Thursday, September 14, 2006

Buy and Use the Book

I am very frustrated with my attempt to blog on How to Read the Bible for All Its Worth, by Gordon Fee and Douglas Stuart. The book is such a useful tool for people who want to get the most out of their study of scripture. There is so much in it that I am finding it difficult to blog on. My students read a chapter each week. We discuss the chapter and the portion of scripture they were to read. Intensive… yes! Helpful… definitely! Well suited to blogging? No.

We had a great Session (church board) meeting last night. One gentleman has been an elder in Presbyterian churches for over twenty years. His faith is growing faster than a Washington forest fire! This is the first church that challenged him to read his Bible and that talked about what Christians are to believe and do. He is still biblically illiterate—he is making progress. He still does not “study” the Bible. He is in my class that uses the book by Fee and Stuart.

The chapters in the book are:

  1. The Need to Interpret
  2. The Basic Tool: A Good Translation
  3. The Epistles: Learning to Think Contextually
  4. The Epistles: The Hermeneutical Questions
  5. The Old Testament narratives: Their Proper use
  6. Acts: The Question of Historical Precedent
  7. The Gospels: One Story, Many Dimensions
  8. The Parables: Do You Get the Point?
  9. The Law(s): Covenant Stipulations for Israel
  10. The Psalms: Israel’s Prayers and Ours
  11. Wisdom: Then and Now
  12. The Revelation: Images of Judgment and Hope

The authors deal with each literary genre in a way that is easily understandable for the layperson. Many Purpose Driven Presbyterian Churches have a sixteen-week rotation for their discipleship classes (this is one of those classes). This rotation is based on their local school year. Evergreen operates on a twelve-week rotation (like the quarter system in our schools). This is one class where the extra four weeks could be helpful.

The Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) may be at a crisis point in its history like the Roman Catholic Church faced at the Reformation. The only hope for the PCUSA is a Christ-centered, biblically literate membership that demands the same for the entire denomination.


At 1:04 PM , Blogger Sara said...


Thanks for blogging on this book, as hard as it may be. I saw it the other day, and being a Gordon Fee fan, I almost bought it. Now I must buy it.

At 2:19 PM , Blogger Dave Moody said...

Keep it up man. A year ago (yack- year and a half ago, dang- time DOES go faster once one hits 'a certain age'), I taught the same class as an evening Study- using Fee & Stuart. Its hard to measure the impact on the ones who went all eight weeks, but it was eye opening to folks to read and hear that being faithful did not mean reading the Bible flat.

I'd love to see your outlines, as I probably will need to teach it again next Spring.
grace & peace,


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