To promote higher forms of thinking in education, Dr. Benjamin Bloom introduced six learning domains in 1956. Each domain serves as a building block, applying knowledge one level at a time. Today, Bloom’s Taxonomy uses remembering, understanding, applying, analyzing, evaluating and creating to ensure that words spoken in classrooms don’t fall upon deaf ears. On the spiritual side of knowledge, D. James Kennedy developed Evangelism Explosion in the 1970’s so that individuals introduced to the Bible would go beyond just knowing. One of the terms Kennedy crafted within training materials is mere intellectual assent. This theological saying refers to people who knows something to be true within their minds but doesn’t act upon this information. According to the brother of Jesus, faith without deeds is dead, resulting in a shallow foundation, susceptible to being completely uprooted by schemes of the Devil.
You believe that there is one God. Good! Even the demons believe that—and shudder, James 1:19.
Belief is based upon awareness to something that makes sense or convincing evidence which gives credence to what you thought to be true. The closer one gets toward the truth, doubt slowly disappears. However, if the source for what you believe contains contradictions, inconsistencies and misleading statements, faith will be stunted. Jesus’ earthly brother James brings up a valid point when considering belief in the passage above. Merely believing in God doesn’t make you special as even demons, servants of the Devil acknowledge this fact. Thus, if you regularly attend church, give a monthly tithe and strive to do good works, this is a good start but not the top of the mountain. The author of one New Testament book dedicates an entire chapter, Hebrews 11 to illustrate what genuine belief looks like, faith in action.
Don’t you believe that I am in the Father, and that the Father is in me? The words I say to you I do not speak on my own authority. Rather, it is the Father, living in me, who is doing his work. 11 Believe me when I say that I am in the Father and the Father is in me; or at least believe on the evidence of the works themselves. 12 Very truly I tell you, whoever believes in me will do the works I have been doing, and they will do even greater things than these, because I am going to the Father. 13 And I will do whatever you ask in my name, so that the Father may be glorified in the Son. 14 You may ask me for anything in my name, and I will do it, John 14:10-14.
If Benjamin Bloom were to create spiritual learning domains today, knowing, believing and claiming would suffice for the initial three stages. Early in the first century the illiteracy rate was high, forcing the uneducated to rely on hearing rather than reading. Romans 10:17 reveals that churches gathered together in homes, synagogues or down by a river to publicly read out loud parts of the Old Testament and available letters written by apostles. Meanwhile, James 1:22-27 encourages individuals to become doers of the Word, practicing belief. Sensing religion is worthless without applying what you believe, James urges his audience to care for orphans and widows. The final level of faith is introduced by Jesus in the passage above. If you know and believe, claiming God’s promises is the next logical step. This spiritual exercise is accomplished through praying over passages of the Bible. Depending upon what you are dealing with, modern technology can give you a verse in seconds with a click of a mouse, providing a powerful weapon. Those who mature from knowing to believing and onto claiming may begin to experience untapped potential, taking Jesus at his word to bless those who believe. I pray that these words inspire you to take your faith to the next level by claiming God’s promises in prayer.
by Jay Mankus