The first day of class whether it’s at Southern Bible in Oak Cliff, TX or Word of Life Bible Institute in South Korea, the students expect you to give them a syllabus, and it needs to give them all the quiz and tests dates. They also want you to spell out what kind of questions are going to be on the tests. Usually they prefer fill in the blanks, multiple choice, or matching—the objective facts kind of questions.
After opening in prayer I hold up my iPhone and say, “This little machine is smarter than all of you!” Then I pause. “When it comes to retrieving information, a couple of minutes on Google and it spits out millions of facts. What it can’t do, however, is figure out whether these facts are true, teach you how to compare different points of view, analyze the ‘story line,’ or teach you how to apply facts to concrete situations in life. In other words, it can’t teach you how to think critically and live skillfully and wisely.”
The Hebrew sages knew that students needed to do much more than parrot what their teachers said. Their purpose was revealed in Proverbs 1:2,
“To internalize skillful living that can only be achieved through discipline. To discern the words of discernment.” Proverbs 1:1
LORD, thanks for the special students you have given me at Southern Bible Institute in Old Testament Introduction this semester. Already I can see Your Spirit moving them to internalize insights into Your Word. Guide every moment of class so that these students will become skillful in life and passionate in intimacy with You. Help me to internalize skillful living as their teacher.
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