Saturday, February 25, 2012

Rubbish at Bible Study 11: The Chapter Summary Method

If you want to follow the suggested study for the next 2 weeks, we are going to look at 2 Corinthians 2 and 3, using the next approach in Rick Warren's book, The Chapter Summary Method.

Chapter Summary Method.

Form available here: 

You'll find a much clearer outline in the book, but here's a quick summary.

Overall Summary:
  • Read a chapter 5+ times - ideally using different versions ...
  • Ask questions of the content.

Rubbish at Bible Study 10: SPACEPETS!

SPACEPETS: Bible Study Marmite!
This bizarre acronym forms one of the suggested methods of meditating on a passage. Much like to 10 'C's in the Chapter Survey Method (coming up next) it simply acts as a methodical and memorable way to find applications from the passage, and acts as a prompt in case you're having a bad brain day.

There's nothing special about it, some passages don't answer all the initials, and it's not everyone's cup of tea, but some people end up strangely addicted to their Spacepets!

As with all Bible Study methods, if it helps you, use it - if not, don't use it.

Here are 2 Corinthians 1 and 2 done the Spacepets way, although other people will come up with other applications:

2 Corinthians 1:
> Sin to confess?
Putting human wisdom above God's grace (12)

Rubbish at Bible Study 9: Audio Downloads

I like to download anything that's helpful, free and legal.

Some websites, like Biblegateway or Youversion, will read the Bible to you, but here are some downloadable links that I've found:

Older versions: 


The New Testament Bible
The Book of Matthew - 122 minutes
The Book of Mark - 76 minutes

Rubbish at Bible Study 8: Practical tips and ideas

Here are some notes from the last couple of RABS discussion evenings, which focussed on practical solutions to problems people have with making Bible Study happen in busy lives:

  • If you have set yourself a goal for how much time you will give to Bible Study, and then find you haven't managed it, or haven't even started, firstly have grace for yourself rather than beating yourself up, and secondly change your goal.
  • Reduce the amount of time, or break it into smaller chunks. e.g. 3 x 10 minute sessions, rather than 1 x 30 minutes.
  • Be imaginative about when you make time, e.g. when you are walking to/from work, by listening to audio versions of the Bible, and using a phone/ipod voice recorder to record your thoughts and notes.
  •  I'll suggest some audio download versions of the Bible in the next post, but if you search on Amazon etc, you can find MP3/CDRom versions available. You will probably find that you will simply have to get used to the by now indisputable fact that God has an American accent! You will tune in and stop noticing this more quickly than you think.
  • Put a Bible/notepad somewhere you visit on a regular basis each day and might be able to take 5 or 10 minutes alone to read/think/pray while completing your normal activities in that place. I've made this as subtle and polite as possible for some people's benefit, but make sure you don't come out only when you're shouted at each time you pay a visit, or you'll end up unpopular in your house, especially if you only have 1 of these facilities on the premises!
  • Save notes on a PC so that you can easily keep adding to them. If you have an online document store (e.g. Google docs) then you can access it from anywhere. This is a good way of keeping a journal, especially if you're handwriting is as bad as mine!
  • Find a quiet place to get into the right frame of mind, e.g. a Library, Wetherspoons, Starbucks, Costa, or Cafe Nero (whose coffees are immeasurably better than their rivals!)
  • If you think/process visually, start by studying passages that contain narrative, storyline, plot, character, and visualise the content. This works for OT narrative history, much prophetic imagery, Gospel accounts, Parables, Acts, and Apocalyptic writing (like Ezekiel, Daniel or Revelation) although that last category can - possibly should?! - leave you befuddled. In fact, never trust anyone who claims to completely understand the last book of the Bible, they must have missed something. If you don't understand Revelation - don't worry, it's not the end of the world.
Feel free to add practical advice, comments, ideas.


Friday, February 10, 2012

Rubbish at Bible Study 7: The next 2 weeks

Hi everyone.

Thanks for your input, honesty and enthusiasm to everyone who was able to come yesterday.

If you weren't able to come, don't worry - it's easy to keep up, here are the instructions for the next 2 weeks.

1: Word Study:
If you are in the middle of one you are enjoying, keep going!
If not, try studying 'Hope' in the writing of Paul, or 'Believe' in John's Gospel.
Other people have enjoyed studying 'Grace' 'Righteousness' Lovingkindness' or 'Heaven' so keep going and enjoy!

If you look at previous posts you will find some online starting points for some of these studies.

2: Devotional Study:
Using the template linked from a previous post, study 2 Corinthians 1, and move on to chapter 2 if you have finished.

Don't forget, there is a commentary on the Biblegateway 'Other Resources' page if you want to understand more of the background to Paul's journeys and relationship with the church in Corinth.

Use SPACEPETS to help you dig into the content to find an application.

3: If you have done anything you have found helpful, or hit a problem, or tried another approach that you enjoyed (e.g. paraphrase) please add a comment to this piece, or any other relevant one.

Thanks, have fun!

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Rubbish at Bible Study 6: Session 2 preparation

RABS Session 2 preparation

So, how's it going so far?

Firstly, the clue is in the name: "Rubbish at Bible Study" ... so if you struggled to get anywhere with a word study, haven't looked at the Devotional method, find online resources bamboozling, and didn't manage to meet your time commitment or even get one 5 minute session ....

.... don't worry, you are now fully qualified to be part of the Rubbish at Bible Study Support Group!

Anyway, you still have 2 days before the next session!

In the next session we will
a) quickly review online tools;
b) compare notes on word studies
c) review the Devotional method
d) look at the next method in Rick's book.

Before then, if you need a starting point, why not take up Graham's recommendation on Sunday morning, and do a word study on 'Hope.'

Here are some links you may find helpful.

Firstly, 'Hope' as used by Paul (45 references):

Friday, February 3, 2012

Rubbish at Bible Study 5: The Devotional Method

Devotional Method.

* The book recommends starting with the least ‘technical’ end of Bible Study, in order to learn the key skill of ‘Application’ without which Bible Study is just about knowledge.

Here's a summary of Rick's instructions. There is a link to the form you need at the end of this section. Try going through 2 Corinthians 1 with this method, and we'll compare notes next Thursday night. Then post comments to let me know that this makes sense, whether or not you've accessed the form ok, and how your study is going.

Four Steps to application, as outlined on the form provided:

1: Pray for insight.
* Ask God’s help to apply the passage to your life.
* Ask to be able to obey Him.
* Ask to be able to share His truth with others.
* On the form, tick that you’ve done this, or note anything specific you asked.

2: Meditate by one, some or all of these methods, and make notes of your thoughts and observations:

* Visualized narrative:
Put yourself in a Biblical situation, or in a Biblical character’s shoes. Note your thoughts, reactions and feelings.

* Word Emphasis:
Go through a verse or phrase emphasizing different words in turn, and note what you learn.