Teaching Principles Of Christ -- By: Larry D. Pettegrew
CenQ 15:1 (Spring 1972) p. 2
Teaching Principles Of Christ
First of two parts
Pillsbury Baptist Bible College, Owatonna, Minnesota
The teaching abilities of Jesus Christ have long been recognized by the world’s great thinkers and educators. It might seem, then, that extensive study of the teaching principles of Jesus Christ would have been done hundreds of years before, and all that could be written on the subject would already have been written. But this does not seem to be the case for several reasons.
In the first place, conservative theologians have done little work on the methodology of Jesus’ teaching. In recent years the liberals have emphasized the teachings of Jesus to the exclusion of all else. They admit that Jesus was the “Great Teacher,” but certainly not the virgin born son of God. Consequently, conservatives have had to spend considerable time showing that Jesus was more than a “Great Teacher”; that He was, in fact, the very God of Gods, the Savior of those who would accept Him for their personal salvation. Thus, most of the writing that has been done about Christ’s teaching methods was done by liberals, and so interspersed with heresy as to make it almost totally unprofitable.
A second reason for the necessity of this study is the neglect of the subject by theologians. Those who have been trained in proper exegetical methods and sound theology have paid little attention to this area. Instead, much of the work has been done by educators. This is not bad, but there is definitely a place for more work by theologians—those who realize the doctrinal implications of educational principles.
A third reason for the need of this study is that those theologians who have done work in the field of the teaching of Christ have usually emphasized the content of Jesus’ teaching rather than the methodology. There
CenQ 15:1 (Spring 1972) p. 3
are excellent works on the content of Christ’s teaching, but the methodology has been studied very little. No doubt this is a proper situation. The primary emphasis should be placed on the content. Yet there is a need for the study of Christ’s methods as a teacher. The method of Jesus and the message of Jesus were one and the same thing. For Him it was not a content on the one hand and a method on the other; the two went together as an inseparable unity.
A final reason for the need of this study is the great importance of it. Jesus was more than a teacher. He was a Savior, and He came into the world to die for man’s sins. Yet it must not be overlooked that while He was here on earth His ministry was made up primarily of teaching.
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