Wednesday, April 9, 2008

The Discipline of Study


That's my big takeaway from this chapter of Celebration of Discipline by Richard J. Foster.

Although I was a decent student, I've always been lousy at studying. I think it's because studying is kind of a big-picture activity and I'm much too task-oriented for that. I'd much rather work on a project than study - and I feel like I learn much more that way, too.

That being said, I recognize the importance of study - especially when referring to studying the Bible.

So, here's a few highlights from this chapter:

Good feelings will not free us. Ecstatic expressions will not free us. Getting
"high on Jesus" will not free us. Without a knowledge of the truth, we will not
be free.

Four steps to study:
1. Repetition
2. Concentration
3. Comprehension
4. Reflection

Concentration is a hard one for me, and I know why:

We live in a culture that does not value concentration. Distraction is the order
of the day.

I love at the end of the chapter when Foster talks about studying what's going on around us. He calls this the study of nonverbal "books." He points out the importance of asking questions. Get ready for some that will make you think, if you're willing to take the time to really consider them.

Let's learn to ask questions. What are the assets and liabilities of a
technological society? What has the fast-food industry done to the tradition of
a family gathering for dinner? Why do we find it difficult in our culture to
have time to develop relationships? Is Western individualism beneficial or
destructive? What in our culture is in harmony with the gospel and what is at
odds with it?

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