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This Week's Sermon




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    « Take It Slow And Study | Main | Reading Would Be A Good Start »

    When Maybe Doesn't Mean That Much


    My dear theologians,


    Was on a high school campus earlier today. Not unusual.

    Several days a week I’m in classrooms at any one of the high schools in the Sandy Eggo Unified School District.  Couple of reasons: First, the Office of College, Career and Technical Education asked me to ‘work’ with their first-year high school teachers, and secondly – well, and secondly, it’s where I find high school teachers.  A joy (Okay, and a challenge) to serve quite a number of wonderfully passionate teachers who, by this time in the school year, know that I when I walk into their classroom, I will be talking with their students before I talk with them.

    I’ll take a knee or pull up a chair next to a student and begin a conversation with, “Please tell me what you’re working on.” Two questions follow: 1. “How do you know when you’ve done it right?” 2. “Where, outside this classroom, might you use that skill?”

    The students with whom I interact are learning biotechnology, culinary arts, engineering, graphic communications, computer science, videography, entrepreneurship – to list a few. They know exactly what it means to be a student and learn in a structured way; they fill the role in class five days a week. They know they are expected to draw critical conclusions about what they read and hear and do in class. They complete hours of meaningful outside-the-classroom projects (I don’t believe in homework). They seek tutoring when the class becomes difficult. The students understand that what is important is worth time and effort to attain. They work hard to learn because learning points to definable future outcomes.

    Here’s an insert your own adjective here thought: What if we gave students the Bible and expected them to learn it? What if we asked them to read it like a book—to apply the same skills they are learning in their English class to this sacred text? Read entire books from start to finish. Annotate major themes. Summarize. Outline. Read repetitively. What if?

    What if we asked them to learn to rightly divide the Word of Truth with all the discipline they apply to learning construction skills, biomedical interventions or strategies for renewable energy? With the enthusiasm they invest in athletics, music and prom? In an age where the pattern for achieving success has been to repeatedly lower the bar, maybe we should do what my first-year teachers are taught: Raise it.

    “And your point is?” Well, what if we, as theologians, become students of Scripture…using a similarly structured approach? With a similar energy? What if we become eager to hear a conversation begin, “Please tell me what part of God’s Word you’re working on.”


    Just asking.

    In Your Debt,

    R                     A                      L                    P                     H

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