Heart Deep Teaching

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