Our "sampler platter" has been a weekly series on this blog. (For a brief introduction to this series, click here or here to see previous entries.) In this post I want to continue the same trend this series has begun by pointing you to a few "bite-sized" portions of things I've been reading or reviewing. But this week I'm going to add a twist: Each of the readings this week will be related to teaching and/or learning.
This focus on teaching and learning is important to do. Remember that The Brookside Institute is all about building and reinforcing foundations of the Christian faith - and the primary way we do this is through teaching and equipping. (Click here to read a bit more on the core message of the Brookside Institute.) Since that's the case, we can't focus only on WHAT we teach. We also need to think deeply about HOW we teach and HOW others learn. We need to champion THAT the value of teaching is worth pursuing and upholding. I'm hopeful the readings this week will help keep some of these things in front of us.
Let's start sampling:
J.I. Packer and Gary A. Parrett, Grounded in the Gospel: Building Believers the Old-Fashioned Way. Baker Books, 2010, p. 24:
"...for most contemporary evangelicals the entire idea of catechesis [i.e., grounding and growing believers in core truths of the Christian faith] is largely an alien concept. The very word itself - catechesis, or any of its associated terms, including catechism - is greeted with suspicion by most evangelicals today. ('Wait, isn't that a Roman Catholic thing?') Ironically...it was the Reformers who impelled the church of Rome to once again take catechesis seriously. In recent decades, while the Catholic church has renewed its catechetical labors with vigor, most evangelicals have not likewise returned to their own catechetical roots....
"In offering this book we hope to contribute to a much-needed evangelical course correction on these matters. We are persuaded that [John] Calvin had it right and that we are already seeing the sad, even tragic, consequences of allowing the church to continue uncatechized in any significant sense. We are persuaded, further, that something can and must be done to help the Protestant churches steer a wiser course. The part we hope to play with this particular project is that of making the case for a recovery of significant catechesis as a nonnegotiable practice in specifically evangelical churches."
Rick Yount in The Teaching Ministry of the Church, 2nd ed. Ed by William R. Yount. B&H Academic, 2008, p. 238:
"We make a dangerous assumption when we walk into a classroom thinking that our students are ready to learn. Our learners have their hearts and minds on a hundred different things, and they may not be at all ready to focus on the subject at hand....Their pump needs priming. The intention of pump priming is to focus hearts and minds on a central issue that will prepare the way for the learning activities that follow."
Howard Hendricks in Teaching To Change Lives: Seven Proven Ways to Make Your Teaching Come Alive. Multnomah, 1987, p. 117:
"Remember, your goal as a teacher is to develop lifelong learners. Your teaching time is to be a stimulus, not a substitute [for students doing the activity of learning for themselves]."
Christian. Husband. Father. Pastor. Learner. Contributor. Reader.