I have hidden your word in my heart that I might not sin against you. Psalm 119:11
I was teaching at a conference this last weekend and it hit me, I have been doing this for quite a while, since I was in High School! I am looking back at doing Inductive Bible Study seminars, research and teaching for more than 30 years now! Wow!
So, now you can have our basic seminar, and there is more in my Book:
http://www.intothyword.org/pages.asp?pageid=56846(I need the $)
The link at the bottom is the classic curriculum I developed in…wow 1978…to show how to better understand and study the Bible! Because, the obedience and faith is a trust relationship with our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ that we learn and grow from our efforts of getting into the Bible, seeking God’s counsel and applying His true-Truth and precepts to our lives and churches. And to do this we have to get into the Bible and to get into the Bible we have to know how to pull from it and not read into it. And for 30 years this also has been used to train tens of thousands of pastors on how to teach the Bible, prepare basic sermons and for them to know, grow and lead others to God’s rich pastures in the Word.
For me, this started back in 1978 (I was 15), as a request to get my act together and do something important, from my uncle Francis Schaeffer. He told me, “…the most important thing you could ever possibly do it to teach people how to study the Bible, so they will know God’s true Truth.” “Why” I said, he replied, “because more people even pastors have no idea how to read a book let alone the Bible that is why there is so much bad teaching and apathy out there, so you must show them?” But I do not know how I said…Schaeffer replied, “find out…” Thus, I undertook this quest to examine and research the top Bible teachers and methods and see what they do, how they work, what does and what does not work. And with Schaeffer’s guidance this was not hard to do. I also examined the Scriptures and put this into practice and come up with the best honest technique to know and teach the Bible.
When I developed our system, I was not aware of anyone else doing it. I just wanted a way to better read, understand and teach the Bible. I was dyslexic and had an over active mind and wanted more as well as ease of use and there just was nothing out there for me in the late 70’s that I could find. All I had was good mentors and Andrew Murray’s book, With Christ in the School of Prayer. So I developed my own system seeking deeper spiritual intimacy with Christ. Being from a small town, Camel, Ca, and only one small Christian bookstore and being a part of a liberal Episcopal church, resources were rare. I was not even aware of others doing this like IVP until I was in college 1981, I went on staff with Camus Crusade in 83-86.
I used the term “Inductive” because deductive meant to lead or read in and inductive meant to take out, from the sciences where I was taking postgraduate classes in Physics at the “Naval Post Graduate School” (I was one of those weird prodigy types). After I did my own basic Questions, Schaeffer then put me in touch with Ray Stedman, Chuck Miller and Robert Boyd Munger who were schooled by and served with IVP. These men further discipled me in this, and I sought to improve upon it. Who were influenced personally by Howard Tillman Kuist and Charles T. Haley Professors of Biblical Theology at Princeton Theological Seminary and of course Jane Hollingsworth and Barbara Boyd, in the 40’s and 50’s at IVP. From what I heard from Munger and Miller, they took the works done by Wilbert Webster White in 1899 “knowledge of the Bible” and they developed a curriculum they developed for YMCA too, and being very active with the Y in my youth I was exposed to it there too. These men and women enhanced the Inductive bible study system, all I have done was refine it for different platforms and combined some exegetical tools to it for greater synergy. I also learned this from many others and have been developing and teaching and refining it for Junior Higher’s to pastors…
…And it is nothing new, I found out Plato used these same key inductive questions to examine life, religion and philosophy, and Francis Beacon may have coined the term “Inductive” Logic, And so it goes, since the Disco age to today, still loving it!
I had a pastor come up to be yesterday at that conference and insist that Kay Author came up with this and it is flawed and does not teach anything and only pools ignorance. Well, I know Kay, and she is a great person, but no, she did not come up with it, nor did I. I explained that The Inductive Bible Study method is not new, it has its roots in science and the logic of induction as well as the Reformation and even predates the New Testament. It is meant to examine the facts by observation, then interpretation, retesting for accuracy and then an application.
It is designed to get real effectual information from reality and real truth and not lead in a person’s flawed rationale. Aristotle came up with this scientific method to show real philosophy and science and it was old when he came up with his “rules for the logical reasoning”. Others like Galileo, who was a devout believer, applied it to his Bible reading, as he said that faith and reason go together and back each other up, and then used it for astronomy. Augustine also said that, and used this approach to his studies. And Isaac Newton in his “Rules of Reasoning” also used this method and he too was a devote Believer and went to test it out on the Bible first and foremost. Roger Bacon, around 1256, of a devout Franciscan Order came up with a cycle of observation, hypothesis, experimentation, and verification. He conducted his experiments in precise detail, examining the Bible and then nature and order with the ideas of finding fact not inserting flaws of reasoning into science or into faith. And many others like René Descartes used this and of course John Calvin in his Bible discovery phase, 1536–1538, used these insights and rules of inductive reasoning to outline out the true doctrines of the faith and continue the Reformation.
This begs the question, why are we as a Christian community not thinking hard about God’s Word as they of old? Why do we deny reading “from” the Bible and insist reading “into” the Bible? Instead of gleaning and applying what God has to say, we read in what we want it to say! We have more tools and reason, so let’s get busy and dig into God’s Most precious pasture land, His Word the Bible! BTW, I Googled that pastor and he is, you guessed it, liberal, a low view of the Bible and his church has no Bible studies or outreach and looks dead as a doornail…go figure..I guess he had a good excuse, in his mind, to not to know the Word and do as we are called… well a bad excuse in reality!