Full Text for Suggestions Concerning Courses for Better Indoctrination (Text)

(tTnurnrbiu IDqrnlngirul jlnutqly Continuing Lehre und Wehre (Vol. LXXVI) Magazin fuer Ev.-Luth. Homiletik (Vol. LIV) Theol. Quarterly (1897-1920)-Theol. Monthly (Vol. X) Vol. II May, 1931 No.5 CONTENTS Page Thesen zur kurzen Darlegung der Lehrstellung der Mis- sourisynode .......... , ................................. 321 GRAEBNER, TH.: The Modern Church Looks at Society 336 DALLMANN, WM.: How Peter Became Pope......... . . .. 343 KRETZMANN, P. E.: Suggestions Concerning Courses for Better Indoctrination... . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .. 360 FRITZ, J. H. C.: The Sermon Methods. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .. 364 Dispositionen ueber die von der Synodalkonferenz ange- nommene Serie alttestamentlicher Texte............... 368 Theological Observer. - Kirchlich-Zeitgeschichtliches. . . . .. 381 Book Review. - Literatur. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .. . . . . . . . . . . . . . .. 392 Ein Prediger muss nicht allein weiden, also dass er die Schafe unterweiae, wie sie rechte Christen sollen sein, sondern auch daneben den Woelfen wehren, dass si. die Schafe nicht angreifen und mit falscher Lehre verinebren und Irrtum ein- fuehren. - Luther. Es ist kein Ding, das die Leute mehr bei del" Kirche behaelt denn die gute Predigt. - Apologie, Art. !/4. If the trumpet give an uncertain sound, who shall prepare himself to the battle f 1 Oor. ~,8. Published for the Ev. Luth. Synod of Missouri, Ohio, and Other States CONCORDIA PUBLISHING HOUSE, St. Louis, Mo. 360 Suggestions Concerning Courses for Better Indoctrination. the Lord will requite us good for his cursing this day. 2 Sam. 16, 11.12. Innocent X, 1644-65, in the bull Zelo Domu8 Dei wailed over the "serious hurt done to the Catholic religion and the papal rights" by the Peace of Westphalia in 1648; but no one heeded him. Doel- linger called that "one of the glories of the Papacy." (Acton, Hist. Freedom, p.324.) He persecuted the nephews of Pope Urban VIII for embezzlement and took their property when they fled from Rome. In seven years he made more than 1,000,000 scudi by selling pardons to civil criminals. He was ruled by his sister-in-law, Donna Olympia Maidalchina, who amassed a vast fortune by selling offices and pro- tecting brothels. At the Pope's death she took all his property, but refused to bury him - she was a "poor widow." Milwaukee, Wis. WILLIAM DALLMANN. Suggestions Concerning Courses for Better Indoctrina tion. * The question of preparing courses of instruction for adequate indoctrination in the various institutions which have been found available for this purpose in the Church is a rather difficult one, but it can be solved successfully if everything is taken into consideration that is now at our disposal in the field. With regard to the whole question of indoctrination the Lutheran Church has always adhered to the great principles laid down in Scripture and stated time and again in the publications of its various teachers. The Bible itself states the minimum requirements for the admission of believers to adult membership when we are told that he who would be a communicant member of the Church must be able to examine himself and must be in a position to discern between the Lord's body and blood in, with, and under the consecrated elements in the Lord's Supper. In addition, the circumstances connected with the Holy Communion demand that all those who enjoy the privilege of adult membership must also be familiar with the outstanding * BIBLIOGRAPHY. - Elemental'y Bible History. Bible History for Paro- chial and Sunday-schools. Oomprehensive Bible History. Rupprecht, Bible History References. Two volumes. Mezger, Lessons in the Small Oate- chism. Mezger, Katechismusentwuerfe. Jesse, Oatechetical Preparations. Fehner, Outlines for Oatecheses. Koehler, Luther's Small Oatechism, with additional notes for students, teachers, and pastors. Wessel, Proof-texts of the Oatechism with a Practical Oommentary. Kretzmann, Knowledge unto Salvation,' Vol. V of Ooncordia Teaohers' Library; The Religion of the Ohild. Suggestions Concerning Courses for Better Indoctrination. 361 points concerning sanctification. 1£ we keep these fundamental de- mands in mind, we shall find that the contents of Luther's Small Catechism will practically meet the minimum requirements for church-membership. There may be a difference of order under certain circumstances, and there may be a decided variety in the presentation of the subject-matter, but there can be no material reduction in the content which must be required of all those who wish to become adult members of the Lutheran Ohurch. The main difficulty which presents itself to us in this connection is that of arranging courses in the various institutions now in use in the Ohurch. Where a regular Ohristian day-school is maintained, the chances are that the instruction in religion, both in the Oatechism and in Bible History, will be able to meet the requirements of Scripture. 1£ any teacher or pastor is in doubt as to the distribution of material in the Catechism and in Bible History, the information is contained in the course of study offered by the General School Board, in Voigt's ]J;!emory Oourse, and in various books given in the bibli- ography above. See also Vol. V of Ooncordia Teachers' Library, chaps. 3,4, and 7. 1£ we speak of the Sunday-school in the second place, it is not because the Sunday-school is· second in its scope of effective teaching, - for that position it cannot hold, - but because its posi- tion in American life is so well established that we are practically compelled to put this emphasis upon the Sunday-school. Here the material, also arranged in courses, is available to all who apply for it; for the ConcOl·dia Series of Sunday-school literature offers all the necessary material of instruction, including the Font Roll, the Primary Department, the Junior Department, the Intermediate De- partment, the Senior Department, and the Junior Bible Class with its Junior Bible Student. The latter is also the official organ of the Junior Walther League, and the Bible-class work may then be con- tinued in an advanced class by means of the Bible Student, the publi- cation of the Walther League, or by means of a series of Bible-study pamphlets, entitled Search the Scriptures, the full series being graded and including eight pamphlets. In this manner all the necessary material for Sunday-school work is obtainable in a series which is both uniform and graded and includes a complete memory course and a year of special catechism teaching, thus comprising all that is required for admission into adult membership. The chief defect is and always will be the lack of proper drill in the fundamentals of Christian doctrine and the absence of the constant religious back- ground in the entire field of elementary instruction, which is a great feature of our Christian day-school work. But in addition to these agencies and institutions we have other forms of instruction that have not yet been sufficiently investigated 362 Suggestions Concerning Courses for Better Indoctrination. and generally adopted where the instruction for the preparation of adult membership is otherwise inadequate. A single-year term of instruction of a so-called connrmation school will hardly serve the purpose of the Ohurch. Even a two-year term will hardly be able to cover the ground in a more efficient manner than an eight-year Sunday-school course. In either case it is advisable and sometimes imperative to have a special training-class devoted chiefly to memory work, and instructed a full season, to be followed then by the regular catechumen class. One of the institutions which may well be employed where a Ohristian day-school is as yet not possible is the Saturday-school. It will ordinarily be taught by the pastor on every Saturday morning from 9 to 12. The schedule of lessons will be found in VoL 5 of Ooncordia Teachers' Library, p.38. This Saturday-school may in- clude the children of all ages, the strangers as well as the children belonging to church-members. It will be advisable to divide the class into two or three groups. The lower group will include the children from five or six to nine years inclusive, and the upper group will include all children above the age of nine or ten. In the Lutheran School Journal for October, 1925, a course of study embracing twenty- five separate days is offered. This will serve as the basis of a course of study to be used chiefly in rural communities. In the cities it may be possible to have forty lessons in the course of one season; but it may be necessary to reduce the number of hours to two instead of three, since many of the boys may be busy early in the morning with paper routes and similar chores. In a course embracing more than one year the teacher ought to divide the text of the Small Oatechism and the other memory work by taking the entire number of lessons together with the review lessons into account. In a three-year course there would be approximately one hundred instruction hours, with twenty review lessons. In some cases it may be advisable to have a review lesson every month. One ought to be able to cover the one hundred lessons. of the Elementary Bible History, the text of the Small Oatechism, at least one hundred proof-texts, and a number of hymn stanzas and prayers in this time. If assistance is needed, much of it will be found in the books given in the bibliography above. Summer-schools are in a class by themselves. To some extent the principles governing them are the same as those which have been introduced for vacation Bible-schools in recent years, although the Lutheran su=er-schools are much older than the sectarian Bible- schools, many of which are incidentally community schools. Even to-day a certain distinction is apparent in the scope and curriculum of the two schools; for the summer-school is in the strictest sense a substitute for the day-school, while the vacation Bible-school is an addition to the Sunday-school course. Ordinarily our summer-school Suggestions Concerning Courses for Better Indoctrination. 363 will follow the old plan, which made religion the sole object of their existence. Under circumstances it may become necessary, chiefly as a prophylactic measure, to have certain· features of vacation Bible- schools connected with the Lutheran summer-schools, such as hand- work and special games. It may be possible to keep Sunday-school children who have been in attendance with us from becoming enrolled in a sectarian vacation-school. Where such summer-schools can be established, they will be in session for four, six, or eight weeks four or five days in the week. The regular schedule of each day, from 9 to 12, is the same as that of the Saturday-school mentioned above. A very good course of study is that which appeared in the Lutheran School Journal, as referred to above. A summer-school may have larger classes than a Sunday-school, especially if the necessary rooms are available for instruction. In that case a pastor, possibly with one or two assistants, will be able to take care of the instruction himself. If circumstances make the division of classes into small groups ad- visable, it is recommended that trained teachers be used as much as possible. Very likely teachers of city schools would be willing to devote a part of their vacation to summer-schools in mission-districts. Advanced students in our various seminaries may also be gained for this work; it will prove a most valuable experience to them. The summer-school should include all children from the age of nine or ten up; for in this manner they will have approximately three or four seasons of instruction in the Word of God before they are en- rolled in the catechumen class. With approximately seventy-five to one hundred forenoon RPA'lsionR devoted to the study of the Oatechism and Bible History, there will be at least a reasonably firm foundation in the essentials of Ohristian knowledge. The subject-matter must be divided, not strictly according to mathematical division, but also with reference to relative importance, so that more emphasis in the form of drill is placed upon the chief doctrines of Scripture. The question of proper instruction for adults has now been dis- cussed in articles and books which are available for study to all. The little book of outlines entitled Knowledge unto Salvation offers the experience of some of our most successful pastors in the field of adult instruction, and the principles which are involved are being presented in an article which began in the May number, 1928, of the Homiletic Magazine. Thus the few points made in this short article may be of some assistance to pastors and teachers in striving for more adequate in- doctrination all along the line, so that our Lutheran Zion may be ever more firmly established on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Ohrist Himself being the chief Oorner-stone. P. E. KRETZMANN.