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The Christian faith is about more than gaining biblical knowledge. Jesus didn’t tell his disciples to “learn this stuff” — but rather to “follow me.”

Knowledge is important. However, the “content for learning” must intersect with the “context for living.”

That’s just one good reason why church leaders should be careful to match what they teach (and claim to believe) with their behaviors.

For example, it is one thing to teach memory verses (like “Be ye kind one to another”) and biblically-based songs (like “Jesus Loves the Little Children of the World”) to children. But how does this fit into a context where they see Christian role models relate to one another in unkind ways or use racist or degrading language to describe others?

Following Jesus requires learning important biblical truths and then living in ways that are consistent with that understanding.

And, yes, it’s easier said than done. That’s why learning and living are life-long journeys.

Such is the philosophy behind the redesign and expansion of Baptists Today that will premier with the June issue. A new center section called “Nurturing Faith” will contain Bible studies by Tony Cartledge along with specific lessons for youth and children. Additional learning and teaching material will be online to complement the print lessons.

This “content for learning,” however, does not exist in isolation. News, features and analysis of current issues will be wrapped around the Bible studies to show “the context for living.”

Yes, it’s a simple concept. We learn in order to live.

But it is not easy. We must keep striving and striving — learning and living.

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