bible - elvert barnes - flickr - ccIn educational psychology, there are a number of “laws of learning” or “principles of learning.” One of those is called the law of primacy, which basically states that when a student learns something for the the first time, a strong and almost unshakable impression is made.

“Unlearning” or “reteaching” ideas is therefore incredibly difficult.

If a student learns incorrect information regarding a topic, the teacher faces an uphill battle when it comes to repairing the mistake.

This is a huge reason why serious discipleship is so lacking in various parts of the Christian culture. New Christians have basically been taught (often implicitly and usually unintentionally) that learning a few theological basics and having the occasional “quiet time” is enough grow deep in their faith.

Many have actually learned to articulate the Gospel in terms and ways that are either partially wrong or don’t make sense to the culture at large. This makes training for effective evangelism and apologetics that much more difficult.

Those of us engaged in the work of discipling others (and that should be all of us) need to remember the importance of getting it right…the first time.