One of my favourite times in my Ladies Bible Study is when we have immersed ourselves in and wrestled with a Bible passage and come out with a lightbulb moment where understanding dawns, a truth hits home or connection is made for the first time; ‘How have I been a Christian for all this time and yet I didn’t understand that! or ‘that’s the first time I've understood that’, and “Isn’t God amazing!”
We have been blessed with so much rich Bible teaching and excellent teachers opening up God’s word for us, I can’t help but wonder how these teachers and preachers gain such a depth of knowledge and understanding that in sharing it, they help women to grasp and apply the Bible message in a way that grows us in appreciation and understanding of who God is and draws us to honour Him in our lives.
One of the resources we discovered recently and have been deeply blessed by, is an online workshop by Nancy Guthrie, entitled “Biblical Theology for Women”.
The enrolment fee includes access to the downloadable workbook and a link to access the workshop any time.The workshop is run over three sessions of about 1 hour and 45 mins each.
We recently advertised this at our church and decided to run one session per month, on a Sunday between church services. We have been blessed to have 15 women participating and gathering in a lounge room, keen to delve deeper into understanding more about the BIble. It would also work well as a day retreat or teaching day.
In the first session Guthrie describes the difference between biblical theology and systematic theology and outlines a broad overview of the Bible’s story, concluding with the story of the Bible in four words. She endorses Graeme Goldsworthy’s description of the Kingdom of God: God’s people, in God’s place under God’s rule.
She traces the major themes of the Bible including Kingdom, Blessing/Curse, Creation/New Creation, Light Darkness and Suffering/Glory to name just a few, and time is allowed for some group work in practicing tracing Biblical themes.
The third Session is entitled “Making the BIble’s Intended Connections”, using the opening of each of the Gospels and tracing major biblical themes
in specific passages of the Bible. The wrap up includes how this work generates love and longing for Christ.
It can be tempting to think that studying Biblical Theology sounds dry, academic or impersonal, but Guthrie reiterates that theology is basically what we believe about God, any time we’re engaging with the Bible, trying to understand what it reveals to us about God, we’re doing theology.
She states: “theology is about a way of understanding and approaching the Bible that recognizes that even though the Bible is made up of various kinds of literature and was written down over centuries by forty human authors, it is actually telling one cohesive story about what God is doing in the world through Christ.”
The aim of this workshop is not just to gain knowledge which puffs up and which in the end does not satisfy, (Ecclesiastes 1) but to gain wisdom, understanding and a deeper appreciation for our great and Sovereign God, His word and his amazing salvation plan through Christ to rescue and redeem his fallen people.
The women who have participated in this workshop have found it very helpful and provided positive feedback. We would recommend it to anyone seeking to delve a bit deeper into the Bible.