By Laura Bloomingdale
Many of us read the Bible and long to be able to discern for ourselves exactly what it means. Dr. Mark Soto is offering us that opportunity.
Soto will teach a class called “Feeding Yourself From the Word of God” at the Equip05 conference to be held in Winona Lake, IN, July 31-August 5, 2005. The class is designed to equip believers to study the Bible personally and to be able to share it with others.
Soto, who is Professor of Biblical Studies at Grace College and Seminary, says he is going to “teach the elements of how to study the Scripture.” He will use an inductive method, which will give students the tools to dissect the language and definitions of words in the Bible, show them how to interpret it, and then how to apply it. The course will also include the use of biblical software.
The course is designed for any Christian at any point in their Christian walk. “It’s not designed for a specific level,” Soto says. “It’s what I was taught as a young Christian.”
Soto believes this topic is “more important now than it has ever been.” He says that Christians today have a wealth of resources to study the Bible, but don’t possess a personal understanding of it. “[This class] gives you an ability to evaluate resources and figure out what drives commentators and resources so that you don’t head down a path you don’t want to be on,” he says.
The class will be offered in two formats. The first is a three-day approach that will teach all the essential elements of how to study the Scriptures. The second format, a five-day class, will include all the information from the first format with additional studies. In this class, Soto says, participants will “actively involve themselves in a study of the book of Titus.”
Soto believes that students will be able to feed themselves and others, even teaching Bible studies and giving sermons, after learning the principles from his course. “Even after all my knowledge and experience, the principles I’m going to teach are still the ones I use when I go to the Word,” says Soto. “I have more resources, but the principles are still the same.”
Soto has received six degrees in his lifetime. He earned a B.A. and Th.B. in Bible and Theology from Appalachian Bible College in Bradley, W.V.; an M.A. in religion from Liberty University; and an M.Div., Th.M., and D.Min. from Grace Theological Seminary. He is currently working on a Ph.D. from Capella University.
Soto served as a pastor for approximately 14 years in Missouri, Illinois, and Indiana. He has taught at Grace for the past 12 years. He and his wife, Carol, reside in Winona Lake, Ind.
“Feeding Yourself From the Word of God” will be offered August 1 through August 5 from 9 a.m. until noon and 1:30 until 4:30 p.m. (The three-day course will end on August 3). For more information on this or any other Equip05 classes, contact your church or look for the Equip05 information on www.fgbc.org.
Laura Bloomingdale, a graduating senior from Grace College, served as an editorial intern with FGBC World the fall of 2004.