Teaching to the Head & Heart

I couldn’t let it slip by.

Amidst all the nostalgia (and talk of my hometown, Dallas) surrounding the 50th anniversary of John F. Kennedy’s death, there’s another death to remember.

C.S. Lewis died today, 50 years ago.

The genius of Lewis was his ability to move deftly between the didactic and the imaginative, between the cognitive and the affective; or, as we would say in adult education, the HEAD and the HEART.

The heart, if you remember, is the seat of the will and the passions. Even more than the head (the seat of the intellect), the condition of our hearts determines (not too strong a word, I think) what we actually do.

Those of us who teach desire to see growing followers of Jesus changed at the level of the heart. We do this by bringing growing disciples to the place where the Spirit of God will apply the truth of God’s Word to their imaginations. Those with transformed imaginations know, increasingly, the will of God, and God’s own heart.

Lewis showed us how to teach this way. In stories like those in his Narnia series, we see what it looks like when characters have their hearts’ transformed.

If you’d like an example—or, if you’re stuck in an airline terminal over the next couple of days—you might enjoy the 8 minute, twenty-three second video clip by John Stonestreet. I’ve pasted it below. Then, consider leaving a comment. How are John Stonestreet’s examples from Lewis’ work helpful for our own work in adult education?