An Encouraging Word...
The other day I read a blog post that bemoaned the fact that a majority of youth can no longer identify Colonel Saunders. (Yes, I’m talking about the one behind Kentucky Fried Chicken.) The writer’s main point was that we’re losing touch with history, and this will have detrimental effects. Now knowing history might not seem directly relevant to our everyday lives (unless we’re competing on Jeopardy), but understanding what has come before us shapes the way we view ourselves and the world. I assume this is one of the major reasons why history is a prominent piece of education.
There is a parallel to knowing history in our walk with Jesus. A lot of times we are drawn to topics and Bible studies that address immediate felt needs. We might do a study on character, experiencing God’s presence more in our lives, or something on marriage or raising children. We read devotionals that contain encouraging words for our daily lives. And although these are all fine things to study and read, they are only pieces of biblical knowledge. So when we approach our spiritual lives in this manner, we can end up being “fragmented people”, whose perspective on life is composed of shards of truth pieced together with viewpoints from mainstream culture.
What’s the problem with this? Well, the way we look at the world will heavily influence the decisions we make and the actions we take in our daily lives. And if our perspective is built too much on what we have consumed from our surrounding culture, then we will not think and act biblically as God would like us to.
So how do we construct a point of view that is more biblical? That’s simple – we immerse ourselves in the entire counsel of scripture. This means we need to consider more than the issues that feel the most pressing. We need to breathe deeply from Genesis to Malachi in addition to contemplating the gospels and Paul’s letters to the churches. Though not all of this information will lead to specific actions, it will shape our minds and how we think. And in the end, we will live more Christianly.
This Sunday we’re starting an Old Testament Survey class at 9:30 AM. Torrey (with occasional guest teachers) will be leading students from Genesis to Malachi, and will be filling in many of the holes that people have when they think about the Old Testament. We also have a five year plan that will take students through the New Testament, doctrines of God, Christ, and the Holy Spirit, as well as essential Christian living classes. We’re in year number two. In the end, we believe that anyone who goes through these classes and will learn to think more biblically, and that this will impact their understanding of who God is, what He is doing in this world, and what role we play in it.