Monday, 19 March 2007

Frequently Asked Questions

I've missed all the sessions so far is it too late to join in?
No, each session is designed to stand alone, so you can come to as many, or as few as works for you. Notes are available for the previous sessions if you want to read about sessions you've missed, but there's no need to "catch up" if you've missed earlier sessions.

Why five and a half years?
Well there are 66 books in the bible (at least according to protestants), and we're going to do a book a month in order. 66 months equals 5½ years.

Do you really expect people to commit to five years?
No. I'm anticipating that people will dip in and out depending on what they are interested in, what else they have on, how much they have enjoyed the sessions they have been to so far, and also whether or not they are in a busy period. The advantage of going through book by book is that we can also re-launch when we get to the start of the New Testament. But it's also about putting something on for those who are in for the long haul.

Can anyone come?
Theoretically yes, although it'll probably be most helpful for those who have been Christians for quite a while. Conversely, it may not be the most helpful thing in the world for those who have only become Christians fairly recently.

Do we have to have read the whole book before we come?
No, but this is probably the best way to get the most out of a session. I do recognise, though, that people have busy lives and that some of the books are very long. In any case even taking a cursory glance through the book in question, to get a feel for its flow and remind you of its content would be helpful.

Are you really going to spend as long on Nahum as on Genesis?
Bizarrely yes. The thing is that although everyone says all the books of the Bible are important, most people's practice demonstrates that they don't really believe it. But I'm struck by the fact that someone, somewhere thought the more ignored books were important, and I'm keen to find out why, and what that says about our faith today. Besides when was the last time you heard anyone discuss Obadiah?

Will all the sessions follow the same format?
Yes and no. Whilst my interests and patterns will inevitably mean that many things are approached the same way, the variation in the books themselves will lead to differences in how each session is presented. For example, with the smaller books we'll be able to go into more detail than we would for the longer books. In so doing, a method will be demonstrated that people can take away and apply to any of the longer books they wish to study in more depth. In addition, there are some books where one of the Old Testament's main themes is particularly dominant. On reaching these we'll look at that theme in detail including looking at other relevant texts.

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