A powerful commentary by Jay Smooth not just on the game but on a number of critical issues that present themselves within the NFL. /ht Shelly F.
Yesterday I began to sketch out some thoughts on how my approach to teaching the Bible has shifted towards a participatory understanding of learning and community. (This is no small part is influenced by the research of my dissertation and is reflected in much greater detail there and in my forthcoming book.)
Today I want to say something about why this play on words, convers(at)ions, which I take to reflect the interplay between conversation and conversion.
It is my belief that we are shaped by many micro-conversions throughout life. I’ve written about three of my own in the past (a, b & c). There may be one central moment where we “wake up” from a like Lazarus, but as I look back through my life I see many points at which my life took on, sometimes, radically new information and incorporated it into my existing framework or even shifted that framework in a new direction.
There has been an evolution of thought for me when it comes to understanding how to read, interpret and teach Scripture within community. That evolution has taken place over the course the last 18 years or so (I’ve been leading bible studies since I was in High School myself). It began with the basic thought a biblical teacher’s role was to teach the text. This meant raising key ideas and helping people to get the right answer about how to understand what God is saying in this verse or passage.
But over time, my approach has shifted away from this teacher-based model to one that is more participatory and dialogue oriented. There are a few factors that have helped me make the move.
Expectations and Maze Dull Rats
Robert Rosenthal was a psychologist who is famous for his experiment with rats in a maze. The experiment looked at “expectancy effects” and how our expectations have a direct effect on the outcome of what we are doing (link).
In 1963, Rosenthal took two groups of students to test how well they could get their rats through a maze. The students were to help guide their rats through the maze as fast as they could.
To one set of students he gave them, what he called, “Maze Dull” rats and to the other group he bestowed to wonderful “Maze Bright” rats.
Of course, in reality there were not differences at all between the rats, but the students didn’t know this.
Can you guess what happened?