As some say, “education gets in the way of learning.” Although this is not entirely true, since I must attribute much of what I have learned to my formal education, there is definitely much validity to this statement. I have found that some of my greatest learning experiences occur during the summer months. No longer am I told to study or do assignments on topics that are too basic and aren’t pushing me hard enough or are on topics I’ve studied previously and am therefore not learning much in studying them at an introductory level. Come the summer months I can hone in on topics that are weaknesses or vacancies in “my arsenal.” Again, I owe a ton of what I have learned to my professors, but as I like to say, if you can read you aren’t limited to living teaches. And with that, the dead teachers tend to be the best ones. Needless to say, I look forward to my Summer studies.
Now of course this Summer I will be working as much as possible to make money to pay for Seminary and continue my formal education. And so these goals might be harder to accomplish then I may realize. Either way, it’s good to set goals and I will do my best to accomplish them. Better to set too high of goals and not accomplish them all then to set too low of goals and not accomplish your best, I say.
So here are my goals for this Summer regarding my studies of God’s word.
- To continue working through Philippians with my youth group. (We are on track to finish the book sometime in the beginning of the Summer. Beyond that, I have not decided what we will be studying next.)
- To read through the Old Testament.
- This isn’t really “studying,” but to place a special emphasis on the discipline of prayer, specifically in praying for my fellow church members and the salvation of others that I know.
- To translate and do an exegetical study through the book of Romans. I will work through the book very slowly and I expect not to get all the way through it. Alongside my own work I plan to read the following commentators–Douglas Moo (NICNT–new), Thomas Schreiner (Baker), John Murray (NICNT–old), Leon Morris (Pillar), and Robert Mounce (NAC)–as well as various theological journal articles on more minute issues.
- Finally, I have compiled a list of various books that I would like to read. I plan to read as many as I can, but my list is longer than what is humanly possible to read. Here is a glimpse at it though. I decided to start off with one “popular” book (since I don’t read enough of these)–Explicit Gospel by Matt Chandler. Then I plan to read the most renown treatise on limited/definite/decisive/particular atonement ever written, The Death of Death in the Death of Christ by John Owen. After that I plan on reading various books concerning hermeneutical issues and the growing dialogue between various theological systems. In short, I plan to read a lot of stuff written on Progressive Dispensationalism (to continue my study there) and Historic Premillenialism (namely, George Ladd). I would also like to read some stuff on New Covenant Theology (namely, Tom Wells and Fred Zaspel), The End of the Law by Jason Meyer, Continuity and Discontinuity by John Feinberg, various theological journal articles on the Church’s place in the program of God and the Church’s relationship to the Biblical covenants, etc. etc. etc.
My list is huge. I surely won’t accomplish it all. But it sure is exciting!
I will do my best to study as much of this stuff as I can. Of course, Ann deserves a lot of my attention too this Summer. Our schedule, especially during the school year, makes spending quality time together extremely difficult. And she has been very understanding of that. But, spending time with her this Summer will be a very significant and needed priority.
I hope my list has given you some motivation to do some studying of your own this summer and has given you some ideas of what that study should entail.