Be More Practical 3

In this post I explored the tension that many of us feel between doing good exegesis and being practical in our teaching/reading of the Bible.

In this post I explored the nature of the Bible itself as a text which contains not abstract theology but occasional theology.  In other words bibical theology is both practical and missional in intent and purpose.

If we our theology/teaching is not practical and missional then we are not being biblical.

How then do we resolve read and teach the Bible in ways that are both robust theologically and practically/missionally in significant ways?

1) Study the text – get to the heart of the issue, the what and the why?  What is it these people need to hear?  What aspect of the gospel are they not believing?  To be more practical is not to neglect the hard work of understanding what is God saying in his Word before asking ,”What should we do?”

2) Get that clear in a single point.  What is the big idea of the text?  What is the reason this text has been written?

3) Plot how to logically show the big idea and how it is developed, proven and applied in the text.

Now you are done…

Certainly in most evangelical circles you have done the bulk hard work… (even if we do pay lip service to Stott’s 2 worlds analogy).  I think you have completed the first task that is asked of you.  If we are to hear the Word of God speak to us in our times, to a particular people in a particular time then there are another set of helpful questions to ask.

4) Mediate on the text – what is it that YOU are struggling to believe…

5) Go walk through your community… what questions are they asking? What is the text challenging? What questions is the text answering.  What are the idols of this community.  You have to get to try to get to the heart of these questions if we are going to hear the text speak specifically and particularly to our community.

6) Talk to people – get rid of the canned illustrations and even at times the newspaper articles and jokes, what are real people that you are talking with saying about this passage.  Try it with Christians and non-Christians

7. What is the big issue – the heart issue that your community is struggling with.  Try to answer this question for Christians and for  non-Christians.  Do not preach/stop thinking on the text until you have this clear.

8. If you are going to teach this passage be aware that this text may work out in a number of ways – choose one. Pray.  Ask what is the issue that God wants you to address in this community today?  And then go for it – I like application that selects an issue and then works it out – too general is most often not helpful…

9. The answer is always Jesus but how the gospel works out in every scenario is not the same – what does Jesus say to… hurt, anger, sin, pride, materialism, poverty.  But never leave Jesus out of it… you will either end up preaching legalism or despair.

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~ by John on September 22, 2009.

One Response to “Be More Practical 3”

  1. Great post John

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