The First Principles Series leads students through a learning process - a process designed to establish them in the foundational principles of the faith. We will seek to carefully and soundly study the Scriptures, developing personal applications to be disciples who make disciples. There are four basic steps to this process and one final step that integrates the work from the first four.
Study the Scriptures
This step is foundational. We cannot begin exploring the issues of the Bible without first understanding exactly what the passages mean. In this step, a passage is read, a few basic questions about the passage addressed, and the core teaching of the passage is summarized.
Consult the Scholars
God raises up teachers and scholars to serve in every generation. Solid, carefully chosen research is presented––in nugget form––to stimulate thinking. These nuggets are presented as brief commentaries and short instructional quotes on ideas related to the core truths of the passage being studied.
Think Through the Issues
Without the process of thinking through the implications of the teaching of a passage, we can gloss over the significance of the core truths. This is best done in small groups where issues can be discussed thoroughly. Issues are discussed in light of the biblical texts that are being studied.
Apply the Principles
This step completes the basic learning cycle. Gaining a clear grasp of an issue and accurately understanding core biblical truths is simply not enough. It must be applied to our lives. This step affords the student an opportunity to do just that while making the application specific and related to the core truths of the passages studied.
Reshaping Our Lives
This step brings together the entire study process of the first five sessions. Going beyond the applications made in the Apply the Principles sections, this session encourages the student to think through his whole life and rearrange his worldview. You will be encouraged to commit your heart––by reflection, personal journaling, and prayer. To commit your mind––by forming clear convictions and memorizing Scripture. To commit your life––by decisions, personal projects, and life habits.