April 2022

Scripture Engagement Research Initiative

Here are the latest resources on the Scripture Engagement website:
Scripture Engagement Research Initiative<   Mar 03, 2022 10:53 am

A multiagency research program of Dallas International University

Dallas International University (DIU), in collaboration with SIL’s Pike Center for Integrative Scholarship, has launched the Scripture Engagement Research Initiative (SERI). The SERI program hosts a series of large grant-funded Scripture Engagement research projects. Research topics are proposed both by participants and by the SERI leadership. Participants can serve for short periods of time or as part of a longer-term assignment.

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What makes a good oral Bible story

Story group in West Africa

What makes a good oral Bible story? There are many ministries that develop oral Bible stories, and they have varying approaches on the process of developing an abbreviated and simplified story from a biblical passage(s).

Good story development follows four principles embraced by many in the story community of biblically faithful to the textual Bible passage(s), orally reproducible (meaning that that story can be easily learned and told by others), naturally told and the story is appropriate to the culture, often expressed in the use of key terms understood by the local community. In addition, a good oral Bible story based on a Bible passage(s) has a plot or story line that keeps the listener interested and engaged. The actual storyteller can also influence the quality of the story experience to the listener

When developing an oral Bible story, a ministry may embrace common elements practiced by other story practitioners (e.g., testing the story with those who don’t follow Jesus) while having nuances (e.g., use of technology) in the story development process that is unique to the ministry.

So what makes a good oral Bible story? Two important aspects are fidelity to an established process and people embracing the story.

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Unaddressed Trauma

To attend the session on this subject go to https://emdc.online/list

or if you miss the session,  the video of the emdc online session may be found here https://emdc.online/archive/687

Unaddressed trauma creates barriers to hearing, understanding, and accepting the love of God. In other words, trauma can keep someone from truly hearing the gospel and creates barriers to spiritual growth. If we are concerned with sharing the gospel and planting healthy and reproducing churches, we must pay significant attention to trauma. We must equip and empower lay people with the basic tools they need to address trauma safely, responsibly, and effectively. As lay people learn to use these tools, healing multiplies alongside the Good News.

Healing cannot take place in 7 or 10 simple sessions – it is an on-going journey. From entry into a community to leadership development, it is important to help communities establish environments where healing community, faith, and purpose can flourish. Comprehensive frameworks that integrate a trauma-informed approach into church planting strategy provide structures that allow for lay people to be trained and for healing to happen over time appropriately, in a healthy way, and in a way that multiplies. A trauma-informed approach should take the following steps:

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Which kind of translations make more impact? 

  (photo credit: esperanzatolentino.wordpress.com)

Which kind of translations make more impact?

This is a good question.  It is also a complex issue and more than one set of parameters comes into play. That is, there’s more going on here than “literal vs meaning-based.” Long ago David Landin did research in Bolivia to see which indigenous Bibles were being used there 10 years after completion. Answer: the ones with the hymns in the back. And in those, it was the hymns that were being used, not the translations themselves.

One key factor that has proven true over the years is whether or not the local church leaders (pastors, evangelists, teachers) choose to use a new translation or not. If the local and regional church leaders do not show support for a translation, it will likely fade into obscurity. This is why nowadays many projects begin by contacting local and regional, even national church and denominational leadership in order to hear from them what kind of translation is most desired by them for their people. And continued conversation with these leaders is fostered all along the life of the translation project.

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