Friday, June 26, 2009

Lesson 2: A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to Doing the Bible Study...

First, I muse: Sitting here in the office, working on this study, I’m reminded of that old object lesson about the frog in the pot of water. You remember the one: if you try to put a live frog in a pot of boiling water, he’ll jump out (smart frog!); but if you put him in the water when it’s cool and slowly raise the temperature, he’ll be unable to perceive the danger and he’ll be cooked to death. I know what you’re thinking - you’re thinking that I’m going to make some great connection to the study of the Word, to sin, or to some other really cool spiritual thing. But I’m not. Nope. I’m simply reminded that this room is very HOT, but if you get in here in the morning and heat up “with” it (like the frog), you don’t even notice it.

Oh, I suppose I’ll make a spiritual connection before we’re through…so be patient.

Second, I apologize: I think in hindsight it would have been better for me to wait until summer to start the study, but I was just too excited! As a result, I got us off to a rocky start last month, and I apologize for that. When I was helping Mom clean out her garage a couple of weeks ago, we found a piece of paper she used to use to “help” her with her busy life: it had daily schedules, so to speak. Things like, “Monday: wash sheets; Tuesday: dust knickknacks; Wednesday: vacuum…” You get the idea. Bottom line: it appears I come by my need to really-sit-down-and-plan-my-days naturally! Thanks, Mom! :-) Now, if I could only find my to-do list!

Third, I thank: THANK YOU for your perseverance and patience with me and with this study as we’ve tried to get it off the ground. For what it’s worth, I am SO thankful for each of you and for the way that you are sticking with this. Also, the praying thing – I was so encouraged by it, and I hope you were, too. In fact, I agree with Trish - I think we should make the praying thing a regular part of our study! We can post prayer requests here, or if you want to keep them more private, just do it through the email.

Fourth, I remind: Just a quick recap of our “routine” (can you call it a routine if you’ve only done it once?):

1. Read the Blog Post. Where else will you find my scintillating wit?

2. Download and try to complete the study within the first two weeks.

3. Try to post your responses to the “Think About It” questions by the end of the second week. Use the “comments” section on the Blog to do this. You may also post other thoughts/comments/questions, etc.

4. Use the third week to check back and comment on responses left by others.

5. The original #5 was “rinse and repeat,” but I’m going to change it to “pray for each other.” You don’t mind, do you?

Finally, I get to the point: I was just about to tell you that this lesson was an “introduction,” when I remembered that I told you that last time! Uh-oh! Problem is, it’s true! It IS an introduction – to the first “official” section of our study of systematic theology: Bibliology. I know you’re probably thinking: “When does the ‘real’ study start, sister?” Hah! Fooled ya! You ARE studying – I’m just so good at writing these that you hardly notice it! :-) You think this “introduction” is tough? Wait ‘til we get to the seven theories of Inspiration! Yeah! How d’ya like me now?! Look on the bright side: Chafer’s entire Systematic Theology is 2,300 pages. Haha…Bob…sucker! The abridged version we’re using is smaller, but it still uses a lot of Chafer’s arcane language. So, if you ever get to feeling like there’s too much to read, just remember the number 2,300. That’ll be our buzzword for when we start to feel the pain! :-)

So, if you’re ready to get to work, click here to download Lesson 2. When you're ready for the Key, click here. And, of course, if you just want to get all this from the Breadcrumbs site (or if you need the .docx file), click here.

Oh. Were you hoping I’d come back to the boiling frog thing again? Well, your patience shall be rewarded! As I was doing this study, I found myself reminded of how often I take for granted what I know about the origins and structure of Bible – especially having been raised in a Christian home and attending Christian schools all my life. And I realized that, in a way, I’d become like that frog – just sitting there, oblivious to my surroundings, unable to see anything from another perspective...not for lack of desire, but for the sheer laziness of it. This part of the study sort of took my frog-self and threw it into a pot of already-boiling water…and bam! I shot straight up! I started looking around…looking at things from a new angle…and realizing that there is a lot more going on with this Book than I’ve ever noticed before. And I’ve made the decision to stop letting myself be cooked in the juices of my own complacency, and instead get in there and really find the new and refreshing truths the Bible has to offer.

And incidentally, according to the Internet, that whole frog-boiling thing doesn’t really work in real life, so no crazy homeschool science experiments, please! :-)

Talk to you soon!