Knowing the Context

Yesterday, I taught the youth group one of the most boring topics ever: important concepts to use when studying your Bible to find out what the authors originally meant. It might have been a little over their heads, but they had asked for it and I also like to shoot over their heads rather than under.

If you know of another important concept besides the following three things that I taught, I can deprogram them next week.

1. Know the context
2. If a specific meaning is in question, know use a good concordance to discover the original word and see how it is used in other passages.
3. Discover the principle rather than the practical application that is shown in that setting.

It struck me while writing this lesson that blogs and internet discussions like the ones I am regularly in at are really written in no context. They are a sort of anomaly that are just sent out to the world at random. The only context is mine, and the reader is usually unaware of it. I usually write on things that I am trying to grasp in my mind because of circumstances around me.

What I am trying to say is that what I would emphasize to people would difer depending upon their context, where they are at. If I was going to preach at a church and I knew they grasped grace but never put the life of Christ into action, I would preach on the necessity of living out their faith in tangible ways. If I was visiting a legalistic church that had the moral living thing down yet didn't grasp God's grace, I would preach a message about grace.

So I will continue to write into the voidless context of the internet sharing the things that are relevant to the context I live in. What a crazy world.

Watch out for the potholes.