International Theological College and Seminary, Cambodia
Name: James Wen Date: March 25, 2015
Course: Pastoral Theology Prof.: Dr. White Y. Jeon
PLAIN AND CLEAR TEACHING
Teaching, in any organization or religion, is equipping others, through many ways such as communication. As we are concentrating on the Christian Education, Apostle Paul emphasizes in 2 Corinthians 11: 6 “Even if I am unskilled in speaking, I am not so in knowledge; indeed, in every way we have made this plain to you in all things.” The point he made here is as we teach others, our teaching should be plain and clear to the learners.
- As we make the teaching plain and clear to others, first of all, the teacher must understand the material.
In a way it is a teachers’ responsibility to make the lesson understood by himself first. If a teacher’s object is to teach, why not speak in a manner that you understood? There is no better way to make a good cause prevail than to make it as plainly, and as universally and as thoroughly understood as possible. To be unclear is to show that you have not really digested the subject matter well. Therefore, in order to make the teaching material plain and clear to the learner, the teacher must be well equipped with the message.
The truth should be revealed as the light shines to everyone. Truth loves the light. It is the most beautiful when it is the most transparent. For it is a sign of an envious enemy to hate the truth. It is a sign of a hypocrite to do this under the presence of revealing it. The very act of making truth to be revealed plainly and clearly is the motivation of loving the truth with the will of sharing.
- All our teaching must be as plain and evident as we can make it. He that would be understood must speak at the level of his audience.
The last and the most important issue is: doesn’t matter how intelligent the teacher is, how well organized is his teaching philosophy, or how brilliant is his syllabus, if what he teaches understood by no one, he is beating the air.
Jay Adams says: a good preaching style is to be plain. The language used in teaching must be common to teacher and learner. However, we may question then, why Jesus did not make his teaching plain to the people as he teaches. Though hard to understand the meaning, but Jesus does explain every time to his disciples with plain and clear speech, so that those who were not worthy of Jesus’ teaching may not hear and understand (Luke 8: 10). Second, if we see from another point view, Jesus’ teaching with parable actually is a style of plain and clear teaching, for he takes all the examples and objects from people’s daily observation, such as mustard seed, oil and lamp, and wine skin, etc…
Conclusion (my observation):
One bird in your hand is better than ten in the jungle. If one of your teaching is plain and clear enough to be understood by others, it is much worth of hundreds of your lectures which could not be understood by the hearer.
As a teacher or preacher, make the message to be clearly understood by the hearer is the final goal, and reaching up to this goal, we need wisdom not only to teach, but also to learn for teaching.
- Adams, J. E. Shepherding God’s Flock. Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1975.
- Adams, J. E. Preaching With Purpose. Philipsburg: P & R Publishing, 1982.
- Baxter, Richard. The Reformed Pastor: A Pastor for Personal Growth and Ministry. Oregon: Multnomah Press, 1982.
- Gregory, John M. The Seven Laws of Teaching. Boston: Congregational Sunday School and Publishing Society, 1886.