Monday, October 18, 2010

The Teaching We Have Neglected

Some of you may have heard that I started a course on Teaching the Bible, at East West College of Intercultural Studies, recently. The course is taught by Gerald Chee, who is wonderful.
But throughout the last two weeks a few interesting things have come up. Things, I think, are worth a mention. It basically sums up into saying, we don't teach the bible properly. Or we don't teach the bible enough, in many cases. Let me talk about this some more.

"The written word defines and introduces the living word."
Many churches don't focus on the Word. Sermons often feel like motivational speeches. I've heard many sermons about "being on fire for Christ, and living life for him". But they rarely go deeper into the Word of God, but without the word of God we can't "live life for him", because the word is what tells us how to live life for him. So they are telling us to do things, they haven't quipped us for.

"The word of God is sufficient for the work of God."
Another thing churches and Christians often spend a lot of their energy on, is miracles. Everyone wants to see miracles. People go around hopping from church to church trying to find the "anointing", but miracles are nothing compared to the word. Sure they're great when they happen, but that's not what our faith should be built on. Our faith should be build on the Word of God.

"The Focus on the Immediacy of Salvation"
We were given an article to read for class, it was by Joseph T. Bayly (I included the link at the bottom of the page), basically he asked Canon T.C Hammond's opinion on Christianity in America. And he said that he was impressed by our shallow treatment of the doctrines of sin and law. And he also said that we introduced children and adults to salvation, without first giving them a foundation in the knowledge of personal rebellion and sin. And he said that by offering this immediate salvation it gave a the result of people having a low view of Christ, grace and righteousness. What Canon Hammonds was trying to say was that we were, and still are, giving people immediate salvation before explaining the full deal (Gerald Chee likened it to insurance salesmen). We need to teach people the whole bible (which, by the way, doesn't have to take years, you can give an overview of the bible in 20 minutes) before offering them salvation.

Well there's something to think about. Maybe I'm wrong, or have completely misunderstood what Gerald has been saying, but I thought that was interesting.
Have a look at the link I have provided below, its an interesting little article, and it not very long (A page and a half).


  1. hey, thats pretty cool dan.
    I like the bit about sermons often being like motivational speeches, instead of them being from the bible sort of thing. Like it's all good if there's a topic being preached and they keep relating it back to the bible and what it says about that topic, but if they don't as you said go deeper into the word of God, they're missing the point. I like what we do at youth group, we just go through books of the bible, generally 1 chapter each time and he like explains it all and reveals God through what the word says. It's cool coz he makes it so that we understand it but it challenges us, because of corse it's straight from the bible.

  2. Thanks Celeste, I apperciate that.
    Your youth group sounds pretty onto it, it helps when there is someone who really understands what s\he is saying, and really unpacks it well. The other thing we have been talking about, is the fact that the bible isn't usually looked at as one story, thats somthing I should have touched on in this blog...