Doing The Unthinkable

“I put together a Bible class that does what few Bible classes do: cover the Bible, read the Bible. I spend half the class reading through the story books of the Old Testament (four chapters every day), then the boys spend ten minutes writing summaries of what they’ve heard, and then a few minutes reading out loud what they’ve written. There are no tests, no quizzes, I do not lecture, I rarely ask questions, but the mood of the class is serene and their retention of what they’ve heard is impressive.

Thus far, no one has complained, even while complaining might be easy. “Are you really getting paid so much per year just to read the Bible out loud to these boys? They could do that at home.” But they don’t. Almost no one does. The average graduate from a classical Christian school is Biblically illiterate, which reflects poorly on everyone, from the graduate to their parents to their church to their school. From time to time, I throw handfuls of simple Gospel questions at my students. “True or false: John the Baptist was one of the apostles,” or, “Who was present for the Transfiguration?” and so forth. Fewer than twenty percent can answer these sorts of questions. There is no point in teaching Augustine or Calvin to someone who doesn’t know the Bible. It is sheer arrogance to teach Trinitarian theology to a student who has read less than 4% of the Bible and cannot name more than four apostles.”

-from “A New Kind of Theology Class,” my latest for CiRCE

At the 2022 Gibbs Classical Online Conference, a fuller and more exact picture of how to run a theology class in this fashion will be offered. Full details on the conference are coming soon.

Published by Joshua Gibbs

Sophist. De-activist. Hack. Avid indoorsman.

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