The Book

Heart-Deep Teaching Overview

By Gary Newton

Published by B&H Publishing in May 2012 – Order here

While many books on teaching the Bible focus on the mechanical details of techniques, methods, and strategies, this book focuses on both the best theory and best practices to stimulate deeper student learning. The purpose of this book is to help those involved in teaching the Bible learn how to engage students in the process of learning – to discover and obey truth from God’s Word themselves. Rather than simply communicate God’s Word to students, teachers are instructed how to apply biblical principles in practical ways in their own lives before strategizing how to enable students to do the same. The goal of teaching is to engage the learner in following Christ at the deepest level possible in their journey toward Christ-likeness.

This book is targeted to parents, teachers, and students of the Word desiring to dig deeper into the Word and apply its principles in life transforming ways. The concept of “heart-deep teaching and learning” is based on a Hebrew understanding of the “heart” as the innermost essence of the person, involving mind, emotions, and will. When the heart is engaged by the Holy Spirit within the context of God’s Word, it produces both character and behavioral change. Transformation of the person is instigated when mind, emotions, and will are activated at the deepest possible level through the power of the Holy Spirit. The role of the teacher is to actively engage students’ emotions, mind, will, and body in learning. This is accomplished by utilizing strategies involving interaction, drama, reflection, story-telling, wonder, movement, creativity, acting-out, problem-solving, and wrestling with the principles discovered in the Biblical text. By integrating accurate methods of analyzing the biblical text and current research in teaching and learning, the book attempts to help teachers to understand the theoretical and practical skills to create their own lessons, adapt lessons from published curriculums, and improve their own strategies of studying and teaching the Word. While designed as a college and seminary textbook for Biblical teaching and learning, it is also applicable for parents and local church teachers of children, youth, and adults desiring to teach the Bible at a deeper level.

“Heart-Deep Teaching” hopes to re-establish a higher standard of teaching and learning firmly rooted in both Scripture and current educational research.


In Heart-Deep Teaching, Gary Newton has tackled an immensely critical need in the church today – how to change superficial teaching ministries into ones that impact the hearts and lives of both teachers and students. Combining insights from biblical studies, education, and his many years of ministry experience, Gary shows us a better way for teaching the Bible to transform lives. He challenges us and shows us how to dig deeper in God’s Word, open our own lives to God’s teaching, and create more interactive teaching/learning experiences that the Holy Spirit can use to form and transform our students. This book is a great gift to the church, and I recommend it highly for all who care about the impact of their teaching.

Dr. Kevin E. Lawson, Director of Ph.D. and Ed.D. programs in Educational Studies at Talbot School of Theology, Biola University, and editor of the Christian Education Journal

Heart-Deep Teaching, written by an experienced teacher, offers an insightful teaching-learning framework for helping students of all ages respond deeply to Bible-based lessons. Teachers are encouraged to model being Bible learners themselves as they develop learning experiences that resonate with student needs and motivation. Newton raises the right questions about teaching in a Christian setting and provides guidance and examples for teachers from start to finish in the lesson planning process. I enjoyed the wide range of personal stories throughout each chapter that helped me picture in my mind the various phases of lesson design and teaching.

Klaus Issler, Professor of Christian Education and Theology

Talbot School of Theology, Biola University

Author, Living into the Life of Jesus

8 responses to “The Book

  1. So exciting! Can’t wait to read it!!!!! -Jen Dakin

  2. Abby

    I’ve started reading it and love it! Way to go! I’m proud of you Dr. Newton…you worked hard on this book.

  3. Dear Gary, I am looking forward to reading this new book of yours. Proud of you and all that the Lord has accomplished through you. Hope you are doing well and are healthy. Love in Christ, Larry Butt.

  4. Gary–I received a copy from BH. I look forward to reading it. Thanks for serving the Chiristian community and Christian education in this way! Paul Bramer

  5. Leonard Kageler

    I used this book in one of the classes in the Youth & Family Studies degree program here at Nyack College. The students loved it and benefited greatly from it. The book generated some great class discussions.
    Len Kageler

  6. Daniel Davis

    Dr. Newton, I read your book and really appreciated the way it identified the deepening levels related to our minds, emotions, will, and behavior. This has been instructive for me not only in teaching but also in parenting my children and addressing their hearts. Furthermore, being an editor for a Bible study curriculum, I’m honestly thankful for your words about the limitations of printed curriculum—a tool to be used in the hands of a loving and involved teacher. That being said, I always want to improve what we offer to churches and groups. If you have a moment, would you be able to give some quick thoughts about what curriculum can and should provide in order to best equip teachers as they teach God’s Word and disciple their students? Thank you for the book and your time.
    Daniel Davis

  7. Darryl Keeney

    Dr.Newton, Thank you for your excellent book. I am using it in a class that I teach for Grace University. Could you please send me a sample of a completed lesson outline using all of the steps of the process that you mention in your book? This is to help the “big picture” students. Thank you.

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