I have blogged off and on now for about seven years through a Blogspot blog. It got a little cluttered, scattered, and not very useful, in my opinion. So, I would like to start over.
In addition to my day job, I get to teach and have for a long time. One of the benefits of regularly teaching is that you are forced to think through stuff in sufficient depth to be able to condense it for others who have not been thinking about it. It has to make sense in about 45 minutes. Over time notes, bits of writing, and ideas that you just could not get to, accumulate. It is from this well that I wish to draw for this blog.
This is not to say that I will forgo passing along what others have written, but I plan to highlight other helpful information on specific pages and not front and center. The goal, of course, is that I may be able to finally put together a book and check it off my bucket list. The days are passing more swiftly and I would like to have something of published value before the silver cord is cut.
A significant amount of my teaching time in recent years has been devoted to the young adults at Sylvania Church here in Tyler. I love those guys. They are so patient with me as I continue to work through, week by week, verse by verse, the first five books of the Bible.
Four years ago when my wife and I took on that group as our focus in the local body, we committed to the idea that God wrote all 66 books of the Bible…”holy men carried along by the Holy Spirit,” as the catechism says, and they are all, therefore, worth drinking in deeply. If “all Scripture is God-breathed” then all Scripture is necessary for the Christian. Those who are being remade into the image of Christ, the Word, should be intimately familiar with all that He has revealed.
Beginning with New Focus
Practically speaking, the New Testament relies so heavily on the Old Testament, that it loses some depth if one has a mere surface level, “gonna-build-an-arky-arky”, understanding of what God was doing prior to the coming of Christ. I have been repeatedly amazed through these years in Genesis and Exodus (so far) about how much anticipates the coming of Christ. It is a consistent thread through the history of men. I should not be surprised, I guess. He did relate the “law and the prophets” to Himself (Luke 24:27).
I have tried to approach each week’s passage with that in mind. In addition to trying to get “under the skin” of the narratives and the cultural implications of what was written as best I can, I then ask of the passage a series of questions. What does it tell us about God? What does it tell us about the nature of man? What does it tell us about the mission of Christ? What does it tell us about the necessity of the work of the Spirit? What does it tell us about the community He is building? And so on.
I wish to write through what we have seen in the hopes that those lay teachers in the church who feel the desperation that I do every Saturday night may benefit from any insight Christ has been gracious enough to show me in His Word through these years. As we move forward, I invite your comments.