Devoted to the Propagation and Defense of New Testament Christianity
October 20, 1966
NUMBER 24, PAGE 1-2a

Special Announcement

Fanning Yater Tant

After many months of careful work and study, the GOSPEL GUARDIAN COMPANY has developed a planned program of Bible study so new, so extraordinary, so unusual, and with such tremendous possibilities for good that we MUST take this front page to tell you about it! And yet, what we have arranged is so old, so common-place, so "Biblical" that most of us have known it from childhood

but have never really acted upon it or applied it. The Gospel Guardian Company has adapted to modern usage and contemporary conditions that method of learning which today's teachers and psychologists call "absorption learning" or "saturation learning"
but which was described by Moses and used by the Hebrew people more than three millennia ago!

Here is what Moses taught: "Therefore shall ye lay up these my words in your heart and in your soul: and ye shall bind them for a sign upon your hand, and they shall be for frontlets between your eyes, And ye shall teach them your children, talking of them, when thou sittest in thy house, and when thou walkest by the way, and when thou liest down, and when thou risest up. And thou shalt write them upon the doorposts of thy house, and upon thy gates..." (Deut. 11: 18-20.)

We call our modern adaptation of Moses' instruction the Gospel Guardian's "PLANNED PROGRAM OF ABSORPTION LEARNING" (PPAL, for short); and we KNOW that if it is conscientiously followed for as much as one year, it will increase one's knowledge of the Bible (and increase the Bible's influence in one's life) more than you have ever dreamed possible in even your wildest imaginations! This plan WILL WORK. It is psychologically sound, and is exactly the kind of teaching done by the Hebrew people and the early disciples. It is based upon the sound principle of "spaced repetition" --- (for any new idea or principle to be accepted, it must generally be repeated at least SIX times at "spaced intervals")----and is our twentieth-century adaptation of Solomon's 3,000-year-old proverb, "For as he thinketh within himself, so is he." (Prov. 23:7.) Madison Avenue (modern commercial advertising agencies) grasped the significance of this principle more than thirty years ago, and by adapting "spaced repetition" to the field of advertising, built a fantastically rich and affluent society. They dinned their slogans, mottoes, brand-names, catch-phrases, and singing jingles ("Things go better with Coke," "I'd walk a mile for a Camel," "Us Tareyton smokers had rather fight than switch") into our ears and eyes with such persistence that probably all of us have at times been annoyed, then irritated, than infuriated! ----but the American people bought their products. Our minds had become so saturated with the name of the product that when we went to the store, or filling station, or super market, and opened our mouths to say what we wanted, "OUT OF THE ABUNDANCE OF THE HEART THE MOUTH SPOKE. "

"Planned Program Of Absorption Learning"

And now the Gospel Guardian Company has developed its ''Planned Program of Absorption Learning' to the field of spiritual development, adapting the "spaced repetition" technique with the resultant "saturation" or "absorption" learning to a study of the Bible. For several years now various recording companies have had their "talking Bibles" on the market, a simple reading of the actual text of the Bible. These were at first developed for the benefit of the blind; but are now increasingly being bought by the general public. Several such record albums are on the market; the Gospel Guardian has selected the particular one we judge to be the best available, and which we recommend.

Here are the three things required for the "Planned Program of Absorption Learning": (1) a record album of the Bible text; (2) some sort of record player. Most families have a record player already, but in case you do not have one, we have some excellent machines available at only a few dollars; and (3) a definite daily listening schedule.

And here is the beauty of the plan---you don't even need to take time out to listen to the record!! Put it on the record player, set your volume control at a level which will not distract you from whatever else you are doing, and then go on about your business---eating breakfast, shaving, straightening up the house, shining your shoes, or any one of a hundred other tasks which may occupy your hands but not your mind. And all the while, as you eat, brush your teeth, wash the dishes, or make the beds, the words of the sacred text are being ABSORBED into your mind! It is better, of course, if you can listen with close attention and concentration. Indeed, we would encourage families to do this, gathering the whole family together either in the morning or in the evening for "Bible reading time;" but even when you are NOT listening carefully, and not even thinking of what you are hearing, those words of sacred Scripture are being imbedded deep into your mind and heart beneath the level of conscious awareness! They are becoming a part of your life, your emotions, your attitudes, and will eventually find expression in your life far more than you might ever dream possible.

This Is The Answer!

At long last we have achieved an historic "breakthrough" in the field of spiritual education. Worried parents have long since realized that they were facing an uphill battle in trying to get their sons and daughters to devote more than a few ineffective minutes each week to a study of Sunday School lessons; systematic Bible study for children in the average Christian family is so rare as to be phenomenal. Parents have become discouraged and have simply given up. They have realized their own lack of knowledge, and their own inability to make the Biblical story vital and important.

But with this fantastically effective new technique of "absorption learning" all that can now be changed! Carefully conducted psychological experiments have demonstrated that this method of "spaced repetition" is the most effective kind of teaching there is for any material, whether it be history, science, mathematics or the Bible. By our carefully worked out "Planned Program of Absorption Learning" one may listen to the entire New Testament eight times within a single year. Or he may listen to the beautiful "Life of Christ" album (see advertisement on inside pages) no less than TWENTY-SIX times within a single year by playing only one record twenty-eight minutes each day. In this way, without one's even realizing how it is happening, one becomes thoroughly familiar with the words of the Holy Scriptures; they sink into the minds, into the heart, and will mold and shape the entire life. "What goes in is bound to come out," is an old adage we have all heard from child-hood. And if one's mind is SATURATED with the word of God, even beneath the level of conscious awareness, that person is bound to be influenced and affected by what has been received.

THIS PLAN WILL WORK! We have seen it demonstrated in secular areas, and were tremendously excited about its possible adaptation to spiritual matters. This is, indeed, the "break-through" that Christian parents have so earnestly prayed for in their battle to save their children's minds from being engulfed in secular and worldly affairs. The Gospel Guardian is immensely pleased to be a leader in this vast new field of Christian growth and development. Other uses and adaptations of the technique are being seriously studied and evaluated; and we have highly skilled men at work on them even now. Meanwhile, get your album, and start NOW on this "Planned Program of Absorption Learning." It will revolutionize your life! (See inside pages, this issue, for further information.)

- Fanning Yater Tant