Tag Archives: Doctrine

Doctrine, Education and Discipleship

I read this post by John Koessler yesterday.

In it he claims that those who attacked Rob Bell‘s new book, “love wins” (and I don’t use the term lightly) were right to do so.

“the general message seemed to be that anyone who would be disturbed by possibility that Rob Bell denies the literal nature of hell must have too much time on his hands. Don’t Jesus’ followers have better things to do than to dispute such things?”

He then finishes his post with the following statement:

“I know. It sounds “old school.” It seems “ungenerous.” But what can I say. It’s what the Bible says. Unpleasant as it sounds, doctrine does matter. And no, we really don’t have better things to do.”


I agree doctrine is important (as a way of understanding and articulating what it is that we do or do not believe) but to say that we really don’t have better things to do?

That doctrine is the be all and end all.

Did Jesus really spend all his time making sure the disciples understood everything perfectly?

Wasn’t one of Jesus’ issues with the pharisees that they put too much doctrine on people? Jesus attacked them for focusing too much on right belief.

“Love the Lord your God with all you heart, all your mind, all your body and all your strength and love your neighbour as yourself.”

“Faith, hope and love. but the greatest of these is love”.

The greatest commandment is to love. love God. Love people.

The greatest commandment is not too make sure your doctrine is all nice and neat.

In one of the letters to the seven churches in Revelation, Jesus congratulates them on rooting out false teaching but convicts them because, as a result of this heresy hunting, they have forgotten what it means to love people.

Rob Bell

Image by feyip via Flickr

Yes, critics had the right to read Bell’s book and criticize it but is that really the most important thing? The things above all else?

As a youth worker in a church, I ‘m realizing more and more that young people struggle with doctrine. they struggle with right beliefs. they get bored by it. we can load them up with all the right info and teaching but does that really do anything?

Isn’t it time we move past simply making sure young people know the right doctrine and instead help them experience faith.

experience God. Walk with them.

Discipleship should be more than teaching.

teaching should be the end bit.

Here is a short animated video of Sir Ken Robinson talking about education.

Yes the video focuses on state education but christian education should be no different.

Let us move away from pouring knowledge about God into our young people and instead, help them to get to know God.