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Daniel of Doulogos Name:Daniel
Home: Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada
About Me: I used to believe that evolution was reasonable, that homosexuality was genetic, and that people became Christians because they couldn't deal with the 'reality' that this life was all there was. I used to believe, that if there was a heaven - I could get there by being good - and I used to think I was more or less a good person. I was wrong on all counts. One day I finally had my eyes opened and I saw that I was not going to go to heaven, but that I was certainly going to suffer the wrath of God for all my sin. I saw myself as a treasonous rebel at heart - I hated God for creating me just to send me to Hell - and I was wretched beyond my own comprehension. Into this spiritual vacuum Jesus Christ came and he opened my understanding - delivering me from God's wrath into God's grace. I was "saved" as an adult, and now my life is hid in Christ. I am by no means sinless, but by God's grace I am a repenting believer - a born again Christian.
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Daniel's posts are almost always pastoral and God centered. I appreciate and am challenged by them frequently. He has a great sense of humor as well.
- Marc Heinrich

His posts are either funny or challenging. He is very friendly and nice.
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[He has] good posts, both the serious like this one, and the humorous like yesterday. [He is] the reason that I have restrained myself from making Canadian jokes in my posts.
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This post contains nothing that is of any use to me. What were you thinking? Anyway, it's probably the best I've read all day.
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Daniel, nicely done and much more original than Frank the Turk.
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There are some people who are smart, deep, or funny. There are not very many people that are all 3. Daniel is one of those people. His opinion, insight and humor have kept me coming back to his blog since I first visited earlier this year.
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Monday, November 07, 2005
Sunday School...
This past Sunday (6 November 2005) I led the adult bible study at our church.

Normally our former pastor (Bill Mcleod) teaches the Sunday morning adult bible studies. But on occasion he is called to preach elsewhere, and has asked me to take the study.

I took the study last week, and taught on divorce. It was a pretty hard hitting - this is what the bible says, so we gotta do it - sort of study, but it was interesting in that I had prepared a study on my computer at home, and that morning my printer refused to print it. Nor could I copy it onto my palm pilot. I ran of of time and had to do the study from memory - which was interesting.

I say interesting because what I have unwittingly started doing is looking for a verse that says something about such and such - and hitting the online bible searches such as bible gateway to find texts that speak to what I am looking for.

Surely that is a recipe for an eisegetical approach to scripture.

So when I was asked on Saturday to prepare a study for Sunday's Adult Bible Study, I determined not to use my computer - but to rely entirely on the Spirit of God. Now had you asked me before, I would have said that even though I was using a computerized bible search I was still relying entirely on God - but having been brought back to the basics, I see now that such a statement isn't true. I was relying on the computer to produce scriptural references that pertained to whatever I was was doing the study on. Many wouldn't regard this as "worldly" - surely I wouldn't have, but in preparing this weeks study I sat down with my bible, a pen, and some paper - and preceded to prayerfully seek the Lord's leading for the study.

It ended up centering on the practical outworking of what it means to be abiding in Christ. In particular the message centered on texts such as 1 Corinthians 2:11 and Luke 10:22. If no one knows the Father except the Son, and him to whom the Son wills to reveal Him, and only the Spirit of God can teach the things of the Spirit of God - then the path to "knowing" God is entirely bound up in abiding in Christ. The study therefore looked at the practical aspects of being teachable - so that we learn to trust in the character of God. Having trusted in God's character, we are able to follow Christ in laying down our own lives, so that God can live in us.

It ended up being a great study - praise the Lord for that - but I can't help thinking how it would have been different had I done it on the computer. The computer allows me to prepare studies that are well researched and intellectually and academic appealing. Not that they are void of the Spirit - they aren't - but that in the habit of one who likes a certain scholastic polish I have been unconsciously turning to the computer here and there to mine a verse out of scripture that might fit what I am saying. What I should be doing is praying about every bit of it and waiting on the Lord.

Not that I prepare a study by prayerlessly running amok with wanton, search empowered abandon - I don't. Whether I am preaching or leading a study I duly seek the Lord - but this sudden lack of technology has shown me a weakness in my own preparation time - and that is instead of using the online search to find the reference to the verse I am thinking of - I have used it to look for verses that seem to say what I am thinking of - which puts me in danger of using a verse out of context to make a point.

So I encourage you pastors and ministry leaders - if you likewise are using the computer to great advantage - it may be worth your while (as it was mine) to take an hiatus from the number cruncher and see if you notice any difference in the way you prepare a study!
posted by Daniel @ 11:17 AM  
6 Comments:
  • At 12:58 PM, November 07, 2005, Blogger bluebuttons said…

    I went a couple times to a church and I can't even remember the pastor's name, but he would preach to us off of his notebook. Which is fine. But I ask why hold the Bible in your hands if your not even going to open it. The other thing that bugged me was they handed paper with the verses that he was using so you didn't need to look it up. Well, I felt weird because there I was looking it up in the Bible and by the time I got to it he was through reading it. I don't know, but for what ever reason I like to read out of my Bible. That's why I take it to church with me. I never asked the him though I would have loved to.. Why do you hold His book, when your not even going to open it? ..... you know?

     
  • At 1:13 PM, November 07, 2005, Blogger Daniel said…

    Good point!

    I always bring my bible - and even when I am running the study, or giving a sermon I still look up the references - even if I have the verse memorized - because I figure it is the best measure I know of in guessing how long it will take the congregation to find the reference in their own bible.

    One of the great advantages of doing that, is you can help the new people by talking out loud - "Turn to James chapter three... it's just after Hebrews there at the south end of the bible... chapter three... and verse... seven" or whatever. Sometimes I joke - "Turn with me, just a few pages past Genesis - to the book of Jude..."

    The point you make however is good - reading the text for ourselves is always better than hearing it read - if for no other reason than to get the context.

     
  • At 4:53 PM, November 07, 2005, Blogger Frank Martens said…

    I usually only use bible gateway if I can't remember a passage location. Like I know what passage I'm thinking of, but can't remember where it was.

    Hmm... Is that still bad?

     
  • At 4:58 PM, November 07, 2005, Blogger Daniel said…

    I think that is acceptable. :)

    There is nothing wrong with using a concordance to find the reference to the verse you are already thinking of.

     
  • At 9:09 PM, November 07, 2005, Blogger ThirstyDavid said…

    Is it Okay if I download a sermon from pastors.com?

    Kidding, just kidding. I haven't preached in a long time, but I always gave my best feeble effort at pure exposition. The average person sitting in the pew has no idea how much work that is.

     
  • At 7:01 AM, November 08, 2005, Blogger Daniel said…

    When I began preaching I would spend 40 hours writing a 45 minute sermon.

    It was terribly draining - being done nearly entirely in the flesh - and the result would have pleased any university professor, but most of the people in the pew - as you point out David - didn't know the difference. Another, well worded, well thought out - yet spiritually bankrupt sermon.

    Thank the Lord that I came under the mentoring of a very godly fellow who showed me that it isn't my message, and that prayer is a better way to prepare than carnal effort. I still have to hit the bible - but I am just the messenger in the Lord's message. It is a lot easier to give someone else's sermon that to write your own - and ideally we should always be doing that - preaching God's message and not our own. It just takes a little while sometimes to filter out all the junk from our own thoughts and discern what the Lord is saying to us. :)

    George Mueller - that man who if you are not familiar with you ought to make yourself familiar with - once said, knowing the Lord's will is pretty easy, you just find out whatever you own will is,and set that aside. I am paraphrasing of course - but it works for sermons too.

     
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