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3 Indispensable Heart-Qualities for Joyful, Effective Ministry –

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4 Wisdom Principles for Multiethnic Ministry | Biblical Counseling Coalition Blogs

Keeping His Commandments | TGC

The Christian Use of the Imprecatory Psalms | Gentle Reformation

4 Tips to Memorize (Almost) Anything | TGC | The Gospel Coalition

How Memorization Feeds Your Imagination | TGC | The Gospel Coalition

What It Looks Like to Be Adopted | TGC

God’s Word, God’s World, & Reverence | The Cripplegate

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Why Racial Reconciliation Is a Gospel Issue | TGC | The Gospel Coalition

Religion and Politics: An Interview with Russell Moore by Nathan W. Bingham | Ligonier Ministries Blog

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  • Harley Jake Schwartz

    First, I apologize for a long post on a specialized subject.

    In reference to the TCG articles on memorizing and the Memory Palace technique…

    I have been dabbling with memory techniques for the past few years but became seriously involved in practicing them in the past four months to study for a major accounting license, and I am stunned by how much more I can memorize, how much more I can recall, and how accurately I can recall it! I can say for myself that I can remember much more with less review. We are usually taught to memorize things rote, but it’s a dreadfully unproductive way to memorize. The reason it does not work is because you do not associate the memory with anything. Therefore, you spend a lot of time reciting a verse over and over and are likely to forget it just because you don’t have anything to trigger it in your memory.

    The people who practice the memory techniques described in the article usually develop an astounding memory if they persist with it. One memory champion has memorized 52,000 entries in the Chinese-English dictionary just by mentally pinning each entry to a different part of his body!

    However, for anyone interested in learning more about the Memory Palace technique or other mnemonic techniques, PROCEED WITH CAUTON. In the TGC article it says to associate memories with images that are absurd or strange in order to ensure you remember them, which might be neither here nor there morally, but some mnemonists take it a step further and will teach you to use images that are violent and lewd to secure memories in your mind. Be very careful when looking up the technique on the internet, because some of the instructors are worthy to be censored in places.

    Also, there are ramifications to the Third Commandment. Whatever images you use to remember Scripture, we should avoid ones that will inevitably drain the power of that Scripture, or somehow cheapen that Scripture in our mind.

    However, back to the positive. The method of memorization described in the TGC articles is far more fun and effective than traditional rote, and I recommend the memory palace technique, and I’m thankful to see the articles published!

    I have two recommendations:

    Augustine on memory. For anyone who has studied the memory palace concept or practiced it, they will quickly recognize it in Augustine’s “Confessions:”

    Here’s a gem of a book called “Mnemonics Applied to the Acquisition of Knowledge.” The book title states its purpose: using what you already know to acquire more knowledge. I assume the author is Reformed judging from the references to Whitefield, Andrew Fuller, etc. For anyone interested, at least read the essay “Philosophy of Mnemonics.”

    Thank you Dr. Murray!