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May 26, 2012:

The main point of this entry, I’ll tell you right from the start, is to announce that my video presentation of “The Principles of the Doctrine of Christ” is now online. The rest of these 975 words will be me trying to persuade you to watch it!

I like working on puzzles, whether it is a picture puzzle in 500 pieces, or a word puzzle printed in the daily newspaper. You can't make up an answer; you are either right or wrong. I suppose that is one reason I love the Bible so much. I am fascinated by the Bible, not only for what is says, but how it says it. The secrets of eternity are right in front of your eyes, but it is just a big puzzle until the Lord opens your eyes.

Of course, some people approach Bible study like children who smash down on their puzzle pieces to make them "fit" in place. With children, this is adorable. In Bible teachers, it is maddening. I call it the Picasso gospel. Most of the pieces are there but in a very strange order.

The message of the Bible is simple, consistent, and faithful. From beginning to end every truth fits together with a precision and artistry that even on its simplest level is too marvelous for us to take in. The Psalmist wrote, “Such knowledge is too wonderful for me; it is high, I cannot attain unto it” (Psalm 139:6).

When I sit down to put together a picture puzzle, the first thing I want to do is find the pieces that make up the border. That is how I study the Bible as well. And the way I see it, the “principles of the doctrine of Christ” are just that. They are the border to the puzzle, and all the other truths of the Bible fit within their boundaries. That is why it is so important we know and understand them.

So this brings me to my latest venture: I have re-edited my audio presentation of "The Principles of the Doctrine of Christ," and divided each lesson into two ten-minute segments. Then I joined that audio track to what is essentially a slideshow presentation. Now as you watch each lesson on your computer, you can both hear and see the verses I reference. I also added some visual aids to help you stay involved with the presentation.

Please listen to the lessons is the order they are presented, because each lesson builds on the previous one. Also, take your time going through the lessons. It might be better for you to listen to each lesson twice before moving forward. The point isn’t to complete the class as quickly as possible; the point is to learn the lessons.

WHY I’M TRYING THIS FORMAT:

Over the past decade, I have written four seminars that I feel will be a help to any seeker of truth. For the most part, I have relied on two ways to present my material: my books, and my "live" seminars.

Far and above, my most complete presentations are found in my books. I like written communication because I like to choose my words carefully. And I like to plan my lessons as if I’m taking the reader on a journey. As crazy as it may sound, I expect my teachings to exhibit that same simplicity, consistency, precision, and artistry that I read in the Bible. I know that my expectation is ludicrous; my best efforts are a meager depiction of a much greater truth. Still, I want to press toward that high mark.

The greatest benefit comes to people who read the chapters in the order they are presented, and take their time in the reading.

When I teach my seminars “live,” the material is adapted for that particular audience. As a minister, I am happy when I sense that the Lord is leading me to speak of things that are not found in my teaching outline, things that are needful for that assembly. As a teacher, I’d prefer to focus on the subject at hand without digression. But rather than struggle against the Lord’s leading, I’ve surrendered to the fact that teaching a live presentation must be more than a lecture.

The other problem with a live seminar is the time factor. Usually I only have a few days to present my material, and the kinds of subjects I teach really need to be portioned out a little at a time. Too much information given too fast can be counter-productive. People need to digest what’s been said before moving on to a new subject. On top of that, people everywhere seem less and less able to sit still and listen for extended periods of time.

Last but not least, teaching live seminars is very expensive. I want to use our limited funds in a way that is most productive.

Understand that I'm not giving up on teaching live seminars. Everything has its time and purpose. But I am hopeful that this video presentation will find its own unique audience.

I am intent on producing solid Biblical material that will help other believers lead solid Christian lives while avoiding the pitfalls and false-starts that plagued me in my first two decades in the faith. Easier said than done, I know, but being "easy" isn't one of my qualifiers. The Apostle Paul wrote about a "labor of love," and I think this falls into that category.

For those who are interested, the 10-second song clip that opens each lesson is “Pressing On,” written and sung by Bob Dylan. This song and the album it appears on, “Saved,” is my personal favorite. Hopefully I haven’t violated any copyright laws, but I’m sure YouTube will let me know.

Feel free to pass the link to this presentation on to your friends.

Click HERE to begin!

In the service of His Majesty, the King of kings,
Tim

 

 


 

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