Earlier this week, the Brookside Institute offered a seminar on "How to Profit from the Prophets." About 50 people signed up for 90 minutes of overview on the prophetic books, and a glimpse into the book of Daniel - good stuff! As the Institute seeks to build and reinforce foundations of the Christian faith in the areas of biblical literacy and theological formation, seminars like this play an important role.
Below I've included some things that will give you a taste of the seminar. Here's the "Table of Contents" for what follows in this post if you keep scrolling:
How to Profit from the Prophets: A Visual Snapshot
how to Profit from the Prophets: Basic Outline
A. Why we DON'T read the prophets (Philip Yancey quote from The Bible Jesus Read)
B. How we SHOULD read the prophets: Addressing motivation and method
II. Addressing Motivation: 3 Reasons to Read the Prophets
A. The prophets are closer in proximity to our lives in the 21st century than we often acknowledge.
B. The prophets teach us about God - and how to live in right relationship with Him.
1. We learn that God takes sin seriously.
2. We learn about God's power and love.
3. We learn about God's plan - what He's doing (and will do) in the world.
C. The prophets helps us appreciate the person and work of Jesus Christ.
III. Addressing Method: 3 Tools for the Toolbox
A. Think in terms of genre.
1. Understanding genre: General comment
2. Understanding genre: Some features of OT prophecy
B. Factor in historical context. Click here to see a timeline of the OT prophets, against their historical backdrop.
C. Discern the message.
1. Work to find the unit of the message. A key word to know here is "oracle."
2. Remember the "covenant" framework/backdrop of OT prophecy
3. Don't sacrifice the present for the future. (Think "proclamation" more than "prediction.")
4. Keep coming back to 4 key questions:
a. God: What does this passage teach me about God?
b. Good: What does this passage teach me about how to live for God? Sin and righteousness.
c. Goal: What can I learn about what God is doing - and will do - in the world?
d. Gospel: How does the coming of Jesus add color to how I understand this?
IV. A Closer Look at the Book of Daniel (and Daniel ch. 7) - led by Dave Branson
V. Conclusion and Q&A (if time)
How to Profit from the Prophets: Seminar Audio
How to Profit from the Prophets: Handout "Answer Key"
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