Summer '73 First John Commentary July 27, 1973

Team 39 Week Four






Statement of Purpose Pages 1 ­ 3

Statement of Cautions 2

Statement of Implications 3

The Dynamics

Wesley on Scriptural Commentary 5

Introduction to Transposition Model 6­7

Imaginal Timeline 8

Time Construct 9

Topical Charts 10

Suggested Work Sheets 11­12

| Su~mer '73 First John Commentary Ju]y 27~1973

Team 39 Week 4


Introc~uctior; This paper, in the form of a prelininary manual, describes an

accelerated approach to our work on scriptural commentary focused

on the First Epistle of John.

Presup~osit on The scripture of the Christian tradition has the power to

speak to life in the Twentieth Century, as in any age. The recov

ery of the sacred writings of any culture signals the discovery of

ne~ depths of what it means to be a human being. Recovery ofecrip

ture has always been a classical sign of the church in renewal. Ou

struggle with the life in the deeps has been the same throughout

history. In this paper the Movement pushes this insight to a further

degree of refinement through a new kind of consciousness in the ap

propriation of the ancient tools of annotation, paraphrase, com

mentary and personal prayer.

Universal Need T;day, most alert churchmen, and particularly the clergy,

sense and call for a way to effectively recover scripture. The

hunger we, as the Movement see, is for ways to deal with the struggle

of the journey of the religious in the current turn of history.

The issue of "how we are to live" which replaces the "what should

I believe" question points to this. It beckons the Movement to the

intersection of the quest for scripture recovery and the cry for

living the Holy Life. John's First Epistle stands at this inter

~_ section for it deals with unfaith as it skirmishes with mature

Christianity, a problem both in John's time and in our own. We are

beckoned to develope scripture pedagogy for the non­Movement clergy

through our own perception of the need.

T e Invitation This particular opportunity for developing a format for First

John comes as a result of a request by an official in the hierarchy

of a major denomination to prepare for his use a methodological for

mat through which the clergymen in his jurisdiction can work to

gether on a commentary for First John. In performing this task

several things are being tested:

1. The recovery of the role of the Bishop as an

educational leader

2. The recovery of the heritage of particular denomin

ations relative to the scriptural recovery

3. The usefulness of the methods of the Ecumenical

Institute for non­RS­I /PI.C Grads taught by non


The Response In accepting this invitation we see the opportunity to give

high visibility to our role as servant to the historical church.

In doing this, we explore our own willingness and ability to re

spond to a specific request of this nature. The recovery of a de

nomination's heritage, implicit in the proposal, can be extended to

any other denomination. It is our opportunity to demonstrate imag

final education and · irit methods in a setting the$ allows the creation of a tool of potentially universal use.

$'`isk In­­Tited The invitation comes as surprise. No timeline had anticipated the opportunity. It calls for a new kind of humility; indeed an exercise in risking ourselves into the purging, enkindling fire of the Word.

rk Product We have produced a six­hour course on First John which includes an eighteen page Leader's Guide with a statement of the intention, rubric, and script for each part of the course; a ten page participant's manual, and an enabelment model. Two hundred fifty working copies have been produced for continued editing and refinement. A complete rehears~ of the course was taped, followed by an evaluation. The evaluation notes and a list of issues to be resolved have been collected and handed to the Order Base Unit which will be responsible for polishing. In preparation for producing the course secular songs, hymns, and Wesley's Commentary on the New Testement were researched and selections were made for the course.

Cautions It is important that this day does not come off as simply an other Bible study. If this course is to deal' seriously with the matter of depth, scriptural translation and contemporary articulation, the role of the leader must embody an intentional yet affirming style that leads participants through the methodology while honoring and inviting participation.

Another issue is that of the role of the Ecumenical Institute in its enabelment of the course and the implications for the Institutein relation to the future of the course. To en~i,le the success of the course, the decision to embrace the met. jlogy must be made by the course leader. There must also be incorl.~rated into thesesame processes some way of respecting the scriptural knowledge the clergy already has while bringing forth the intuitive dimension of the workshops.

Due to the amount of time involved and the need for continuity the conversations should be focused toward the spiritizing and less on the art form methodology. The final issue to be considered is that the event not become mundane, but rather and irmovative happening that has never taken place before in history, and that it is up to those participating clergymen, though they themselves obviously have experienced their own struggles with articulating of the scripture, must see themselves as a part of the One Body and contribute to the intelligence of One Mind.

S'~=mer '73 First John Commentary July 27' 1973

Team 39 Week Four

'~ S91AT~ENT OF PURPOSE /~/. Page 3

t~ P'irsc John is a unique course that recaptures scriptural

7; pedagogy as it stands ac the cer~rr of the Twentieth Cent'=ry.

It's implications as a universal tool extend from recovery of

denom~national her;~tage to ~'ts use as a potentii1 insert in the

PLO Course or the development of church leadership through its

methodology and spirit dynamic. Perhaps its greatest value wil1

be realized through its nuzrture and healing of clergy who have

: witnessed the collapse of the church and the betrayal of their

, e~ection as the relig~ous, by enabling them to put on a different pair of eyeglasses as their vision is widened through their association wnth First John as a man whose life spans two thousand years and whose voice proclaims this to be a time of resurgence~ '73 First John Cornrrentary July 27, 1973

' ­ ' I I .1 .~F.Wqih­~.~'

DYNAMICS CHART ~ A Contemporary [ook at the Fir5t T Epi.stle of John't

~ ~ ~r" ,.


Impact grolr, witl­ :~.,t*.r~t­,cc ]:~:iscove~ tOI' tllerriselves ~lroul,~? re~Wt e<.ti~ a~nd EYper5L.e,jee power o~­

ality in setting9 dercl~, i,ile rne~,hodolog~ of para­ celebration n1aNe tt­~er~ transposing the Word

,~nd conversal;ion method. pl~,rase ard transpositicri. feel ­'ree to pcri~icipate rnto contemporar~ ¢~­

'n Sh=S'M?g of' c~r~rcutarit ; c~l~ge.

Experience intri~le ~ Experience release to Affirm their own insights Enabling t,he intrigue to

about ,­hat they see experiment with own and intuitions, thereby carry over into seeing

happening creativity their own sense of pos­ the possibility for fur

sibility. thur look into the depths

of the Word.

Not to over'.helm them by Not to let power of meth­ Not to let the excite­ To convey that this ses

the insertion of too much odology frustrate instead ment of methodology sion is not all inclusive

~that ­s foreign. of release. override the spirit but merely the point of

dimension. awakenment to the need

for seeing scripture in

| | l l I contemporary light. l

OVERAIL RATIONAI AIM: Occasion a spirit happening thtt releases excitement about the possibilities of using

AIMS scripture as a primary tool for recovering the church's role in a time of resurgence.

EXISTENTIAL AIM: Fear and fascination created ~ encounter with depth spirit address of John to/ ose

~who have decided to be the r gious.

Summer '73 First John Commentary July 27$ 1973

John Wesley's Preface to his ExEianatory Notes upon the

New Testament

For many years I have had a desire of set­~ing down, and laying together, what has occurred to my mind, either in reading, thinking, or conversation which ~ight assist serious persons, who have not the advantage of learning, in understanding the New Testament. But I have been continually deterred from attempting anything of th;s kind by a deep sense of my own inability; of my want, not only of learning for such a work, but much more of experience and wisdom. This has often occasioned my laying aside the thought. And when, by much importunity, I have been prevailed upon to resume it, still I determined to delay it as long as possible, that (if it should please God) I might finish my work and my life together.

But having lately had a loud call from God to arise and go hence, I am convinced that, if I at­tempt anything of this kind at all, I must not delay any longer. My day is far spent, and, even in a natural way, the shadows of the evening come on apace; and I am the rather induced to do what little I can in this way because I can do nothing else, being prevented by my present weakness from either traveling or preaching. But, blessed by God, I can still read and write and think. Oh that it may be to His glory ~

It will be easily discerned, even from what I have said already, and much more from the notes themselves, that they were not principally designed for men of learning who are provided with many other helps; and much less for men of long and deep experience in the ways and Word of God. I desire to sit at their feet, and to learn of them. But I write chiefly for plain, unlettered men, who understand only their mother­tongue, and yet reverence and love the Word of God, and have a desire to save their souls.

Summer '73 First John Comrne ~tary Julv 27 1973

Research Assembly Week Fotr


Introduction to Transposition of First Epistle of John

Whenever there has been resurgence in the life of the

Church it has been accompanied by and accomplished through a

new appropriation of the Scriptures. Augustine, Luther and

Wesley wrestled through the Biblical poetry until they had a

~new g­asp of the truth about their own lives. and with pas

! sionate urgency they wrote commentaries so that others might

grasp the possibilities of life for themselves. Lives were

changed; thus, the course of history was altered.

AB a dynamic of our study together, we will be seeking a

fresh articulation of the message of the First Epistle of

John. Each individual will be working to discover the unique

significance of John's witness as it illuminates his own

journey and given situation. For we of the Church today are

struggling with many of the same issues with which he wrest

led in his time.

It is not intended that we reach a common interpretation of the Epistle, but rather that each person bring to this work his own insights and experiences. In this way, the Epistle will becorie a way cf articulating one's own life journey.

As you work you may find it helpful to use the following procedures:

Annotation. While reading through the text, note the words and phrases that stand out either by their clarity or by the fact that they do not seem to communicate any life experience. Tell how and why you would amplify them or substitute other words. These are notes to yourself about the words and the relationships that illUminate their meaning. Reflect also on the audience and the issues that the author is addressing.


Paraphrase. Rewrite in your own words the text of the scripture. You may want to do this more than once. Example: 1:8 ­ "If we claim to be sinless, we are selfdeceived and strangers to the truth." Paraphrase: "If we see ourselves as perfect or having the possibility

. of being such by our own efforts, we are tooling our

selves and livinf,r in a self­cre~ted illusion which does

l l not sclu~re with t e way life corrle6 to u8.'' l

Su~mer '73 July 27, 19i73 >~;

Team 39 '` Week Four r]

/O/­ Page 7

Transposition. This is to be your comments on the in

ner meaning of the passage as revealed through your

life experience. This is the place to relate the mean­ r~

ing of the passage to specific personal and sociologi

cal issues that you deal with from day to day. ExaMnle"

1 8­" ~very man experiences his life as being broken: ~

i.e., weak and filled with failure yet he tries to t=~1 Y

himself other stories that deny this fact. These stor

ies continually collapse, thus he experiences impotence ­~

and despair over life itself. Oh, if only local man

could hear the word of acceptance. Use me, O Lord, in

l l tnis only ta k worth doing."

Summer '73 First John Commentary July 27, 1973

Team 39 IMAGINAL TI~ 3I,INE /0/­ Page ~


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Summer '73 ­ ­ July 27, 1973 PSU I Johr Co~mentary SONG CONVERSATION FOR I JQHN COURSE Week Four 101­ pare I3

In the I John course, a song conversation will enable participants' reflection upon the greatness of traditional hymns. This hymn is included as an example of the wisdom of the denominational heritage, which awaits the enkindling touch of spirit methodology.


O come and dwell in me, Spirit of power within! And bring the glorious liberty From sorrow, fear and sin.

Hasten the joyful day Which shall my sins consume, When old things shall be done away And all things new become.

I want the spirit witness Lord, That all I do is right; According to Thy wi11 and Word, Well pleasing in Thy sight.

I ask no higher state; ­

Indulge me but in this,

And soon or later then translate

To my eternal bliss.

Charles Wesley