After twenty-three years operating as a daily radio small group Bible Study, change is coming to RBC Ministries long-running program Discover the Word.

Lead Bible teacher Haddon Robinson, 82 has been diagnosed with Parkinson’s Disease and is leaving the program along with fellow group member Alice Matthews. The series will continue with founding group member Mark De Haan as well as two new members who will be introduced next week.

There are a wide variety of radio ministries out there, some good and some bad, but none quite like Discover the Word. 

I’ve been a listener to the program for the past several years and will miss  the dynamic of the current group.  What I really appreciated about the unique way in which the Bible was approached. When the Bible tell us to mediate on His word day and night, the word for mediate is meant in the same way that cow will chew its cud, repeatedly thinking the scripture over again and again.

This is really what Discover the Word has done very well.  When they come to a difficult passage or even a familiar passage we need to look at differently, they will discuss until they are done. There is no sense of, “We have to finish this study by Date [X}.” Rather they, plumb the scripture to understand the fullness of its meaning and find ways to help the audience understand it better.  They spent months talking about the Lord’s prayer and weeks talking about the Parable of the Unjust Steward/Shrewd Manager.

Of course, a reason for not doing this is for fear that it’ll get boring or repetitive. However, this rarely happened in the years I’ve been listening because: 1)ultimately they were adding additional insights and the group had a way of doing that was quite engaging, 2) do the show’s format, the study portion was only about 12 minutes long, so there was less risks of losing the audience.

In their studies, they remained true to the Bible and upheld the historic truths of the Christian faith and also explained them very well. This isn’t to say that I always agreed with their conclusions, but I never doubted their dedication to the core truths of the Christian faith.

The study, by its nature also did a great job of modeling a sense of Christian community and the show also was made to work by their actual friendships and they’re willingness to be real with the audience and honest about their own fault difficulties without giving too much information.

In the end, as this ministry goes through transition, I hope the core values remain the same: a dedication to God’s word, a willingness to go in-depth to understand the scripture, and to have an honest sense of community. And while I may never spend three months studying the Lord’s prayer, the series definitely has encouraged me to look deeper at God’s Word.

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