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Monday, 31 May 2010

Chess and the Bible No.1

In Chess there are levels of understanding and you must understand one level before you can progress to the next.

An example of his is in castling.*

1. A good trainer will encourage novice players to Castle early, on the King side, and place the King in a safer spot near the side of the chessboard. If they don’t they will loose a lot of games by their King being easily trapped in the middle.
2. A more developed player will be taught the importance of sometimes holding of on castling until it is clear which side it is safest to castle.
3. Later the more experience player will come to understand that castling can also be an important attacking move and to look for the right time to bring the Rook out from the side lines and into the centre where it can be more active.

There’s no point in trying to explain 2 or 3 to the novice player, they just don’t have the understanding necessary to apply those to their game. But the experienced player can never afford to forget 1, or they’ll find themselves with a King trapped in the middle when they least expect it. You must start with 1 and work your way up through the levels; it’s the only way to progress as a player. All chess trainers understand this need to start with the simple and build the level of the players understanding. They simply don’t last as trainers if they don’t.

There are similar levels in God’s Word.

1. New Christians (young or old) need to be taught to memorise verses, in particular key verses that help them understand their new faith.
2. More mature Christians need to learn how to see Bible verses in their context, that the verses that come before and after are important in understanding what is really being taught by a verse and in better understanding what God is saying to them through it.
3. Later the Christian should come to realise the need to incorporate their understanding of the Bible as a whole into their understanding of any single verse.

Like in chess, you cannot afford to skip 1 and go on to the higher levels. But unlike chess there seems to be a growing number of Bible teachers (trainers) who no longer feel that simple Scripture memorisation is needed. Like in chess, you need to start with 1 and work your way through the levels to only way to progress. But, unlike in chess, these trainers who do not teach this way seem to be able to last.


*Castling is the only move where two pieces are move and counted as one move. The King, which is in the middle jumps two squares to one side and the Rook (also know as the Castle) on that side jumps over it. It can only be done when neither piece has moved and there is nothing blocking the way.

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