In a past column, I discussed the story behind the development of “Hole Life Bible Course”. I felt that I should now discuss the background of why I developed the New Life Bible Course.
Before the New Life Bible Course was developed, there was the “Disciples Life Course” between the “Living Life Bible Course” and “Holy Life Bible Course”. But this bible course did not use any public teaching material, and it demanded a high level of QT, and it was not an easy course for new Christians to digest.So I thought that we needed a course where a new Christian can continue the bible studies easily after finishing the Living Life Bible Course, and to prepare them to take the next class, Holy Life Bible Course, which was considered the flower of the House Church bible courses. With these reasons, I started the New Life Bible Course.
I struggled with deciding what should be the goal of the New Life Bible Course, and in the end I decided that it should be the setting up of correct Christian values. After obtaining the conviction of being saved, if that person set up the correct Christian values as next step, I thought that that person would be well prepared to practice the things being thought in Holy Life Bible Course. So, the course material about practicing the New Life would be a good bible study material to setup correct Christian values as part of the Mokjang life.
One of the things that I considered as I was developing the New Life Bible Course was that I should be careful not to include all the good points from various bible coursesin trying to make a perfect course. It had a danger of resulting in a mixed course. If you examine the materials for most bible courses available already, there are traces where the developer tried to include all good points. But in House Church, when a VIP joins a Mokjang, it will take time for that person to change, and we have to stay in step with that person’s development in our bible courses. So, I wanted to concentrate on that person who had just finished Living Life Bible Course after joining our church, to have a chance to change his values as part of Mokjang life where he may decide “Ah, I should not live like this. I need to change.” So with this in mind, I think the most appropriate time to take the New Life Bible Course is when his honeymoon period is coming to an end and is beginning to face struggles about Mokjang life.
To effectively fulfill the need of VIP’s as they change and grow in faith, we have developed a curriculum of bible courses, where a VIP who may be wondering about Jesus and Church become a believer through the Living Life Bible Course. When this person begins to struggle with conflicts of Mokjang life against his daily life, his value system can change through the New Life Bible Course. And when this person still struggles with breaking bad habits, he can become familiar with living a holy life through the Holy Life Bible Course. And when this person is ready, he can prepare to become a Shepherd through taking the Experiencing God Bible Course. I taught this course through 16th class, and from 2009, Deacon Jaedong Lee has continued to teach this course.
I heard a number of times in the beginning after I started the New Life Bible Course that it was a difficult course to take, and so I made revisions to the material. There were many incorrect translations in the book and I ended up rewriting almost 30% of the material. But I tried to respect what the writer was trying to convey when I was translating, and I heard comments that it was still a difficult course even though it was a little better. So I realized then that when one translates a book, the expressions themselves should be changed to fit better with our culture. I want to revise the course material once more, but I find that I do not have any spare time. But this year, I am thinking of asking someone else to revise the material. When the book is revised once more, it should become a much easier course.
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