Posts Tagged ‘hermeneutics’

Reflection Paper: Teaching the Bible in Church

July 11, 2010

This is my 5 page reflection paper for my “Teaching the Bible in Church” class at Princeton Theological Seminary.  For more info on the class, see my separate post about it.



Thus far in life, my perspective on education has been based mostly on my experience as a student or “learner” as I have learned may be a better term to use.  I have known for quite some time that there were different learning styles and had an inkling of an idea that there were different teaching styles though I did not know what they were.  I have also understood that learning is more about connections that it is about pieces of information.  In light of that, the opportunities I have had to teach I have gone into them with the explicit goal of helping people make connections which is a hefty expectation to be sure.  In delving into the arena of Christian Education in this class, I have begun to see that I have only begun to see the tip of the iceberg and that learning and teaching are very intricately nuanced in and of themselves.  That said there are three topics that seem to influence education in every aspect, whether directly or indirectly, namely the culture of the church in question, the question of assessment within the church, and my personal reflection on what God has revealed about teaching through the incarnation of God the Son. (more…)



December 12, 2008

Well, I finally responded.  A while back I blogged about a message I got from a friend of mine who I know from college.  He and his wife were on staff with the parachurch organization that I was heavily involved in all four years of college.  I co-“led” a homegroup with him and was friends with both him and his wife.  I finally responded to him today.  A friend of mine posted a reponse to the message I received as I sent it to a few folks in my support network for prayer and thoughts on my response.  I got some great feedback from others as well.  I have been thinking about it some but just wasn’t ready to respond.  Anyway, I literally just sent it so who knows what kind of response I will receive, but here is what I wrote:

Hello (Friend’s name here) : ) 

It is good to hear from you. I hope you and (wife) and the kids are doing well. Please say “hi” for me!

Let me start my response by saying that I sincerely appreciate your concern as well as your willingness to dialogue with me about this. To cut to the chase, it all boils down to hermeneutics/interpretation. The context of the passage as well as the way the translators chose to interpret the words from hebrew or greek make a big difference in how any given passage is understood and applied today. I don’t think the truths change, I just think there is some legwork required to sort out the foundational truth(s) from the cultural application of Biblical times. So I am by no means ignoring the Bible as a whole or parts of it. The Bible is the inspired word of God. That said, I don’t cover my head in church and I don’t give money the the church in Jerusalem even though the Bible specifically says we are to do these things as well. Am I ignoring these things? Nope. I know they are there. I just think they were for a certain time and place.

Since you know me pretty well, it is safe to say that you know I am a leader. I always have been. In every area of my life I have been a leader. It seems odd to me that my gifts would be welcome everywhere but the one place it matters the most.

Once I started to feeling called to ministry (and by that I mean ministry in general), things got pretty intense. I have done a lot of reading on both sides of the issue. If you are interested in discussing more take a look at Discovering Biblical Equality by Pierce and Groothius. I read this alongside Piper’s Recovering Biblical Masculinity and Femininity and really learned a lot.

Well, I guess that’s all for now. It’s been a long day and I am tired. I hope you will be able to see that I am trying to honor God with my life regardless of the fact that we may always disagree on this issue.

Grace and peace,
Sara <><


March 21, 2008

So I am taking Biblical Hermeneutics this semester.  Though I didn’t know it when I signed up, this class is notorious for being one of the hardest (if not the hardest) courses on campus especially for folks who don’t have a Bachelor’s Degree in Biblical Studies (i.e., ME!!!).  Unfortunately, I didn’t find this out until about 1/3 of the way through the course so I honestly wasn’t sure if I was going to 1) pass the class and 2) make it through seminary.  The depth of the valley was highlighted by a 60% on a quiz.  And this was after trying harder to get through the material after a 70% on the previous quiz!!!  If all the classes were as hard as this one I am not sure I was going to make it.  EVERY waking moment that I wasn’t at work or church I was thinking “What do I need to read?”  I woke up at 6am and went to bed at 12am (while working a 8-5, M-F job) for a few weeks. 

Thankfully the reading has subsided now and I met a woman who took this class last semester and was able to talk through some things with me.  Well, I am happy to say that I just got a 90% on the latest quiz.  Praise the Lord!

I now need to think about what to do with myself for the rest of the day…I have oodles of school work to still do…I think I will grab dinner here at Panera’s and get some more done.  How ’bout that?

In other news, I now have the task of filling out Form One (duhn duhn duhn!).  This is the form to apply as an inquirer (see my post on March 16th).  Anyone out there remember their high school GPA?  Yeah…I forgot that after filling out all my college applications.  And the dates I worked as a cashier while in highschool?  Maybe not.  Thankfully I still have my pay stubs (yes, I am a packrat!).  But that’s not even the hardest part.  The questions at the end have definitely gotten me thinking about things…on the surface they appear to me run of the mill questions, but the weight of the words and the limit I have in language to answer things like: Write a brief statement of your personal faith describing what you believe about God, Jesus Christ, the Holy Spirit and your relationship to them.  And since I am a newbie to Presbyterianism I fell asleep the other night thinking of this one: What does it mean to you to be a Presbyterian?  You will likely see a post on this one soon…they will be somewhat immature thoughts, but I think my blog will turn out to be a birthing room of thoughts to a certain extent.