A few weeks ago I offered three simple thoughts on teaching the Bible. While all of us are expected to teach the Bible privately to others, not all of us are called to teach the Bible in a public setting. For those of us who sense a desire and a calling to teach the Bible publicly, however, we must make sure we meet the all the right spiritual prerequisites. Teaching the Bible is serious business (James 3:1). What are these prerequisites? Continue reading “Prerequesites for Teaching the Bible”
In their helpful book Effective Bible Teaching, James C. Wilhoit and Leland Ryken remind us that ineffective teaching arises at one of two levels: (1) the planning and preparation level; (2) the presentation level. In this post I want to focus on the planning and preparation level. What happens in the planning stage that causes us to be ineffective in our teaching? Wilhoit and Ryken mention six pitfalls we should avoid as a prepare to teach. Continue reading “How Our Preparation Can Make Our Teaching Ineffective”
Serving as a teacher in a church with an abundance of graduate and post-graduate students can be tough. Alright, it can be downright depressing. With the bulk of one’s audience comprised of carefully studied, well-thought, broadly-read theologians, one who dares consider himself a teacher among such an assembly can often succumb to nagging feelings of intimidation and fear. If you are like me, you might often find yourself wondering what you might say this Sunday that many of your listeners haven’t already heard…or read…or thought extensively about. Continue reading “The Ministry of Reminding: Encouragement for Ordinary Bible Teachers”
I just completed John Frame’s The Doctrine of the Knowledge of God. The book is a wealth of theological and spiritual insight and I highly recommend it. It now resides on my desk, ready for its most valuable contents to be recorded onto my laptop. The following quote, I believe, places all theological labor in proper perspective.
Thus the theologian’s character gives him, by grace, that exemplary life that is requisite for the work of Christian teaching. But even if we seek to ignore that aspect and focus exclusively on verbal theology, we will find that, too, is highly influenced by the theologian’s character. Negatively, I believe that many of the ambiguities, fallacies, and superficialities that about in theology are failures of character as much as (or more than) intellect. Many of these could be avoided if theologians showed a bit more humility about their own level of knowledge, a bit more indulgence in pursuing the truth, a little more simple fairness and honesty (324).
Notice that Frame attributes theological “ambiguities, fallacies and superficiality” more to the theologian’s character than to his intellect. In other words, you may work hard in research, give yourself to reading and writing, and exercise your mind with categories of logic and philosophy, but if you are not giving equal or greater effort to cultivating Christian character, you may be just wasting your time.