The New Literature Project: A Progress Report

Ferrell Jenkins
Temple Terrace, Florida

For over four years the Cogdill Foundation has been engaged in a project to produce and publish a totally new series of Bible class literature for use by churches of Christ. This work has come out of the almost universally recognized need for new and improved material. The project has been far more demanding than any of us ever imagined it would be. We are now to the point that we believe it is safe to announce a date for the publication of the material. The realization of this goal is based on the Lords continued help.

Preparation of the Curriculum

About six months were spent in working out the curriculum for the new series of literature. This involved a careful study of what should be included in a Scriptural, well-balanced, educationally sound curriculum. It involved a close examination of other literature series published by our brethren. Also some literature produced by denominational publishers was studied for ideas pertaining to education levels and format. The advice of experienced people was sought at every step.

Our curriculum was planned to take the student through the Bible each three years. The only exception to this is in the Senior High level where more time is spent in New Testament studies. More emphasis is placed on the Old Testament in the earlier grades. For example, in the Primary level we have eight quarters of Old Testament study and four quarters of New Testament study. In the junior level we have seven quarters of Old Testament study and five quarters of New Testament study. In junior High the pupil will study the Old Testament for five quarters, but the New Testament will be studied for seven quarters.

Series Title is


It was only after months of work that the title for this series of literature was decided upon. We intended to prepare such a series of material as to cause the truth (Gods Word, the gospel) to be reproduced in the life of the student. The presentation of facts is necessary, but we are seeking to instill the Truth into & heart of the student in such a way as to cause him to apply and reproduce it in his life.

The new Truth in Life series is so arranged that it can be used with Walking With God, which is also published by the Cogdill Foundation. If churches will begin with Truth in Life on Sunday morning and Walking With God on Wednesday night and continue with the outlined curriculum, there will be no duplication of lessons.


The Editors and Writers

Roy E. Cogdill has served as the Editor in Chief for the new series. He has been assisted by Ferrell Jenkins and Cecil Willis as Associate Editors. Jenkins has been charged primarily with editing and illustrating; Willis has worked largely in production. More than 30 writers have been engaged in the production of this new material. Those chosen as writers combined the qualities of fidelity to the Word of God in teaching and life, practical experience, and lesson writing ability. In some cases we have assigned the same book to as many as five different writers before getting it completed. All of the writers were competent but they just did not get the job done. Due to the fact that some of the material is still being written we will not list here all of the writers.

TRUTH IN LIFE is Group-Graded

The new Truth in Life literature is group graded. This means that all students within a group will use the same material. The groups are Pre-School; Primary (Grades 1-3); Junior (grades 4-6); Junior High (Grades 7-9); Senior High (Grades 10-12). This arrangement makes the material suitable for both small and large congregations. Teachers manuals are available for each book in the Pre-School through Junior High levels.

Guidelines For The Series

Before any writers were chosen some guidelines were set down to govern the production of the material. It was our intention to produce a series of literature that is: (1) True to the Bible. The Bible is viewed as a special Divine revelation of the mind of God and verbally inspired. Prophecy and miracles are seen as demonstrations of Divine power. Jesus is presented as the only begotten Son of God. (2) Well-balanced. A proper balance of Bible material, including both Old and New Testaments, and all Bible doctrines, make up the curriculum. The series is also well rounded in its presentation of Bible facts and the application to the students lives. (3) Educationally Sound. Each lesson takes into account the proven laws of teaching and learning. Only those aids and methods which will best help the teacher to present the lesson in order that the student may best learn will be suggested.

Every lesson was to be prepared with the realization of the three aspects of effective learning: cognitive, affective and motoric. These principles of learning may be stated more simply in the form of questions: What do I want the pupil to know (the facts of the lesson)?, What do I want him to feel (the attitudes) ?, and What do I want him to do (the actions in life)?

Questions Answered

When will the TRUTH IN LIFE literature go on sale? The Lord willing, this material will go on sale September 1, 197 3. This means that the churches can use it when they make 1heir promotions and begin the fall quarter on October 7, 1973. We plan to have all books for the first year printed and in the warehouse by that time. This will assure churches that we can supply their needs for the year. A small church will use the first book in each group or department. Larger churches may be using the same book in two or three classes. For example, if a church has a separate class for grades 4. 5, kind 6 they will use the same book in each class. In October of 1974 ail of the grade four students will be promoted to grade five. Grade four, which will be made up entirely of new students, will use the same books again. Grades five and six will use the second year of material, which will be in print by that time. We intend to prepare a booklet showing how churches of varying sizes may use the new literature.

What will be the cost of the new literature? At this writing we have not determined the cost of either the student books or the teachers manuals. The price will be announced well in advance of the sale date. We are attempting to keep the cost low, but the size and quality of the booklets may call for a price slightly higher than the Walking With God series.

What about examination copies? Shortly, we hope to have some examination packets of the first quarters material available for distribution. Watch the magazine for an announcement.

Who will sell the TRUTH IN LIFE series? The material may be purchased through the Truth Magazine Bookstore or through the dealer from which you presently buy your Bible class supplies.

Have you prepared any adult material Some work has been done on college age and adult level books, but the main thrust has been given to the pre-school through high school levels. Since no adults previously have used this material we are suggesting that adults classes use the Senior High material for the first year. After one year it may prove impractical for adult classes to continue this practice because of the promotion of high school classes into the higher levels. It is conceivable that in some circumstances adult classes could use ail three years of the high school material. The Cogdill Foundation publishes a number of study booklets suitable for adult classes.

Will you keep brethren informed of the progress on the series? By all means, Watch Truth Magazine for all-important announcements; concerning the new literature.

February 8, 1973