Friday, September 30, 2011

A New Chapter of My Life: KI

Hello friends and family!

It’s that time again; the blog is up and running! It’s a new season of life for me and I’m excited to keep everyone up to date this way. Thank you all for the encouragement and support that you have already given me as I prepared to come this summer and as I have been living life here over the past three weeks. It has been quite an experience so far: meeting a lot of new people (there are 71 in our class!), acclimating to a new town, getting used to a new schedule, and learning incredible Biblical truths from some amazing teachers. It’s crazy to think that it’s only been three weeks so far and that we have over seven months left to experience!

Our first teacher this week, David Lawson, taught us about inductively Bible study and specifically the Precept Upon Precept Bible studies. This guy is legit. First of all, his boss is Kay Arthur. Secondly, this guy knows Truth. His story is one of redemption, as it is for all of us, and it’s so cool to see how the Lord has used it for His good and glory. Now Mr. Lawson is traveling all over the world, sharing the Word of God and teaching others how to study it in a way that is intentional, purposeful, and meaningful.

Kanakuk incorporates Inductive Bible Study into a lot of what they teach at kamp, so it was already a technique that I was familiar with, however, it was still extremely helpful to have Mr. Lawson go through it piece by piece and really guide our steps. I also learned more details and specifics of Inductive Bible Study, so it began to make more sense as to why certain methods were used. I feel much more comfortable and capable now tackling this on my own.

One of the new concepts that I learned this week was the three major areas of Inductive Bible Study: observation, interpretation, and application. These are the three steps to use when approaching a new text. First, you should begin by observing and examining the text. As Mr. Lawson likes to say, this is a “bird’s eye view” of what you’re reading. As a detail-oriented person, I had to stop myself from wanting to go too deep, too quickly. It’s funny to say, but you really just get to sit back, relax, and enjoy reading Scripture! You should read it through several times. The first time you should read to get an overall view of the text. Look for the five W’s and H: Who (wrote the letter, to whom, other people who were mention), What (is going on, what is the letter mainly about), When, Where (was the author, were the recipients), Why (did the author write the letter), and How. Next, you begin to focus in more on the text by identifying specific people, places, events, and key words that occur in the passage and marking them with distinct symbols. After marking each of these key things, the next step is to make a list of what the text has to say about the key words.

After observing the text, the next step is interpretation. This is where “context rules”. Context is crucial to understanding the entirety of the text and leads to proper interpretation. This step is also where you can use a concordance for cross-references and word studies. I would have to say that, out of the three, this is my favorite step! Word studies and cross references fascinate me. I think they’re so fun! The final step in studying the Bible inductively is application. This simply means taking the Truth that is communicated in the text and applying it to your life! Essentially, it means translating what you believe to your behavior, and, on the other hand, making sure that your behavior lines up with what you believe. Honestly, this is probably the hardest of the three for me and something that I have to consciously work on. It is much more natural for me to look at the Bible as an academic pursuit; I have to remind myself that the Word is living and active and applies to my life here and now.

One of my favorite techniques that I learned to use this week was the marking of key words and the creation of lists. Marking key words seems like such a simple task at first, but when you are down drawing purple triangles and yellow boxes around everything and you actually look up to see the culmination of it all, it is actually really eye-opening! It makes it so much easier to go back through the text and really notice each time that the word is referenced. Then, it is simple to make a list about each thing that you learned about each key word. I was amazed at the list that came from one key word! For example, in a passage of six verses, I learned three things about God: that His word should not be dishonored, His doctrine is adorned when bond-slaves are subject to their own masters (showing good faith), and His grace brings salvation to all men. (Titus 2:5-11)

In a nutshell, those are some of the fun things that I’ve been learning this week. I am excited to continue to update my blog with things that I learn, friends that I meet, and adventures that occur. Thanks for being such faithful friends, supporters, and encouragers. As always, I don’t know what I would do without you.