by Laura Springer, M.Div.
What is learning and how do you know when it has happened? Is it remembering facts? Is it performing a skill? It is both and more. Think of learning as a triangle.
Romans 12:1-2 touches on each of the three aspects of learning. Read the passage before moving on to the next paragraph.
Learning is cognitive; it deals with content. Paul bases his instructions on the content of faith, especially on the meaning and significance of “mercy” as discussed in Romans 1-11.
Learning is affective; it deals with value and emotion. Paul appeals to his readers’ values and emotions; he does not merely command, but expects them to care.
Learning is volitive; it deals with response. Paul exhorts his readers to respond with action (“present your bodies”), attitude (“as a living sacrifice…”), and a new way of thinking (“renewal of your mind”).
Learning is like a triangle. If any one side is missing, you no longer have a triangle. Learning, by definition, is cognitive, affective, and volitive; it always includes content, values/emotions, and response. If any one aspect is missing, learning has not occurred.