Chronological Bible Teaching provides everyday people with simple tools to read Scripture so that they might discover God’s story in the Bible, understand it for themselves and tell it to others.
Chronological Bible Teaching Ministries grew out of a passion to mature believers using the Bible, rather than books about the Bible, as the primary tool. Iva was discipling women in several small groups when she took the seminary course Chronological Bible Storying, which trained students in the methodology employed by missionaries who worked with primary oral learners. She recognized that Americans are post-literate, secondary oral learners who can read but rather get their information from media. She also understood that without a meta story, an overarching account that makes sense of the self and the world, Christians would follow a lesser story written by unregenerate entertainers and delivered through an unregenerate media. Christians must know the meta-story that the Bible tells.
Therefore, Iva adapted what she learned in the course for her discipleship groups, started using her materials in 2002 with these groups, and by 2003 had written the first draft of what came to be W3: Women, Worldview, and the Word. The approach resonated with the hearts of her ladies, and they began to mature more quickly, to become biblically literate, and to apply the truths they learned from the Bible to their daily lives. By their own testimony they became better moms, wives, and Christ followers.
Contemporary U.S. culture exalts speed, ease, entertainment, and self-actualization as cardinal virtues. If people can’t have it now, easily, and in an entertaining fashion, they don’t want it. Sadly, many churches have given in to this mindset, and they emulate the world in their offerings for Christian growth. Chronological Bible Teaching conscientiously runs counter-culture to this trend. Speed may be a U.S. core value, but it is certainly not a biblical one. Growth in God’s kingdom cannot be hurried; God works “in real time” to mature His saints. CBT demands time in the Word, because the Word is the primary tool. Further, CBT is not easy; there are no fill-in-the-blank questions.
Students must think through questions and process what God is doing through His people. CBT is countercultural because it moves participants slowly through both testaments, focusing on the Old Testament (the only Bible Jesus and Paul had) to build faith lessons and lay the foundation for understanding the New Testament. Disciples are challenged to think like God thinks. Finally, CBT moves away from the individualistic spirit of the age to build community as participants interact with the story, God, and one another while they move toward Christlikeness and its resultant relinquishing of autonomy—the self-centered lifestyle of this age.
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