After his year in the UK among the Crowded House, Steve is asking some excellent questions about the way in which teaching and preaching functions in churches.
The normal theory is that ‘good teaching’ makes better Christians but Steve says:
“But as I look around I find myself in somewhat of a quandary. If good biblical teaching is as effective as evangelical ministry and bible training centres say it is, why in general is there not an obvious and qualitative difference in the lives of the people who sit under such ministries, compared with the lives of those people who sit under so called “bad” or “poor” teaching?”
In his next post he goes on to describe the behavioural differences between a solid Bible believing evangelical church and a more liberal church:
“One was a conservative evangelical church replete with a good teaching ministry, while the other was what is often called “evan-jelly-cal” bordering on what many would call liberal, with a (not surprisingly) lower view of teaching the Bible. Yet when it was examined which church had more impact in, and involved itself more self-sacrificially with, the local community and all of its no-go lower socio-economic areas, it was the latter not the former that scored the points.”
I guess the advocates of ‘good teaching’ may well suggest that there really isn’t
good teaching in these churches, but my gut feeling tells me that Steve is onto something important.
There is something about the way we ‘work out’ the teaching we encounter that results in more Christlike lives or not. So it leads to the question that Steve addresses – maybe the issue is less to do with the quality of the teaching and more to do with the way in which is church is configured.
Steve is not working from any empirical data, just subjective observations, but I think he is onto something and asking a very important question.
It begs the question – how we ‘do church’ in a way that actually sees us growing in our Christlikeness rather than our Christ knowledge?