Letter from America by Josh Moody: Simeon in the USA

A group of pastors gathered in Wheaton, outside Chicago, in May for a three-day course on Bible exposition.

Vaughan Roberts from Oxford and yours truly provided the instruction sessions and expositions for this course, but the real heart of this Simeon Trust workshop is the small group ministry that takes place. Dave Helm, head of the Simeon Trust in America, has provided a wonderful set of material and a framework which serves many pastors up and down the country to encourage them to preach the word faithfully.

We are called to ‘Stay on the Line’, that is say neither more nor less than what the Bible text says. To that end we are to discover the ‘Melodic Line’ of a book, and passage, its overarching theme, and the main point that binds the whole message together. We can do this by spotting repetitions, top and tail indications from the author of a book and passage concerning what he is trying to communicate.

Another helpful tool is ‘Bone and Marrow’, that is looking for the structure of a text. Because the Bible, unlike the Qur’an, is held to be both 100% divine and 100% human, it means that texts have structure, and this structure reveals emphasis. The tool ‘Travelling Instructions’ encourage us to make sure we establish historical context before we leap to application, so that our application is faithful to what God has said, and therefore the application is all the more acute and genuinely relevant. Finally, ‘Travelling through the Cross’ holds out the concept that the Bible is one book, and that it all speaks of Christ. We are to preach Christ if we are Christian preachers, and this tool helps us to do that in a way that is intrinsic to the text and not trite or simplistic.

These lectures, if the terminology is not exactly identical, will be familiar to EN readers, because they are built upon the training in exposition of Dick Lucas. The Proclamation Trust in England is a similar organisation to the Simeon Trust in America.

More about The Simeon Trust can be discovered at http://www.simeon.org

Josh Moody is the senior pastor of College Church, Wheaton, Illinois.

This article was first published in the June 2012 issue of Evangelicals Now. For more news, artciles or reviews, subscribe to EN or contact us for more information.
http://www.e-n.org.uk 0845 225 0057