Part of my requirements as an appointee was to read each chapter of Wayne Grudem’s, Twenty Basics Every Christian Should Know and relate it back to someone else.
Many thanks to Pastor Dave Droste of Solid Rock Christian Fellowship for volunteering to talk over each chapter with me. I enjoyed the back and forth conversations, and even got a course correction in my own theology. It’s so easy to think you understand something in the Bible and realize you’ve misunderstood its meaning for years.
Maybe that’s why, besides free or affordable education, I have started a database of logging full scholarship opportunities I find as I seek to find affordable options to getting a degree in Biblical Studies. Twenty Basics Every Christian Should Know simplified the Christian belief system for me.
I bought the paper version so I can mark it up and dog-ear it for future reference. In conversations online, you have the generosity of time. Online conversations don’t have to be replied to right away like face-to-face conversations. I can have a browser open to research questions I lack answers to, and even this book next to me to refer to my highlights and notes. Because online is about community, what Christian Beliefs said on page 91 resonated with me:
“Not all gospel calls are effective. The job of believers is to explain the gospel message; it is God’s job to make that message call effective.”
Grudem uses Acts 16:14 to explain:
“The Lord opened her heart to pay attention to what was said by Paul.”
Acts 16:14 was talking about Lydia, the seller of purple:
“A seller of purple – Purple was a most valuable color, obtained usually from shellfish. It was chiefly worn by princes and by the rich, and the traffic in it might be very profitable. Compare the Isaiah 1:18 note; Luke 16:19 note. (from here)“
This section was a reminder to me to make prayer a priority in my life. Without prayer, I discovered the gospel call is empty. It can so easily become about us as the savior instead of Jesus as the Savior. In Perspectives, I learned God prepares the people’s hearts for the missionaries to come and harvest by putting into place bridges in that people’s culture and history for God’s people to point out and draw them to Himself. It reminds me daily I have no power, but Jesus.
In this ministry of online work, I get to disciple people, and for me to do so effectively, I must continually educate myself in the Bible, make prayer a priority, and honor a “flexible Sabbath.”
My vision is to mobilize the church to get online for discipleship and prayer and to bring the community online into a fellowship of faith through community and service. I believe social media is a positive force if used well, and a balance between the online world and the face-to-face world is important for our development as humans.