Christian Education

Why Do We Exist?

school

Christian schools should be distinctive.

If there is no difference between the advanced placement calculus class at my school and another school, I’d advise people to go elsewhere because it’s free.” 

The truth of this Christian school administrator’s statement is jolting.

What makes a school distinctively “Christian”?

School mysterAs children read mysteries, for instance, they should be reminded that without sin (wrongdoing), there is no story (tension or drama).  Interpreting the whole world and all of life through the lens of biblical truth is the focus of Christian education.  Biblical integration is uniting the fragments of truth scattered by The Fall via the regenerative thinking of Christian minds renovated by salvation (Col 1:19-21).

In a word, Biblical integration means “wholeness”.

God’s world twisted by human sin is in need of renewal through Christ’s work on the cross (Rom 8:18-22).  Incumbent upon the Christian educator is the task of illuminating error by the searchlight of Scripture (1 Jn 4:1) while capturing the truth in any activity or discipline (Eph 5:8-14).  West Side Story demonstrates the anarchy of lawlessness, mirrors the reality of human depravity, and reflects the truth that reclaiming the culture must begin at the cross (2 Cor 5:16-21).

school readingEverything from the arts to zoology should be studied “Christianly.” Students should leave the Christian academy having brought “every thought captive to Christ” (2 Cor 10:3-5) in every classroom. For example, grammar which governs the writing process finds its legitimacy in God’s parameters for humans established in Genesis 2:16-17. Rules of sentence structure corral God-given creativity, reclaiming communication for the Christian school English class.

Biblical integration discovers truth, which is already there (Prov 25:2; cf. 1 Kgs 4:29-34).  The natural revelation of God’s creation only awaits Christian examination from the vantage-point of divine revelation.  The Psalmist indicates that the same “word” which activates the natural world, interprets it (147:15-20).  So when the science instructor reads about the universe, “[God] spoke…and it stood firm,” (Ps 33:9) he can declare that all properties and principles of science find their origin, function, and governance in “Genesis law” (the beginning of all authorities).

Here is truth discovered from what The Creator “hid” for humans to uncover in creation.

school bibleBiblical truth must form the foundation for and framework of every activity, attitude, decision, discussion, or lesson in the Christian school.  Examples abound. Recess should be taught as the work/rest pattern that God set at creation (Gen 2:2; Prov 24:27).  School boards and administrations should lead from the bottom up as servants to the staff (1 Pet 5:1-3).  Math calculation is possible based on the exactitude of God’s justice (Isa 59:1-15).

All of this is Biblical integration.

So what makes a school distinctively Christian?  Furthermore, why do Christian schools exist?

As educational alternatives proliferate, Biblical integration provides the sole distinctive.  Preparing young people with a livable, Christian view of life will train the next generation to think “Christianly” in every area of life.

Dr. Mark Eckel has partnered with Curriculum Trak to create biblical integration principles for Christian schools. Forty strands of Christian thinking through 10 disciplines are now available including: math, science, literature, history, fine arts, language arts, government, technology, health/PE, world languages. Five more subjects are soon planned for release. Mark’s article originally appeared in Christian School Education, 1998, v.2, n.12, p. 9.

Picture credits: http://www.dvd-ppt-slideshow.com/blog/hd-back-to-school-wallpapers-and-back-to-school-backgrounds-free-download/; http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Mystery.png; http://clipartheaven.com/show/clipart/education_&_schools/cartoons/students_&_teacher_1-gif.html  http://www.freefoto.com/preview/05-02-20/Bible

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4 comments

  1. I think one of the most important keys to strengthening the Church is through interdisciplinary studies and Biblical integration. With these two education methods we train Christians to think “Christianly” about everything.

    It has made all the difference for me.

    For all of the universe is God’s, and all studies fall under His jurisdiction. And the universe is best understood in light of God as its maker. And not just any God, but the one true God.

  2. Excellent article. I am glad that an educator has taken time to educate and encourage educators. I also see the need for the church to grasp this important distinction in our pursuits of discipling the people of God. Believing parents will do well to have an understanding of this distinction. We all benefit in not losing sight of the goal of our community.

  3. “Interpreting the whole world and all of life through the lens of biblical truth is the focus of Christian education. Biblical integration is uniting the fragments of truth scattered by The Fall via the regenerative thinking of Christian minds renovated by salvation (Col 1:19-21).”

    Yes, yes, yes! This holds true not only in the education of children, but in any learning that we do as followers of Christ (formal or informal) even into adulthood!

    The fact that so many Christians have not learned to think in this manner results in the fragmentation we see so often today. People may be sincere in wanting to live for Christ in their day to day work lives. But outside of basic things like being honest and being kind to others, they seem to have no idea how to relate what they hear Sunday morning to what they do Monday through Friday. There is such a disconnect!

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