Posted: October 27th, 2022

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Read my classmate post. Think and write your thoughts and feelings about his post. (1 page)

                                                  Classmate’s Post 

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As a Christian leader, we must continuously evaluate the balance between Biblical vs. worldly curriculum. On the one hand, we would be remiss if we only taught the Bible and refused to bring outside sources into our lessons. However, I have seen pastors, teachers, and religious leaders who, in their effort to seem current, leave out the Bible altogether. Thus, removing the saving power of the Word from their teaching. 

As I read, though, and pondered on this subject, I sought guidance from the scriptures themselves. I believe the 3rd Chapter in 2 Timothy lays the foundation for any Christian leader/teacher. The first five verses open by describing all the issues, problems, and perils of the last days. As Christians, we can all recognize these issues in our current world situations. Likewise, we can recognize them as the problems we find within our ranks of the church. 

Nevertheless, God gives us the cure or answer to these (future/current) problems in verses 15-17, “15and how from infancy you have known the Holy Scriptures, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus. 16 All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, 17 so that the servant of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.”

These verses lay out the need, the requirement, that scripture be used in our teaching. When we include the Word, then we invite the spirit to enter and teach. By having the spirit through the Word, we are promised in John 14:26 that, “But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all that I said to you.” 

I recently taught a lesson on mental health. In this class, I focused on the Bible context and how God can guide us through these difficult times. Likewise, I also added research from a Jewish researcher. In her research, she studied the effectiveness of counseling.

What she found was shocking. Counseling alone only works 16% of the time. However, when coupled with medication, religious foundation, church fellowship, and faith, the success rate rises above 90%. Is this information found in the Bible? It is not; however, it does prove the importance of one’s faith and the need a person has for a foundation in God.

When I teach, I try to maintain an 80/20 ratio. Thereof course is variance depending on the topic, but this seems to be an achievable amount. 

One crucial thought I found in the reading is the description and the importance of theology in our teaching. I have been taught that religion is a great way to deal with/see the world in its current context. Religion helps individuals and groups deal with the current circumstances. However, theology is much deeper than that. Some might call religion the milk and theology the meat. 

Robert Pasmino states that “theology helps to move us beyond our immediate context to address the matters of continuing significance and depth.”

[1]

In other words, theology focuses on answering the questions. William Yount describes theology as “Theology represents an attempt to summarize the teachings of the church. For those Christians who emphasize the Bible over church tradition or philosophical speculation, these summaries attempt to capture the essence of what the Bible teaches.”

[2]

In my discussions with fellow Christian teachers, I commonly hear the question of how much milk (religion) vs. meat (theology) should be taught to their congregations. The problem they see is that some on the bench are ready and needing meat. While many sitting next to them are still in need of the milk. 

I honestly do not have a definite answer that fits all situations. Instead, our discussions usually lead to the conclusion that each congregation and person is unique. That what works in one church may not work in another. But, we do all agree that a variety must be offered. A variety of sermons, Sunday school classes, and Bible studies allows the individual to receive milk and meat at the level they are prepared to receive.   

[1] Pazmiño, Robert W.. Doing Theological Research: An Introductory Guide for Survival in Theological Education, Wipf and Stock Publishers, 2009. ProQuest Ebook Central, http://ebookcentral.proquest.com/lib/amridge/detail.action?docID=5705740.

[2] Yount, William. The Teaching Ministry of the Church: Second Edition, B&H Publishing Group, 2008. ProQuest Ebook Central, http://ebookcentral.proquest.com/lib/amridge/detail.action?docID=665100.

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