Tag Archives: doctrine

My Top 15 Elements for Successful Bible Study – Across the Spectrum

As we grow in our walk with Christ, knowing God’s word (and seeking it with zeal) is one of the most important things we can do.  After all, he’s revealed himself to us in two primary ways: Through his Holy Spirit, which we received as a gift when we became Christians, and in his Word.

This post is the seventh of 15.  In each post, I’ll be examining my personal “Top 15″ things leading to successful bible study.  This series of posts can be filed under “Going Deeper.”

Click the link to view Tuesday’s post on Bible Doctrine.
Boyd and eddy take the exploration of doctrine to a new level … And do so in a way that I really appreciated, because they are not taking or advocating one position over another.  As mentioned in yesterday’s post, there are many issues that are really open for debate, and worthy of exploration.  In “Across the Spectrum,” Boyd and Eddy present at least two (but often three or four) different sides of the thorny issue.
Here are some examples of issues that they tackle, with examples of the multiple positions involved:
The Foreknowledge Debate:
– God foreknows all that will come to pass
– God knows all that shall be and all that may be
The Charismatic Gifts Debate:
– The gifts are for today
– “Tongues shall cease”
The Women in Ministry Debate:
– Created equal, with complementary roles
– The Irrelevance of Gender for Spiritual Authority
The nice part is that of all the viewpoints they represent, there really aren’t any wrong answers … In other words, they are legitimately up for debate.  And the authors remain so objective that they really don’t lead you in one direction over another.
The not-so-good part is that, while I am much more effective at articulating all sides of an issue, I almost always found myself in a complete quandary about which position *I* believe.  Which is a good reminder not to get hung up on doctrine, and remember Jesus’ “greatest commandments” – to love God with all of our heart, soul and strength and to love others (ALL others!) as ourselves.

My Top 15 Elements for Successful Bible Study – Bible Doctrine

As we grow in our walk with Christ, knowing God’s word (and seeking it with zeal) is one of the most important things we can do.  After all, he’s revealed himself to us in two primary ways: Through his Holy Spirit, which we received as a gift when we became Christians, and in his Word.

This post is the sixth of 15.  In each post, I’ll be examining my personal “Top 15″ things leading to successful bible study.  This series of posts can be filed under “Going Deeper.”

Click the link to view Monday’s post on Baker’s Commentary.
Going Deeper: Bible Doctrine by Wayne Grudem.   Why do you believe what you believe?  And what does your church have to say about it?  While there are many biblical principles that are black-and-white, timeless, and not open to debate … there are dozens our hundreds that ARE open to debate.  As you grow in your spiritual discipline, it becomes more and more important to at least consider your position on those doctrinal issues (even if you, like me, don’t gavel down one way or another on all of them).  The kind of issues I’m talking about include (and this is FAR from an exhaustive list):
– Was the world created in 6 24-hour days?
– What is the role of Christians in relationship to government and governance?
– What’s going to happen when Christ comes again?
– Why is important that Christ was born of a virgin?
– What is the impact of Mosaic law on today’s Christian/church?
Bible Doctrine was recommended by Matt Carter, the pastor at my church (The Austin Stone Community Church in Austin, TX) as a good source for exploring these issues personally.  And while some people just sit down and read this monster, I don’t actually recommend it unless you’re looking for something specific.  But I’ve found a great way to incorporate it into my daily study.

Bible Doctrine has a handy index in the back that lists all of the topics covered in the book by chapter/verse in the bible.  As I’m doing my daily reading, I can read a passage, then refer to Bible Doctrine to see if that passage is specifically refernced in relation to important Christian doctrine.  That way, my context is always scriptural … and I am learning doctrine as I go, rather than trying to do it all at once, with no particular context.  This approach has been really effective for me.