Bible in a Day Background and Vision

“May all kings fall down before him, all nations serve him.” Psalm 72:11
All Scripture is breathed out by God…” 2 Timothy 3:16
“For all the promises of God find their Yes in him.” 2 Corinthians 1:20
“’Behold, I am making all things new.’” Revelation 21:5


1. PURPOSE & VISION

• To Equip the Church with the Bible's Big Story.
• To Introduce the newcomer to the Bible's Big Story.
• So that we will understand ourselves within the Bible's Big Story, and gratefully submit to the Savior King.

2. BASIS: Three ‘awarenesses’ converged in 2009:

• In a post (or ‘pre’)-Christendom, post-crusade, post-modern, and pluralistic culture, most modern Western people neither share nor have sympathy for Biblical presuppositions and categories. This means there are far more myths than truths in circulation about the God of the Bible and his Son Jesus. It is increasingly unfruitful to tell people about Jesus without some context. People need to be told ‘the story’ of the Bible in order to appreciate Jesus’ identity and his mission (1).  This awareness has driven the conviction that we need to tell the whole story, just as Paul did in Athens in Acts 17. You cannot understand Jesus and repentance without a grasp of God and sin.
• The startling evidence is that young people—even from strong church backgrounds—do not know the Bible in it’s coherence (2). Bible knowledge tends to be fragmentary and conditioned by a ‘Sunday School’ mentality that focuses on stand-alone storytelling and moral instruction. This poverty means that adult Christians find it difficult to reason theologically, and tend to build spirituality on private emotional attachments. Our conviction is that the Bible comes to life when it is understood as one narrative. Knowledge alone is not the answer, of course. BIAD presupposes the divine inspiration of Scripture and the transforming power of the Word of God by the Spirit of God.
• The cultural context of Richmond B.C. (where the dominant ethnicity is Asian) is interested in education. Workshops are rolled out all the time by both secular and religious groups. For example, all the following were advertised in the local newspaper: “Buddhism for Beginners” at a local Buddhist temple; “Building with Bonds,” an ‘educational and informative seminar’ by a local financial services provider; a fruit tree pruning workshop with a local university professor; the “South Arm Speaker Series” at a local community centre, a monthly lecture on diverse topics. The ‘educational’ impulse of Richmond illustrates an opening for the church to speak publicly about what matters to us (and the world): The gospel as seen in the pages of Scripture.


3. THEOLOGICAL FRAMEWORK AND SOURCES OF CONTENT

• BIAD was developed by Rev. Sean Love and Rev. David McElrea in 2009. Over the years (and throughout 20 BIAD seminars given by 2016) the content has been refined with several other key contributors. Our theological conviction and framework is evangelical Christianity. It is the aim of all those who have participated in the development and shaping of BIAD to submit earnestly to the Word of God in the work of BIAD. The content of BIAD is sourced from several diverse and complimentary places.
• The Bible!
• Vaughn Roberts’ book “God's Big Picture”
• Some of N.T. Wright's works
• Graeme Goldsworthy's book “Gospel and Kingdom”
• Bruce Waltke and Gordon Fee’s Regent course, “Biblical Theology”
• J.I. Packer's various works, along with his Systematic Theology courses as background.
We are thankful for the multiplicity of thoughtful, passionate, experienced and gifted people who have contributed greatly to BIAD's structure and content.

 

4. TEACHING METHODOLOGY

BIAD relies on two live presenters, professional slides, a comprehensive workbook, art appreciation, close reading of several key Biblical texts, and table group activities to communicate with and engage the participant. It is an intense day, which is divided into four sessions, with lunch provided. Alternatively, BIAD can be deployed in a retreat setting over several days, or, for example, over a period of 5 or more weeks in a course format. 

 

5. CONTACT

Rev. Sean Love at seanoffice(at)shaw(dot)ca
 

NOTES

(1) “Although Holy Scripture contains a perfect doctrine, to which one can add nothing, since in it our Lord has meant to display the infinite treasures of his wisdom, yet a person who has not much practice in it has good reason for some guidance and direction, to know what he ought to look for in it, in order not to wander hither and thither, but to hold to a sure path, that he may always be pressing toward the end to which the Holy Spirit calls him.” John Calvin, “Subject Matter of the Present Work,” Institutes, p.6.

(2) Every year since 1995, Wheaton College – one of America’s preeminent evangelical post-secondary schools – has tested the Bible knowledge of incoming freshmen students. These students are among the best and brightest of Christian youth in the U.S. Most come from strong churches – and have a long history of involvement in Sunday school, youth groups, camps and mission trips. They are students “who are the most intentional about cultivating their faith,” says Wheaton New Testament professor Gary Burge. Despite this, they do poorly on the simple Bible test. Many can’t put Bible events in order, Burge says. They don’t know that Abraham came before the Old Testament prophets; who preceded the death of Christ; or who died before Pentecost.
They find it hard to identify biblical characters like the apostles, or the name of the thief released by Pontius Pilate. They struggle to locate stories like Paul’s missionary travels in the book of Acts, or the Passover story in Exodus. “We tend to assume that because they come from strong churches, they know the details of the biblical story,” says Burge. “But students tell me after they take the test that they didn’t have a clue.” – Canadian Christianity.com
 

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