In which there’s a shiny new gospel sharin’ system (p7)

by Craig on November 18, 2011


It’s a biblical way to share the gospel…
if it wasn’t it’d just be my own cleverly devised little plan…

Sometimes a way seems right,
but the end of it leads to death! (Prov 14:12)

So to share the gospel when there is time and relationship…

First show God’s love. (1 Cor 13)

Then ask questions (I have a list) and listen…
like Jesus did with the woman at the well and Nicodemus. (John 3 and 4)

Then write a gospel letter specifically tailored for them. (like Romans or Hebrews)


And composing this letter is the un-fun part.
It’s a little like writing a term paper.
Anybody really enjoy writing term papers?

The last time I wrote a research paper was in Seminary – in the 90’s.
So I googled and found this “term paper” site
steps A, B, C, etc. for writing a term paper.

First, I heart the way it clarifies a term.

“Research is…not simply to retrieve data, but to participate in a conversation about it.”

That makes me smile…
because that’s what the questions were all about…
that’s what Bible reading is all about.

Now, the first thing we’re supposed to do in writing a term paper: Choosing a topic – and these steps:

♥✞ღ “Close reading of the primary text” My primary text is my person’s answers to the questions…and it’s a “close”, not disinterested “reading”.

♥✞ღ “Growing awareness of interesting qualities within the primary text.” The letter has to be personal. So as I look through the answers, I look for “interesting qualities” – things that bind us together, things that may not necessarily be interesting to me – but are to my person.

♥✞ღ  “Asking productive questions that help explore and evaluate a topic.” ☑ Done that already.

♥✞ღ “a working thesis” That’s what I’ve called “finding where a person is at”. Like our Lord did with Nicodemus and the woman at the well.  For instance, my mom’s answers (which are here) showed me that she had kind of created her own religion, picking from Jewish, Christian, and New Age stuff. That was my “working thesis”. I knew then that I had to get the gospel of the Bible across this divide. That’s why the design of the questions is so important, because the answers to the questions will give us the point to bridge to. (meh – ended a sentence with a preposition – bad!)

Now, I know this is a little bit dry and academic. But writing this letter is really is like doing a term paper.


I mean, at this point you could stop reading me, and go get a term paper book, and figure out your own system. (or maybe pretend I didn’t say that last part ツ )

To create this letter takes spoonfuls of prayer and thought and creativity…


a smidge of “dry” and “academic”.

So unless you jump up and down in the comment section…
and scream, “No more of this!”…

I’ll take that as implicit permission to move right along to the next step, which is…

“…identify what qualities in the primary source pique your imagination and curiosity, and send you on a search for answers.”

*fighting the overwhelming desire to say “class dismissed.” *

there is more…

please come back.

{ 6 comments… read them below or add one }

A. November 18, 2011 at 12:40 pm

the thunder of students pushing and shoving to get to the next class…..:)

(smiling at ‘class dismissed).

“Love…listen…letter” I like that. Bunches. Bunny Bunches.


Craig November 18, 2011 at 1:47 pm

Well not a thunder – but I heart every And there was so much about term papers and “instruction” I really did feel like saying that at the end ツ Thank you A. as always, thank you. But remember – between you and me – and Debbie – I have bunny issues ツ


Martha Orlando November 18, 2011 at 2:11 pm

Your marvelous sense of humor is in full swing today! And, having been a teacher for years, I certainly can appreciate the term paper terminology. :)
I will be back, Craig, but not for a few days. My husband and I will be vacationing where we will have no internet access. I’m actually looking forward to that . . . reading an actual book held in my hands . . . such a “novel” idea.
Okay, I couldn’t help myself!
Blessings to you always!


Craig November 20, 2011 at 5:59 am

Martha, you may be gone as they type this to you, if you aren’t yet, I hope you have a refreshing time with your husband – it’s good to disconnect from the Internets – I haven’t done it for a year – so if you haven’t yet, I’m glad you’re doing it, if you’re reading this after you have returned – I hope it was good, and the book with actual pages was a good thing to bury yourself into – and shame on you for the pun – Ben Franklin said that the pun is the lowest form of humor – still, it made be smile, I heart puns. God bless you my friend.


Layla Payton November 19, 2011 at 9:48 pm

Not gonna lie, kinda zoned out for a sec. LOL It’s the weekend…no school. 😉

But seriously, I love having this lesson to go to (ending in a preposition). Meh!

P.S. Calvin & Hobbs rock!


Craig November 20, 2011 at 5:56 am

and Calvin and Hobbes do rock! And shame on you for ending a sentence in a preposition! God bless you my friend.


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