|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
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
'` STATEMENT OF PURPOSE /CV Page 1
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
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
$'`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~
Sw~.er '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" ,.
Ar~ OPEN=G P]J~\TRRY WORKSI1~,POf IJIFNCH CLC'KSILG PLE~IARY
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
John Wesley's Preface to his ExEianatory Notes upon the
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
TRANE;KISITION MODEL /a,. Page 6
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/
ONTEl~rRARY LOOK AT FIRST EPISTLE OF ST. JOHN
. _ ~_~_
OPENING | CROSSROADS
PLENARY WORKSHOP I | t~3AL WORKSHOP II CLOSING
. _9 ,L2 L .
THE TO SING A THE LIGHT SHINES IN THE
. ~nVE.~Ul. oDR Gt~rl ~. _ NEW SONG DARKNESS
. | VITSdORBDE
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
O COME AND DWELL WITH ME
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
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.