18 May 2014-
In the American educational system, from first grade all the way up through high school, we're taught to memorize information, and then take a test. If we pass the intellectual test, then we move on to the next grade.
We've transferred this learning pattern to Christianity. We're trained to learn Bible concepts, principles and doctrines intellectually. And the more Biblical information we know, the greater disciples we are deemed to be.
I think this is killing the church in America, just like it hurt the Pharisees.
Let's remember that the Pharisees, an elite group of well-educated men in Israel, knew the Scriptures, but they missed the main point of the Scriptures: to know Jesus personally and intimately (Phil. 3:5-11).
"You search the Scriptures because you think they give you eternal life. But the Scriptures point to Me!" John 5:39 NLT
Knowing the Bible doesn't give us eternal life. Knowing Jesus does (John 17:3). Some people love the Bible more than they love Jesus.
I'm all for learning about Jesus and the Christian faith. I have a Master's of Divinity with a Concentration in Apologetics (Magnum Cum Laude). I'm currently pursuing my Doctorate of Ministry with a Concentration in 'New Testament in Context' under New Testament scholar Scot McKnight, Ph.D.
HOWEVER, if all my learning does not produce more love for Jesus, myself, and people, then I've wasted my time (1 Corinthians 13).