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.
How does CBT accomplish these countercultural goals?
CBT begins with a commitment to personal Bible literacy — students read through the entire Bible chronologically.
CBT integrates personal Bible reading with small group Bible study with the goal that every disciple develop the skill of retelling the grand narrative of the Bible. As students engage in CBT, they come to know the character of God through His story as the Creator-Redeemer who acts in human history — both in the story and in the lives of contemporary believers.
CBT should result in the ability to appropriate faith in everyday life, share the gospel more effectively, and think more deeply about the theological underpinnings of Scripture.