[display_podcast][photopress:Old_hands_on_Bible.jpg,thumb,right]I recently had a conversation with a well-known pastor who claimed that theological colleges shouldn’t teach theology. After dropping that bombshell, he explained what he meant. Instead of simply teaching theology, he said, they should teach students how to do theology.
The distinction is important, and goes for churches as much as for theological colleges. Every Christian – not just those who will become our pastors – needs to be equipped to know not just what the Bible says, but how to find out what the Bible says. Sadly, few of our churches explicitly teach this skill, and most Christians are relying more and more on preachers and commentators to tell them what the Bible says, and losing the joy of discovering it for themselves.
Worse still, some evangelical churches appear to be preaching a new Catholicism. Just as medieval priests did not believe that the laity could be trusted to read the Bible on their own, so many evangelical churches give the impression that it’s just too risky to let the ‘ordinary Christian’ read the Bible without the help of more experienced Bible teachers in print or in person.