As promised, I’m going to post my attempt at adapting TWWAW for our context. I’ll have to post it as pdf links to preserve any sort of decent formatting, so I’m afraid you’ll have to go to all the trouble of clicking your mouse above!
NB: I reckon anyone who uses this gear ought to buy the Chester and Timmis book also. Those guys put in a lot of work, and this version retains a fair amount of their stuff. And the thing is copyright. The worker deserves his wages.
I’ll start by giving you my rationale. That’ll give you the chance to see if you think it’s worked.
Here’s what I’m hoping to achieve in this adaptation of Chester and Timmis’ innovative course.
Translation: I’ve re-translated the passages used. Trying for a clearer translation that does more of the interpretive work for the new readers. The challenge of taking in, say, Acts 2 for the first time is just too great. A bit of paraphrase reduces the size of the onslaught! But paraphrase has to reveal what’s there better, not fudge it. Check out the places where I depart from, say, the NIV, see if I’ve captured the greek better or not!
I’ve also abridged the stories a bit so they’re not so long.
Language: I’ve simplified the language and tried to use even less jargon. But I’ve also deliberately introduced a couple of technical terms for participants to learn: the main ones are ‘gospel’ and ‘sin’.
Dynamics: I’ve aimed to make the series more relational for participants. I’ve tried to make the opening question each time something that could help the group get to know each other a bit.
Theology: I’ve aimed to make the series more clearly Trinitarian. It was there in the original, but I want it much stronger.
Structure: I’ve shortened and simplified the structure, omitting the ‘how the Bible works’ strand in the original and going for a conceptual/logical approach:
- God promises TWWAW, though his version has some surprises.
- We get a taste of that world in the life of Jesus God’s son.
- We cannot make the world new because sin has overcome us: we are part of the problem
- God’s Son achieved the new world for everyone in his death and resurrection
- We can take part in the arrival of the new world now, through the gift of the Spirit.
5 sessions instead of seven. And I’ve reduced the length of each study.
Right answers: These studies are an invitation to people to explore stories from the NT. It kind of undermines the process a bit if, after every passage they get given a paragraph of ‘right answers’, i.e. what they should have seen there.
So I’ve cut summary blurbs to a minimum, hoping that simple, focussed questions and a decent leader will enable people to get something good from each passage.
People used to long blurbs with all the right answers, may find they miss that in these studies.
ALSO: I’ve tried to take up my own challenge about that vital study on the Cross: i.e. the ideas should come out of the reading, not be imported from my theological framework. That’s the study most radically rewritten.
Well, that’s what I’m trying for. I’d love your feedback – how can I do this better?