Tuesday, April 11, 2006

I have absolutely nothing to say!

Word Alive is all about getting into the Bible, glorying in the cross and seeing the Spirit at work in our lives.

On day two I checked-in to the HitchHiker track. There are three of them. One is a Chronological Bible Overview - following the whole story of redemption (which produced Vaughan Robert's God's Big Picture) - this year with Charlie Skrine. The next is a Thematic Overview (see also Vaughan Roberts - Life's Big Questions), tracing themes through the Bible - this year (be)longing with Graham Beynon. The third is on Understanding, Applying and Teaching the Bible. All three are unmissable.

Vaughan taught us in the third track, taking Exodus as his source text. He did a similar one two years ago from Ezekiel. He warmly and carefully how to read the Bible, how to apply it rightly and then how to teach it....

Being able to read the Bible as a book that is all about God, and not firstly about me is life-giving. We were reminded that We Have Nothing To Say. But God does. So we don't go straight from us to the world, but from us to the word, to the world...

Exodus is a big book, but when we get the context the narrative becomes more accessible... dense difficult sections read within their context become much more accessible.... and everything climaxes with the Tabernacle - the God who draws near to his rescued people!

As we turn to the word we find God speaking by the Holy Spirit. The authoritative voice of the Holy Spirit on the pages of the Bible. There is no such thing as a Word vs. Spirit dichotomy. You can't separate them!

We were reminded to read every text in its context. Primarily in its Biblical context - of verse, paragraph, section, chapter, book, Testament, and the whole Bible (for which we need to know the story - hence the importance of the Chronological Overview). As we do that our hearts and minds are drawn to Christ, because all scripture is about him.

  • I love this track. I love it for myself because it sharpens up my ministry - making me more careful with God's word... and prayerful that I would come with due humility to God's word.... and that as I teach I would only ever teach what God's word teaches.
  • And I love it because it's good for my students - it makes God's word accessible to them and helps them to believe what God has promised them... and not to believe false things... and it leads them to teach God's word to one another, and to teach it to the vast numbers of their fellow students who need to hear the message of the Bible.
Forthcoming Blog Reflections:
  • Vaughan on Christ the Only!
  • When Bloggers Meet
  • Nigel Beynon and his pot plants
  • Roger Carswell, Wolves & Eskimos.
  • Kent & Barbara Hughes on Marriage
  • Social Action & Evangelism


  1. Hey!

    Thanks for your comment:) i think you are right yeh, i was just journeying with some random thoughts as i tend to do!

    its good to read your blog... it reminds me of how good The Book is!

    i was thinkin on these things a little recently actually - i was thinking that we are as much the word as the word is, that the church is the body of Christ on the Earth and in those terms, the word in action. I think that there is a lot i can give people by who i am and my story. then i wondered whether in the bible the scipture was used at all for mission but quickly realised it was:) 2 Chron 17:7-9 is a cool example. But i also think there is a lot that people can share from their own lives eg 1pet3:15 is about our own lives and the hope in them.
    Teaching sounds good though, i wouldnt mind hearing some of them as i think about such things, is there somewhere i can download them?

    Good to hear your thoughts:)

    see you soon

  2. The church certainly is the word in action today.

    I guess the thing I want to remember is that the good that I have to says is not of me, but is from God's word... so the reasons for our hope in 1 Peter are the gospel... in 2 Chronicles 17 they go and teach the Book of the Law. What words we have are explanation of and application of what God has already said (and is still saying today).

    The seminar series described above should be available from ICC - its Understanding, Teaching & Applying the Bible by Vaughan Roberts. He did a similar series with Ezekiel two years ago at Spring Harvest.

    This is that set:
    Part 1
    Part 2
    Part 3
    Part 4

    These are also helpful resources:
    Bible Study for Ordinary Christians - Denis Haack

    Preaching for the glory of God - John Samson

    Further - if anyone wants to get my Word Alive seminars they can be found here:

    Dave Bish - Word Alive Seminars on "Christian Life is Lived in the World" and "Social Action vs. Evangelism"

  3. Looks like good stuff on Exodus. We studied through it in the past 2 terms in team meetings, in large chunks - great stuff (though I'm still glad I didn't have to lead the study on the instructions for the construction of the tabernacle)!

    Glad you're posting this WA stuff - while you were away at it I was looking forward to it on your return!

  4. For a few seconds last week I was tempted to blog it while I was there.... but then I thought... I want a break... most people who read it are here anyway (most, I grant not all)... and then I thought £2 for 30mins.... and its just a blog... so I went and had a coffee instead.