Vol.XVIII No.X Pg.8
Stuff About Things
Robert F. Turner
I'm told some preacher, urging the brethren to greater efforts, said "We gotta have more 'Rather' brethren in this church. Those 'Rather' brethren 'gave diligence,' and that gets the work done." He was referring to 2 Pet. 1:10 which reads, "Wherefore the rather, brethren, give diligence to. " Yes sir, we need 'Rather' brethren!!
At this writing another semester of college teaching is coming to a close and teaching problems are on my mind. Experience continues to prove it is much easier to indoctrinate the student than it is to teach him to think objectively, and draw his own conclusions; to tell him what to put on the test paper, than to teach him to think for himself and prepare him for useful work. Since my school job is to teach techniques of interpretation, this is an exasperating matter.
The student may simply be interested in a grade, and feel he must determine what the teacher wants him to say — a short-sighted goal, but understandable from the student's point of view. But what is the excuse of those who attend church Bible classes and say they look to heaven for a grade? What percentage of church members are more interested in proving what they have "always thought," or their conception of "sound church doctrine," than in digging out just what the inspired writer said in a given verse?? I do not know the percentages, but I know how hard it is to get a church Bible class to study objectively.
We are long overdue for higher standards in church Bible classes and furnishing better teaching procedures for those saints who really want to learn. We must take the chip from our shoulder, swallow our pride, and say, "I want truth. Teach me how to dig it out for myself." It is too late for some to make such an effort, but special classes could be provided for those who are willing to try.
Of course there will be times one feels like quitting. When I asked for the name of the slave sent back to Philemon, one student (probably joking) answered, "Ferrell Jenkins." I marked his answer "X," deducted the required points, then added this note: "I think you have this confused with the name of the Philippian jailor." (No comment from bro Jenkins!!)