Whole Counsel Theology

Wednesday, July 05, 2006

The "Memory Bank"

This section of my blog serves a dual purpose.

First, it is for accountability. I am trying to memorize Scripture, working through whole books. It is not a quick process, and often I can become lazy in the matter. The rewards are very great, but there is indeed work. So, if the "memory bank" shows no change for a long period of time (a week or more) then I might need a small rebuke to keep going in this particular discipline. Feel free to email me and encourage me to continue (this also applies to the "I'm Currently Reading" section). I'd love to hear from you anyway.

Secondly, it is to encourage you in the process of memorization. It certainly isn't impossible, and I use a method like this[1]:

1.) Read one verse of Scripture out loud, hyper-focusing on each word as if you were photographing it with your mind. Do NOT forget to include the verse number!
2.) Do this ten times, or if it is a long verse, as many times as there are words in the verse. Emphasizing a different word each time can also help.
3.) Close your Bible, and repeat the verse to yourself 10 times (or as many as the verse has words). You are now done for the day.
4.) The next day, repeat the previous day's verse 10 times (or as many times as the verse has words) without looking. If you must look, do it; better to look once or twice and get it right than memorize it wrong. Be sure you have it perfect.
5.) Do the next verse as in steps 1, 2, and 3.
6.) The next day, do the previous day's verse as in step 4.
7.) "All verses together." That is, say all of the verses you've learned (just once each), making sure to remember the verse number.
8.) Repeat step 4, then steps 1, 2, 3.
9.) Repeat step 4, then step 7, then steps 1, 2, and 3, and keep repeating in this fashion until you are completely finished with the book.

If you have to say a verse more than ten times, so be it. Maybe your memory isn't all that great, and you need to do it 100 times -- well, you CAN do it 100 times.

After a while, the majority of your time will be spent in "all verses together." Don't be upset about it, but rejoice that God has blessed you with the memory of His wondrous Word!
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1. Updated, 7/10/2006 -- I should have put this in originally! This method of Scripture memorization is an adaptation I've made to something I read in a book by John Piper a while back. The book, When I Don't Desire God is a great one for sure, and this information (most of it) appears on page 122. Even though it is not an exact quote, I don't want to make the mistake of not citing sources at the risk of plagiarism. All is well now. :)

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