approach a book.  Why?  Studying a book like that you do not really know what the book is about, the arc of the author’s thought.  You are trying to piece that together as you study the parts.  Not an efficient way to do that; probably will not figure it out that way.

The better way is to first do an overview of the book.  The purpose of that is to get a handle on the author’s argument.  Then as you go chapter by chapter or section by section (the chapter divisions were not in the original) you have a feel for and are validating your understanding of the argument.

But when you get to the last chapter, you are not done yet.  You need to do a summary.  You go back through your overview and you chapter analysis and then you summarize your study.  That validates your understanding of the book.

I was doing my summary of Mark this morning.  Not finished yet.  I assembled a chart listing all of the paragraph titles for the book.  By doing this I saw connections I missed in the overview and doing the chapters.

There is still more to learn from the book, but my understanding of the book is greatly enhanced by approaching it this way.

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