Reformed Bible study sticks to Scripture

The+Remnant+Bible+study+gathers+in+CFAC+263+each+Friday.+Photo+by+Megan+Mann.

The Remnant Bible study gathers in CFAC 263 each Friday. Photo by Megan Mann.

At 4:00 p.m. on Friday afternoons, most Calvin students are ready to dive head-first into the weekend. While students pour out of classrooms discussing evening plans, The Remnant, a Bible study centered on Reformed theology, begins its weekend by studying God’s word.

The Remnant is a student-led, student-organized Bible study that meets in CFAC 263, a glass-paneled room nicknamed “the fishbowl,” every Friday. Senior Daniel Dick and junior Jeffery Karol are the group’s student leaders, and they established the group last year.

“We saw a need for Bible study that spoke to people on an apologetic basis especially,” said Dick. “We found that especially in college there’s a lot of attacks on Reformed faith, and people searching through answers in their lives, trying to figure out where they stand on these issues. So they need clarification and conversation.”

One way the study embraces values of the Reformed church is by upholding the centrality of Scripture.

“We put a lot of stress on the Bible being essential to everything we believe, and we want everything to be substantiated by the word of God. We spend a lot of time discussing the word and how it relates to topics that are contemporary and important to college students,” Dick said.

The Remnant is currently studying Romans, a book filled with rich theology that provides ample opportunity for discussion and learning. As the group shifted its focus from studying Hebrews to studying the book of Romans, it decided to change its name from Mere Christianity to something a bit more fitting.

“Now we’re studying Romans, and there’s a lot more difficult, more relevant contemporary issues that stood out to us. So we changed it to The Remnant because of that apologetic stance,” Dick said. “We feel like in a Christian community, standing out as a community that really knows what we believe, that’s really important. That way we stand out as The Remnant.”

While the group is student-led, it is also under the mentorship of two pastors who frequently visit the study to help tackle challenging questions. Both pastors are from United Reformed churches: Pastor Mitchell Dick from Sovereign Grace United Reformed Church and Brian Vos from Trinity United Reformed Church.

The group begins each meeting with prayer and Scripture reading, and focuses on one chapter of Scripture for two weeks. The format of the study is question-focused; students learn from one another as they discuss topics from Scripture and apply insight from their own experience. Following discussion, the students compare what they talked about to what is written in Scripture.

Dick encourages students to attend The Remnant for a variety for reasons. One reason is the intentional, albeit unusual, time of the meetings.

“We chose Fridays at four because it’s the end of the week, and it’s Friday. And a lot of times it’s not the time you might think you want to study the Word. But it puts a closure on the week and gives students a way to finish everything out and establish themselves for the weekend. Having that study and focus on the word of God at end of the week is so important.”

Another reason Dick invites students to attend is because the study gives students the opportunity to become more confident in their faith.

“Every day I interact with students who don’t believe the same things that I do,” Dick said. “And I want to have a reason for everything I believe. I don’t want to just believe it because my parents believed it. I want to know why they believed it, and then I want to make that faith my own.” The Remnant hopes to help students take ownership of their faith by providing a space to focus on and discuss God’s word with others who care about Scripture and apologetics.

The Remnant is open to any and every student, regardless of theological background or belief. In addition to weekly Bible studies, the group fosters community through events such as game nights or dodgeball tournaments. To learn more about the group, look for announcements in student news.

“We are here for people at Calvin, and actually have people attending from other colleges too,” Dick said. “We have people from Kuyper, Cornerstone, GRCC. And we want it to be an open invitation to everyone. And know that you will be welcome, even if we disagree.”