At-A-Glance: “Bible Study Anywhere” w/ Mark Driscoll

Evangelicals, In Review, Religion — By on March 10, 2009 at 1:45 pm

Summary

Bible Study Magazine‘s most recent feature article “Bible Study Anywhere” is an easy read with some good insights for people wanting to develop good bible study habits.*

Like George Whitefield preaching in the fields of New England, Mark Driscoll is gathering a harvest of believers from the hard places of America’s most un-churched city. The rapid growth of Driscoll’s church and his unconventional style have placed him in limelight and gained him the attention of media outlets from the New York Times to CNN’s D.L. Hughley. “Bible Study Anywhere” takes readers behind-the-scenes of Pastor Driscoll’s evangelistic method and reveals connections between good Bible study and good evangelism. The article is short, about 4 pages of the magazine, but still manages to pack in some good ideas worth remark.

*This article is only available to subscribers of Bible Study Magazine.

Quick Highlights:

  • According to Pastor Driscoll, most effective in his preaching method is his use of question and answer times. Good use of question and answer times require one to have a deep, quotable knowledge of the scriptures. In order to develop this knowledge, one must study the Bible well. In “Bible Study Anywhere,” Driscoll gives a brief personal testimony and shares some of his methods and tools for effective Bible study.
  • Driscoll reminds readers that beginning the discipline of Bible study is “hard and awkward” and requires consistency before it becomes energizing and encouraging. This is an important reminder for those living in the age of instant gratification and “.23 seconds” Google search-based responses to big questions.
  • Article author John Barry does a nice job of connecting Pastor Driscoll’s thoughts on valuable tools for Bible Study and his thoughts on the proper ends at which those tools help one arrive. Specifically, Barry quotes Driscoll remarking on the value of his Logos bible software and his use of the tools provided by Logos to make important connections within Scripture.*
  • Driscoll walks a fine line between recognizing that Bible study should ultimately shape our attitudes and our actions for good while simultaneously not falling into the trap of seeing the Bible primarily as a good moralizing tool full of quick tips and tricks to a better life now.
  • “Bible study is about personal transformation, but it also has an evangelistic purpose. To me, Bible study goes really bad when you don’t have any concern for non-Christians.” This was an incisive remark that convicted me of the selfish approach I often bring to my personal Bible study time.
  • Driscoll draws out the importance of one’s personal engagement with the ideas embodied in the texts of the scriptures. John Barry, the author of this article, reminds us that Bible study happens when we let the Bible touch our lives. That certainly seems to be Driscoll’s theme. People need to be able to deeply interact with the Bible, especially through Q&A. People need to take ownership of ideas through thought, study, and dialogue.

Critiques

In the final few paragraphs of the article, author John Barry quotes Pastor Driscoll’s remarks on his preaching style and effective small group curriculum. The quotes are pithy and offer some quick insights, but seem like a “hit-and-run” in light of the large scale of thought behind preaching and small groups.  Also, I did not think that those thoughts added anything new to Driscoll’s main points.  Therefore, I think that the final few paragraphs of the article fall outside its primary focus.

Also, as a web media guy, I wish that this particular article were freely available for digital reading and distribution. It was interesting and a good, quick read (always a plus for online readers!) and would operate as an effective loss leader to promote subscription to the magazine.

Conclusion

This is a good article that is worth a read, especially if you are a subscriber to Bible Study Magazine.

*Full Disclosure: Logos Research Systems, the company which produces Logos Bible Software, publishes Bible Study Magazine.  This information is very publically disclosed, much to Logos’ credit.


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