The consistent comment used by local (Des Moines, Iowa) church leaders to dismiss the "Framework" book, and the entire Generation Word Bible Teaching Ministry, is that I do not make application in my teaching. The complaint is I simply teach the Bible. The people get nothing but the word of God. They have no discussion time, no opportunity to express how it makes them feel and are not given three points or five steps on how to live for God. Nothing but verse by verse teaching.
This is true. I agree with this description. This is what I do and I do it on purpose. I teach the Bible. I do not labor to come up with sermon illustrations or dream up ways to be relevant. I teach the Bible exegetically, verse by verse and try my best to provide expository teaching. It is not that I am forgetting to make application. I don't even care about the application. Pastors must think I missed that class in seminary. . . but wait, that is an understatement, . . . I skipped all my classes because I didn't even go to seminary. I missed that entire phase of preparation.
This ministry is called Generation Word Bible Teaching Ministry because we provide Bible teaching. Why do you think James Dobson called his ministry Focus on the Family? Do you think it was because he was focused on the family? The clue is in the name of the ministry.
Here are a few thoughts concerning Bible teaching and application:
- How can there not be application already in the text of scripture? Read First Corinthians, or the last chapters of Ephesians, Romans. It is all application! So, when a local pastor asks, "Does Galyn make any application when he teaches?" What do you think the answer is? Can you teach verse by verse through Galatians without making application? I can't. It is in the text!
- I am not teaching morons. The people I am teaching are believers who have the Spirit of God, who carry a Bible to class and pay attention when I talk. They even write their own notes with out having to use the little fill in the blank statements on the back of their bulletin. They come to class and they listen online because they want to learn. They are intelligent enough to make their own application of the Word of God.
- "My people are destroyed from lack of knowledge." (Hosea 4:6) It is not unusual to provide God's people with information. Ephesians 4:13 clearly links knowledge and maturity. (Read the verses that follow "My people are destroyed from lack of knowledge" in Hosea 4:6-9. Application in this verse is clear and simple when the words spoken to Israel's priest are applied to many modern pastors. Believer, apply that on Sunday morning!)
- Some verses do not have, nor should they have, application for the modern reader. They are simply to provide information or knowledge. For example Genesis 15 is the recording of God establishing the Abrahamic Covenant. What does this chapter mean? It means God chose Abraham and Israel. To teach this chapter for application purposes means you are missing the point of the chapter. All Scripture is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training, but not all Scripture has to be watered down to find modern meaning and application. The plan of God is bigger than a Sunday morning application. The very word "exegesis" means to let the meaning come out. When you force an application into the verse you are practicing eisogesis. Eisogesis is a problem.