Thomas Chalmers and the Keystones Project

I'm indebted to my friend Dave Moore for pointing me to scholar George Grant who then pointed me back to Thomas Chalmers (1780-1847).  Chalmers biography is gripping.  He is was a brilliant child who advanced quickly in studies but at the age of 15 felt a call to parish ministry.  He later grappled with the problem of how easily the scriptures slip through our fingers after a normal devotional reading.  He saw this slipping in himself but also in his congregation for whome he desperately wanted to find a system to engage and retain the teaching of the New Testament.  

I was delighted to find that Chalmers came up with a system almost identical to the Peg Memory System that I've developed here at Be a Tree.  Chalmers provided a key verse for each chapter fo the new testament to his parishoners that they would then commit to memory and journal their thoughts about.  What I call a "peg verse" Chalmers called a "keystone verse."  I love the added dimmensions of journaling (kinesthetic engagement) and community interaction (I've toyed with that too).  

Chalmers provided the keystone verse to the community while I've encouraged people to find their own as this gives them a little more intimacy with the passage and adds a highly engaged reading of the passage in its context but I see upside to providing a key verse too.  You can get George Grant's journals through the New Testament with Chalmer's 260 Keystone verses in three volumes and learn more about it here or on Amazon here.  Definitely listen to his podcast on Chalmers here.