What's Your Learning Style?
In his post, Miller bluntlyexpresses, "So to be brutally honest, I don't learn much about God hearinga sermon," claiming, "I've studied psychology and education reformlong enough to know a traditional lecture isn't for everybody." And thenMiller educates us, "Research suggest there are three learning styles,auditory (hearing) visual (seeing) and kinesthetic (doing) and I'm akinesthetic learner."
Does it? Not according to PopularScience. In an article EverythingYou've Been Told About How You Learn Is A Lie, Shaunacy Ferro reveals,"Many of the theories of 'brain-based' education, a method of instructionsupposedly based on neuroscience, have been largely debunked by rigorousscience. Brain-based education studies are usually poorly designed and badlycontrolled. Nevertheless, myths about how we learn persist in the popularimagination, and, most importantly, in educational materials and references forteachers."
It turns out that teaching toparticular learning styles does not improve learning. And there is no goodresearch that proves that it is more difficult for students to be educatedoutside of their so-called learning style. Of course, Todd addresses the factthat going to church is not a me-centered activity, and that we don't assembletogether merely to improve our spiritual education by connecting to God on ourown terms. He reminds us, "Worship is not about my 'connecting with God.'Worship is about my giving God his due in the ways that he has prescribed inhis Word."
Interestingly, God has determinedthat all of us share in a particular so-called learning style when it comes tospiritual growth. He has prescribed a means to bless his people in Christ, thepreached Word and the sacraments. And so we have Jesus declaring in the GreatCommission how he will grow his kingdom:
And Jesus came and said to them,"All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Gotherefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of theFather and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them toobserve all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to theend of the age." (Matt. 28:18-20)
And we see this very thing in Acts2:42:
And they devoted themselves tothe apostles' teaching and the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and theprayers.
You see, learning my own way isn'tgood enough. I need to be changed. And it is the power of God's Word that doesthat in the means that he has prescribed. To echo Todd again, "What ismore, in Christ we do not have to find ways to connect with God. God hasconnected to us through Christ!" Let us not refuse the Father's generosityto bless us in the Son, who is much more than a learning style. He is worthy ofour corporate worship, which is an eschatological event. It is a privilege topartake in the covenantal renewal ceremony, where we get a taste of the futurebreaking into the present. Like Miller, we all get caught up in our week ofaccomplishing and we slip into our default mode of thinking we are the ones whocreate meaning. But we are summoned to gather on Sunday, to be interrupted byour own thinking, stripped by the law of God, and clothed by his gospel grace.Only after this receiving Christ through his preached Word and the sacramentsare we then sent out as salt and light.
Miller reasons that he connects with Godelsewhere through his own means. God has condescended to connect with hispeople. I would say that it is imperative that we connect with God the way hehas called us to in Christ.