Just to clear it up for anyone who might be a little confused, here is what you should be doing if you are taking part in the plan…
1. Ensure you have signed up by emailing email@example.com .
2. You buy or download the book D.A. Carson’s “For The Love Of God” Vol 1.
3. Find the page in the Carson book corresponding to today’s date.
4. There are four bible chapters listed at the top of the page. Pray, then read the FIRST TWO readings only.
5. Read Carson’s reflection for this date.
6. Do this every day until Dec 31st, 2011.
Here are some Frequently Asked Questions. Well, when I say frequently, I mean they probably will be unless I answer them now…
WHERE ELSE CAN I READ THE CARSON NOTES?
You can also read Carson’s reflections at his blog, if you don’t have the book yet, as this might be more convenient to navigate than the PDF. This is exactly the same text that is in the book.
WHY ARE THERE FOUR PASSAGES IN THE CARSON BOOK?
It’s from the Robert Murray M’Cheyne reading plan, which is a bible in ONE year plan. M’Cheyne intended two “secret” readings, and two “family” readings, which is fantastic if you are able to try that! But if you’re following the adapted Carson plan, you DO NOT read all four passages UNLESS you want to complete the plan in ONE year instead of two. It is the latter we are doing.
WHICH OF THE FOUR PASSAGES DOES CARSON COMMENT ON?
Carson’s reflection will almost exclusively focus on the first two readings in Volume 1, which we are doing this year. Volume 2, you’ve guessed it, comments on the second two readings. In fact, Carson usually only comments on one or other of the passages.
WHICH IS MORE IMPORTANT – BIBLE OR CARSON?
You’re kidding, right? If you are short of time one day, read the bible passage and drop the Carson notes. But remember that it’s easier to misunderstand the text without any kind of supporting teaching.
IS THERE ANYTHING ELSE I SHOULD BE DOING?
If you have the time, you will benefit from taking notes, writing your thoughts, reading study-bible notes, underlining passages, praying “through” the reading, discussing the passage with others in the group either in person, via email, or via the blog comments section which is primarily for that purpose. At least some of this is strongly encouraged, but none of it is mandatory.
SO WHY DID I HAVE TO SIGN UP? WHY NOT JUST DO IT MYSELF?
Being signed up to the plan means that you will receive blog updates via email for the main blog posts (once I get this automated!) We have 60 people starting this plan. It would be great to hear from all of you at some point, to know that you’re still with us!
I POSTED A COMMENT BUT I CAN’T SEE IT!
Posted comments on the blog will not appear automatically. They have to be approved by a moderator first. (so far, that’s me, but Isabel has signed up to help with that too).This is to ensure discussions stay on topic. If you are not a member of the group, your comment may not be posted unless it is deemed pertinent to the discussions. But all comments will be read by myself.
WHAT HAPPENS IF I FALL BEHIND?
If you fall behind, read the notes/bible chapters consecutively UNTIL we reach a new book. You’ll know we’ve reached a new book because there will be an email and blog post introducing the next book with an overview. At that point, you take note of the chapters you’ve not read, and skip forward to the current date for BOTH readings. You then schedule a catch up appointment in your diary sometime in the next few weeks!
I’M STRUGGLING TO FIND TIME. WHAT CAN I DO?
I’m happy to chat to you about it over email if you like. Or you can ask for suggestions from others via the blog. There are tips here. The key thing to remember is that you’re very probably going to have to give up something else to make room. It’s ultimately a question of priorities, and there’s no getting away from that.
I’M NOT FROM ST SILAS’ CHURCH. CAN I JOIN IN?
If you’re not part of the St Silas’ community (past or present) but are still involved, when you sign up, it would be good to have a bit of information about who you are. The aim of this project is to build a community of believers as we do it.
I ONLY JUST FOUND OUT ABOUT THIS. CAN I STILL JOIN?
You can still sign up and join us throughout the year. Obviously it makes more sense to have started at the beginning, but we won’t quibble if it helps you to read your bible!
DO I REALLY HAVE TO READ GENEALOGIES?
Yes. But not out loud… We’ll try to examine their relevance when we get to them. With a bit of contextual awareness, the meaning and value of the genealogies (and other, seemingly impenetrable bits) will become more apparent.