The project of learning has changed fundamentally in the past few decades. Not too long ago, much of education was a matter of learning how to find information. That’s no longer the case.
Thanks to the advent of the Internet, locating a wealth of information on any topic is as quick and easy as tapping a few words into your web browser.
Finding information is easy. Figuring out what to do with it is the new challenge. What sources are trustworthy? How do I prioritize what I find? What is the difference between fact and opinion? These are the kind of questions a contemporary education must prepare the learner to answer.
It’s true for academic subjects…and it’s true for the Bible, too. I can google “Jesus,” for example, with a few keystrokes. But fitting what I find into a helpful framework? That requires teaching:
“Perhaps it has not fully dawned on the preachers of our time that preaching needs to be preceded by strong programs of teaching. The preacher’s words fall on barren ground where the people have not first been taught how to…listen, how to weigh and evaluate, how to interpret the lines of Scripture that apper in the sermon — all these “how to’s” are the product of careful preparation, of teaching.” – Locke Bowman
Quoted in Effective Bible Teaching p. 38
That’s a good reminder. What learners really need from us as teachers is context. With a bird’s-eye perspective, students can filter inferior bits of info, map out the facts, and grasp the meaning.