Thursday, September 07, 2006

Horizons - Beginning at the Wrong Place

“What happens when women study scripture together? We look at relationships among women, between wives and husbands, between mothers and children. We try to read between the lines, to uncover and untangle what surely were complicated dynamics within families and with God. We look for reflections of our stories in their stories. We understand that the God who worked in and through the lives of our matriarchs and patriarchs, long ago and far away, is the same God who seeks to work in and through us today.” (Horizons Bible Study, In the Beginning, page 46)

As with most mornings I am blogging at my office away from my office – The Oasis. There are two Bible studies meeting this morning. It should make no difference if these Bible studies are composed of men, women or a combination of men and women. A Bible study is about God—it’s not about you, me or the Man-in-the-Moon. There are times in studying the Bible that relationships between women will be the focus of the passage. There will be times in studying the Bible that family dynamics will be the focus of the passage. However, these are NEVER the starting point of the Bible study. God is always the starting point!

You may ask, “What about topical Bible studies?” Topical studies are appropriate as long as the passages are not taken out of their historical and literary context. Yet, the starting point of these studies is God. Period! God, it would seem, is never the starting point in the Horizons Bible Study, In the Beginning.

2 Comments:

At 9:23 PM , Anonymous tonyc said...

Thanks for taking the time to review this study and point out its many fatal flaws. It really is a shame that they missed so much of the opportunity to have a truly meaningful study, and instead went off on Biblically incorrect interpretations clearly driven by the author's own unsupported preferences.

On your comment for today, I would offer the observation that it's a basic truism of women's approach to discussion that they will tend to focus more on relationships than men will. That's the Mars/Venus thing, and recognizing the proper starting point, the overall discussion will still likely have more of that flavor.

I'd like to also offer a couple of brief thoughts about yesterday's blog:

The GAC and the Moderator are currently in a huge effort at re-structuring to achieve added accountability, and to figure out how to operate effectively after the mass lay-offs that have occurred. Maybe some of the recent editorial failures have to do with reducing staff a bit too far?

GAC editorial control over PW, however, isn't likely to happen any time soon. Horizons material is a product of PW, and PW has a fierce and long-standing tradition of independence. And like any other part of the church, that independence is often a good thing, and occasionally causes them problems.

Finally, with regard to our sinking ship, it probably would help if we all spend more time patching and rowing, and less time shooting holes in the hull.

 
At 4:43 AM , Anonymous Reformed Catholic said...

tonyc said...
"The GAC and the Moderator are currently in a huge effort at re-structuring to achieve added accountability, and to figure out how to operate effectively after the mass lay-offs that have occurred. Maybe some of the recent editorial failures have to do with reducing staff a bit too far?"


I agreed with most of your comments, except with this part. With the amount of time it takes to research, write, and edit any book or study; the final edits and printing were done well before the budget and staff cuts of this summer.

 

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