For the past year, Dallas Theological Seminary has been kind enough to offer me some of their classes. I get the notifications in my email and I get to decide if I want to take the course by watching a series of videos.
The first course I took, a study of the gospel of John, was with Dr. Mark Bailey. Dr. Bailey is president of the seminary but likes to stay involved in classroom instruction. He’s a fine professor.
This past week I began another study with Dr. Howard Hendricks, “How to Read the Bible Like a Seminary Professor.” Dr. Hendricks passed away in 2013, but his teaching (so far as I’ve seen) is relevant and direly needed.
Dr. Bailey was quotable. His sense of humor and authenticity shined. He’s been around a long time and obviously lives what he teaches. Dr. Hendricks is no different. Here’s something he said, which I need to remember at all times:
“God’s Word was not written to make you a smarter sinner.”
In other words, reading and studying the Bible aren’t meant just for information, but for transformation, according to Dr. Hendricks. “You can’t grow without knowing,” he says, “but it’s possible to know and not grow.” (Read that sentence again if you need to; I did.)
After my decision to follow Christ, I ate the Word like a little kid devouring an ice cream cone. I enjoyed having Bible knowledge. Other people enjoyed it too; they often asked for information because I did know the Word. They weren’t always so quick to ask me about how to live the Word. That’s disturbing to me because it means I wasn’t allowing God to make that transformation a reality.
If you’re interested in getting started with this particular study, lesson 1 is posted on YouTube here. Once you bring that video up, you’ll see subsequent lessons on the right-hand side of the screen. They’re numbered and titled so you know where you are.
You can also find the course on the DTS site (as long as it’s listed there) to sign up and receive the first lesson immediately.
I hope you’ll enjoy studying with Dr. Hendricks. It’s a blessing to know DTS is willing to share the wisdom, experience and caring of its people.