Sunday, May 26, 2013

What we learned about the bible

Before we left Canada, Anne and I had a good idea what we were signing on to as students of the Bethel School of Supernatural Ministry. Bethel pursues God with abandon. The people here aren't afraid of pursuing all of God, including the Holy Spirit. Sometimes, considering our past church history, it can be a little unsettling.

So it was with a huge sigh of relief when we heard our bible teacher, Dann Farrelly, speak for the first time. Dann is a graduate of Simpson College and holds a Masters Degree in Divinity from Fuller Theological Seminary.

Dann is very funny and self deprecating. He was a pastor at Bethel before Bill Johnson arrived and before revival broke out. When the Holy Spirit started to move he resisted it, then grudgingly accepted it, then embraced it, then abandoned himself to God's passionate love.

In other words, Dann is me. Except smarter.

Here's what Dann taught us during his weekly bible classes. 

We learned how to interpret the bible
Everyone who reads the bible interprets it. Dann taught us skills to develop a consistent style of interpretation using both our spirit and mind. He taught us how to have value for what God has spoken and what He is speaking today. He prepared us to understand the interpretive ethic of fellow believers (reformed versus Catholic versus charismatic). 

"We are not the holders of all truth here at Bethel," said Dann. "God is doing many beautiful works across the globe. We don’t have a corner on the truth but we want to be as faithful as we can to the truth that God has revealed to us. We can disagree with our brothers and sisters and yet still realize we have way more in common than not."

We learned how to feed ourselves and how to feed someone else

Dann told us at the beginning of the year that his purpose was to help us know God and love Him more. He said all bible study ought to be devotional. He urged us to read the bible not because the idea you’re pursuing would make a cool bible study but rather just because God loves us and wants to spend time with us.

We learned how to do biblical research and find answers to difficult questions

Dann taught us how to make accurate, mature conclusions about biblical theology. He taught us to use Holy-Spirit empowered skills to bridge the historical, cultural and grammatical gulf between the "then and there" of scripture and the "here and now" of the application of scripture.

After spending a year with Dann Farrelly I feel inspired to read the bible everyday. He gave me a new passion for scripture. He urged us to read the bible constantly so we don’t get a pet theology that we then try and find biblical evidence to support. "When you're consistently reading the bible your life is consistently being reformed," he said. "It’s the unchanged thing that creates reformers. It's the standard that transforms us."

1 comment:

  1. Excellent post, Andrew. And very good advice from Dann Farrelly. Thanks.