Christian Education Essay

Published: 2020-04-22 08:06:56
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I. The Definition of Education

1. We affirm that in its most basic meaning, education is the triune God teaching His truth to mankind. (Genesis 1:27-31; Psalms 19:1-9; 94:8,9; John 1:1-9). We deny that education is solely mental or physical activity associated with learning the thoughts and experiences of other human beings. (Psalm 119:99). 2. We affirm that education is the action or process by which a person comes to know and use Gods truth, and the education is learning to think Gods thoughts after Him and to see things as He sees them. (Isaiah 55:8,9; John 5:19,20). We deny that education is merely the action or process by which a person acquires knowledge or skills. 3. We affirm that education is lifelong and that it incorporates every thought, experience, and activity of man. (Deuteronomy 6:7-12; 11:18-20; Isaiah 29:24; Matthew 9:13; 24:32; Mark 13:28; 1 Corinthians 4:6; 14:31). We deny that education is confined to formal schooling in traditional classroom settings or to tutorial relationships. (Matthew 5:1-48; 6:1-34; 7:1-29; 11:29)

II. The Purpose of Education

4. We affirm that the purpose of education is both to reveal God and to bring students into conformity with His revealed will. (Luke 24:27; John 7:17; 14:21, 23,24). We deny that the sole purpose of education is to accomplish human perfection and understanding of the material world. 5. We affirm that the ultimate goal of education should be to orient human beings Biblically toward the knowledge of God, humanity, and the rest of Gods creation, in order to prepare them to take their places in family, Church, and society to the glory of God and in the service of Christs Kingdom and their fellowman. (2 Kings 22:8-23:26; Malachi 4:4-6; Matthew 20:26-28; Acts 16:30-34). We deny that the ultimate purpose of education should be human self-development and self-fulfillment. (Acts 2:37-47).

III. The Nature and Role of God in Education

6. We affirm that God is the Creator and Sustainer of all things and is the Source of all truth. (Genesis 1:1-27; Psalm 55:22; 119:151; 121:1-8). We deny that human beings, society, or the external world are sources of truth in and of themselves. (Psalm 14:1). 7. We affirm that God created, sustains, and will consummate all things through His Son, the Lord Jesus Christ. Therefore, education must focus on the Person of Jesus Christ. (Hebrews 1:3; Colossians 1:15-17). We deny that education that omits reference to Jesus role in this world is education at all. (John 14:6). 8. We affirm that the Holy Spirit of God teaches and enlightens every believer in Jesus Christ and leads that person into all truth. (John 14:26; 15:26; 16:13).We deny that human beings can find or understand all truth through human effort alone. (Romans 3:11,12)

9. We affirm that the existing personal God has communicated truth to all mankind through personal revelation of Himself in Jesus Christ and through propositional, verbalized revelation of Himself in the Old and New Testaments of the Bible. (Genesis 15:1; 17:1; Exodus 3:2-15; Isaiah 6:1-8; Mark 9:7; Luke 3:22; 24:27; John 1:1,2; 12:28; Acts 9:4,5; Hebrews 1:2,3). We deny that the individual person is capable of learning all truth from within himself or from human teachers and secular learning materials. (John 7:15,16; 1 Timothy 6:3-5)

IV. The Nature of Truth and Reality in Education

10. We affirm that truth is what is known to God about Himself and all of His creation, and that it is absolute, eternal, and objective. (Deuteronomy 32:4; Psalms 25:10; 57:3; 119:142,151). We deny that truth is solely what is known to one or more individuals or to mankind collectively, and that is relative, temporal, or subjective. (Romans 1:25; 3:3,4; 2 Thessalonians 2:9-12) 11. We affirm that the existing, personal-infinite God has chosen to reveal truth to us both through special revelation, which is communicated to us by means of the Bible and Gods Son, Jesus Christ, and through general revelation, which is communicated to us by means of His rational and nonrational creation; and that education should entail the pursuit of learning, which is derived from all of these sources of revelation. (Genesis 1:28; 2:19,20; Daniel 4:37; John 1:14,17; 14:6; 2 Timothy 3:16,17; Hebrews 1:1,2). We deny that truth is found only in human beings, in nature, or in a combination of the two, and that a persons sole purpose in education should be to attain learning apart from Gods revelation. (I Kings 17:24; 1 John 2:27).

12. We affirm that in Gods design all of the particular elements of the universe are united into a meaningful whole; that it is one purpose of education to help learners to find relationships among these elements and, thus, to find their meaning; and that Biblical revelation is the ultimate criterion for this meaning. (Genesis 1:1-31; Psalm 19:1). We deny that the particular elements of the universe exist without rationality, order, and meaningful relationships derived from the Supreme God. (Genesis 3:1-24) 13. We affirm that true reality originates with God and is spiritual and eternal, as well as material and temporal, and that the content of education is complete when it includes all true reality. We deny that true reality originates with mankind; that it is limited to what is material and temporal; and that the content of education is complete when it is limited to the study of material reality. (I John 2:27).

V. The Content of Education

14. We affirm that freedom of inquiry is central to mans innate desire for truth, and that all truth is Gods truth. Therefore, we encourage inquiry into all fields of knowledge not forbidden in the Bible. (John 8:31,32; 2 Corinthians 3:17). We deny that public and private schools ought to restrict freedom of investigation into religion by teachers and students so long as that investigation does not interfere with the legitimate duties of teaching and learning. 15. We affirm that freedom of inquiry and academic freedom have a legitimate place in the pursuit of truth and in the framework of the learning and teaching process. (John 8:32,36). We deny that academic freedom implies the right to disobey or contradict the Scriptures as the embodiment of Gods truth in this world, or to violate a contractural agreement with an employer. (James 3:14; 5:19) 16. We affirm that all curriculum content must be integrated with and interpreted by Gods truth as revealed in the Bible. (John1:9; Romans 1:20; 2 Timothy 3:15-17). We deny that there is any real separation between secular and sacred truth, and that secular learning should be treated in isolation from Gods revealed truth. (Philippians 4:8,9).

17. We affirm that scientific investigation is a valid and necessary means of studying the universe and of discovering its orderly operation. (Genesis 1:14; Psalms 19:1,2,4,6,7,8; 104:19; Daniel 2:21; Matthew 16:2,3; Luke 21:25,26). We deny that scientific investigation is incompatible with any truth revealed in the Bible, and that science education may rightly reject or ignore all non-empirical sources of truth. (Romans 1:19,20) 18. We affirm that God is the Author of all true ethics; that true ethics is based on absolute truth and unchanging principles of right and wrong, as revealed in the Bible; that there are ethical absolutes that apply equally to all people everywhere; and that one purpose of education should be to help students to discover these unchanging Biblical standards of right and wrong and to reflect on the logical consequences of departing from these standards. (Exodus 20:1-17; Deuteronomy 7:7-11; Matthew 5:17,18; Romans 1:19,20).

We deny that students should be taught that neutrality with regard to ethics is either possible or desirable in any sphere of human activity; that people can choose what is right behavior for themselves without regard to the absolute standards of moral behavior revealed in the Bible; that ethics is situational; and that ethics can properly be based on the assumption that truth and morality are relative and changing. (Deuteronomy 28:14,15; 30:8-10; Matthew 5:19,20; Romans 1:25-32; 2 Thessalonians 2:4, 10-12; 2 Timothy 3:2,70 4:3,4).

VI. The Nature and Role of the Learner

19. We affirm that a human being has worth because he has been created in the image of God. (Genesis 1:27; Romans 8:29,30). We deny that a person has worth merely because he exists or because he says it is so. (Psalm 33:16; 53:1-3; Proverbs 12:15; 14:9). 20. We affirm that every human being is created in the image of God and is, therefore, in need of development in the spiritual areas of existence as well as in the intellectual and physical areas, and that true education of the whole person must include attention to all three aspects of human life. (Genesis 1:26). We deny that human beings are merely higher animals without soul or spirit, and that any education that addresses only the intellect and body, while ignoring the spiritual aspect of human beings, is appropriate to their nature. 21. We affirm that, though we are created in the image of God, because of the fall of Adam we are born sinful and need to experience salvation through the redeeming work of Jesus Christ in order to reach our full potential. (Romans 5:8,10).

We deny that we are born perfect and uncorrupted, and that we are inherently good by nature and in need of education alone to achieve our highest potential and to attain a state of fulfillment. (Romans 3:10-12,23). 22. We affirm that education must include the consideration of sin as a fact of human behavior. (Acts 2:38; Romans 1:28-32; 3:23-25; 6:23). We deny that textbooks and curricula should ignore the fact of sin or rebellion against God in human behavior. (Luke 3:7,8; Romans 6:12)

23. We affirm that people who are restored to a proper relationship with God must receive instruction from the Word of God”the Bible”concerning the rights and responsibilities of this privileged position, and that providing such instruction is one of the most important responsibilities of education. (Proverbs 9:9). We deny that people can learn the rights and responsibilities of the Christian life without studying the revelation of Gods truth in the Bible. (2 Timothy 3:14,15) 24. We affirm that students have the responsibility to attend to and to apply effort to a learning task. (Proverbs 23:12; Colossians 3:23; 2 Timothy 2:15). We deny that students are absolved from cooperating with a teacher and from exercising personal effort to learn. (Proverbs 5:12,13; 6:4-11; 13:4; 20:4)

VII. What Education Should Produce in Learners

25. We affirm that education ought to cultivate in students the four basic skills of cognition, communication, imagination, and valuation. (2 Corinthians 10:5; Ephesians 4:29; Philippians 4:8,9). We deny that complete education can occur without attention to these four skills. (2 Timothy 2:15,16; 3:13; 4:3,4). 26. We affirm that education ought to promote development of the learner in at least three areas, viz., spiritual and moral growth, academic growth, and personal and social development. Examples of specific results in each area follow: 26.1 In spiritual and moral growth, learners should: (Psalm 143:10; Romans 10:9; 1 Corinthians 2:16; Colossians 3:23; 1 Thessalonians 4:7; 2 Timothy 3:16) 26.1.1. consider the Bible Gods inspired Word and develop attitudes of love and respect toward it. 26.1.2. know the basic doctrines of the Bible.

26.1.3. have a desire to know and obey the will of God as revealed in the Scriptures. 26.1.4. make a decision to receive Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord. 26.1.5. develop an understanding of a Christians role in the Church. 26.1.6. develop the mind of Christ toward right and wrong conduct. 26.1.7. develop self-discipline and responsibility bases on submission to God and all other authority. 26.1.8. develop a Christian world view.

26.2 In academic growth, learners should: (Philippians 4:8,9; Colossians 2:23; 3:16; 2 Timothy 2:15, 3:16,17) .26.2.1. reach their full academic potential. 26.2.2. gain a thorough command of the fundamental processes used in communicating with others, such as reading, writing, speaking, and listening. 26.2.3. develop a thorough comprehension and command of science and mathematics. 26.2.4. develop an appreciation for and understanding of the humanities. 26.2.5. develop the use of good study habits.

26.2.6. pursue independent study and perform independent research. 26.2.7. be able to reason logically. 26.2.8. use critical thinking and Biblical criteria for evaluation. 26.2.9. develop good citizenship through understanding and appreciating the Christian basis of freedom, human dignity, and acceptance of authority. 26.2.10. develop understanding of and appreciation for Gods world and mans responsibility to use and preserve it properly. 26.2.11. develop an appreciation of the fine arts through study and personal expression. 26.2.12. develop physical skill and coordination through participation in physical education and athletic activities

26.3. In personal and social development, learners should: (Isaiah 54:13,14; Matthew 6:19-21; 19:4-6; John 13:34, 35; Romans 8:14-17,31,32; 1 Corinthians 6:13,15,19,20; 7:10-16; 9:27; Ephesians 1:3-6; 5:15,16,22-33; 6:1-4; Colossians 2:10; 1 Thessalonians 4:8-12; 2 Thessalonians 3:10-13; 1 Timothy 6:10,17; Hebrews 13:5) 26.3.1. develop a healthy personality based on properly understanding and accepting themselves as unique individuals created in the image of God. 26.3.2. learn to respect others because they are also made in Gods image. 26.3.3. become contributing members of society, realizing the interdependence of one person on another. 26.3.4. appreciate time as a God-given commodity and the individuals responsibility for using it effectively. 26.3.5. develop a Biblical view of work and the prerequisite attitudes and skills for success in employment. 26.3.6. develop Biblical attitudes toward marriage and the family. 26.3.7. develop physical fitness, good health habits, and wise use of the body as the temple of God.26.3.8. develop a Biblical attitude toward material things.

VII. The Nature and Role of the Teacher

27. We affirm that a teacher is a presenter of Gods truth and a guide to its discovery by students through the ministry of Gods Holy Spirit. (Isaiah 30:20,21; Jeremiah 3:15; 1 Corinthians 12:4-11,28-31; Colossians 1:28,29). We deny that any teacher can, without the cooperation of the Holy Spirit, guide others adequately to an understanding of Gods truth. 28. We affirm that a teacher who is a good example in the spiritual realm must consciously and deliberately have accepted Jesus Christ as personal Savior and Lord. (1 Timothy 4:11,12). We deny that a teacher who denies Jesus Christ as personal Savior and Lord can be a suitable example in spiritual matters. (2 Timothy 3:5-7). 29. We affirm that a teacher is one who models the learning process by being a seeker of Gods truth as revealed in the Bible and by applying that truth to his own life. (Ezra 7:10; Jeremiah 29:13; Luke 6:40). We deny that a teacher should avoid seeking Gods truth or should seek the truth solely in ways others than through the Bible and a personal relationship with Jesus Christ and God the Father. 30. We affirm that teachers must know the content or subject matter to be taught. (Luke 4:4,8,12,16-22; 1 Timothy 6:2-5).

We deny that it is possible to teach adequately without a thorough knowledge of the subject matter to be learned by students. (1 Timothy 1:7; 2 Timothy 2:1,2). 31. We affirm that teachers must create conditions that result in learners desire to learn. (Luke 2:46,47,49,52). We deny that it is possible to produce adequate learning in students who are not motivated to learn. (Proverbs 5:12,13,22,23) 32. We affirm that verbal communication used by teachers must be understood by and have the same meaning for both teachers and learners. (Ephesians 4:29; 2 Timothy 1:13). We deny that it is possible for teachers to produce adequate learning in students when they use language or ideas outside students daily life and language. (Ephesians 4:29) 33. We affirm that teachers must teach what is unknown through what is already known by learners. (Mark 11:12-14,20-24). We deny that it is possible for learners to learn adequately that which is not based on previous learning or experience. (Matthew 6:26-31).

34. We affirm that teachers should give students the opportunity to produce in their own minds the ideas or truths, and to become skillful at performing for themselves the acts or skills, to be learned. (Luke 9:1,2,6; 10:1,9,17). We deny that teachers should require students to acquire knowledge or skills without encouraging original thinking and applications of what they learn to other situations. 35. We affirm that teachers should confirm and test learning by review, repetition, and practical application, where necessary. (Luke 24:44; John 21:15-17). We deny that learning is adequately established generally by having students go once through a learning experience and then be tested for a mark or grade. (Matthew 14:15-21; 15:32-34). IX. Methodology of Education

36. We affirm that there is a variety of teaching and learning methods that may be appropriate for specific curriculum content with a particular learner or group of learners. A limited list of examples follows: 36.1. Demonstration (Matthew 6:9-15: Mark 6:41)

36.2. Involvement of students in learning (Mark 6:7-12)
36.3. Discipline and correction (Mark 11:15-17; 2 Timothy 3:15) 36.4. Discovery (Mark 14:66-72)36.5. Familiar Illustrations (Luke 6:4) 36.6. Individualized instruction (John 3:2-21; 4:5-26; Luke 19:1-8) 36.7. Lecture, formal teaching (Luke 6:20-49; 1 Timothy 4:13) 36.8. Memorization (2 Timothy 3:15)

36.9. Practice (Matthew 10; Luke chs. 9,10; 1 Timothy 5:4)
36.10. Questions and answers (Matthew 16:13-18; Luke 6:39)
36.11. Repetition (Matthew 16:21; 17:22,23; 20:18,19; 26:1)
36.12. Review (Luke 24:44)
36.13. Small group activity (Matthew 17:1-9; Mark 6:7-12; Luke 10:1-11) 36:14. Visual aids (Matthew 22:19-21; Luke 13:19)
We deny that there is one teaching method that should be used consistently to the exclusion of others. 37. We affirm that learning is most effective for all learners when more than one instructional modality is used, such as visual, auditory, and kinesthetic modalities. (Matthew 14:27-33). We deny that learning is effective for all learners when one instructional modality is used exclusively. X. Responsibility for Education

ROLE OF PARENTS

38. We affirm that God entrusts children to their parents for their nurture and education; that parents have both a right and a duty to raise their children in a manner consistent with Biblical standards of responsible moral conduct; and that parents have the right, therefore, to educate their own children at home or to delegate the task to schools. (Deuteronomy 4:9; 6,7; 11:19; Proverbs 6:20,21; Ephesians 6:4)

We deny that civil government or any other entity has legitimate authority to supersede parents in the nurture and education of their children, and that governing agencies have legitimate authority to compel students to attend public schools. (1 Timothy 5:4)39. We affirm that parents have both a right an a duty to teach their children about biological reproduction and sexual health and morality. (Genesis 35:22; 49:4; Leviticus 20:10-21; Deuteronomy 6:6,7; 22:22-30; 23:17; Proverbs 6:20-29) We deny that civil government on any level has legitimate authority to usurp parents responsibility to teach children about sexuality and reproduction or to establish mandatory sex education classes for children.

ROLE OF SCHOOLS

40. We affirm that it is a schools responsibility to assist and to cooperate closely with parents in every aspect of a students education. (Mark 9:17-27). We deny that schools have no responsibility to assist and to cooperate with parents in the education of their children. 41. We affirm that it is the responsibility of the schools to be sensitive to the wishes and values of parents with respect to the content and methodology of their childrens education. (Philippians 3:5,6). We deny that it is the right of schools to decide arbitrarily and unilaterally what values system shall be the basis for the content and methodology of their students education. 42. We affirm that a school is an extension of the home, existing to supplement parents primary responsibility to educate their children. (Ephesians 6:1-4; 1 Timothy 3:4,5). We deny that schools have the right to supplant parents primary responsibility to educate their children.

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