The Spirit of God should be the basis, foundation, and ultimate premise that the Christian is led by, and immersed in. His whole life is driven by the One who created him, restored him, and daily fills him.
The Principle Approach
This is the concept that sees principles at a basic level, and expands on them as the comprehension level of the audience increases. It means that no one is beyond the truth being presented, if it is described in a language and detail that he is at. While the famous passage of John 3:16 can be taught to a 4 year old, it can be taught to a 34 year old with an equally-challenging penetration. It also means that something traditionally considered above and beyond the reception level of a small child can be represented to them in proportional language.
There is a tool that is presented by the Foundation for American Christian Education, or FACE. It is called “the 4-R’s”. The first step is to research the topic or words being considered. The best place to start is obviously Scripture, but certainly consulting language dictionaries and concordances for expansion on the topic over the complete scope of the Bible. Next reasoning will need to take place. This is an essential element of the scholar. His source material should produce questions that need to be answered. His pursuit of an unmet situation must be made apparent. Thirdly, relating the seriousness of the situation should be made recognizable to his audience. And lastly, the scholar should record his finding for future reference. His revelations, counsel, and study should be filed away together to be viewed again in the prospect of another overlapping topic.
The Bible, whether it is believed to be inerrant, is nonetheless inspired by God. It is the written source code for the Christian. The external representation of the presence of a spiritual reality. The Bible presents legitimate principles and history. From within, the stories and principles compel us to follow the practical examples. From within, the history of the book is a miracle unto itself, not only surviving, but setting an unchallenged standard in the world of literature. This book’s contents must be taken into consideration, even if the interpretation is yet undetermined.
The thought on theism and deism is as old as time. It has been called to climax of all intellectual pursuits. From this field, God is, with great fear and trepidation, given some definition and theoretical shape. This is the field that looks at the content of Scripture, and meticulously makes (hopefully objective) interpreted claims. This forms the basis of beliefs that Christians generally consent to. As a general endeavor of Scripture study, every Christian is engaged in this field to some degree.
The field that delves into the discovery of truth. As Jesus said in John 14:6, “…I am the way, the truth, and the life…”, truth is a pretty crucial goal to pursue, and worthy of developing on even outside of theology to some extent. It is at the core of men to know what and who we are, and since we as Christians know who and what truth is, philosophy should naturally be a flavor of the language that we speak as Christians. The spiritual realm cannot be explained by empirical science, and theology’s focus spends much of it’s time in the logistical tools of hermeneutics; thus, a more intense focus on clarifying the realms which are not tangible, and the hypothetical situations are identified with philosophy.
The story of the world, it’s people, their many different directions, and their cultural orientations is clearly in the realm of the Christian scholar. History, observed through the lens of primary source documents, and first-hand accounts, will give a legitimate composition of the acts of God in history. While subtle, as God’s word is not done necessarily in a short period of time, (even though many such occasions do exist), the unfolding of light into the different spheres of society can be clearly evident. The Christian historian must be objective, more then any other historian, because his bias will smash any credibility among informed historians. He must tell the tragic stories as he see’s them, just leaving nothing out.
The Christian, as he is in a perpetual state of study, will be learning from both the his own comprehension of reading, and the guidance of his great mentor, the Holy Spirit. The expansion of Scripture study should occur, at one point in a Christians life or another, applying the dry, Biblical theory into practical, external application. The study of a Christian should lead into endeavors that he would otherwise not been able to enter had he not spend diligent hours in Scripture on it. It is my view also that a Christian should be setting the standard of excellence in study. Scripture study should be producing more practical, more profound, more true fruit that any other study. Since Scripture is not directly applicable in our world, but rather must be interpreted; a dictionary, commentaries, word diagrams, and language lexicons should be referenced in one’s pursuit of either deductive or inductive topics. It should not be a daunting prospect for a Christian to teach on a subject, especially if it is troubling him, or he is excited about it. The benefit of this method of education it that it requires no external human-attributed degree. It is simply the outflow of a Christian desiring to know God better.