Thursday, June 24, 2010

My Big Idea part 1

So I have been looking at Biblical education through the eyes of a professional educator (even though I am not a professional educator per say). In this experiment, I have used a technique that I totally believe in, called scaffolding. If you are not up on ed lingo, you probably think of scaffolding as that thing you use to paint a house. Well, the technique is similar to that thing used to paint a house. You build a base level and stand on it. Then you build a level on that and stand on that. Then you build a level up and stand on that. So on and so forth as you move upward. It works in a similar fashion in education. Let's use math for example. First you learn to count. From there you learn simple addition, then more complex addition. Then you learn subtraction, then more complex subtraction. Without learning addition and subtraction, you can't learn to multiply or divide by hand. Without knowing those functions, you can't do algebra, which you need to do trig, which builds to calculus.

What if we apply this same concept to Christian Discipleship? What would we build on? Naturally we start with the revelation of who God is, and I believe we best learn about the person of God the Father in the Old Testament. We also learn about the law, and who we are as humans, sinners. We don't grasp the full weight of sin apart from the Law. We are so far from the standard God has set for us, we can never come to God on our terms. God is powerful, above all and preeminent. I think one of the short comings of the modern church teachings is that we haven't communicated how from God all of humanity is. We have projected an image that we in the church are perfect, that we have the answers, we are right and everyone else is wrong. The Old Testament shows us how wrong we ALL are. The Nation of Israel, God's chosen people, continually break the covenant and are punished for it. They go into exile because of their sin, why should we think we are any different. Many of us, in church or out of church live a life as pagan as they did before the exile. We worship anything that causes distance between us and God. Usually, we worship happiness, we worship what we think we want, or what we think will make us complete (happy).

We find grace in the Old Testament, but more than that, we find grace personified in the New Testament in the man Jesus Christ. He is 100% God who came to earth as 100% man. He lived the sinless life, a life that measures up to God's standard, and died in my place. Because He died in my place, He takes my punishment and I take His standing before God. We call this Substitutionary Atonement, He paid the debt in my place. We see this clearly through the whole cannon of scripture. Creation, fall, the law, futility and failure, Christ, His sacrifice, His resurrection, the gift of Salvation, the Holy Spirit, the Great Commission, the Church. The process as a whole is important, so this is where my big idea comes in.

Perhaps we need to build a frame work in order to build upon the major concepts. Perhaps the way we teach too often focuses on just one aspect in great detail, but we miss the overall message of the scripture. Once we build the framework, we can begin to build on the levels as they develop. How you ask? Let's talk about that in part 2.

Monday, June 14, 2010

How do these two things reconcile

I have been wondering if anyone can scripturally reconcile this statement:
"To be saved, we must accept Jesus"

and this verse:
"But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, 5 even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ— by grace you have been saved— 6 and raised us up with him and seated us with him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, 7 so that in the coming ages he might show the immeasurable riches of his grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus. 8 For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, 9 not a result of works, so that no one may boast. 10 For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them." Eph 2:4-10 (ESV)

How is "we must accept" not a work? Is it not an action done by our own power in order to gain salvation? Is that not something we can take credit for? Is that not something we can boast in? Do you really "accept" salvation, or are you just saved? Discuss: