• Hello Everyone, I'm sending a "shout out" to see if there are other people working their way through BI201. So far, I find the studies inspirational and the exercises help mitigate the learning curve with Logos. Today, I used the "Word Study" tool for the first time to "deep dive" into the Hebrew meanings for Abraham's blessing. It was interesting to note that the word is used as a noun, meaning Abraham became the blessing. We ultimately see the fulfillment of this promise God made to Abraham through the finished work of Jesus Christ. Blessing indeed! All of the world can be blessed.
    1. Matt and Miles, great to meet you guys. I just completed lesson plan 64 (the Great Commission). That means ACT IV (the life, death and resurrection of Christ) will be drawing to a close; ACT V the church age (spreading the gospel) is on the horizon.
    2. This journey through BI201 is quickly coming to a close for me. If anyone is considering this course, I can highly recommend it. Tackling one lesson per day, the trek lasts about 3 months and covers the Bible from cover-to-cover. It has been a thoroughly enjoyable experience and full of learning objectives. The bang-for-the-buck is outstanding.
    3. Here is my essay to conclude the BI201 course. I apologize for any layout issues. The document did not transfer well from Word to this online post. For instance, the longer quotes were originally 1" indents at the margins, but would not reflect here. My only solution was to place them in quotations (a Blue-Booking faux pas). Neither would the headings show in bold. With all that in mind... It is Finished  During the Second Temple period, God’s people waited for their coming Messiah. He would bring redemption, restoration and relief from political oppression. He would signify the arrival of the coming kingdom of God. He would complete the long road of redemption and gather His people unto the Kingdom of God. With the arrival of Jesus Christ, He announced the destination had been reached. The Kingdom of God was at hand. "I must proclaim the good news of the kingdom of God to other towns also because that is why I was sent." __Luke 4:43  During His earthly ministry, Jesus focused on two declarations: (1) The time of restoration had come, and (2) The Kingdom of God was near. To partake in the blessings of the Kingdom, Jesus declared the necessity of repentance and faith in the good news. To enter this Kingdom, a believer must repent and turn away from sin. The believer must commit wholeheartedly to his or her new object of faith; namely, Jesus Christ. Taken together, the believer turns away from old idols (the old objects of trust) and turns towards the Messiah.  With this message, Jesus began to gather His people. He was the literal incarnated fulfillment of Old Testament prophesies promising the gathering of God’s people. He was the shepherd-king gathering His lost sheep to re-establish Israel as the light to the nations. He appointed His twelve disciples, one for each tribe of Israel, to signify who originally was meant to be this light to the world. It was time for Israel’s renewal and for the Gentile nations to be brought back into God’s fold.  "Jesus went into Galilee, proclaiming the good news." __Mark 1:14  The basic message never changed. The good news announced the Kingdom of God was near and that repentance was necessary to share in that Kingdom. By turning away for sin, the believer would follow, trust, and make God the center point of his or her life. By responding to God’s will, the Kingdom would grow like a seed and expand to all nations. Eden would be restored upon earth.    To prove the Kingdom of God was at hand, Jesus spent much of His ministry authenticating His words with His deeds. As He gathered His followers, He demonstrated the power to heal and restore.  "In that hour He healed many people of all diseases and plagues and evil spirits, and on many who were blind He bestowed sight."   __Luke 7:18  Cursed creation found itself in the presence of the perfect Creator. The blind could see, the lame could walk, the deaf could hear and even dead were raised. As predicted by the prophets, Jesus’ deeds demonstrated the arrival of the Kingdom.     Perhaps the greatest miracle of all, Jesus invited sinners and outcasts into His Kingdom. This was not a place for just the religious privileged. He invited everyone into His fellowship. He reached out to tax collectors, prostitutes, lepers and adulterers. Welcoming these people demonstrated that those under God’s judgment can be welcomed into the Kingdom of God through the power of repentance. In fact, these were precisely the people Jesus came to restore. He came to seek and to save those that were lost. The restorative power of repentance swings open wide the doors to the Kingdom of God.  "...and that repentance for the forgiveness of sins should be proclaimed in His name to all nations, beginning from Jerusalem." __Luke 24:27  Jesus gathered a community unlike any other. He formed a forgiven people; a grateful people that were willing to live their lives as a light to the nations. They were dependent upon God, and, as such, pursued a life of righteousness. Ultimately, like their mentor, they were willing to endure suffering to participate in restoring a broken world.    Throughout history, God slowly revealed a story of cosmic restoration. Now, this long road of redemption lead to a wooden cross and a cruel hill. It was at this unlikeliest of places that God reclaimed His people. At the cross, Jesus brought an end to the age of sin. It was there that Satan and death were defeated. The cross brought an end to that old age. Through this most powerful act in history, Jesus accomplished the redemption of all of creation.    "Behold the Lamb of God that takes away the sins of the world." __John 1:29  When Jesus uttered the words, “It is finished” and closed His eyes in death, He bridged the gap between humanity and the Father. By His sacrifice, He removed the barrier of sin and brought the two back together again. Our sins were transferred upon Him; whereby, He suffered the wrath due to us. He literally took our judgment upon Himself and tore the veil that separated us from God. By this reconciliation, we can now boldly approach the throne of God.    Ah, but the story does not end with the Messiah buried in a lonely grave. By His death, He defeated the old age. By His resurrection, Jesus Christ inaugurated the beginning of the Kingdom on earth. He was the “first born” into a new creation, this long-awaited age-to-come. He was the first fruits, the first part of the harvest. By His finished work, many more will follow.  "For as the Father raises the dead and gives them life, so also the Son gives life to whom He is pleased to give it." __John 3:35  When we take hold of the Christian faith, we die (through repentance) and are buried (through baptism) with Him. In that moment, we are resurrected to newness of life through the infilling of His Spirit. We literally become a “new creation.” We experience the end of the old age (sin has no mastery over us) and the beginning of the new (we are restored to the Father).  "Do you not know that all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into His death? We were buried therefore with Him by baptism into death, in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, we too might walk in newness of life." __Romans 6:3  Being “born again” enables the Christian to live for God as He intended from the beginning of creation. Though our physical bodies may age and decay, we will experience all the fullness of the new creation. Ultimately, there will come a time when we will rise from death to experience all that Christ has prepared for us. In truth, when Jesus declare, “It is finished,” for the Christian believer, it really is the beginning...of everything!
  • Michael Wolfe                                                                                                                                                                                         BI201- The Story of the Bible                                                                                                                                                          Response                                                                                                          From Eden To Eden – The Biblical Story   Throughout this course it came to my attention how strongly the unity of the Bible is displayed in the theological theme of not only Christ but also the holy intent to return the spiritual family of Eden. All that once was lost but will come to restoration through Christ when the Kingdom has fully been restored. The six acts of the Biblical story brought a simplicity I found very engaging and rounded out my own understanding of the synchronicity beginning with Moses and all the Prophets concerning Jesus. The OT reaffirms the promises of the coming Messiah repeatedly throughout. The rich history of the scriptures and the biblical story of the nation of Israel captivated me because Christ was alluded to in all the laws and statutes appointed by God. The Biblical flow points to the Messiah and the details of repentance, forgiveness, the church, and the restoration of the Kingdom of God. Through Jesus we understand the one unfolding story. The climax is centered around and in the Person of Jesus Christ. Instead of being disjointed stories I clearly see what the Christian faith is all about; fully centered around and in the Person of Jesus Christ. One of the topics I feel is of great importance and magnitude in this course is the fact that the entire biblical story is given by Divine authority and inspiration.  It gives meaning to human life and makes clear the goal of the story is the coming of the Kingdom of God. Therefore, we must live in obedience to the Lord and devote our lives to Him. Offering ourselves as living sacrifices and taking up our cross to follow Him should be what our lives are centered upon. The divine authority of the Bible also entirely explains the universe and the purposes of God. I appreciate how the instructor utilizes the analogy of drama in the form of the six acts to explain the biblical story from Eden to the return of Eden at the second coming of Jesus Christ. Act 1 describes the fabulous creation of the world and the details of His Spirit hovering over the waters gives the vision of His fiery presence enveloping the planet. Act 2 details the creation of all including mankind. The spiritual fall of man as imagers into disobedience and rebellion came swiftly in both the spiritual Kingdom and in mankind. Because humankind did not fulfill their calling it effected the entire creation. Act 3 God designed and set apart a people to begin the restorative and redeeming process. He chose Abram and Sarai to produce in a miraculous, divine touch upon a barren woman, His chosen nation. They would become more than the sand of the sea and the stars in the heavens. Act 4 focuses on the coming of the Messiah. His redemption and restoration of mankind is accomplished. He gathers Israel to hear that the Kingdom of God they have awaited has come. In His death He brings the end to the old and inaugurates the new through His resurrection. Act 5 begins with the commissioning  of the believers to proclaim  the Gospel to all the world. They were to share the good news that Christ is Lord and will restore the whole creation. Through the day of Pentecost and the coming of the promised Holy Spirit they were empowered to become a missional community. Their focus was Jerusalem but then on Antioch. This expansion was due to the love and unity of the community as well as the drive to evangelize everyone in Judea and Samaria. Churches were intentionally planted as many missionaries were sent out. Act 6 focuses on the return of Christ as King and the full completion of the Kingdom of God. A new Heaven and new earth descend and the magnificent promises of full restoration has been realized. It was amazing to me how the entire Biblical story and the reconciliation of all things back to the glory of Eden and God dwelling with His people has been fulfilled. My heart for the members of the body in the church as I preach is to bring their attention to the glorious Biblical truths of Jesus Christ being the theme and focus from Genesis to Revelation.  It is my heart’s desire that they would understand the importance of these truths. This understanding will compel them to believe in the sovereign Word of God as well as awaken their desire for a closer walk with Him.
    1.  — Edited

      Prof. Goheen remarks: “The sad thing, I suppose, in all of this, is that so seldom does this kingdom become the central message of the evangelical church today. The coming of the kingdom of God is what dominated Jesus. It is what dominated the apostles, and yet, it’s often been sidelined in much theology today” (Segment 44). This is a powerful indictment of the present church in the developed world and one that merits careful consideration. Prof. Goheen specifically refers to a “sidelining” of the kingdom in theology and this might be true, but more determinative in the church’s loss of a kingdom perspective is the “sidelining” of the kingdom in pastoral ministry. Prof. Goheen’s review of the development of the kingdom perspective in Jesus’ ministry made me reflect on what a kingdom vision in pastoral ministry might look like. Following Ridderbos’ assertion that “the central theme of Jesus’ message … is the coming of the kingdom of God”, I wonder what would happen if the central theme of pastoral ministry followed suit. Pastoral ministry is often bogged down with mostly trivial but oftentimes tragic preoccupations. I think Jesus’ ministry, as outlined by Goheen in his “worldview story”, provides a unique template to recover a kingdom vision in pastoral ministry. Pastoral ministry, at its best, embodies the new way for the coming of kingdom that Jesus offered. Following Kung: it is “a way of love of enemies instead of their destruction, a way of unconditional forgiveness instead of retaliation, a way of readiness to suffer instead of using force, a way of blessing for peacemakers instead of hymns of hate and revenge.” I see three major threads of Jesus’ ministry that can be applied to pastoral ministry: kingdom proclamation, kingdom realism and kingdom power. I think that each of these threads can be applied in pastoral ministry to strengthen the centrality of the kingdom in the life of the church and to recover the central message of the gospel for today’s world. First, pastoral ministry must commit itself to the faithful proclamation of God’s word. Oftentimes, I think the central message of the evangelical church is crowded out by social, political and cultural concerns. The only antidote to this dilution of the message is to faithfully proclaim the Word of God. Expository sequential preaching should be the regular diet of the church. While it is true that pastoral ministry cannot be solely pulpit ministry, I think the church puts itself at great risk when pulpit ministry is not properly attended to. Second, pastoral ministry must adopt a kingdom realism that emphasizes the already-not-yet nature of the kingdom. One of the greatest dangers in pastoral ministry is to emphasize one side of the formulation to the detriment of the other. A pastoral approach that emphasizes the already but does not give adequate attention to the not yet runs the risk of devolving into a kind of health and wealth, prosperity gospel that promises present blessings and often leaves people feeling empty. A pastoral approach that emphasizes the not yet and puts aside the already devolves into a kind of insurance mindset where everyone is waiting on heaven and losing sight of the blessings of kingdom living now. Kingdom realism threads the needle between the already and the not-yet in a way that allows people to see the rich blessings of the Lord today while at the same waiting expectantly and confidently on the return of the Lord and the establishment of a new heaven and new earth; a restoration of what God intended our lives to be in the first place. Finally, pastoral ministry must draw on the same kingdom power that Jesus drew on to sustain and advance the mission of God. I was struck by Prof. Goheen’s identification of the power of Jesus in his unique life of prayer. Prayer is the single most important aspect of pastoral ministry. It is through prayer that our sermons, our counseling, our witness, our comforting become effective and powerful in the lives of the people. I think it is easy for prayer to become simply one of those routine tasks that we do in the course of ministry. Sometimes our prayers begin to sound the same. Cultivating a deep personal prayer life, praying constantly for and with our people, praying with fervor and confidence, I think, are essential facets of pastoral ministry that crystalize in a kingdom vision both in our own work as pastors but more importantly in the life of the church.
      1. What is the distinction between being a member vs follower? Thanks!
        1. That distinction is based on some older settings for Faithlife groups. I have updated this group and changed everyone to Followers. Being a Follower should provide access to anything in the group now.
      2. Hi everyone,  I've just purchased the course to run with a group at my church.  Very excited about the implications of this course for life and faith formation. Steve
        1. I think that would be great for a new members class too as well as what you are doing. I don't guess he has put together a package on this for sale? Are you using the program from your computer with HDMI connect to a screen or TV and just stopping and starting it and then discussing it?
        2. Well?
        3. yes Joe that's right HDMI to larger "group size" screen
      3. I purchased the updated version of The Drama of Scripture in the bundle...but the references in the course are not linked to it. This really isn't a good way to see what is being referenced in every link. I opened the book in a floating page and can find the references in some places. I am enjoying the course, but would enjoy it more if I could use my resources. Any ideas?
        1. , we have not added links to the second edition of The Drama of Scripture yet. It was only available after we had produced the course. We are planning on updating the course to include links to that version as well, but we don't have a specific time frame for that yet. In the course Dr. Goheen covers material in the same order as the book, so you might be able to just match up the course Unit titles with the chapter titles in the book.
        2. Thanks for your response...I have discovered the order easily goes along with the book. It's a great course.
        3. Has this reading list been updated yet?
      4. You will miss some good perspectives in the course without all the links. You will also miss the power of Logos search when you study or refer back in future study without the links. You of vourse will have to way the cost
        1. Because of the recent discussion of the value of purchasing the resources used in the reading links I uploaded a document listing all the resources linked to in the course and how often they are linked to. I hope you all find this helpful.
          1. , they are in the Logos Documents section: https://beta.faithlife.com/bi201/documents
          2. Thank you
          3. WE don't have access to the book Team Ministry Justin Dennison | Pacific Northwest | 1997 , how to fix that. It's a book for lecture in the course LD201
        2. I have a somewhat similar concern about the other recommended book by Tom Wright . I have recently purchased the Platinum upgrade as advised and thought that most of the material would be covered . I was wondering how essential it is to purchase this as a part of the course .
          1. Tom Wright Books.....I recommend them. I have the entire NTPG series and they are most helpful and informative.
          2. Hey Rich, I had a similar question earlier and one of the other people mentioned that the books were on Amazon. I have a kindle so I looked them up. I've only gotten to segment 5 in unit 1 and there is at least 3-4 books I didn't have. The books are way cheaper to buy for kindle but you won't have the ability to directly paste in notes, etc. Though you can still copy and paste into your logos notes if you want. It's not as streamlined but it is more cost effective.
          3. Thankyou that's useful I have yet to get going thoroughly on this course having only just done the first vid . The admin chap has put up a spreadsheet with all the amount of references for each suggested book and by far the most quoted is "drama of scripture" so for now I have bought that having just upgraded to the Baptist platinum package .I was rather hoping most if not all would be covered in this anyway c'est la vie!.
        3. I'm not even sure if anyone is still in this group. I just started going through this course today and wondered if anyone had an opinion on the book hyperlinked in the "See also" section at the end of the first unit. It's title "The Drama of Scripture" by: Bartholomew and Goheen. Is it worth buying? If so, why? I'm not doubting the author's validity to the subject, just wondering if I'm going to be lacking a great deal by not purchasing it.
          1. It is VERY expensive... may the Lord use it for His glory and the building up of His church!
          2. Yes. in my opinion, it is worth it.. Goheen almost teaches from that book! it is awesome to have the resource, even if you don't have any of the other optional reading. The Drama of Scripture: Finding our place in the Biblical story - is excellent reading. in fact, if I couldn't have or afford this class, that book would most definitely be in my library. I finished the class a week or so ago, and have started reading the book by itself. so many quotable's, and message inspirations...