Teaching Philosophy

As a teacher, working under the leading of the Holy Spirit, I believe that my role is first and foremost that of a coach. A coach presents material and seeks interaction from the student. A coach ask "implicational questions" that challenges the student to consider the consequences of any given decision that might be made about the subject.

Therefore, I see learning as more than the imparting of facts and ideas. Rather learning is a dynamic between student, teacher, and Spirit (forged in the furnace of interaction) that leads to critical thinking on the part of the student.

Because of my training at Dallas Theological Seminary and my own personal study of the Scriptures, I am committed to an Evangelical/Dispensational understanding of the Scriptures. I define "Evangelical" as a commitment to the person and work of Jesus Christ as the promised Messiah and the only One who can save people from the penalty and power of sin. I define "Dispensational" as an interpretive understanding of God's unfolding plan for the ages. In my view the Bible makes a clear distinction between Israel and the Church. Israel was God's chosen instrument as a national entity to make God known to the world. But Israel's failure to live up to God's covenant promises caused the nation to be set aside for a period of time as a vehicle of divine revelation. In this time frame of God's redemptive program, I believe He has chosen the Church, God's elect people from every tribe and nation, to be the means by which He works in the world.

As I read the Scriptures, both Old and New Testaments, I believe there is an interpretive paradigm that enables the reader to understand and apply God's Word. That interpretive key can be summed up in COL 1:13-14, 27, and 2 COR 5:18-20. That is, Jesus is the risen, reigning, and residing (indwelling) Savior, who has called us out of the domain of darkness to live as His Kingdom people. Even though the Kingdom is not yet existing in its perfect form, Christians are God's agents who are called to invite others to embrace Christ as the conguering King and Savior. I believe that every text of Scripture can be interpreted and applied in light of this paradigm.

Many educators approach learning as if students are blank slates or huge, empty reservoirs that need to be filled with information. My own biblical worldview leads me to a different conclusion. The doctrine of original sin teaches us that all human beings enter the world with a propensity to rebel against God as the source of all wisdom and insight. Even though human beings have the ability to take in human information, their interpretation of informatin will be shaped by a variety of experiences. Primary relationships and primary events in the early years of one's development will determine how they process information throughout one's life-span. Therefore, it is always helpful for the one presenting the information (the teacher) to not only be conversant with a given subject matter but to have some understanding as to what events and relationships have shaped a person's life.

My Christian worldview also leads me to believe that there are always three teachers in any given learning experience. First, the student will have some kind of "pre-learning" that will influence how one receives subject matter. Second, there is the teacher, who knows the subject matter and wants to inpart the significance of this same subject matter. And third, there is the Holy Spirit, who influences the attitudes and actions of students and teachers. It is the Holy Spirit who empowers students to embrace personal convictions about what is ultimately true.

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