Wednesday, August 17, 2011

The Centrality of Christ in Christian Education

The new school year is here! Teachers are getting their classrooms and lesson plans ready. Students are assembling their school supplies. This has always been one of my favorite times of the year!

As the school year begins, I've been thinking about the importance of the religion classes in our school. Beginning with "Jesus Time" in preschool and continuing all the way to Confirmation Class in 8th grade and theology classes in Lutheran high school and college... teaching the faith takes priority in all Christian education.

We make substantial sacrifices of time and money to maintain this priority. Some might even think it is a waste of time - a detriment to an excellent education. Why then do Christian schools still lead the way in academics year after year? The reason is that to serve Christ we must not only know what He teaches in the Bible, we must also know what He teaches through His creation. We serve the Lord in a variety of callings, and for each of them it is vital that we understand languages, mathematics, history, science, etc. It is precisely because we give so much emphasis to God's word that we also give so much emphasis to learning everything else.

One of my favorite quotes on this idea comes from Sir Francis Bacon, whom some consider the first philosopher of science:

"To conclude therefore let no man upon a weak conceit of sobriety or an ill applied moderation think or maintain that a man can search too far or be too well studied in the book of God's word or in the book of God's works divinity or philosophy but rather let men endeavour an endless progress of proficience in both only let men beware that they apply both to charity and not to swelling to use and not to ostentation and again that they do not unwisely mingle or confound these learnings together." (Advancement of Learning, 1605, p. 10)

God bless all the students and teachers heading back to school this fall. I pray that we would all advance in our learning from "both" of God's good books!

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