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Introducing "Means of Grace," A New Blog Series!

Means of Grace

This post will be the first of what we hope to be a recurring series, where we share links and other useful information related to teaching and preaching here at Grace. I’ve decided to call this recurring feature “Means of Grace.” As it’s an extension of our teaching ministry at Grace, and since teaching and preaching are called by theologians “means of grace” for believers, I figured that it fits!

Chiasm/“Ring Construction” in Noah’s Flood Account

Yesterday in my sermon, I mentioned how the whole Flood account is arranged as a “chiasm.” Some use terms like “ring construction” to refer to the same arrangement. Basically, in a chiasm, the beginning of the structure is “mirrored” or reflected in some way by the end, the next part of the structure is reflected by the second-to-last part, and so on.

Here’s a user-friendly explanation of what chiasms are and how they are used.

Here’s a pretty neat explanation of how it works in Disney’s “Beauty and the Beast”—homeschooling families might find this a fun thing to talk about for Language Arts!

And for those who are curious as to how this relates to the Flood story, here’s Old Testament scholar Gordon Wenham’s breakdown of the arrangement of the Flood account.

COMA Sheet

The Youth just finished a brief survey of the “COMA” method of Bible study. COMA stands for Context, Observation, Meaning, and Application. Here is a two-sided reference sheet I did up that you can print (landscape, two-sided, flipped on short edge), cut in half, and stick in the flyleaf of your Bible:

COMA Bible Study Guide

The “Wicked Bible”

And that reminds me: when the Youth were looking at the importance of “Observation,” I used the infamous example of the “Wicked Bible” as an illustration of how important it is to make sure you actually read, carefully, what’s in the text. The editors or typesetters of this edition of the King James Bible, alas, did not. See if you can catch the problem:

The “Wicked Bible”

Where Did We Get Our Word “Cappuccino”?

And one more thing from Youth this week. Our discussion, as talks with Youth are prone to do, took a rather odd turn--this time, into discussing the use of relics in Catholicism. Along the way, I told them where the term “Cappuccino” came from. If you have a strong stomach (that’s my warning to the reader!!) here’s a morbidly fascinating article about where that term comes from.

God bless you all this week!

Jeff