Wednesday, October 12, 2005

So, the Angels of Anaheim (formerly of Fresno, before that from Bakersfield) whipped the White Sox last night, 3-2. The more I see and hear of Mike Scioscia, the Angels' manager, the more I'm impressed with him. Could it be a St. Louis vs. Anaheim World Series? We'll see. In the meantime, feel free to talk baseball to me. Here, halfway between Boston and the Bronx, it's gotten awfully quiet.

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Regarding the value of memorization, particularly great poetry and prose, take a look at this piece. Then, get Frost or Lincoln or somebody off the shelf and learn a line or two. Even better, learn it with your kids. It's the expressive equivalent of eating your vegetables. Sounds yucky. But it's good for you. And you might just come to love it.

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In our Wednesday-night Bible class, we just started a survey of the Old Testament's twelve Minor Prophets. Because these oracles come from different times and places, it's not easy to give an overview. The words and their messages tend to get overshadowed by the historical background that's essential to the way that we typically approach and use Scripture. All that to say, when a Bible teacher knows and is sensitive to the discrete history surrounding a passage, but also treats that passage as a word from God, be thankful and listen. It wasn't easy and you need to hear it.

1 comment:

Leland & Jackie said...

Frank,
I have not read nor followed all of the comments on teaching, learning, memorization, and Bible study. However, that doesn't stop me from commenting.

Although there were many negative aspects to my C of C heritage, one of the characteristics of my family, my home congregation, my Bible class teachers, etc. was that we were a "people of the Word." In order to become that kind of community, we had to read AND to memorize. Many of our church neighbors in the 1950s and 1960s did not do that. Looking back now I certainly appreciate that respect and reverance for God's Word. Sometimes it did become a worship of God's Word, but that is a topic for another day. [I think I agree with Randy Harris that it can be a form of idolatry.]

The stories of blind or illiterate preachers in our fellowship in the first half of the 20th century who depended on others to read the scripture to them, and managed to memorize large portions of the Word, still gives me shivers. There was such a man in Jackie's family; as I remember, blind from birth and could recite practically the entire NT.

We seem to have moved so far in the direction of "just teach them to make their own decisions" that many teenagers in Christian homes don't know if Moses or Noah or Paul wrote the Corinthian Epistles. (epistle, what a nice archaic word, shows my age).

My secondary education did not contain very much from the Classics. By the 1960s it had disappeared from the curriculum in our area. Thus, I was not introduced to Virgil, Homer, the Greek tradgedies, etc. until college and beyond. It was almost too late. My ear was not trained early enough to appreciate the sound; neither in English translation nor in Greek or Latin, and certainly not in Hebrew.

Unfortunately many adult "Sunday school classes" are moving (being pushed) away from textual studies to something more attractive, and we aren't reading/studying/meditating on the Scriptures at home. I am afraid few would describe us today as a "people of the Word." [Then I drive by a local church parking lot on Tuesday mornings and see 600+ ladies gathering for BSF and my faith in the pull of the Scriptures is renewed.]

Enough for now,
Leland