I am trying something new. I am planning to try to use systematic, careful Bible-reading to accomplish biblical integration in one of my classes next year. Let me explain.
I teach a praise-band class. This is a mix of leadership, music, technology, and theology. I have integrated regularly in a more typical fashion, but I find myself wanting my students to learn how to use the Bible to really think in biblically-integrated ways themselves. I want the Bible to govern all their thinking in every area. So, I am putting together Mark for Worship Leaders to be used in our class. The idea is to walk through the Book of Mark with an eye for specific applications to the work that worship leaders do. I am inclined to think that this could work in any broad area: Exodus for Scientists. Psalms for Writers. Luke for Historians. But I want to try it out for myself in my context. Here are some clarifications as I get started:
- I do not believe that the Bible says different things to different people. The Book of Mark is the same Book of Mark for scientists and historians and worship-leaders. But different readers might rightly apply what the Bible says in different ways.
- I do not think that this is how biblical integration must (or even should) always be done. I just want to explore if it can be done well.
- I do think this could be done poorly. Mark for Pet-Store Managers would be too narrow. And Mark for Electric Guitarists would be similarly problematic. It is also possible to force an artificial framework onto the biblical text. Faithful exegesis is still required.
- I do not expect this to replace playing music or working on technology, etc. in my class. I want this work in Mark to inform and shape those activities. This will be a tool that I use in class, not as the only part of class.
- I do believe that exposing students to the Bible in regular, accessible ways is a good thing in and of itself. And if it illuminates the rest of the class-content in a way that develops biblical understanding, it is a magnificent thing.
So what will this look like here on this site? For the next several weeks, I will be posting sections of my work in Mark for Worship Leaders here. Why? First, I would love to hear feedback from you regarding whether or not you think this is working. And second, I would love to provide you with food for thought so that you might consider, “Hmmm, could I do this in my class?” Could an art teacher put together a systematic reading of Genesis 1-2 about God’s creative work? Could a history teacher look closely at Luke’s historical methods and observations in writing Luke/Acts? Could a math teacher create something for their class from Proverbs’ points about perseverance and doing hard things?
This might broaden the way that teachers and students think about biblical integration. Instead of just trying to integrate courses, lessons, or units (like the American History, solar systems, or Jane Austen), students would be asked to consider subjects in larger/wider ways (like science/discovery as a whole, or storytelling in general).
Or… this might not work at all. That’s why I am calling it an experiment. Look for the first section or Mark for Worship Leaders soon.