Intellect vs. Experience
I think Virkler is on to something with his Lamad method of learning which he states is, “All learning and teaching is ultimately to be found in the fear of the Lord. The goal of teaching is not the impartation of facts but the changing of lives. For the Hebrew, knowledge (yadah) involves personal encounter and response to God’s revelation. The classroom is not separated from life but is actually part of our lives.”
The Church has to take a different mindset towards its teachers if it is to effectively minister from a five-fold perspective. Learning isn’t what you know, but how to use what you know effectively producing changed, Christ-like, Godly, lives. It involves personal encounter, experience, and response to God’s revelation. It is one thing to intellectually know what forgiveness is, but it is another to actually accept it in one’s life and extend it to others. How do you teach forgiveness? Memorizing its definition, studying what noted theologians in their academic verbiage have spouted, or reciting the many scriptural passages on it? Or do you actually forgive your brother or sister who erred you, and also receive forgiveness from those you have wronged?
Field Trips are always better than bookwork in a classroom because they become practical everyday “life experiences”. Jesus constantly took his disciples on field trips, which we will examine in future blogs.
When I think of the hundreds of hours I have spent listening to academic sermons from the pulpit, speakers at conferences, Sunday School and Bible School teachers as a kid, and Bible courses I have taken, I question how effective they were in changing my life. Walking the streets witnessing with an experienced, gifted, passionate evangelist was far more effective than reading about evangelism from a book or writing a paper about it.
It is good to get a revelation through the Bible, taught to us by the Holy Spirit, but it is in the “response” to it in “life experiences” that bring the change. Let’s examine in the next few blogs, how to do that!