BBST 103: Biblical Interpretation and Spiritual Formation (3 credits)

With Professor Jamie Smith, MA

The Bible is central to the process of Christian spiritual transformation. There may be plenty of knowledge of Scripture out there, but applying it in a way that changes you forever, that's rare. That is what this class is all about. It starts with the foundation of Scripture and applies it to your life in real and life-changing ways. In this class we get into God's Word, but we also make sure that God's Word gets into us. You will learn the general principles of interpreting each genre of Scripture, meditate on select passages, and demonstrate your understanding and application of God's truth in your life.

  • Online: July 10–August 18
  • On-Campus: August 23–24

Course Outline

  • Week 1: Introduction to Spiritual Formation
  • Week 2: Introduction to Genre-based Biblical Interpretation
  • Week 3: Introduction to the Means of Grace; Biblical Interpretation
  • Week 4: Biblical Interpretation: Means of Grace
  • Week 5: Biblical Interpretation; Means of Grace
  • Week 6: Biblical Interpretation; Means of Grace
  • Week 7: On-campus sessions

Course Format

This course is conducted through 6 weeks of online study, followed by a two-day on-campus seminar.

Required Background

You must be enrolled at Biola University for the fall of 2017 in order to take this course.

Resources Needed

You will need Internet access and a webcam on your computer in order to participate in the program.

To determine if you have a compatible computer for online classes, please see the basic computer specifications for Canvas.

Course Syllabus

Download course syllabus (PDF)

Required Readings

  • Walt Russell, Playing with Fire: How the Bible Ignites Change in Your Soul (NavPress, 2000).
  • Joanne Jung, Knowing Grace (Downers Grove: InterVarsityPress, 2011).

In addition, Select two from the list below:

  • Richard Foster, Celebration of Discipline (San Francisco: HarperSanFrancisco, 1998).
  • Klaus Issler, Wasting Time with God (Downers Grove: InterVarsity Press, 2001).
  • John Ortberg, The Life You’ve Always Wanted (Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 2002).
  • Donald S. Whitney, Spiritual Disciplines for the Christian Life (Colorado Springs: NavPress, 1991).

This list of topics addressed by the following authors may help you decide the two to purchase:

  • Silence and Solitude: Foster, Ortberg [5], Whitney
  • Fasting: Foster, Whitney
  • Prayer: Foster, Issler [6] or [8], Ortberg, Whitney
  • Confession: Foster, Issler [3], Ortberg
  • Celebration: Foster, Ortberg
  • Service: Foster, Issler [3], Ortberg, Whitney