Why Do We Exist?
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”?
As 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).
Everything 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.
Biblical 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