Week 7 - The Bible
This week we got a treat for a teacher! Bryan Appelt, the school leader for the Chronological School of Bible Studies (SBS) in YWAM VANCOUVER was “on loan” to our DTS for a week. We DTSers got a taste of what classes would be like in SBS. Since the Napier and Parker Houses have SBSers living together with us DTSers, we have heard them read Scripture out loud for hours, make charts and observation labels, color matrices, discuss (and debate) Bible stories and characters, go to coffee shops and libraries for hours of silence…and they will do this for nine months. We share in their excitement (and relief) when they are moving onto the next book!
Since we DTSers all have different levels of knowing the Bible and the techniques and approaches to studying Scripture, we prayed for: 1) For God to give us fresh ways of seeing and reading Scripture and 2) For us to hear God’s voice clearly and distinguish it from ours or the enemy’s.
A highlight of the week was learning how the Old and New Testament books were canonized (standardized). From the oral traditions of genealogy and history to the Torah/Pentateuch (Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, Deuteronomy); the account of the Kings and Judges of the Jewish people, civil war, exile and return of the Israelites; the life of the prophets; Jesus life and ministry on earth; the letters and epistles from the apostles to the churches; and up to present day – these all comprise the history and timeline of God’s relationship and continued revelation of Himself to us.
I was personally delighted to have a Bible teacher in the class because there are so many available resources in print and online but Bryan was able to immediately answer questions and concerns that we had, such as:
Why are some books not accepted as canon?
How do we respond when the Scripture is viewed or criticized as “inconsistent”?
How can we best defend Scripture when it comes under scrutiny?
Why do we have different versions of the Bible, i.e. New International Version, New Living Translation, English Standard Version, etc?
But the biggest encouragement and challenge for the week was to discover for ourselves what God was speaking to us – through the Holy Spirit - by reading and digging deep into His Word. We were challenged to make our faith our own, and grow from admiration of our parents’ faith (and of other people in authority) to finding out why God’s Word matters to us on an individual and personal level. The Bible is like a smartphone and can provide so much instruction and guidance for life, but if we don’t know how to use it, it’s a very underused awesome tool.
Every week the DTSers go on what we call “Track”, which is an activity designed to expose us to various ways that the gospel can be shared, and how ministry and discipleship can be done in the city. So far we’ve visited a neighborhood in Little India and Yaletown (a high-end business community). Two weeks ago we visited Capital Core Financial and talked to its founder Franco Caligiuri. He shared how God walked him through building his company and applying Christian principles in the field of financial services, i.e. integrity, honesty, and charity. He has encouraged his own company and other corporations to operate on the principle of making more to give more to charities, churches, community development organizations, non-profit groups, etc.
Last week we also met founding pastor David Koop of Coastal Church in Vancouver. He shared how God called him to start a church in the heart of the city, the challenges in finding a building and money for the purchase, and of the long but fruitful the learning process of finding out how to share the gospel to city people, specifically Vancouverites.
If you want to learn more about SBS, click on this link http://ywamvancouver.org/sbs/.