This edition of The Lookout introduces our new scope and sequence for Bible study. From this issue forward, the material you study and discuss each week in these pages will have been designed by The Lookout’s own scope and sequence team.
As mentioned in previous editorials, we created our own scope and sequence to reflect our commitment to the inspired, inerrant, and infallible Word of God. Our aim is to provide weekly study material that is Bible driven rather than theme driven, giving our readers the opportunity to study through the Scriptures systematically over a six-year period.
We at The Lookout believe this innovative scope and sequence represents a new level of partnership with the local church for personal study and disciple making. What greater discipline can the church instill in adult Bible students, and what greater lifelong practice can the church encourage in young students of Scripture, than to learn to study the Bible in its entirety, allowing the Word of God itself to determine the course and plan of learning?
The next several issues (through the end of 2018) comprise what we’re calling our “short scope and sequence,” designed to provide a general overview of the Bible in anticipation of our first full year of study which begins January 6, 2019. From that point on, our study material will follow the calendar year (January through December).
The first two units (four-week study segments) share the theme, “Christ in All and Over All.” We chose this theme to highlight the fact that Jesus Christ is central to all of the Bible, both Old Testament and New, and that all of Scripture points to him.
The next two units will focus on the book of Acts. Beginning with the birth of the church in Jerusalem, we’ll follow the spread of the gospel into Samaria, pause to study the conversion of Saul of Tarsus, then track the gospel’s advance into the Gentile world. We’ll see the early church grow in its mission emphasis and watch it spread into Europe, Greece, and Asia.
The final unit of 2018 centers on the Gospel of Luke. In the first lesson, “Whole Truth,” we’ll study Luke’s purpose in writing his gospel, “so that you may know the certainty of the things you have been taught” (Luke 1:4) about Jesus Christ. From there we’ll examine the “Whole Life” Jesus promises to those who follow him. “Whole Prophecy,” the lesson leading up to Christmas, explores Luke’s account of Jesus’ birth, and the final lesson in the unit, “Whole World,” takes us to Jesus’ resurrection and ascension, and his promise of the Holy Spirit.
Our lessons in the New Year will come from Genesis, Mark, Ephesians, Philippians, Colossians, Ecclesiastes, 1 Peter, and Isaiah. Moving back and forth through the Old and New Testaments in our six-year study plan provides a comprehensive, balanced, and dynamic structure for learning.
We’ve added two new features to our study plan we believe will be helpful to all our teachers and students. Ancillary texts accompany each lesson, providing a broader range of study and comparison. In addition, we provide a weekly lesson aim for teachers and students that can help shape the direction of study, discussion, and outcomes.
Our prayer is that this new approach to studying Scripture, and the new resources that accompany it, will help the local church and individual disciples mature in their understanding and application of God’s Word, a lamp to our feet and a light to our path.