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HEARING2 6'1m*f RT: Hearing the voice of God, Biblical context

(RT == Readers' Theater: requires little or no memorization,
little or no rehearsal. An indefinite number of students are
salted throughout the audience.)

PROF -- (enters, crosses to podium with notebook and Bible) Good
morning, class)

ALL STUDENTS -- Good morning, Professor.

PROF -- Welcome to Theology 101. During this semester, there
will be a quiz every Friday, a mid-term and a final exam. Your
entire grade will depend on these tests. Now let's begin our
exegesis with the gospel of John, beginning at the fourteenth
chapter and verse 25. (reads)

"All this I have spoken while still with you. But the Counselor,
the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will
teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have
said to you."

Now, it is quite clear from this passage that Jesus is telling
us that we can expect the Holy Spirit to give us individual
instruction if we merely learn to hear his voice.

STUDENT -- Excuse me, Professor, but does this mean that we
don't need to read the Bible?

PROF -- Not at all.

STUDENT -- But if we can learn what we need to know directly
from the Holy Spirit, why do we need the Bible at all?

PROF -- (pauses) So you can pass the tests. (laughs
enthusiastically, then stifles the laugh when noone else laughs)

STUDENT -- But if we can learn what we need to know directly
from the Holy Spirit, perhaps we can pass the tests with what we
learn from the Holy Spirit.

PROF -- Well, I...

STUDENT -- Professor, I'm taking a heavy load of classes this
semester. Can you tell us how to hear the voice of God, so I can
skip this class and just show up for the tests?

PROF -- I really don't recommend....

STUDENT -- But if we can learn what we need to know directly
from the Holy Spirit, perhaps we don't really need to take this
class.

PROF -- Don't be silly. If you didn't need this class, I would
be out of a job. (laughs enthusiastically, then stifles the
laugh when noone else laughs)

STUDENT -- But isn't that the implication of this passage?

PROF -- What's that?

STUDENT -- If we have the Holy Spirit to give us INDIVIDUAL
instruction, we don't really even need this class or a teacher.

PROF -- Well, how would you pass the tests? (laughs
enthusiastically, then stifles the laugh when noone else laughs)

STUDENT -- Now that I think of it, Professor, maybe the tests
are unnecessary also.

PROF -- Unnecessary?!

STUDENT -- Yes, if we get our knowledge directly from the Holy
Spirit, by definition, we get it without error. Therefore, a
test is superfluous.

PROF -- I don't know about that.

STUDENT -- Wait a minute. If we all get our knowledge directly
from the Holy Spirit, what if some of us disagree with each
other?

PROF -- What about it?

STUDENT -- If one of us is wrong, it means the Holy Spirit is
wrong.

PROF -- The Holy Spirit is never wrong.

STUDENT -- But Christians disagree all the time. If we all get
our knowledge directly from the Holy Spirit and if the Holy
Spirit is never wrong, how could we disagree?

PROF -- Perhaps some of them merely misinterpret what the Holy
Spirit told them.

STUDENT -- But isn't that the purpose of the Holy Spirit?

PROF -- The purpose?

STUDENT -- (reads) According to the passage you just read, it
looks like its the Holy Spirit's purpose to make sure we got it
right. If we get our knowledge directly from the Holy Spirit,
there's no way we can disagree.

PROF -- That's what I said.

STUDENT -- But we do disagree. Some of us believe in baptismal
regeneration and some of us don't. Some of us believe in the
pre-tribulation rapture, some of us don't. Can the Holy Spirit
be telling some of us one thing and some of us another?

PROF -- Where did I lose control of this class?

STUDENT -- (studying Bible) Wait a minute, Professor. I don't
think this passage even applies to us.

PROF -- What do you mean?

STUDENT -- My mother always taught me to read a passage in
context.

PROF -- What context?

STUDENT -- Back here (points to Bible) in chapter 13 it says
that Jesus is speaking only to his apostles, not to ALL of his
disciples.

PROF -- How did you arrive at that conclusion?

STUDENT -- It says here that they're celebrating the passover.
It's just Jesus and his twelve apostles in the room.

STUDENT -- She's right. And over here (points) in Paul's epistle
to the Ephesians, he says this mystery, (reads) "...has now been
revealed by the Spirit to God's holy apostles and prophets."

STUDENTS -- And not to us directly?

PROF -- Ephesians, you say? (turns pages)

STUDENTS -- It looks like Jesus is talking only to the people
who will be writing the New Testament. He's calling on the Holy
Spirit to make sure they get it right.

STUDENT -- So, this passage doesn't apply to us.

PROF -- Yes, it does!

STUDENT -- Well, it applies to us in the sense that we can be
confident that the New Testament can be trusted.

STUDENT -- We can have confidence that the New Testament was an
eye-witness account.

STUDENT -- And inspired by the Holy Spirit.

STUDENT -- But the professor just told us that in this
passage... (reads) "Jesus is telling us that we can expect the
Holy Spirit to give us individual instruction if we merely learn
to hear his voice."

PROF -- Yes, I did, didn't I?

STUDENT -- I don't see how you get that from this passage.

STUDENT -- Me either.

STUDENT -- Professor, can you tell us where in the Bible it
tells us HOW we can learn to hear his voice?

PROF -- How?

STUDENT -- Yes, how we can LEARN to hear God's voice?

PROF -- Yes. (pages Bible) I'm sure it's here somewhere. Well,
actually.... Funny. It sounded so convincing when I read that
best-selling book.

STUDENT -- So, maybe there is no Biblical basis for the idea
that we can somehow LEARN to hear God's voice?

PROF -- I'm sure it's here somewhere. (exiting) I'll try to find
it for you. I'll let you know. (waves hand) Class dismissed. (to
self) This is going to be a LONG semester!

2013 Bob Snook. Conditions for use:
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