Post Discovery Seminar Thoughts

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After three days with Dr. Harry Wendt, I’ve discovered how little I know about the Scriptures (especially the Old Testament) and how I need to “soak” myself and “saturate myself” further & deeper with a “Big-picture” approach into GOD’s Bigger Story and Jesus the Messiah is indeed much much BIGGER than my small brains can contain. The Christ-centered focus was throughout the last three days.

The challenge I have after these few days interacting with him & his wife personally is captured in these thoughts found in an article “Seekers to Soakers” :

If we do not immerse ourselves in the Scriptures, we finish up believing in a little Jesus, and demonstrate little discipleship. The “gospel” is not merely that Jesus died, and therefore we are forgiven and will go to heaven. It is that, but much more than that. In Jesus, the Messianic Age, the kingdom of God, broke in. The forgiving Servant King calls us to commit life to Him, to follow Him in servanthood in a world He made and owns, and to reflect Him in all we do. We have to know, and show, others the BIG Jesus we want them to believe in.

I find the Mission of Crossways International a catalyst towards my personal growth in God’s Word and our relationship with the Living Word as well as in sharing the Word to others!(and hopefully corporately in and through BLC). It states:

To help people read the written Word,
to understand the Living Word,
and to demonstrate that Word in their daily lives.

More on the seminar …

Historical and cultural insights came alive especially for me today when he did the Parables of Jesus (using Luke) and the Road to Coronation (an exposition on the Godpel of John) which added so much more depth and colour into my perception of Jesus message and his mission.

Throughout, I totally loved his Descriptive teaching graphics : Pictures & Symbols are powerful tools to help think through and visualize the message.

A big chunk of us Malaysian Christians read the Scripture without context or out of context (whether textually or historically) thus missing out on GOD’s message to us. I”m glad he came to poke us lazy Christians a bit (in fact a lot!)

I left also with a growing appreciation for Good Biblical Scholarship that serves the Church (people of GOD) used properly allows us to see a clearer picture of GOD’s vision for us and hear a sharper message for life on earth! Picked up a frequently quoted name of a Biblical Scholar Kenneth Bailey (will check him out!)

Seekers or Soakers May 2001
Today, many churches devote a lot of energy to attracting “seekers,” helping them understand the biblical message at a basic level. There is a real need for this, and many are being reached and helped. Praise God for that! However, a note of caution is in place. We have to move people from the “seeker” to the “soaker” level – where they are prepared to soak themselves in the biblical message as they might soak themselves in a hot tub! If churches fail to do that, they pay a price.

I [Harry Wendt] recently conducted seminars in several Easter European countries that, until a decade ago, were ruled by Communist governments. Colleagues there described the Communist leaders’ tactics to destroy the Church. They told Christians, “Sure, go to church – we don’t mind. But there will be no Bible study groups, no mid-week activities, no prayer meetings, or anything like that. Just go to church and listen to those sermons!” The strategy worked. The tragedy is that though the Communists imposed this system on the Christian communities, many in the Western world embrace it as the norm.

If we do not immerse ourselves in the Scriptures, we finish up believing in a little Jesus, and demonstrate little discipleship. The “gospel” is not merely that Jesus died, and therefore we are forgiven and will go to heaven. It is that, but much more than that. In Jesus, the Messianic Age, the kingdom of God, broke in. The forgiving Servant King calls us to commit life to Him, to follow Him in servanthood in a world He made and owns, and to reflect Him in all we do. We have to know, and show, others the BIG Jesus we want them to believe in.

By Harry Wendt, President, Crossways International, from the Winter 2000 issue of Adult Talk.

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