Shortt, John. Bible-Shaped Teaching. Eugene, OR: Wipf & Stock, 2014.
Lately I have been contemplating the act of remembering. Not just as related to memory, but as it applies to reassembling the “members” that make up human beings—the attributes of our physical, mental, and spiritual selves—into a coherent and flourishing wholeness that we bring to the act of teaching and learning. In many ways, this aligns well with the essence of John Shortt’s small but powerful text. It needs to be read more than once. It returns the mind and heart to the entire landscape of teaching.
The key thesis of the text is that the Bible plays a significant role in the shaping of teachers who desire to unite their faith and their work into “faith-full” practice. The Bible is a living ecology from which we “lean into life.”
In ten short chapters, the reader is taken on a journey through the “lifelong and life-wide” view of not only the biblical narrative, but also how life and teaching are empowered by the metaphors from which we teach. It reminds us that various modes and principles emerge in our teaching. These are not content-based, such as in a beginning pedagogical or disciplinary strategy, but are based in emanating the character and truths of Jesus.
Christina Belcher is professor of education at Redeemer University College in Ancaster, Ontario.