Friday, June 27, 2008

How to Read the Bible pt. 1 of 5

One of my favorite teachers and speakers frequently says, "If you want to have an opinion about the Bible, it helps to read it." I think he's right, and I find that the more I read the Bible, the fewer opinions I have. As I read the Bible, opinions give way to quiet confidence (trust, faith) in the goodness and mercy of God.

But how do we read the Bible so that we grown in faith (confidence), rather can become swept up in our own opinions. Here's how.

Jesus said,
"My teaching is not mine, but his who sent me. If anyone's will is to do God's will, he will know whether the teaching is from God or whether I am speaking on my own authority." (John 7:16-17, ESV)

We read with the intent to obey. We don't read, evaluate, and then decide if we want to obey. We begin with the intent to obey and then read. For, the only way we can know if Jesus' teaching is true is to submit to it. We can't evaluate it critically from a safe distance. We must commit. And only then can we know.

Another writers says, "And
without faith it is impossible to please [God], for whoever would draw near to God must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who seek him" (Heb. 11:6, ESV).

I would think that's another way of saying the same thing. If we would know if Jesus' teaching is true, we must submit our will to God's will. Then, and only then, can we begin to know.

In parts two through four of this series, I will briefly introduce the inductive method for Bible study. It's a four-part method with these four parts: context, observation, meaning, application.

However, prior these for steps is a heart asking for the grace to be humble--to seek, to hear, and then to do the teaching of Jesus.

Friday, May 9, 2008

Covenant Series Review and Conclusion

We’ve finished our seven-week series on the major covenants of the Bible. This series is based on Scott Hahn’s book, A Father Who Keeps His Promises. Those desiring a more detailed study of the covenants can read that book and profit from it.

For those who, like me, enjoy a good summary, here goes.

God created and saves the world in love. We could say that God’s love is relational, existing before all time in the eternal and united divine relationships between God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit. The Trinity is eternal and all holy relationship. The Holy Trinity condescends in grace to create and relate to creation. This relationship is built around covenants, or promises. The Bible contains seven major covenants that teach us of the constancy and character of the Father’s love for His creation.

Covenant 1: Adam – major texts: Genesis 1–2.

Covenant 2: Noah – major texts: Genesis 8:20–9:17.

Covenant 3: Abraham – major texts: Genesis 12:1-3; 15; 17; 22

Covenant 4: Moses – major texts: Exodus 12; 19–20; 24; 32–34; Numbers 12–13; Deuteronomy 30

Covenant 5: David – major texts: Exodus 19:3-6, 2 Samuel 7; Psalms 2, 72, 89, 110

Covenant 6: Jesus – major texts: Matthew, Mark, Luke, John, and the remaining 23 books of the New Testament (plus all 39 of the Old Testament).

Covenant 7: Covenant Consummation – major texts Revelation 21–22

I’d like to go into more detail, but I’ve already done that week by week in the studies. For those who participated, I hope this serves as a good review of the major Bible passages. For those unable to participate in this series, I believe you’ll still profit from knowing this basic outline of the major covenants. And I urge you to read the passages mentioned. I understand the reading for Covenant 6: Jesus may take a little while. You’ll be surprised at how far 15 minutes a day will get you.


Fr G+

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Welcome to St. David's Church

Welcome to the weblog for St. David's Church, Gilmer, Texas.

The purpose of this blog is to provide a simple Web presence for a group of devout Christians of the Anglican tradition who worship and live in and around Gilmer, Texas.

Our regular worship times are posted on the right-hand column. Guests are welcomed and warmly received at any time.

This blog will consist of articles and posts on relevant subjects--What do you believe? What is Anglicanism? What is the Book of Common Prayer? and How do we read, understand, and live the Bible?--and will also contain announcements and pertinent church news.

Feel free to post tasteful comments and to contact the blog host, Fr. Gregory Crosthwait, rector, Trinity Episcopal Parish (St. David's & St. Mark's).