Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Calvinism vs Arminianism teaching

This Sunday I went to a teacher training event at our church (it's required if you want to teach class, or continue teaching classes) and it was taught by a local high school chemistry teacher, who is some high up guy in the Elk Grove unified School District teacher training program.
He taught us the importance of learning by groups, stressed how needless and harmful lecturing is to students, and emphasized how the best thing is to empower your hearers to become 'self-feeders.' 

The problem I quickly ran into is that last time I taught the whole class to a man demanded that I cast down group work and continue to lecture them. They wanted to know who Christ was, and what He has done, and they wanted me to show Him to them in the pages of Scripture where they may have missed it themselves.

I talked with our pastor who is over teaching about how this, how they wanted me to lecture, that they wanted to know about Christ, and he responded by telling me that because they are Calvinists they are closed minded and want their egos stroked. The reason they want lectures is because they want me to tell them what they want to hear, but for their own good I should ignore them and make them do group work.

It became clear to  me then that this is a nearly universal rule that in teaching Calvinists lecture, and Arminians empower.  A Calvinist naturally begins from the lowest point, not too proud to beg for help like the Ethiopian eunuch, while the Arminian starts from the high point, already knowing and having everything they need, so no lecture is required. And if it be admitted that this viewpoint is right then its consequences are devastating, for there is really no point to preaching is there? The congregation needs to break into small group and go through the material in order to learn, the last thing they want is a Biblical exposition. Or they may be better served with a play, or a funny skit, a coloring book, or maybe, well, anything, because people don't learn from lecturing. They learn from doing.
Why not close the doors and just to mission work?

My conscience won't let me give them group work and give up exposition. My conscious prompts me to feed them when they ask me- woe to me if I don't! I must raise up Christ, I must show Him in His book and make much of Him and His work. I suspect that they are going to take away my teaching position for ignoring their mandate to give up lectures and only do group work.
Let Christ do what seems best to Him. He has made me a Calvinist.


THEOparadox said...

Well, Jesus did have them break up into small groups and sit on the grass before the feeding of the 5,000. Just sayin'.

On a more serious note: good for you for doing it the way Peter and Paul did in the book of Acts. Let the Arminians keep their Romper Room approach. I suppose that was terribly unfair. :)

David said...

Oh man, that's brutal. :-)

Phil said...

Thanks for your vote of confidence guys.

City Lover-Country Dreamer said...