I received a package today that surprised me. Don’t start trying to guess what it was. You never will. I didn’t realize I felt this way until I opened the box. Confronted with the facts. And I’m completely blown away by it.
It was a brown, cardboard box. Little smiley swoosh on the side. You know the one. Amazon. Oh boy oh boy oh boy… What’s inside? I didn’t order anything recently, that I remember. It’s heavy. Like, seriously heavy.
Now I’m not sure you can appreciate the feeling of opening that box. I couldn’t have. It was just a couple of books. But the promise in these books. I can’t begin to describe it. And I mention it here because it’s not coincidence that it’s so pertinent to the American “Christians” (i.e. not really Christians at all) that we’re currently talking about as the major barrier to the writing revolution.
I don’t want anyone to think I’m sitting here on my high horse pointing fingers, judging by the power of Jabez or anything. I don’t think the American self-proclaimed Christians have an agenda. They’re too noncommital for that. So if they aren’t malicious, are they just ignorant? Obviously they’re too “terminally nice” to be anything but. They’ve never received the kind of package I did today.
Okay, enough suspense. Inside the wonderful box were two shrink-wrapped copies of Harvest House’s printing of Precept Ministry’s New Inductive Study Bible–one for my wife and one for me. My dad. Bless him. He saw us coveting his at church and got us each one. Thanks, Pop.
Now—I really am trying to retain my objective editorial reserve here, but—I honestly feel as though these books should be gold plated for their value to the average layman Bible reader. In my mind, there’s no way you can “read” the Bible any other way. Basically, you are a 21st century human. You can’t know anything but this culture. How do you expect to understand the Bible? Your only hope of understanding in any measure of fullness is to do an inductive study of the Bible. Inductive study can teach you things like this: Satan may bring suffering, but it has an end. God will use it for my good. Therefore, if I run from suffering, I am preventing God’s work in my life. Christ suffered. Others are suffering. Ultimately, God will use suffering to strengthen my life and cause me to better love others.
The end. That is the final word on suffering. And if you didn’t read the previous days’ blogs, you might tempted to simply skim over that as assumed truth. Believe me, it isn’t. It’s straight from 1 Peter chapter 5. Inductive study can clear away all the assumptions and interpretations and leave only the refined truths taken from the context of the first unseen entry of this truth into the world.
And strangely enough, this brings up my initial fear of starting a blog. My fear was that I know myself. I fly off half-cocked so often, I get myself in trouble because I haven’t examined the support for my opinions. So many of my opinions, as everyone else’s, are based on what I’ve been told and never examined. Inductive study can eliminate this, but I’ve never done it. I’ve never gone through the systemic steps of observation, interpretation, and application. Why aren’t we teaching this in Sunday school? Don’t base your convictions on an obscure passage of Scripture. Interpret Scripture within its cultural context. Apply the teaching toward becoming a doer of the truth. Observation, interpretation, and application lead to transformation. This is the goal of every encounter with unchanging truth. All of our words as ministers of this truth, as “writers of the cloth,” so to speak, is leading to our ultimate illumination through the glory of the image of the incarnate God, Jesus Christ.
If you’ve ever listened to Bach sung in four-part harmony by a full choir or seen the flowering of an iris in stop-motion, you can appreciate some of the feeling of picking apart a chapter of Scripture with the inductive method. Do yourself a favor and make an impulse buy: transform. With this method, you will finally understand the inductive process of prayerful living, the birthright won by Luther and passed down through Calvin and countless other sacrifices: the immortal Word of centuries lost. Living water. Thirst no more.
All Scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness, so that the man of God may be adequate, equipped for every good work.”