Daniel: Revealer of Secrets (Part 2)

Daniel: Revealer of Secrets (Part 2)

In the last installment, I introduced you to my friend from ancient Babylon, the prophet Daniel.

I commented on some of the overarching themes of his book in the attempt to demonstrate its significance, and further provide some structure that might aid additional study. But I also tried to remind us of Daniel’s real, human experiences as a captive in Babylon—and the impression they should make on each one of us.


Pastors Teach


“Run the simulation on a [pastor/elder] candidate: Would the most natural commendation, relative this particular man, be … ‘He’s able to teach—if you put a gun to his head?’ Or would it be … ‘He’s the kind of man who will hardly stop teaching—even if you put a gun to his head.’” - 9 Marks


Memories of Merciful Teachers


“Now, these are …two very different men, with very different personalities, approaches, and teaching styles. But in my formative years in academia they both showed me mercy, and nearly 50 years later I still remember.” - Dan Olinger


In Memoriam: My Remembrance of Dr. John C. Whitcomb

The first time I met Dr. John C. Whitcomb,1 he made me feel like I was greeting an old friend.

You see, Dr. Whitcomb loved people. He had a heart for—a genuine interest in—everyone that he met, including every student in his classroom.

The classroom where we connected on that warm September day was commonly used for seminary classes and chapel at Faith Baptist Theological Seminary in Ankeny, Iowa. The course was called “Biblical Fundamentalism.”


Dr. Myron Hougton Retires After Distinguished Teaching Career


“Dr. Houghton began his teaching ministry in 1971 at Denver Baptist Bible College and at FBBC in 1983. Once the seminary opened in 1986, “Dr. Myron,” as he is known, became chairman of the theology department and has been the only person to serve in that position during the seminary’s 32-year history.” - RBPress


The Blame Game and Spiritual Preparedness

I do a lot of reading, as you probably know. Right now, I am reading a splendid book on the subject of apologetics titled, Finding Truth: 5 Principles for Unmasking Atheism, Secularism, and Other God Substitutes, by Nancy Pearcey.

Unfortunately, despite the amazing nature of this book, the author makes the same mistake I have heard repeated time and time again: the claim that our churches do not prepare our youth with the answers to the questions and challenges they will face in college.


Mistakes Bible Teachers Make: Application Problems (Part 1)

No teacher of the Bible wants to be ineffective. The vast majority do teaching work because they love the Scriptures, care about people, and want to be part of God’s work of growing fellow believers into “the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ” (ESV, Eph. 4:13). They love to see people discover, learn, and improve.

Still, though their hearts are in the right place, many teachers rightly sense that their teaching isn’t as good as it could be. Application problems are a likely cause, for two reasons: First, students who have truly experienced a new birth (1 Pet. 1:3, 23) value good application more than anything else. Second, teachers are commonly not trained to understand and develop sound and effective applications.

The result is that several application problems are easy to find in churches of fundamentalist heritage.


Mistakes Bible Teachers Make - Ineffective Questions

Teaching the Bible in a relatively small, somewhat informal setting provides unique advantages and blessing for both students and teachers. The spontaneity and interaction can often turn the class into a collaborative effort to edify and encourage one another, and no matter how high his level of expertise, the teacher is often edified as much as anyone else.

But there are many ways to reduce the effectiveness of this teaching format. Well-intentioned teachers can easily discourage participation, focus, and thoughtful engagement—in some cases to the point that everyone is discouraged and frustrated rather than built-up and refueled.

We’ll consider some common mistakes teachers make with this kind of teaching, focusing for now on question-related problems.


Adventures in Parenting: Trust

In my experience, one of the most difficult aspects of parenting is teaching my children about sin while not discouraging them.

While our firstborn was growing up, we were in church circles that placed an emphasis on teaching children about their sin nature and the consequences of sin. Sounds biblical and reasonable, right? However, the way this played out was to treat children like they were always being deceitful, always up to something, and couldn’t be trusted. Ever. I can’t tell you how many times I heard Psalm 58:3 quoted:


A “Hold Nothing Back” Approach to Ministry

A Rigorous Approach

In a previous article, I showed that every Christian is responsible to teach the Word of God. But God does not call every Christian to be a shepherding teacher (a pastor, Eph. 4:11), and not every Christian receives the spiritual gift of teaching (Rom. 12:7). Still, every Christian is responsible to teach (Heb. 5:12). Thus, every pastor is responsible to motivate and equip the members of the church he shepherds to teach the Word of God effectively (Eph. 4:12).

Paul deployed this strategy. He trained Timothy in both what to teach and how to teach those things to others (2 Tim. 2:2). So how did he do this? What method did he follow? He tells us that he held nothing back. He reveals this rigorous approach in Acts 20:20, when he told the church at Ephesus that he “kept back nothing that was profitable” from them. This rigorous approach reveals why the Ephesian church affected the outlying region so well (Acts 19:10). As Paul equipped them to do the work of the ministry, he held nothing back that enabled them to do this.