Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Chronological Bible Storying:Description, Rationale and Implications

For those wanting a more "theoretical" and historical introduction to the use of Chronological Bible Storytelling in the late 20th century from a variety of missionary settings, this 13 page overview by Grant Lovejoy a professor of preaching a Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary (where I obtained my M.Div.) offers such an overview of Bible Story Telling. It quickly moves to the Southern Baptist setting because that group gravitated to Biblical Story Telling in larger numbers than most originally.

One excerpt that shows the importance of Bible Story Telling as a lost art to be regained in communicating the Gospel of Jesus Christ is the one that follows. It reminds us that many in the supposedly "literate" West are in fact better able to understand through easily memorized Bible stories, proverbs, and word pictures.

The majority of people worldwide are oral communicators. In simple terms, that means they learn exclusively or primarily by the spoken word, by listening and speaking. They use language in ways common to people who do not rely on print....

Research by New Tribes missionaries in the Philippines found that retention among rural and oral people seldom was higher than 29% of the knowledge shared when communicated by means of logical and systematized outlines of the information. However, when a storying or chronological teaching method was used, retention rose to at least 75-80%.

Residual oral communicators are those who have been exposed to literacy, even learned to read in school, but who retain a strong preference for learning by oral rather than literate means. Even though they are able to read and write, residual oral communicators habitually acquire, retain, and transmit information by the habits of mind natural to orality. Literates often make the mistake of assuming that everyone who can vocalize words off a document has passed from oral communication preference to literate communication preference, but that is absolutely not so.

At (Adobe Acrobat Reader Required)

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