Here are the last three points of rationale for my list. This follows on from the last two days of posts.
5. The brick wall approach urges book by book study – By definition it helps avoid the “mastery of preferred proof texts approach,” or the “selected doctrines based on preferred theology approach,” or other less than ideal approaches. To be a real Bible man or woman, I’m convinced we need to really know the books of the Bible (i.e. verses in context!)
6. The brick wall approach taps into personal motivation – What do you want to study next? Romans? Revelation? Psalms? Esther? Nahum? This approach says go for it! When the heart is in the task, the study is a delight. When discipline alone is boss, then the tanks feel permanently empty.
7. The brick wall approach recognizes that study is never exhaustive – So you’ve done a few weeks in John, and for now you feel that is enough. You’ve come to a point of closure, thanked the Lord, finished well and moved on to another book that is attracting you. Does that mean you are done with John? Of course not. In a few months or years you’ll come back, motivated again, and you’ll go deeper and further. By then you’ll be building on top of other bricks that have been laid in the mean time. Perhaps a study of Psalms will bring John’s use of Davidic Psalms out in a fresh way, for instance.
This approach encourages success by generating achievable goals, by tapping into personal motivation, and by progressively building throughout life in a way that never suggests completion, but recognizes progress continually.
I could add more rationale, but I’ll leave it at that for now. I’m not saying this is the only way, or even the best way, but I’ve yet to find an approach to Bible mastery that has tempted me to change my approach (or to change what I suggest when asked for my suggestions!)
One thought on “The Mastery Challenge – Rationale pt 2”
As a brick waller who has been preaching for over 30 years in the same church, I’ll just say that I wouldn’t do it any other way (though, occasionally between series I do, for variety and to cover issues I wouldn’t get to any other way!).
First, I never have to struggle to find next week’s text. It’s just there.
Second, it teaches me and my people how to read texts in their contexts. My preaching is teaching people to listen to Scripture in the way it was meant to be heard. And, over time, people begin to understand this and apply it to their own reading and study.
And I don’t have to say everything about a text, because I can come back to it later. Currently, I’m preaching through Exodus, which I last tackled 19 years ago. I’ve found I simply can’t go back and “polish up” or update those old sermons. The texts are the same, but I and my people and the circumstances have all changed!
Most of the time I don’t even look at my old sermons anymore — I just start from scratch. I’m convinced that most sermons aren’t meant to be preserved. Texts are timeless, but our sermons are quite time-bound — and should be.