Teaching, Listening to the Text

Many students around the world hold their teachers, and older teachers especially in high regard. They copy everything you say and everything you write on your portable whiteboard into notebooks. They are not typically encouraged to question, synthesize and ponder for themselves.

That is a great place to start. Without information you cannot think or synthesize rightly. But if it ends with information we have gained nothing.

Not only must they know what the Bible says, but they also must know it in their hearts (Ezra 7:10; Deuteronomy 6). If the truths are not on your heart, if you haven’t struggled with knowing and love and serving God in your innermost being, you cannot teach others. You cannot lead where you have not gone.

So in addition to teaching what the Bible says, I’m also driven to teach them to think. And to think personally. What does this mean for me?

And, I ask questions, I break them up into discussion groups, I challenge their thinking and accepted ways of doing Bible study. I want them to be self-motivated, Spirit guided, Bible lovers and doers.

At TLI we understand that teaching someone to fish is much better than just giving him a fish. We teach principles of Biblical interpretation, principles of teaching and preaching, principles of living a godly life. I want them to stare at the text with focused attention until the light comes through. Some biblical passages are almost too familiar to us, and we pass over the gold nuggets. Other passages strain our understanding of who God is – we didn’t think He would do that or act that way. But He is who He is, and we must change the way we think about Him to be in alignment with what He says about Himself lest we fall into the error in Psalm 50:21, “You thought I was just like yourself.” ESV.

The Bible is first and foremost a book about God from God. He desires that we know Him, and in knowing Him we will love Him. And if we love him we will keep His commandments, John 14:21.

So take up and read the book. Be amazed, astounded, reminded, awakened, moved, compelled at who He is and how you can serve the greatest and only God and His Son Jesus Christ.

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