Are We Training Parrots or Making Disciples?

In a guest post on the Crossway blog I discuss the relationships between exegesis, biblical theology, and historical theology in the process of disciple-making.

Are your assumptions about the people who hear you preach and teach an affront to the reality that they are made in the image of God?

Here’s the intro:

Solid exegesis, biblical theology, and systematic theology are necessary for preaching and teaching. We don’t exercise these skills merely for our own excellence in sermon delivery, but because the people in the pews have the ability to think, analyze arguments, read the Bible for themselves, and formulate answers to questions that we may never even address from the pulpit.

The whole thing.

4 Responses to Are We Training Parrots or Making Disciples?

  1. Steve Drake May 17, 2012 at 5:18 pm #

    Are your assumptions about the people who hear you preach and teach an affront to the reality that they are made in the image of God?

    As a layperson, made in the image of God, would you as a pastor welcome my reminding you of this?

  2. Steve Drake May 18, 2012 at 10:02 am #

    Hi Jim,
    In looking at my above, I didn’t mean it to sound as harsh as it seems now that I look at it in second light. I apologize for that. I guess I only only meant to explore what you might say is the layperson’s response to this. Blessings brother.

  3. Chris Taylor May 22, 2012 at 8:59 am #

    Not sure if Crossway will allow you to re-post the piece here, but this is such an excellent overview that it merits a wider distribution.

    On a slightly different note: it does make me wonder why so many adult classes are structured around more of a monologue type (dare I say systematic) approach. If comprehension is a goal, then shouldn’t the teacher want more feedback from the disciples to assess where everyone’s at?

    Also, if a more Socratic method is adopted, both the teacher and the disciples can often benefit from doing biblical theology as a group. When three or more Bible saturated minds wrestle with a text, the Holy Spirit has more vessels through whom he can bring other passages to mind.

    As younger disciples see how more mature disciples do biblical theology, they also get a sense for how it’s done, so they can begin to practice it themselves.

    • JMH May 22, 2012 at 9:02 am #

      Thanks for the encouragement, Chris, and Amen!

Leave a Reply