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A questionable and incorrect UBF article 
30th-Jun-2006 09:57 pm
http://www.washingtonubf.org/Events/sbc2003/BibleTestimony.html

I was reading an article about UBF testimony on Washington UBF website. I find the following two paragraphs conflicting with each other.

FIFTH, HOW TO WRITE A TESTIMONY.
Next, do it. The only way to start writing a testimony is to start writing a testimony. If you get stuck, pray and ask for God’s help. Then look at a message or lecture that someone else has written to stimulate your thinking and get more ideas. In UBF we have many excellent messages and lectures written by Dr. Lee, Mother Barry, Pastor Ron Ward and other well trained Bible teachers. Don’t make the mistake of thinking that your testimony must be completely original, coming entirely from your own head with no input from anyone else. Originality is good, but learning from others can be even better. But don’t simply copy a message; make it your own.

SIXTH, FREQUENTLY (AND INFREQUENTLY) ASKED QUESTIONS.
5. Are Bible commentaries are useful?
Bible commentaries can be quite useful, especially when we study difficult-to-understand passages for the first time. It is often necessary to refer to Bible commentaries or other references (e.g. Bible dictionaries, Bible handbooks) to help us understand the historical context of a particular Bible passage or book. But commentaries are also limited for the following reasons. First, some opinions expressed in commentaries are questionable or even incorrect. Second, reading commentaries is no substitute for prayerful meditation on the living word of God. Jumping to a commentary too quickly, before wrestling with the difficult passage oneself, is unrewarding and may actually rob a serious Bible student of deep understanding. Third, in focusing on the details of individual verses, commentaries may fail to capture important connections between the verses. That is, they may help us to digest a single verse but not a whole passage or chapter. For your own Bible study, use whatever reference books you find helpful, but don’t depend on them too much.
Comments 
1st-Jul-2006 03:13 am (UTC)
If one reads the two paragraphs carefully, he will find that the Washington UBF author encourages the UBF members to copy ONLY the messages of “well trained” UBF bible teachers but discourages them not to copy any other bible commentaries outside UBF. The author’s view is biased in favor of UBF messages. So the author’s view does not have a lot to do with the truth of God but it has a lot to do with UBF business. The author talks a lot about learning the truth of God seriously. But at the heart of the author's argument is that people should use UBF messages as the ONLY reliable references. In this way the author is effectively limiting an access to the truth of God for UBF audiences instead of promoting free access to the truth of God. No one should have the monopoly to the access to the truth of God.

The author says that If you get stuck, pray and ask for God’s help. Then look at a message or lecture that someone else has written to stimulate your thinking and get more ideas. In UBF we have many excellent messages and lectures written by Dr. Lee, Mother Barry, Pastor Ron Ward and other well trained Bible teachers. The author also says that Originality is good, but learning from others can be even better. So the author claims that learning from “excellent” UBF messages by “well trained” UBF bible teachers is BETTER than one’s original ideas.

Now read the author's answer to the question, Are Bible commentaries useful? The author's answer to this question as not as favorable as the author's claim on “excellent” UBF messages by “well trained” UBF bible teachers. The author says But commentaries are also limited for the following reasons. The first reason the author gives is that some opinions expressed in commentaries are questionable or even incorrect.

Anyone who reads the reasons the author lists will find it "excellent" how the author critically analyzes the bible commentaries besides “excellent” UBF messages by “well trained” UBF bible teachers. But one will wonder why the author does not use the same “excellent” critical mind to comment on the “excellent” UBF messages by “well trained” UBF bible teachers.

If other bible commentaries have this quality of being “questionable or even incorrect”, shouldn’t the author also make the same critical evaluation on the “excellent” UBF messages by “well trained” UBF bible teachers? Otherwise the author is presupposing that the “excellent” UBF messages by “well trained” UBF bible teachers do not have the quality of being “questionable or even incorrect”. Clearly this kind of analysis by the Washington UBF author is not intended to promote the sound approach to study the truth of God but only to promote UBF business by limiting a free access to the truth of God.

The Washington UBF author starts out with an ambitious goal to find out an "excellent" way to study the truth of God seriously. But the article ended up being an investigation on how to study seriously the “excellent” UBF messages by “well trained” UBF bible teachers. So the Washington UBF author is ignoring the truth of God to promote the “excellent” UBF messages by “well trained” UBF bible teachers.
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