the biblical preparation of the sunday‐school teacher
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This article was downloaded by: [University of Auckland Library]On: 06 December 2014, At: 21:32Publisher: RoutledgeInforma Ltd Registered in England and Wales Registered Number: 1072954 Registered office: Mortimer House,37-41 Mortimer Street, London W1T 3JH, UK
Religious Education: The official journal of theReligious Education AssociationPublication details, including instructions for authors and subscription information:http://www.tandfonline.com/loi/urea20
THE BIBLICAL PREPARATION OF THE SUNDAYSCHOOLTEACHERWilliam J. Mutch Ph. D. aa Professor of Philosophy and Education , Ripon CollegePublished online: 11 Aug 2006.
To cite this article: William J. Mutch Ph. D. (1909) THE BIBLICAL PREPARATION OF THE SUNDAYSCHOOL TEACHER, ReligiousEducation: The official journal of the Religious Education Association, 4:3, 260-262, DOI: 10.1080/0034408090040304
To link to this article: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/0034408090040304
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260 RELIGIOUS EDUCATION
a wise and loving personality beyond these unseen but marvelousforces pf nature.
If I have made myself clear in the foregoing, I think you willall recognize the fact that reverence lies at the foundation of allreligious training. Reverence on the part of the child for thepower Within himself. Reverence also for the great mysteriouspower, which is constantly being manifested in the world aroundhim and reverence and love for the great Personality that hascreated both him and the world of nature. It is when this spiritof reverence has been awakened in the child that the Bible can betruly and helpfully taught to him. Unless there is this reverence,it is too often "sounding brass and tinkling cymbals." When soprepared he hears the stories of the Bible heroes his own heart isfilled with the same faith in the presence of God in the affairs ofmen, that animated their hearts, and their lives become living,vital examples to him.
I do not mtean by this that I would delay familiarizing achild with the grand old stories of the Bible heroes, nor would Ipostpone teaching him some of the sublime utterances found inthe Book of Books. But I would have his own experiences, theworld of nature about him and the daily life of those nearest tohim prepare him to understand the Bible teachings and to confirmthe Bible statement
In our modern, hurried, congested life, where the emphasis istoo often placed on external things, the rapid dressing for churchor Sunday, school, the hasty learning of the Sunday-school lesson,the too often critical discussion of the sermon in the presence ofthe child, tends to deaden this feeling of "unity with God, sereneand strong in every condition and relation of life, and it is thisthat we need, if as a Nation we are to go forward to the GreatDestiny that seems to be ours: for without true religion, ourgreat material prosperity, our wonderful political, constitutionwill be as nothing and the story of Babylon and Minerva will berepeated in the downfall of America.
THE BIBLICAL PREPARATION OF THE SUNDAY-SCHOOL TEACHER.
WILLIAM J. MUTCH, Ph. D.,Professor of Philosophy and Education, Ripon College.
While the- non-professional teacher may not generally get thegrounding of technical study, yet he may, by a few years of well-guided effort, get a good preparation. His child years in Sundayschool should do for him one thing which they have not been
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doing, but which they are now beginning to do for those who willbe teachers ten years hence.
1. There should be 200 Bible stories so mastered in their nar-rative and dramatic features that they can never be forgotten,but are on tap for any emergency. This is children's work, andchildhood grades should provide for it. It is hard to learn themin adult life, but it can be done, and it ought to be done by anyperson honored with a call to teach the Bible to the young. Thelack of this can not be made up by outlines and general summa-ries, any more than the geometrical outlines of a mince pie canbe a substitute for the real thing. These stories cannot be usedif known only by title; but there must be a wealth of detail, whichwill admit of selection to suit the age and attainments of thosetaught. To master 200 Bible stories in this way is an ideal limit;but it is also a practical goal toward which one may be actuallyworking; and there is no kind of preparation open to the teacherthat is so rewarding as this, and" none so easily within the reachof all. Practically no critical knowledge is. necessary for this,for the main use to be made of such stories is with children, forwhom the values lie on the surface. The action and wonder ele-ments are of chief importance. The historical and literary impli-cations are not to be considered.
2. It is desirable, and.now-a-days quite practicable for theordinary lay teacher to have his point of view or conception Qfthe origin and nature of the sacred writings corrected and tonedup by an acquaintance with modern discussion. It will save teach-ers from mistakes and absurdities which even children can appre-ciate. It will give proportion and perspective to the treatment ofthe Bible, and enable one to drop into the background manythings which are less profitable and more difficult; and the wayis thereby cleared for the important and the suitable. This is themark of a good workman in Bible teaching, and this is what ismeant by "rightly dividing, or handling aright the word oftruth." An a priori assumption that the Bible is thus and so, is avery easy handling of this part of the problem; but it does greatdamage, because it can never be a true assumption. Everyteacher ought to own and study one of the modern and simplebooks of Introduction to the Bible. This, and the detailed studyof some passages with the help of some modern mind, is the onlyway to gain a true point of view as to what the Scripture really is.
3. If the grounding in the stories, and the point of view canbe secured by a teacher, the third discipline in Bible history anddoctrine will almost take care of itself. They are large subjects,and are commonly thought of as the first and only knowledge forthe teacher to secure. They are so large that ordinary teachersare made to feel their incompetence unduly, when they measure
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their modest attainments by these great sciences. I make bold tosay that, for the average teacher in the Church school, this largediscipline is not half as important as the two more humble attain-ments first mentioned. This is certainly true for the lowergrades; and when the more advanced work calls for these higherforms of instruction, a teacher who knows the BibleTstories andthe general character of the Bible, can advance with the classinto the higher levels of intensive and extensive study. For thework in a particular grade a teacher will of course acquire aspecial familiarity with those parts of the Bible and that subjectmatter best suited for that grade.
Great familiarity with the story element of the Bible, a rea-sonable point of view for the reading of it, and a fair knowledgeof its historical and doctrinal content, are the biblical prerequi-sites for good teaching given in the order of their importance.
PRESENT NEEDS IN YOUNG PEOPLE'S WORK.
WILLIAM H. GEISTWEIT, D. D VPastor First Baptist Church, Peoria, III.
Unquestionably we are confronting difficult conditions in thework among young people in the churches. Those of us whohave been actively identified with the movements of the past fif-teen years, are extremely sensitive on the subject; for it is saidwith increasing frequency that there is a receding tide noticeablein this special phase of Christian work. Work among young andgrowing people is always difficult, for the reason that life itself isever changing in its expression and in its need. The point ofcontact is ever changing, and there is a continual demand forrea