"We must always keep in view that each of us individually is called to love God with our minds. This means that it is good for us to earnestly attempt interpretation on our own before we read the interpretations of others. And this means we must wait to consult commentaries, study Bibles, podcasts, blogs, and paraphrases for interpretative help until we have taken our best shot at interpreting on our own." - Women of the Word, by Jen Wilkin I have a note-taking problem. It doesn't matter where we are, who we're listening to, I'm probably scribbling down pages of fren-glish notes that would be utterly unintelligible to a normal person. I think my brain might be cross-wired or have a few shorts since these frenetic captions ("Change banner ad!" Or "get it moving in August") have no context with which to tether them to reality. I re-read my notes--even a scant hour later--and think "Change which banner ad and to what?!" In other words, my notes are 99% stream of consciousness necessarily noted so that my brain can process information and only a miserly 1% useful as a later resource. The pen and paper are more my ears than my real ears. And yes, Justin, that's a TERRIBLE analogy.
How do I make this work when I'm reading or studying a topic, since note-taking isn't helpful? I make flashcards. A lot of them. To be fair, though, I haven't really made a serious effort of studying anything since I graduated in 2007. I blame the birth of two unplanned yet awesome boys and a generally chaotic home-life. We have lots of laughter, screeches, and tickling, but not a lot of quiet study time. That being said, I started this summer wanting to seriously delve into the word. I started by reading Mere Christianity, by C.S. Lewis cover-to-cover for the first time ever. I've picked up that book so many times that it's truly embarrassing, but I never even came close to finishing it. (I have, incidentally, read the first two chapters upwards of four times.)
Once I finished that amazing morsel of wisdom, I moved on to my new all-time favorite book Women of the Word, by Jen Wilkin, which I finished yesterday. Now I'm following Wilkin's advice and tackling the book of James as my first attempt to try out her 5-P system of biblical literacy. What I've learned thus far? I foresee a need for some serious flashcard purchasing in the near future. . .