Tuesday, November 18, 2008

How to Teach Doctrine

Is doctrine important? You bet it is. Doctrine is a collection of beliefs, or a body of teachings that identifies Christianity’s belief system. Doctrine keeps the church on the straight and narrow way. Knowing doctrine helps us to easily identify false doctrine.

Biblical doctrine should be taught.

Man-made doctrine is evil.

Some examples of Biblical doctrine:
The Trinity.... The Virgin Birth.... Fall of Man & Sin.... Deity of Jesus Christ... Salvation.... Judgment of God... The Holy Spirit.... Sanctification...And a whole lot more.

We teach Biblical doctrine all the time. We teach it in our Sunday services, small groups, in our teen and children’s classes, and every other teaching venue we have. That’s why PCC is so well-grounded in God’s Word and our people are not easily deceived by the sleight of men.

When we teach doctrine, we keep it interesting. Here’s how:

1. Doctrine should be in a relational manner. One of the big mistakes some Bible teachers make is presenting doctrine as only a proposition or a statement. That gets boring pretty quick and is always very dry. Rather we should understand that all doctrine originates from God, who loves every person, and that is relational.

2. Doctrine should be taught as a narrative. We often present doctrine as an abstract statement that exists outside of time and history. But doctrine comes from good theology which is the re-telling of the story God's search for man. Plenty of stories abound in God’s Word that illustrate doctrinal truths. Teach doctrine in a narrative format (the telling of a story) and people will be captivated – plus they learn better. This is how Jesus taught.

3. Doctrine should be interesting. When you present sound doctrine based on a theology that is relational and narrative people will engage. It is inexcusable to make the Bible boring. When Bible teachers/preachers make the Bible boring, the unlearned believe God is boring. Nothing could be further from the truth.

4. Doctrine makes for great discussion. You ought to be a fly on the wall in some of our small groups. The discussions are great. Additionally, our teenagers have been systematically going through the books of 1 Samuel and 2 Samuel this year, chapter by chapter. They talk, are engaged, retain truths, and enter eagerly into the discussion. Yet, they are learning doctrine.