Wednesday, November 09, 2016

Michael Card - Biblical Imagination Series Review

One thing about me - I am an independent learner when it comes to the Bible. I don't go about chasing after the latest, greatest, flavour-of-the-month when it comes to Bible teachers. Why would I do that when I can just stay at home and read the Bible by myself? Of course there are other people who say the same thing, but not that many of them actually read the Bible. I do. I spend extended periods of time in the Scriptures and enjoy it.

But Michael Card has gotten me all excited about his Biblical Imagination Series!

The timing was interesting - I was going through the Gospel of John as part of my Bible reading plan this year and this time through I felt that I wasn't quite getting it. The Gospel of John wasn't quite sinking into me as much as usual. And just about that time I found out that Sought After Music was bringing in Michael Card to teach on the Gospel of John, I just KNEW I had to be there.

And I certainly was not disappointed.

To humour those of us who knew him more for his songwriting than for his teaching, he began by singing three of his songs, including his classic El Shaddai.

Putting it simply, he was singing in Hebrew way before it was considered cool!

Then he went into his prologue, giving us a broad overview of Jesus as presented in the Gospels, pointing out details that make each Gospel account unique. For example, the Gospel of John only spoke about Jesus' emotions four times, while the Gospel of Mark had fifteen adjectives for Jesus' emotions. And Mr Card used this example to drive home his point - we not only have to listen to what the Gospels say, we also have to listen out for what they do NOT say.

Especially for the Gospel of John, what he does not say is very important to note. 92% of the Gospel of John does not occur in the other Gospels. Because yesterday's session was only the first part, Mr Card did not yet delve much into the Gospel of John yet. He did, however, point out that John was a preacher, who by the time he wrote the Gospel account would have had 50 years of preaching experience. He would therefore know through experience when we listeners would need help and would insert parenthetical statements to explain his point further.

For example:

John 7:2-5 (NASB) - Now the feast of the Jews, the Feast of Booths, was near. Therefore His brothers said to Him, “Leave here and go into Judea, so that Your disciples also may see Your works which You are doing. For no one does anything in secret when he himself seeks to be known publicly. If You do these things, show Yourself to the world.” For not even His brothers were believing in Him. (emphasis mine)

I am not going to go into more detail here, because there is no way I can do Mr Card's material and presentation justice. But I urge you, strongly urge you, to attend his teaching yourself. He teaches in a way that is possible only for people who have spent huge amounts of time and effort digging into the details of the Gospels, the historical context of the events and the nuances of the Biblical languages.

So turn up. Mr Card still has one more session on tonight (9th November 2016), 7.30 pm, at Bible House, 7 Armenian Street, 5th Level. Entry is at $40 for the session, and you'll have to hurry because the seating is limited. I'll certainly be there for tonight's session. Hope to see you there!

No comments: