I finished the course from the Koinonia Institute titled, Learn the Bible in 24 Hours – New Testament and figured it was time for a course review. This class is part of my Unschooled Master of Theology program.
so, let’s get started….
I always find Missler’s commentaries to be an excellent source of information, or, at least, a starting point for further exploration. So much so, this year I hope to complete all 66 books from his individual book commentaries that are now available in both video and audio formats, along with the Koinonia Institute membership being made free (not sure what happened there – apparently it was quite the school with lots of students vying for a seat in the classes, then abruptly they lost much of their student body – I still haven’t found out what happened), I hope to finish before this time next year.
As for this particular course, it was a repeat, at least for the lectures. I wanted to finish it before I moved on to any more individual books (already finished Jude). Though I think he went quite quickly through each book (how else do you go through the entire bible in 24 hours?), I also think he did a great job of managing the story and themes throughout.
Of course, this class was the second half of the entire series, the New Testament portion. But, you still spend a great deal of time in the Old Testament, and a little bit of time in the extra biblical documents available.
Missler is a great story teller, and he leans toward the fringe side of science and religion, so it is often quite entertaining. He does cover each book of the New Testament, though he does tend to simply move through the text, glossing over a lot of detail for the sake of time management.
What I Liked About the Course
I was introduced to Missler’s materials back in 1995, when I was stationed in Germany as a new believer in Christ. At my in-processing to the company and to my unit, I was in someone’s office and struck up a conversation with a civilian mechanic (worked on helicopters) who was also being processed. We discovered we were both new believers and struck up an immediate friendship.
Within a few days I was getting settled into my barracks on base and I took the stranger up on his offer and gave him a call about Sunday service. He knew of a place that was about 30 minutes off base, out in the community. He came by and picked me up and we went to a tiny Missionary Baptist Church that held services in an upper room over a bar in a tiny little German village, and within a few weeks we were both baptized by the pastor.
I spent two years attending that little Church. But of all the things I learned there, it was at this Church that I was first given a Missler tape by one of the elders. From that moment on, I was hooked. To this day, I don’t think I’ve come across another teacher, minister, or preacher that I’ve connected with quite so much as I have with the KHouse group.
This particular course is no exception. Though quite basic, it is designed that way, and would definitely be assigned to a new believer, or to anyone who has not spent much time in the Bible actually reading it. It provides a nice overview of the text, giving you an idea of what’s in each book and how all the books connect to each other.
It is really the best place to start if you are undertaking a systematic study of the biblical text.
What I Disliked About the Course
There’s always issues with a teacher or a lecture series or an online course. They can miss certain aspects of a subject that you wanted to know more about, or they could over-focus on a different aspect of a subject that you find simply invalid. Chuck Missler is no exception to this reality.
In fact, he focuses on subject matter that many consider heretical (who doesn’t consider what everyone else things as heretical?) and there are a multitude of websites online set up specifically to prove everything Misser says is utter fabrication.
There are several issues that I have with Misser’s teachings:
1. The insistence on the validity of micro and macro codes in the Bible. Don’t get me wrong. When I was first introduced to this concept (by Missler), I was completely floored by the revelation. How could the Bible contain all these codes and messages and not have everyone convert to Christianity?
Well, I later discovered by my own experiments in the Hebrew text (by Missler’s encouragement – Acts 17:11) that the Torah Code is either a fabrication or faulty, and, by its very argument for validity, if it is wrong in just one aspect then it cannot be from God.
This, of course, casts a shadow over all the code claims of the Bible, not to mention all the codes supposedly found in other books, like the Koran and Moby Dick. I’ve pretty much moved on from the whole codes controversy (much in the same way that I’ve moved on from the charismania controversy, which seems to only be getting worse today not better).
2. I take issue with Chuck Missler’s nationalism as he (at least used to) held the presumptuous view that a negative opinion of America or the United States government as some kind of sin that we must repent of. In later materials I’ve heard him express regret for making such statements, as I think he discovered just how sinister the American elite and the government that props them up actually is. In fact, just before their deaths, Missler and his wife moved themselves and the KHouse organization to New Zealand. I suppose the saw the writing on the wall, and, sure enough, shortly after Missler’s death, the world, especially in the United States, has been culturally and politically turned on it’s head.
3. The third issue I have with this course (and all his courses) is the way he placates the modern, organized Churches in his teachings while simultaneously excoriating them. He will make a comment about house churches being the place where he’s seen real growth in individuals, yet always adds, “but there is a place for the mega church.”
I would assume he does this simply to save face with the mega church organizations that he caters to, in hopes that he will not burn bridges to large organizations that help support his ministry. I realize he has mixed his personal earning with his ministry (something I increasingly think might be a mistake), but it seems rather hypocritical to talk out of both sides of his mouth like this.
4. Lastly, as I’m listening (or watching) his commentary lectures, I get a strange feeling that he’s not really saying anything, not trying to make an actual point, but just reading the text and bringing up points of interest along the way. I know this is not actually the case, and I’ve learned a great deal from his courses, but it’s just something I’ve noticed over the years.
In the end, of all the courses I’ve taken during my uThM program, and all the course material I’ve gone through while a Christian, Chuck Missler’s materials is hands down the very best commentary to study if taking up the Bible as the transformative text that it is.
The Learn the Bible in 24 Hours is a very good foundational course to pursue, especially if you’re new or have never really dug into the Bible before (the illiteracy of the Christian Church was one of the reasons Missler started the para-church organization KHouse to begin with).
Thankfully, Missler was able to complete all 66 books and even updated many before his recent death. His wife died a few years before him from cancer related illness. I don’t believe there was a cause of death released for Missler.
Over the years, there have been many things he’s said that have challenged and convicted me. Even Dr. Heiser has decided that he could not raise criticism of Missler (even though I know he doesn’t agree with him) simply because Chuck Missler has a legacy of reaching and motivating people to get started in Bible study. I would count him as a true lifelong mentor of mine, along with only a handful of other individuals. I’m very thankful to God that I was exposed to him as a new believer and could use his materials to better inform and challenge my own theological persuits.
I would highly recommend the Learn the Bible in 24 Hours course to anyone.
Until my next review….
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Excerpt from In the Meadow:
A second later, the engine roared to life, and Dawn glanced back, one last time, at the trailer she’d grown up in.
The empty yard.
The trail she’d blazed through the blackberries.
That gaunt looking trailer.
Everything she saw now looked so dirty and run down, almost a shambles.
It was like a dream.
Paul circled wide, then threw the truck in reverse and backed up. As he braked and put it back into drive, Dawn could see Harold’s place a few slips down.
Paul gave the truck some gas.
As they went by, she could see Harold standing outside, near his front door, motionless, watching them.
She didn’t mention the earlier conversation to Paul.
Why would she?
He was just a creepy ass guy, and one of the handful of things she didn’t have to deal with anymore.
They drove out the front gate of the trailer park, down the side street to the corner, Paul stopping for a moment as he waited on the traffic to clear.
He took her hand and smiled at her, then pulled out onto the highway, heading west.
They drove past the Ray’s Grocery Store, past the gas station, where Bart was out front, talking excitedly to the Desmond boy.
Paul kissed her hand and she smiled, laying her head back against the headrest.
There was nothing else standing in her way now.
As Dawn began to relax, she watched as her old life quickly dissipate into vapor in their wake.
For the first time in her life, she was leaving Oakridge. She was moving to an entirely different state, a new home, with the man of her dreams.
She’d never even been out of Oregon before.
“Now or never,” Paul said, as they drove past the trailhead sign, on the right.
Dawn tightened her grip on his hand.
She’d finally gotten her wish.
She was leaving Oakridge.
Buy my book In the Meadow to find out what Dawn will do as her perfect fairytale life begins to unravel. Are the girls calling out from the banks of the Skagit River trying to help her? Do they want to hurt her? What secrets will she find?
But, trust me when I say, this is going to be a roller coaster of a ride. People are dying all around her, and you have no idea what evil lurks in the meadow! Get started in this thriller story today and find out why they’re warning her…calling out to her….trying to tell her…to RUN!