Sunday, September 24, 2006

Adult Sunday School

Adult classes nearly always sparks off something to post on. Today we had a woman ask the same question she asks every year, but doesn't like the answer. (The instructor contradicted me on this. She thinks a variant of the question is asked every time the woman attends. And they think I'm a hard guy.)

The class responded as nice people usually do. One by one, people would throw the pitch again, a little slower each time. We finished by tossing it underhand from close in. To a very intelligent person. I usually conclude at this point that something hidden is going on, preventing understanding. Sometimes I can guess what that is, though not in this case.

I am torn as to what Christians are supposed to do in these cases. My inclination is to do with adults what I did with my children: keep increasing the intellectual speed until they can hit the high, hard one. I haven't had to pitch it underhand to my two older sons since middle school, and even my two from Romania, with all their traumas and only being here five years, can handle batting practice pitching.

But this is less successful with adults. Years ago in another class, this woman - a lovely, gentle soul in many ways - used the phrase "I don't mean to criticise the Christian commitment of anyone here, but..." and I interrupted with "Sure you do. That's why you made your last three comments."

That went over like a skunk at a lawn party, as you can well imagine. So I'm pretty sure playing hardball isn't the answer. Nor, it seems, is playing T-ball, which is what everyone else tries. We've been socratic, encouraging, and five other things. I don't know what's best.


bs king said...

Is this a pearls before swine situation? Or is that just me attempting to Biblically justify what I do anyway?

Ben Wyman said...
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Ben Wyman said...

The problem for you, of course, is that you see the problem from miles out. You're able to spot where everything is going the moment they start talking, and by the time they get to the point where they're actually saying something clearly accusing or specifically idiotic, you've seen it all the way back from "What I was thinking while the speaker was talking about justice..."

Your strategy is likely the same as mine - you wait them out, giving them softballs, trying to coax the bat off their shoulder. You work on loosening their stance a little, maybe try to get them to actually look at the ball as it comes at them, until finally your patience runs out and then you let them have it.

Maybe we need a new strategy, since I guess that they're just never gonna swing through the ball.

Anonymous said...

Okay, so, the obvious question: What question did she ask?