Episode 027: The Bible and the Church Pt 2

In this conversation, we pick up where we left off talking about the Bible. What is it, and how should it inform our lives and ministries?

Episode 027 – SHOW NOTES – The Bible and the Church Part 2

One of the mistakes we’ve made over the last several decades is that we’ve tried so hard to show how the Bible “relates” to people’s lives that we’ve eliminated what is unique, sacred, and divine about it…

 

If the Bible is just generalized life advice, we’ve actually domesticated the Scripture out of use… part of the job is to recover the uniqueness of Scripture…

 

We need to model for people that engagement with Scripture can take many different forms… it is a disservice to people to communicate to people a picture of engagement with Scripture in which it is uniformly ecstatic… sometimes it is, and sometimes it is not… we need to trust that God is in it…

 

As preachers, we need to realize that our sermon might be more Scripture than that person will hear all week long… if there’s any place where we can read lots of Scripture, it ought to be in church…

 

Two things that have been really transformative for our congregation (downtown) was (1) having Scripture readings in the service, which congregants lead… and (2) using the Immerse Bible plan… it is an arrangement of the Scriptures without chapters and verses which helps you become steeped in a section of Scripture… people had never read the Bible in big chunks before…

 

We preach through books of the Bible [at New Life] because there are lots of sticky pages in our Bibles that we never get to, and it’s easy for the preacher to just preach their greatest hits

 

What I’ve learned over the years is the value for the preacher of having “assigned readings”… that’s scary for charismatic preachers… but I’ve found that when you hold an assigned text against the life of the congregation, you will discover connections that you never would have seen otherwise…

 

QUESTIONS FOR YOU AND YOUR TEAM

  • What are you doing to help you people fall in love with Scripture? What more could you do?
  • Do your sermons model a rich engagement with Scripture? Or is Scripture a “pre-text” for your sermon? How can you start moving in a healthier direction?
  • What is your philosophy of your church’s preaching calendar? Does it help people fall in love with Scripture? Why or why not?

 

RESOURCES

The Immerse Bible

Fee and Stuart – How To Read The Bible For All Its Worth (a simple guide for layperson or preacher to understanding the different genres of Scripture)

Episode 025: The Bible and the Church Pt 1

In this conversation, we ask a simple and slightly funny question. What is the Bible? Perhaps one of the most taken-for-granted elements of Christian faith, we wanted to dig down and talk about what the Bible is, and what it isn’t.

Episode 025 – SHOW NOTES – The Bible and the Church

How we see this book [the Bible] determines how we approach it… everybody knows they are supposed to read the Bible but we don’t often stop to ask, “Just what is this thing?”

I think the best way to get to an answer [to the question of why the Bible is authoritative] is to begin with the resurrection… the followers of Jesus began to realize that Jesus was God himself meeting us in the flesh and fulfilling all the things he said he was going to do… so it legitimates and culminates the Old Testament!

Jesus claimed Israel’s Scriptures as pointing to him… the reason that this particular book [the Bible] has been treasured is that it bears witness to this Person [Jesus]… when we keep that firmly in mind, it helps keep the Bible vibrant and alive for us… we’re coming in contact with this Person…

The Bible is loved and cherished because the face of the God that we meet in Jesus Christ comes through… and if you just get people into it, it has a way of doing something to you…

If I could pick one paradigm for approaching this book, I would pick the “Grand Story”—it is the story of God working through a particular (not perfect) people… when you treat it that way, it changes how you read it…

This is a Story begun in love and carried through to completion in love… it has power to convert the mind and will and emotions into a different way of being…

There is not a time when I do not open up the Scriptures and find that this is the God who keeps rushing at me to bring me into blessing and to make me a blessing…

There is a way to read the troubling aspects of Scripture through the lens of the Person of Jesus that keeps us firmly in the character of God…

QUESTIONS FOR YOU AND YOUR TEAM
1) Glenn mentioned a few common lenses people approach the Bible with. What is your default lens and why?
2) What would change in your reading of Scripture (or preaching and teaching) if you viewed it as the great Drama of God’s redemptive love?
3) How might viewing the Scripture as a witness to the Person of Christ impact how you read, preach, or teach the Bible?

Episode 024: The Creed

 

What can a centuries-old creed teach us about how to lead our ministries? In this conversation, we talk about how and why our church adopted the Nicene Creed and how it informs and shapes our ministry.

Episode 024 – SHOW NOTES – The Creed

 

Instead of having a unique statement of faith that highlights the ways that we are different from other churches, why not go back to this statement of faith that shows how we are all united?

 

In a world that is drunk on individuality, the Creed sobers us… in a world that loves what is new, the Creed takes us back… in a skeptical world, the Creed helps us say, “We actually believe something…”

 

When people come in and they have doubts and they’re afraid and the bottom has fallen out and they’re not sure if “they believe in,” they can step into a space where the community says for them, “We believe in… and you’re going to make it…”

 

This is a question of “What is our bedrock?”—our bedrock is not our distinctiveness; our bedrock is our unitedness in Christ…

 

If my sermon can’t go through the four stanzas, I have not risen to the level of what a “word” ought to be… the Creed has created an infrastructure for me… these are the safe lanes in which a sermon must run…

 

In some ways, the Creed has taught our people how to pray… sometimes in our minds, there is an undifferentiated way of addressing the Triune God… the Creed helps us there… God is one and yet we can shine a light on each Person…

 

We’re trying to keep the Creed part of a “living liturgy”… and so if at any point we’re doing it just to do it, we need to pause…

 

The presence of doubt is the condition in which faith exists… “We believe” says that these are not sureties but acts of belief and mystery… and “in” says that this is something that invites us to cling to a Person… it is an act of worship… it is intimate…

 

QUESTIONS FOR YOU AND YOUR TEAM

  • Take some time to read the Nicene Creed (go here for one version). What do you notice? What stands out to you?
  • Are there ways that you could begin to incorporate the Creed into your church’s worship?
  • Compare the Creed to your church’s statement of faith. How are they similar or different? In what way would utilizing the Creed as a statement of faith be a benefit to you and your church? A challenge?