Wednesday, June 01, 2016

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Catholic Education Daily


Salvation History: Picture This

Franciscan University of Steubenville Associate Professor of Theology John Bergsma’s recent book, Bible Basics for Catholics (Ave Maria Press) teaches the history of salvation in a novel way. Let blogger Micah Murphy, a Franciscan alumnus, explain Bergsma’s method:
It’s no secret at my alma mater, Franciscan University of Steubenville, that one of the post popular courses is Principles of Biblical Studies. Among its instructors, it’s also no secret that the most popular is Dr. John Bergsma. If you were ever to spend your days roaming the corridors and classrooms of Egan Hall as so many of us have over the years, you’d quickly discover the fascinating chalk drawings on the blackboards detailing salvation history through the covenants—each one pictured with a specific stickman on a mountaintop. Like a Catholic Bob Ross—with a Gospel message and a more conservative wardrobe—Dr. Bergsma lead us every day in our biblical sketch-drawing, all the while lecturing us on God’s wonderful works in the history of salvation.
Murphy says that Bergsma’s method wasn’t just entertaining—it was effective. He recalls that students had to work hard to prepare for Bergsma’s arduous tests. As a high school Scripture teacher, Murphy says he has long been looking for something similar to Bergsma’s method to instruct his students and that he has found it in Bible Basics for Catholics, which, according to Murphy, employs the same teaching techniques Bergsma popularized at Franciscan. Murphy, who is giving away two free copies (here), notes that Bible Basics has a nihil obstat and imprimatur, is full of humor and that readers will learn something about the history of salvation.

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