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Eugene W. Prewitt

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Guide I Ed ch 17-18

Notes and Questions

Philosophy of Adventist Education

Education chapters 17 and 18


Chap. 17 – Poetry and Song


  1. Who wrote the book of Job?
  2. Who is the author of the poem in Job 38? The poem is largely a series of questions. Think about the questions. In your own words, what does it seemed the Writer of the poem intended to convey through them?
  3. The segment about the boundaries of the sea is full of interest. Have you ever wondered why the sea makes little progress against the shoreline? What might we learn from the limits of the sea?
  4. The poem speaks about the gates of death. What are the gates of death? Do prophets elsewhere in the Bible speak of the gates of death?
  5. Look at the phrase “where no man is” repeated. What might have been intended by this phrase? (in other words, what might the Author have expected you to gain from the phrase?)
  6. Some look to the starts for guidance. The poem of Job 38 indicates that the stars themselves need guidance. Think about this. This is not a question.
  7. The poem of Canticles 2 is often used in wedding ceremonies. Prior to the phrase “arise my love, my fair one, and come away,” what mood is created by the earlier lines?
  8. Think about the “beauty” of Balaam’s “unwilling” prophecy? Was it the result of careful thought by Balaam? Did he work to perfect the beauty of the expressions? To what source must the beauty of those lines be attributed?
  9. Think about the phrases “a people that dwell alone” and “shall not reckoned among the nations.” How do these phrases reveal the spiritual nature of what it means to be an Israelite?
  10. God, through the minor prophet Micah (see 6:5) refers to the poem of Balaam as a way for us to learn about the Righteousness of God. Joshua and Nehemiah both mention the story also (24:9-10 and 13:2 respectively.) What can be learned from the poem regarding Righteousness by Faith?
  11. What metaphysical statement does Ellen White make about Music? (161)
  12. Find evidence in the Bible (give a reference) that God sings. Find two references outside of the book of Revelation to heavenly beings singing. (give references)
  13. The earliest recorded human song (Ex. 15) speaks about the death of God’s enemies. They are “dashed in pieces.” Does this well represent the character of God? What is your epistemology for answering that statement? Is it possible to have “Revelation” as your final source of truth if accepted Revelations contradict each other?
  14. Multiple choice: The relation of spiritual blessings and songs of praise regarding them is (A) the former lead to the latter  (B) the latter lead to the former (C) both A and B  (D) We sing from principle without any regard to whether or not we have been blessed. If you pick A or B, give one reference from the Bible to show it is so. If ou pick (C) then give two references from the Bible (or one that shows both to be true). If D, then no reference is necessary. But if you are wrong…you are wrong.
  15. Some might consider song and poetry to be superfluous in a philosophy of Adventist education. In the chapter here, what does the story of Jehoshaphat demonstrate regarding the power of holy song?
  16. The dying often want to here Psalms 23 read to the. My father did also. This poem is known throught Christendom. Think about it. What do you think has placed this song in such high demand by a not-so-religious public? Are there hints here to the power of poem and song to penetrate where sermons are little wanted?
  17. Thought question (do not answer in writing): Is there a connection between the bitter struggles of the life of David with his family, his enemies, his king, the death of his best friends, his personal fall, his betrayal by his own children, the death of his own child, and other bitternesses, and the fact that he was chosen to write a large part of the poetry and songs fo the Bible?
  18. When did Jesus use song as a tool? Would words of instruction have worked as well as song in those situations? Thought question: Are persons, then, who can not use the tool of song crippled in their ability to manage interpersonal stresses and situations? If these are some of the most important parts of administration at any level, then is there good reason for song to be part of a school of the prophets?
  19. Did Jesus compose his own songs for use during the last night of his trial on earth? Is it likely that we have composed many songs that, had we been more conversant with the psalms, would not have been as necessary?
  20. Where can we find a song that it is prophesied that we will sing prior to Christ’s coming? Would we do well to learn that song now? (the latter is a rhetorical question)
  21. God had a purpose in giving music and song to men. What was its purpose? What is the practical relation of music to our need to have the Word of God in our minds?
  22. List some of the benefits of music, rightly done, listed on page 168. As ladies are especially sensitive to censure, what it be wise for them to make certain that there home sounded with sweet songs? That latter question is rhetorical.


Chap. 18 – Mysteries of the Bible


  1. To what extent are we able to understand the purposes of God?
  2. Think about the statement “faith must rest upon evidence, not demonstration.”  In the case of the truth that sin leads to death, can you see the wisdom in such a statement?
  3. What is the source of our difficulty in comprehending the mysteries of the Bible? What would you answer to this argument: The Bible was given as revelation to men. Then it must be possible that it will all be understood.
  4. Understand what EGW means when she urges that the incomprehensible nature of parts of the Bible message is evidence in favor of its Divinity. Be prepared to explain.
  5. Thought question: What does this mean: “mysteries that overpower the mind in its human research?”
  6. What could a man do to help himself who is tempted to doubt the Divine source of the Scriptures?
  7. How should we treat or relate to those portions of the scripture that seem beyond the possibility of being understood?
  8. What part of the Bible do you, personally, fully comprehend?
  9. What is the value to trying to comprehend “the great things of God’s word” when they are so totally beyond our ability to grasp?
  10. What evidence do you have that bread is nourishing for your body? What lesson does EGW draw from that illustration?
  11. Several chapters in the book Education have spoken about “keys.” This one introduces a key to every mystery and to the treasures of the universe.

For the Word Document: I_Education_17-18

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