Monday, May 11, 2009

Lesson 1, in which we read a lot and answer only a few questions.

SORRY for waiting so long to post again…If you’re keeping up with my crazy life, you know that I was on Jury Duty for SEVEN weeks. It was amazing to me how tired I was at the end of each day! Anyway, I have concluded my civic duty, and am ready to get back on track.

Here are my opening thoughts, in no particular order:

…Chafer notes that “acquiring the knowledge of the spiritual content of the Bible is a lifelong task.” I hope it doesn’t take us that long to do THIS study! :-)

…Systematic Theology is a huge topic.

…It’s okay to be a little nervous. I know I am.

…Pass the chocolate. Oh, wait. That’s a whole new train of thought. :-)

Okay, this lesson covers both the Preface and the Prolegomena; the main distinction between the two being that the first one introduces the book(s) as a whole, and the second one introduces the specific study of theology. Chafer’s definition of prolegomena is “what is said before the main subject is discussed” (37), but both sections are being covered together in this lesson because they are both introductory in nature.

How to do this study:

I told you last time that I’d lay down the “instructions” for how to do the study and how to interact online, so let’s talk about that right now.

Barring any unforeseen circumstances, we’ll run on a three-week cycle. For those of you keeping track, that’s more than once a month, but less than twice. Hopefully it’s short enough to keep you from forgetting what we’re doing, but long enough to keep you from bailing out because you’re oh-so-busy. Yeah, I’m calling you out. :-)

Step 1:
Read the Blog post: I’ll blather on for a while in the initial post: you know, try to give you an introduction, crack a few jokes, give a pep-talk, etc. Then, once you’ve read the Blog post, download the lesson and get to work, sister! In case you’re wondering, it’s not practical for me to post the whole “lesson” in a Blog post, so that’s why I’ve set them up for you to download. Plus this way, you can do the lesson from wherever you’re most comfortable. That’s right - no excuses!

Note: If you set yourself up as a “follower” of this Blog, you’ll be notified when there are new posts. This, of course, means you are my follower, so that makes you, um, “Kristians…” [pause for lightning bolt strike!] Hey, I said I’d crack a few jokes; I never promised they’d be GOOD jokes!

Step 2:
Download and complete the study during the first two weeks. You can “check your answers” by downloading the Key, but don’t cheat. Cheaters never prosper.

The studies do require you to read, by the way. In fact, they are mostly reading with a few questions thrown in to keep you from falling asleep. If you think there’s too much reading, consider this: I could make you read Chafer’s Systematic Theology all by yourself, but instead I’m doing the heavy lifting for you. I’m just that nice. I’m reading the book and creating the study from what I read. Besides, a little reading never hurt anyone. Mostly.

Step 3:
Throughout the lesson there are sections called “Think About It!” Post your responses to these questions by the end of the first two weeks (or sooner, if you finish sooner… overachiever). Use the “comment” section on the Blog post to do this. Don’t feel like you have to be as verbose as I am, but don’t skimp on your comments, either. Consider that your comments serve as a tremendous encouragement for everybody doing the study.

Note: DON’T post your answers to the Study Questions (just the “Think About It!” questions), but DO use the “comments” as a place to ASK questions if you need help or got stuck on something (or the Key didn’t make sense).

Step 4:
Use the third week to check back and comment on responses left by others. (We can “talk” to each other that way…remember: it’s interactive.)

Note: If you want to be notified (by e-mail) when people comment, let me know and I’ll add you to the list. Otherwise, just check back often during that week.

Step 5:
Rinse and Repeat. My goal is to post the next lesson at the beginning of the fourth week (which would technically be the first week of the next cycle, but I don’t want to confuse you…). If something is going to prevent me from getting the study up on time, I will let you know so you don’t have to wonder. For example, I’ll tell you right now that I’ll have the next study posted on time (May 31), but the one after that will probably be about a week late because the Mister and I are going on vacation. If you’re smart, you’ll take your vacation then, too! :-)

Okay, that’s about it. If you’re ready to proceed, click here to download Lesson 1. If you need to download it in "docx" format (why - because pdf isn't good enough for you?), you'll have to click here to be taken to the magic-download-site. When you're ready for the key, click here..

Talk to you soon!