This past weekend, I taught a modular class for students wishing to fulfill deficiency requirements in order to enter into the graduate school of the Christian University. Before such students simply had to take the classes and this often delayed their entrance into the actual program. In an effort to remedy that situation, we decided to offer a concentrated weekend seminar where we taught several courses in a two day period. We had fifteen students signed up and all were church leaders.
The classes began at seven in the morning on Friday and ran through eight that evening with only a short break for lunch. On that first day I taught a series of classes dealing with the Old Testament. There I laid the theological foundation for the doctrines of God, creation, man, and sin. There were sections that dealt with prophesy and the messiah who was to come. Then on Saturday, we concentrated on the New Testament and focused on Jesus, the New Testament Church, and then concluded with a brief overview of Paulâ€™s epistles and then the book of Revelation.
In two days, I taught for more than sixteen hours with only a short break for lunch each day. Regular breaks were taken without interrupting the class and the secretary for the university simply brought us coffee and once a piece of pastry for a snack. It was an exhausting time as I worked hard to keep the class moving at a fast pace in order to keep on schedule. In a two day period, I basically presented an overview of Biblical theology to these new students. I had expected some fireworks, and certainly we had them. But in the end, the classes went off well and everyone was pleased with the result.
I was amazed at how readily the students accepted most of what I had to say about the structure, government, and doctrines of the New Testament church. I simply taught out of the Bible and whenever someone wished to challenge me, I insisted they do so by referring to a specific verse in the Bible that we could read and discuss. For the most part, that quickly resolved any differences we had. Most of the time doctrinal differences were in areas of opinion and not specifically related to a clear Biblical teaching, so things moved forward quite well. Whenever a student would ask for my opinion, I would simply say my opinion did not matter; it was what Godâ€™s Word said that was important.
As the class ended, two things happened that nearly overwhelmed me at Godâ€™s grace and goodness. For our closing prayer, the student who had been selected thanked God for making things so clear and for helping him to understand how he should teach and lead in the church. Then he went on to thank God for providing them with â€œa brilliant professor.â€ I was amazed and humbled as it was really just Godâ€™s Word and the Restoration Ideals that were â€œbrilliantâ€ since I had simply insisted we go to the Bible for our answers throughout the whole class.
As the students filed out, several commented on how unique that style of teaching was. Even people who had been leaders for years in churches commented that they had never had anyone teach them by simply going directly to the Bible and taking that simple and clear message so literally. It was a very tiring weekend, but a rewarding one as well as God blessed me with a great class that was so very responsive to His clear teaching.