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Discussion in 'General Baptist Discussions' started by Jerome, Sep 11, 2012.
GGBTS 2012 Convocation Address
It hasn't just been two decades, more like ten. The lack of knowledge of Scripture among Southern Baptist is appalling. The SS material is pathetic and that is all many if not most teachers use. Most preaching is not expository but pablum for those who willingly remain ignorant.
When I teach, I use the Bible. The Sunday School material is a book of commentary. The thing that really gets me is to have seven or eight chapters in a one week lesson, then just try to explain the "focal passage" usually a few verses. The focal passage is what the writer decides it should be and usually misses the core lessons of the chapters.
S/N, A very apt description of the SS material.
When I taught I used the Bible. Early in my teaching I simply used the Scripture in the SS literature as a basis. Later on I simply taught through a book at a time.
I attend a large SBC church and the leadership recently put the entire church on curriculum called The Gospel Project. It is some of the shallowest material I have ever seen. I don't understand how church leaders, who are supposed to be spiritually mature Christians, can push this pablum on the congregation. We no longer have any choices in terms of Bible study options. EVERY class is teaching the same thing. My wife & I have often lamented the Biblical ignorance in our churches. We have talked about leaving the church, but when we visited other churches, independent, southern & missionary, in the area several years ago, we couldn't find a single one that wasn't centered on shallow preachers & teachers who couldn't expound on the Word if their lives depended on it.
I'm curious if you are comparing this to former SBC curriculum or not. I thought the whole reason it was produced was to be LESS shallow and more theological. (I don't really know anything about the Gospel Project except a few online reviews).
Could you expound on a critique of it?
We are blessed with several really good Sunday School teachers. We use the Explore the Bible series from Lifeway, but the teachers feel free to supplement that material. I would describe our teachers' approach as anything but shallow.
At the same time, I recall one of our pastors saying "If all the Bible you get is from my preaching, and the Sunday School teacher, you're not getting enough. You need to get into the word yourself at home."
Or, I might add, join the Baptist Board.
I'm so very grateful to have grown up when all we had was our Bibles, from primary class on up.
Thing is, if you know IT, all this pablum missing the point stuff stands out like trying to spend monopoly money at the bank.
When you know the real deal, this fake stuff sure stands out.
Remember, we don't have a "famine of the Word" but a "famine of hearing the Word" upon us.
It's not a comparison to other materials, it's just painfully shallow. It is full of questions like, "If God id revealing Himself through creation and created things, what might the implication of this be on our own creativity?" & "Respond to the following statement: 'Preaching without words is like sending a text message without letters.' The questions are "what do you think about..." or "how do you feel about...." type questions. Quarterlies are made to be taught by people who don't have the gift of teaching. They don't ever have to open the Bible & expound on God's Word; just open the quarterly & read.
The entire church is going through the same material. Even the children are in The Gospel Project for Kids. My 11yr old is complaining about how shallow it is. It is boring her to tears. Every week she complains about never being taught anything or having a meaningful study of the Word beyond a casual reading & simplistic, if not silly, questions.
There's nothing theologically challenging about it. The last quarterly series was shallow, but at least my wife & I were able to occasionally take the class deeper when answering the questions. I honestly believe that Satan is working to keep Christians from ever growing beyond spiritual infancy. This curriculum seems written to discourage a deeper understanding of God & His Word.