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Posted: October 15, 2010 12:30 a.m.

Bible Encounter

Local pastor assembles presentation of both testaments of The Good Book

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Give the Rev. John Dallas two hours and he can teach you about the Bible, taking the stories and people in the Old Testament and tying them in with Christ’s story in the New Testament.

Dallas, pastor of Shiloh United Methodist Church in Covington, has developed a free program called Bible Encounter that’s designed for both newcomers to God’s word as well as to those with years of Bible study under their belt.

It will be offered Oct. 31 at Gaithers United Methodist Church and again in November at Shiloh. See bibleencounter.com, or call Dallas at (770) 787 1087, or e-mail him at johndallaspastor@gmail.com.

"The advantage of this format is that seekers who aren’t going to commit to six weeks of Bible study but who want to know more about the Bible can get a good overview in two hours," said Dallas. "And it’s a good review for people who grew up with the Bible."

Dallas’ PowerPoint presentation contains more than 200 slides that are seen for about 30 seconds each. The fast pace and visual nature of the study help attendees to maintain interest and retain the facts that they learn.

Bible Encounter is an interactive study as well; participants are encouraged to ask questions throughout the presentation

The impact of the evening can be profound.

"It’s like when people see the earth for the first time in a satellite picture," said Dallas. "They see the whole thing in a way they never have before."

Dallas is a 25-year veteran in the pulpit and has long wanted to raise the level of Biblical knowledge among his congregants. Over the years, he came up with different devices to help people remember the truths of Scripture, and he compiled them.

A few years ago, Dallas began putting his ideas into a PowerPoint presentation, showing them to members of his church. He fleshed out the presentation, and Bible Encounter was born. After sharing the format with some of his church members, Dallas felt led to share it with other churches as a way to develop greater Biblical knowledge for even more Christians.

"I’ve heard it said that when God opens a door, you have to go through it," said Dallas. "So I met with some pastors and friends and we looked at ways to improve it so that we could share it."

Dallas says he is surprised at the response he has received from Bible Encounter participants.

"The thing I love the most is when people leave the study saying, ‘I want to learn more. I want more of the Bible,’" he said. "We provide people with just enough of a taste that they want to dig in a little more."

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