Saturday, November 30, 2013

Read, Research, Repeat - How to engage the Bible.

I always tell learners that exegetical work is really quite simple.
  1. Read.
  2. Research.
  3. Repeat.

Read the Biblical Text.  Pour over it's words, it's structure, it's context and contexts.

Then, do research about the issues and contexts that you've discerned.

Then, pour again over the words and see if what you've read coheres with the Biblical text and note new things.

Then, do more research about the yet new discoveries you've found.

Repeat this process until, for your passage, you are quite confident you've ferreted out every item and every detail - and you know that because when you read new research, you can find nothing new - only what you already know in all of the research journals, articles, citations, commentaries, dictionaries.

Now that you have these 5-10 verses discerned in your pericope, move on to the next passage and in a lifetime, perhaps you'll be about 1/8 of the way through the Bible!

  1. Read
  2. Research
  3. Repeat.
Here is one of many supplemental links available on internet that might be helpful for persons learning "how to do exegesis."

Friday, November 01, 2013

I've read lots of "self-help", motivational, leadership books

I've read lots of books by lots of authors in the genre of leadership, motivation, self-help, personal development, etcetera.

I think I've narrowed their wisdom down to one basic fact (point 1 below). 

Few (if any of them) also identify the other realities of life.

Here is my assessment on life (at this time).

  1. You reap what you sow.
  2. Time and chance happen to everything.
  3. Persons (enemies) can poison what you sow (work and plan for) with weeds (harmful intention or outright destruction.)

If understood - (and if correct) - they boil down to this.

  1. You get what you work for.
  2. There are no guarantees that getting what you work for will always work.
  3. You can work hard for what you work for, and someone (or something) can harmfully take it away.

  • The only thing you can do, though - is work for what you want.
  • You can't control time and circumstance.
  • You can't control enemies.

Some self-help, motivational, and leadership books can help give new perspective and ideas about practices to "sow" differently.  Ultimately, though they are teaching people how to sow differently, so that they reap different results.   The sad reality though, is that not everyone who reads and learns and practices the best principles will "succeed."  And that's because self-help books don't admit the issues of Time & Chance and Enemies.

Better discernment and awareness of the lived realities of Time & Chance and Enemies might help people.

Work for what has meaning and value and what supports your life.