Relevance of the Bible today
How can the Bible be my guide for living in this day and age?
RationaleIn the beginning we were created to be like God, created in his image. This defines who we are and how we are meant to live. The Bible as a whole is a revelation of God and a revelation of his Will for our lives. It consists both of specific commandments and broader principles which both underlie the commandments and serve as guidelines for those things not specifically mentioned in the Bible. This revelation by God, however, has been given in specific contexts, contexts which are very different to our contexts. Consequently, the Bible may appear to be out of date and not relevant. It is necessary to first understand the Bible in its own context before we are able to apply what it has to say to us today. Further, the Bible as a whole has its own context, to which every part of the Bible has to be related in order to understand it. The big story line must always be kept in view.
- The deep and most important issues of life, e.g. loving others, do not change over time and so the Bible remains always relevant
- While there are many verses which can be appealed to in any given situation, it is important that such verses first be understood in their own context, and that they are located within the overarching narrative of the Bible, which is the true context which gives meaning
- What’s important in your life? What are the current big issues that people want to know about? How does God’s revelation of himself relate to these questions?
- Are the issues people worry about, the right issues? Or, are there more important questions which they are ignoring? What is really important?
- How is the Bible relevant? - It’s about God’s beautiful plan for us. It is not about rules and regulations, but a fullness of life he wants to give us. Even what we might view as restrictions are for our own good and the good of others.
- Why would the Bible be considered irrelevant? Explore theme that Science has relegated the Bible to the realm of fairytales, while asking the question, well where do you get your answers from then?
Scripture ReferencesMatthew 5-7 - The Sermon on the Mount shows us how to apply the Bible to all of life and makes the very strongest statements about the unchanging authority of the Bible2 Timothy 3:16,17 - inspired by God (that is created by the action of the Holy Spirit) and given so that we have everything we needJohn 17:17 - the Word is truthPsalm 1 - the two roads we chose between and the place of God’s Word
Matthew 4:1-11 Jesus standing on the Word
http://www.wingclips.com/ - short clips from popular movies and shows sorted by themes like anger, poverty and so onBiblical Roots of Modern Science - Science is seen as making the Bible irrelevant, but Science has its roots in Biblical Christianity. See Creation International website for extensive library of articles in relationship of Science to Christianity.Is the Bible only about faith and salvation? - reply to a letter claiming that it is and so other topics should not discussed because they are off topicBooks by John Stott: “Issues facing Christians today” and “Basic Christianity” and “A Deeper look at the the Sermon on the Mount"
Ideas/Strategies for LessonsBrainstorming padlet.com the big issues, both those that are ‘felt’ and those that are ignored but actually vital. Build entire study around these issues week by week.
Scenarios where students are encouraged to role play, dramatise, write out answers and share with the class.
Case studies: real life situations are discussed and students can debate the rightness or wrongness of the decisions that was actually made. Eg. Invasion of Iraq; a random person in a bar king hits a Collingwood player gets gets away with it.
DebatesPossibly revisit this topic each year in this phase, briefly, to explore the issues that are relevant to the students at that time – and exploring the relevance of the Bible to these issues.
Explore what the Bible has to say about certain themes/topics: e.g.
- Relating to my family
- The environment
- What we eat (e.g. fair trade)
- Asylum seekers
- How I use my computer
- Science - see Biblical foundations of modern Science
- Romantic relationships
- Peer pressure
- Family breakdown/divorce
- The future
- Current world events
- The purpose of life – why am I here?
- Body image
Set up classroom debates where students have to create arguments for and against the relevance of the Bible to different issues in their lives today. Create a structure for the classroom debates, where students first have to conduct research and use Biblical references to support their views in the debates.
Introduce a scenario (e.g. friendship challenges, using money, responding to images on the computer) that could be acted out with students taking on different roles, using drama techniques like freeze frame, thought tracking or forum theatre to add more details, exploring thoughts, feelings and options.
Explore scenarios from popular TV shows, considering the different options that characters have to respond to in different situations. What would be a Biblical response? What are the implications of different choices? (Use Wingclips.com)