On Target Hermeneutics : Delighting Grace Interviews Matt Rogers and Donny Mathis

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You got to love being a subscriber of David C. Cook free e-books. Not only do they fill your Kindle app but they sometimes gives out great books. One of them is Seven Arrows to which I was intrigue to what this book is all about. As I check the content, the book is about hermeneutics, the proper interpretation of Scripture. Finding it very useful for the church, I set to find the author and give it a proper promotion here. So I connected with Matt Rogers and Donny Mathis, authors of Seven Arrows to talk about hermeneutics and much more:
Delighting Grace: What is hermeneutics and why is it important?
Matt Rogers: Hermeneutics is quite simply the technique of interpretation. We employ these techniques in every day life as we try to understand what people are saying to us in conversations or in the emails that we read. If understanding a conversation or an email is important to us, then understanding what the Holy Spirit inspired authors are trying to teach us should be even more important! Evangelical Christians claim that the Bible is inerrant and infallible, meaning that everything that it claims with regard to matters of fact and matters of truth are, in fact, true, but the pathway to understanding and knowing those claims begins with a proper method for interpreting the inspired text.

In 2 Timothy 3:15, Paul exhorts Timothy to study to present himself to God as an approved worker, who rightly interprets the word of truth. While this exhortation was made specifically to Timothy, I believe that every Christian, because we have all received God’s Spirit, is called to the same task of seeking understand what God is teaching through his word so that we can receive it, believe it, and live it for his glory. In writing Seven Arrows, we want to give our brothers and sisters in Christ some simple, practical tools to make their reading of Scripture more enjoyable, fruitful, and life-changing.
Delighting Grace: People might say that hermeneutics is not for me, that’s for pastor or theologians only, what is your response to that line?
Donny Mathis: The idea that “normal Christians” are not supposed to concern themselves with matters of theology or hermeneutics seems to be a gesture towards humility. It appears that most people are trying to say that deep matters of theology and of the Bible are for the professional, trained pastors and not the common man or woman. We certainly recognize that there is an important place for godly, trained theologians and pastors to aid the church in discerning matters of theology or biblical interpretation. Their role, while important, need not render the rest of the church passive, however.
The irony of this claim is that while it seeks to demonstrate humility it is, in fact, impossible. Anytime anyone reads the Bible they are doing hermeneutics. Anytime anyone speaks about God they are doing theology. Sadly, they may be practicing inadequate hermeneutics or espousing foolish theology, but they are doing these things nonetheless. Since we cannot read the Bible without seeking to understand its meaning (hermeneutics) or talk about God without some theological underpinnings, it would make sense for us to want to do these things well.
This is our task in writing Seven Arrows. Since people are going to be reading the Bible (we hope) and seeking to understand and apply its meaning (again, we hope), then we want to aid them in doing this well. Without a clear plan for properly reading the Bible it is easy for our good intentions at spiritual disciplines to either discourage us because we don’t understand what we are reading or lead us into inadequate or false theology because we misunderstand what we are reading.
Delighting Grace: There are lots of Study Bibles out there and of course Matthew Henry’s commentary is in the public domain so why do I have to know the proper interpretations when I can get them from those Christian giants?
Donny Mathis: While we as a Christians should be thankful for all of these resources that are available to us in this digital age, they are not a substitute for each of us reading and seeking to understand the inspired text ourselves. First, the only text with no errors is the Bible. No matter how helpful the study notes in our Bible are or the commentary that Matthew Henry gives can be, they all have mistakes! And, we will all make mistakes because we are not perfect either. I am, however, confident that the same Holy Spirit who inspired the Scriptures will bless our efforts to understand the Bible with more depth and clarity by making the truth contained in the Scriptures come alive for us.
Delighting Grace: When certain passages in the Bible are interpreted properly, is there an instance that there is no practical applications? How do we deal on those verses or chapters?
Matt Rogers: The whole of the Scriptures are written to help us see, understand, know, and worship the one God, revealed in the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. For this reason, each passage of the Scriptures is going to play some role in pointing us to that end. Clearly, there are some passages of Scripture that may not have a clear application – meaning the passage does not come right out and say; “now you should go and do this or that.” But simply because a passage does not make the application clear does not mean that it is void of application entirely.
Take the first chapter of the book of Matthew for example. The vast majority of this passage is a list of names and hard to pronounce names at that. What do we make of this text? We know, by virtue of Paul’s claim in 2 Timothy 3:16 that this text is God-breathed and is profitable for teaching, reproof, correction, and training in righteousness. This is true even though the text does not make the application immediately apparent.
This is where the Seven Arrows helps tremendously. If I simply read that text and said, “What do I do?” I’d likely be confused and assume that the passage was irrelevant. But if I ask the preceding four questions then I would know that the passage is written to connect Jesus birth with the promise made to the nation of Israel in the Old Testament – namely that there would be a man who would one day sit on the throne of David who would fulfill God’s promises to Abraham by defeating Satan, sin and death. The application then is clear – I should worship a God who keeps His promises to His people and trust that Jesus is the very Son of God.
Delighting Grace: Among Christians what do you think is the most misinterpreted passage in Scripture?
Donny Mathis: Wow. I am not sure how to answer this question. Many passages in the Bible are consistently misunderstood because we do not take the time to figure out how the author is using the passage in his larger argument or whether he is writing in a literal way or figurative way like you would do in a poem. I guess the passage where the misunderstanding frustrates me the most in Philippians 4:13. In this verse Paul explains that he can do all things through him (Christ) who strengthens me. At least in America, this verse has become a kind of mantra to be repeated so that you can do things that you would not ordinarily be able to accomplish, but in the context of the passage, Paul is not presenting a mantra that will help someone accomplish a superhuman task. He is explaining that he has learned through the hardships and blessings that he has received to be content in every situation because he knows that God has a plan and is teaching him through times where he has abundance and through times where he has very little. In the end, Christ strengthens Paul for every step in his journey to fulfill the calling that God has placed upon his life, and Christ will do the same for us.
Delighting Grace: What is that verse and chapter in the Bible that truly bless you when applied hermeneutics and you got that “Eureka!” moment.
Donny Mathis: One of the GREAT things about the Bible and about having a strong technique for reading it and applying is that those “Eureka!” moments happen almost every day, and the next one is often better than the last because we are continually being stunned by God’s grace and goodness to us. So, this question is REALLY difficult to answer. Let me give just one example.
A few years ago, I was studying the best way to interpret the parables of Jesus and learned that these stories were generally constructed to teach one main point and were not allegories where every line had some type of secret meaning. (I learned these principles in A Basic Guide to Interpreting the Bible by Robert Stein.) So, like most good stories what happens at the end is EXTREMELY important for understanding the point that Jesus was making. This fact became stunning to me when I realized that the Parable of the Prodigal Son (Luke 15:11-32) ended with a confrontation between the gracious Father and the older son who refused to go into the party that the Father was throwing because his younger son was dead and is now alive and was lost and is now found. The way that the parable ends with the older son standing outside of the party meant that the main point of the story was not the forgiveness that the younger son had received from the father. This fact caused me to read the whole chapter all over again, and I realized that all of the parables in this chapter were directed towards Pharisees, tax collectors, and sinners and that they built on one another. Each of the parables demonstrates the rejoicing of heaven that takes place when a sinner repents, but the central point of the final parable is directed towards those who despise the fact that God is gracious to sinners. In the end, the Parable of the Prodigal Son is both a rebuke and an open-ended invitation to the Pharisees and scribes (and to all others like them). As a result, the prodigal was not the son that I had always thought that it was!
Delighting Grace: Tell us about your book Seven Arrows. What is it all about and the processes of writing it. Hows you’re team up with Donny Mathis?
Matt Rogers: I remember listening to a preacher teach a familiar passage on the radio while sitting in my green Ford Ranger pickup in the parking lot at Furman University. I had read the text numerous times since my conversion due to my seemingly insatiable hunger for God’s word. Yet, hearing this skilled pastor proclaim the Scriptures faithfully brought out a depth of meaning and beauty that I failed to see when reading the Bible alone.
Honestly, I was stunned and frustrated. Why hadn’t I seen that? What was he doing that allowed him to notice nuances and complexities of the Scripture that I did not? Would it require a seminary degree, perhaps even a PhD, to be able to read the Bible, understand its meaning, and apply it to my life?

Now, as a pastor of a local church who writes and preaches regularly, I hear people ask me that question. They share how the word has challenged, convicted, and spurred them on to spiritual maturity. And for that I am thankful.

I am also scared. I am afraid that I may subtly create a chasm between the average member of the church that I serve and me. I am frightened that they may depend on me for too much. I am scared that this may produce passivity in them, thinking that somehow I am doing something that they will never be able to do for themselves. And, I am convicted that my God-given role is to equip God’s saints for the work of the ministry, which most certainly means that I have a responsibility to teach them to feast on God’s word for themselves (Eph 4:11-16). What they do with their Bible will shape the trajectory of their lives.

Lifeway Research has found “reading the Bible is the best predictor for spiritual maturity.” Ed Stetzer writes:

“Perhaps what evangelicals need most right now is a strategy for biblical literacy. We need to reengage the biblical narrative and immerse ourselves in consistent (or daily, if that’s your thing) study. It will help us be more gracious and winsome in the way we communicate. It will help us have a clearer view on controversial issues. It will help us to understand and communicate a clear gospel as laid out in the Scriptures — a gospel of the cross and of the Kingdom. The Word of God is essential to where we are right now.”

 This reality became clear for me during the first year following the planting of a church in Greenville, South Carolina in 2010. God saved a young man in our congregation, and he was filled with questions. Like most new Christians, he wanted to know God deeply and asked me to help him. We met over breakfast once a week and talked about life and faith. Each question led to another series of questions and a quest deeper into God’s word.

His passion was great for the 90 minutes or so that we were together each week. But what was he doing for the rest of the week? I knew that he was reading his Bible, but I also knew that he did not have a plan. He did not know where to start, what to read, or what to do while he was reading. This led to mounting confusion and doubt on his part.
I knew that I had to develop a plan to help him read his Bible effectively. But this could not be just any plan. It could not be overly academic. My friend, while filled with spiritual vitality, was not a theology student. He’d never read the Bible before on his own, much less heard the word “hermeneutics.” If I gave him a thick book of theological “do’s and don’ts,” I knew that it would only heighten his insecurities with God’s word.
I also did not want to give him some other author’s reflections on the Bible. Don’t get me wrong. Devotional guides are necessary and helpful tools for the church. However, my friend needed to start with the Bible rather than training himself to depend on someone else to do the work for him. If I simply handed him another devotional guide I would be doing the same thing that I wanted to avoid in my preaching – I would be teaching him to depend on a middleman to help him read the Bible.

Finally, I wanted to avoid giving my friend something overly simplistic. I knew there were Bible reading methods available, but I could not find one that would actually give them a map for reading that could be used with any passage of Scripture. Sure, they could note things they observed about a Bible passage and how that passage affected their lives, but I wanted him to be able to dig deeper for himself – to not simply scratch the surface but to be able to mine the gem that is God’s word. I also wanted my friend and those who would come after him to have an ordered plan so that they would not just be asking random questions about the Bible but asking good questions and asking them in the right order. This type of tool would allow him to study the Bible on his own for the rest of his life.

I doodled on a dinner napkin the questions I ask when reading a passage of Scripture, and I used directional arrows to illustrate my meaning. Little forethought went into the doodle other than years of personal Bible reading and reflection. I never intended these simple doodles to go beyond than that breakfast table. But they have. Disciples of Jesus are hungry for simple, practical tools to aid them in knowing God and making him known. I have watched disciple-makers in our church use these Arrows to help a new believer grow in faith and understanding. I have watched teenagers read the Bible for themselves and unearth deep and profound truths of God’s word. I have watched missionaries in other countries translate and use these Arrows to aid in mission to unreached parts of the world for the first time. I have seen other churches take these Arrows and use them to shape a disciple-making culture in their church, proving that it is possible for normal church members to be faithful in the tasks of studying the Bible and disciple-making.

This book is an effort to illuminate the path that the Arrows provide.
The answers to these questions often prompt lengthy, academic resources that are seemingly inaccessible to the modern Bible reader. That doesn’t have to be the case though. I have watched our congregation, The Church at Cherrydale in Greenville, South Carolina, grow under the teaching of men like Dr. Donny Mathis. We have worked diligently to take the simple Arrows that I developed and teach our congregation to be effective Bible-readers.
We pray that the fruit of our labor will produce an army of God’s people who will be unleashed on a disciple-making mission, which will lead to awestruck, life-encompassing worship as they are transformed by God’s word.”
Delighting Grace: Wow thank you Matt. Please invite our readers to check your book, blog and social media accounts.
Matt Rogers: I co-wrote a book titled “Seven Arrows: Aiming Bible Readers in the Right Direction”, with Donny Mathis, which is available on Amazon in print and Kindle format.

I also write for a number of evangelical organizations throughout North America and maintains a blog at http://www.equiptogrow.com. You can also follow on Twitter @MattRogers_. You can follow Donny on Twitter @dmathisii and read posts that Donny makes at http://www.equiptogrow.com as well.

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Marianito “Nitoy” Gonzales is a 30 something blogger who wears many hats. But his passion is to preach the gospel and make God know to all men. He blogs at Delighting Grace (https://delightinggrace.wordpress.com). You can reach him on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Tumblr.

Book Review: Not By Sight by Jon Bloom

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I have been following the Desiring God blog for years now and all I can say that this is one amazing blog. You can read astounding articles in a regular basis which is truly great. Their blogging team is superb. But as you can see, many of us doesnt seem to look forward to articles on Desiring God not written by John Piper. Well I enjoy Tony Reinke’s article however John Piper is always a must read. But that changed when I checked Jon Bloom’s book “Not by Sight”. It was published by OMFLIt here in the Philippines and was launch last September at the Manila International Book Fair however I wasnt interested on the book. Yet recently, I gave ‘Not by Sight” a try and I wasnt disappointed with it.
Every chapter (or devotional entry if you want call it that way) of “Not By Sight” contains a biographic sketch and the biblical lesson. The bio sketch are bite size historical fiction that unveals the essential background of every character. The lesson are brief yet powerful to focus you to the all sufficient God. The bio sketch and the lesson are like two diamonds that are glittering in this book. Both can stand alone but the chapter shines brightest because of these well written parts. This proves that you dont need alot of words to have a spiritual banquet. You can feast on the goodness of God in every short chapter of Jon Bloom’s book.

If you’re using this as part of your morning devotional, you’ll definately look forward every morning for the entries. Wake up to meet James, Joseph, Peter, Martha and the other biblical characters as they walk in faith in different situations that you and I faces.

Notable quotes:
“God will not spare us from all awkward and painful decisions. Neither will he spare us from all wrong decisions resulting from our fallen finiteness, even if they are made in the integrity of our hearts. God has his purposes in all of these. But what we can trust him to do is faithfully give us the correction and guidance we need at the time he deems right.”
“Trusting in Jesus and his word over our perceptions is difficult to learn. That’s why the Lord takes us through so many different faith-testing, faith-building experiences.And when he does, it is never for just our own benefit. He’s displaying his power so others’ faith will be strengthened too.”
“So when you find yourself suddenly moving in a direction you had not planned, take heart; the Great Planner has something much better in mind for you and countless others.”
“God will not spare us from all awkward and painful decisions. Neither will he spare us from all wrong decisions resulting from our fallen finiteness, even if they are made in the integrity of our hearts. God has his purposes in all of these. But what we can trust him to do is faithfully give us the correction and guidance we need at the time he deems right.”
“When the storms of life hit, they almost always appear stronger to us than God’s Word. It is crucial for us to remember that our perceptions can be deceptive. When circumstances strike fear into our hearts, the question we must ask ourselves is, where is your faith?What God wants is for you to trust what he says over what you see.”
Uplifting and encouraging, “Not By Sight” is a must read for every believer. Powerful for those who are going through rough times. Insightful for those who just need some reminder that God is there for them. Get “Not by Sight” at your nearest Christian bookstores or download the PDF format here for free: http://bit.ly/1C8olo2.

The Greatest Need of Man Answered and Settled by God Part 8

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Praise is due to you,a O God, in Zion,
and to you shall vows be performed.

O you who hear prayer,
to you shall all flesh come.

When iniquities prevail against me,
you atone for our transgressions.

Blessed is the one you choose and bring near,
to dwell in your courts!
We shall be satisfied with the goodness of your house,
the holiness of your temple!

By awesome deeds you answer us with righteousness,
O God of our salvation,
the hope of all the ends of the earth
and of the farthest seas;

the one who by his strength established the mountains,
being girded with might;

who stills the roaring of the seas,
the roaring of their waves,
the tumult of the peoples,

so that those who dwell at the ends of the earth are in awe at your signs.
You make the going out of the morning and the evening to shout for joy.

You visit the earth and water it;
you greatly enrich it;
the river of God is full of water;
you provide their grain,
for so you have prepared it.

You water its furrows abundantly,
settling its ridges,
softening it with showers,
and blessing its growth.

You crown the year with your bounty;
your wagon tracks overflow with abundance.

The pastures of the wilderness overflow,
the hills gird themselves with joy,

the meadows clothe themselves with flocks,
the valleys deck themselves with grain,
they shout and sing together for joy.
–Psalms 65:1-13

God’s Credibility
Our last in the list of things that makes God credible in answering the ultimate need of man is that He is the enricher.
Enricher
You visit the earth and water it;
you greatly enrich it;
the river of God is full of water;
you provide their grain,
for so you have prepared it. (v. 9)

You crown the year with your bounty;
your wagon tracks overflow with abundance. (v.11)

Meditating on these 2 verses, a word came up in mind. The word sustainability. I encounter this word in projects specifically in food security. One organization propose a project that could help provide food for the people. They may lay a good plan on how, where and when will they do this program. However, laying a good plan, starting the project and intially seeing that they are already providing the service they envision isnt good enough. The project needs to have a vision that they can sustain this project in the long run. They need sustainability to ensure that the project will last. Thats what God did. He sustains what He already gave us.
In His goodness He adds that He enriches. Continuous and consistent are the traits He want to say about Himself in these verses. If He can do it in providing these earthly need to man, how much more can He do to what He already provided us namely prayer and salvation. Isnt He the author and finisher of our faith (He. 12:2)? Isnt He the one who sustains us in our duty in prayer (Romans 8: 26)? What more can we do but go down to our knees and thank Him for this blessed goodness to us!

The Greatest Need of Man Answered and Settled by God Part 7

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Praise is due to you,a O God, in Zion,
and to you shall vows be performed.

O you who hear prayer,
to you shall all flesh come.

When iniquities prevail against me,
you atone for our transgressions.

Blessed is the one you choose and bring near,
to dwell in your courts!
We shall be satisfied with the goodness of your house,
the holiness of your temple!

By awesome deeds you answer us with righteousness,
O God of our salvation,
the hope of all the ends of the earth
and of the farthest seas;

the one who by his strength established the mountains,
being girded with might;

who stills the roaring of the seas,
the roaring of their waves,
the tumult of the peoples,

so that those who dwell at the ends of the earth are in awe at your signs.
You make the going out of the morning and the evening to shout for joy.

You visit the earth and water it;
you greatly enrich it;
the river of God is full of water;
you provide their grain,
for so you have prepared it.

You water its furrows abundantly,
settling its ridges,
softening it with showers,
and blessing its growth.

You crown the year with your bounty;
your wagon tracks overflow with abundance.

The pastures of the wilderness overflow,
the hills gird themselves with joy,

the meadows clothe themselves with flocks,
the valleys deck themselves with grain,
they shout and sing together for joy.
–Psalms 65:1-13

God’s Credibility
Last week we started God’s credibility on why we should trust Him the answer to our ultimate need. Here are two more:
Provider
you provide their grain,
for so you have prepared it. (v. 9)
Knowing God is powerful, we should acknowledge what He is capable of. Mere words is not enough to convince He is powerful. However by His awesome display of it we can see he is indeed credible. He is a provider. As we check verse 9 of chapter 65, we can see He provide grain. A simple search in the Bible yields that He is not just bound in providing grain or food for man. He provided everything we can set our eyes on. He provide it in some instances, more intimate. He provides it like a father to his son (Luke 11:9-13). If God can provide those basic need, how much more is the essential need of man that He can give.
Faithful
You crown the year with your bounty;
your wagon tracks overflow with abundance. (v.11)

Year after year He does it unwavering. He is truly faithful. Man may change but God maintains His consistancy. His name is on the line. If He becames unfaithful, He goes down to the level of a mere man that tumbles over his promises. He is faithful and we should be thankful for it. God is faithful to His elect (1 Cor. 1: 9 and 1 Th. 5:24).

The Greatest Need of Man Answered and Settled by God Part 7

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Praise is due to you,a O God, in Zion,

and to you shall vows be performed.

 

O you who hear prayer,

to you shall all flesh come.

 

When iniquities prevail against me,

you atone for our transgressions.

 

Blessed is the one you choose and bring near,

to dwell in your courts!

We shall be satisfied with the goodness of your house,

the holiness of your temple!

 

By awesome deeds you answer us with righteousness,

O God of our salvation,

the hope of all the ends of the earth

and of the farthest seas;

 

the one who by his strength established the mountains,

being girded with might;

 

who stills the roaring of the seas,

the roaring of their waves,

the tumult of the peoples,

 

so that those who dwell at the ends of the earth are in awe at your signs.

You make the going out of the morning and the evening to shout for joy.

 

You visit the earth and water it;

you greatly enrich it;

the river of God is full of water;

you provide their grain,

for so you have prepared it.

 

You water its furrows abundantly,

settling its ridges,

softening it with showers,

and blessing its growth.

 

You crown the year with your bounty;

your wagon tracks overflow with abundance.

 

The pastures of the wilderness overflow,

the hills gird themselves with joy,

 

the meadows clothe themselves with flocks,

the valleys deck themselves with grain,

they shout and sing together for joy.

–Psalms 65:1-13

God’s Credibility

If you are familiar with Greek mythology, you can see all sorts of gods depicted in their literature. These gods have different powers that enable them to defeat enemies. However, these gods, like humans that created them, has certain limitations. And surprisingly, these Greek gods can be outsmarted by mortals. With that kind of god, being powerful has limits. Yet the God of the Bible is far beyond what the human mind can conceive. But because of His goodness, He let us grasp us some aspects of Him being God through the Scriptures. As we wind down to a few installments of our study, we already studied the two things God answered to man’s greatest need. Then we turned to the satisfaction that these truths bring. This week and two succeeding weeks, we shall focus on the five things why we should trust God. As we read the middle and later part of Psalms 65, we can see the first two of God’s credibility:

  1. Far Reaching

 

By awesome deeds you answer us with righteousness,

O God of our salvation,

the hope of all the ends of the earth

and of the farthest seas; (v.5)

 

so that those who dwell at the ends of the earth are in awe at your signs.

You make the going out of the morning and the evening to shout for joy.(v.8)

 

As we read verses 5 and 8, we can see God as being the hope, reaches at the very ends of earth. Turning to Psalms 103: 11-12, “His love is as high as the heavens are above earth” and “as far as the east from the west, so far does he remove our transgression from us”. Those description means that God is limitless to reach each and every one to display His goodness and mercy. God is not bound geographically, that His saving powered is concentrated in Jerusalem. Going back to the verses 5 and 8, we see that His far reaching capabilities is extended to the farthest part of earth.

 

 

  1. Powerful

the one who by his strength established the mountains,

being girded with might;

 

who stills the roaring of the seas,

the roaring of their waves,

the tumult of the peoples, (vs. 6 & 7)

Knowing already that God is far reaching, it won’t be hard for us to accept that He is powerful.  Not only does He “by his strength established the mountains…” or “who stills the roaring of the seas”, according to Psalms 104: 5 He is the one who “set the earth on its foundation”. That is why there is no excuse to trust God in what He gave us. The two greatest need of man from a far reaching and powerful God! May we give glory to Him day by day!

Book Review: Sa Puso at Diwa by Elizabeth Sonto-Mendoza

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Another one of those Achilles’ Heels book review, “Sa Puso at Diwa” is a kinder curriculum published by CLC Philippines. This is out of the usual books CLC publishes but as far as I can tell this is one great curriculum. Mendoza is a veteran in writing textbooks with a Christian view so expect that she knows what children should learn and what teachers should teach.
Using methods like reading, writing and singing, “Sa Puso at Diwa” lets you learn different subjects like English, Math, Filipino and Values. The lesson is easy to be taught and easy to be graps. If the content is polish then the over all design of the book is commendable. Although Mendoza should have put some more biblical stuff, she left some crumbs to compliment the nationalistic side of the book.
Both teachers and student will benefit from this curriculum. The essential stuff that kinder level children is presented in this book. Schools should not look further. Here is a kinder curriculum that will be of great use to shape the minds of the students.

Book Review: Willmington’s Guide to the Bible by Dr. Harold L. Willmington

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I have to admit there are two of Achilles’ heels when doing a review. One is big bulky books and two reference books. A big bulky book overwhelms me and a reference book makes me unworthy to review such category. Now here comes my greatest fear. One book has both of my weakness. Nevertheless, I will face my fears and give my opinion on this book.

“Willmington’s Guide to the Bible” is a colossal book that claims to be “all in one Bible resource”. Well it is and it should be considering the size of this book. This volume boast 8 books in one.

This reference tool is not a Study Bible meaning it doesn’t include the actual Bible. So you have on one hand on a Bible and the other one the “Willmington’s Guide to the Bible” (and I hope it won’t break your bones). With its bulkiness, you might ask yourself, when was the last time you used a hefty volume like this? It would be nice if this book comes with a CD version so it can be use over a PC. Maybe the size does overwhelm the user but one should not. Aside from the typical content of any reference books about the Bible, this book sure does give you much more. You might just stick with some online and free study Bible, but I tell you the “Willmington’s Guide to the Bible” has its own content you won’t find online. Also it is worth noting, this reference book covers some controversial issues (Calvinism and Arminianism, young earth creationism and old earth creationism etc.,) with a fair and balance look.

Dr. Harold L. Willmington did give us a dream book that carries the essentials in studying the Scriptures. Good for personal study and preachers preparing a sermon, “Willmington’s Guide to the Bible” will add some superb background. Get this excellent reference book at CLC Philippines.