The Chrstian Education Philosophy

There comes a point in everyone’s life that they must start making decisions on their own, it is at this point they choose what lenses they will use to drive their decisions. For Christians that lense is the Bible and the Holy Spirit is the guiding force. Having a Biblical view on the world means that a person’s perceptions and decisions in all elements of their life are based upon the principles given in the Bible. A Biblical worldview is the framework of the Chrstian education philosophy. If we do not educate our children by applying the philosophy of Chrsitan education then we face a future where a Biblical worldview is no longer a lense that is used to drive our Society.

A Biblical Worldview should affect all areas of a person’s life. In Corinthians 6:19-20, the Bible states, “ What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost [which is] in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own? For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God’s.” In these verses we see that a Christian is Biblically commanded to have the Holy Spirit and the Bible to drive their mental, physical, and spiritual beings. Mentally we make thousands of decisions within a day and when a Biblical view is our base those decisions are in alignment with God’s Word. Physically a person with a Biblical Worldview uses scripture to determine the way they should treat their bodies. Once a person has accepted Christ, the Holy Spirit forms a relationship and communes with a person’s soul.

In the article, “Developing a Biblical Worldview”, the author, Ethan Pope states that, “In a Biblical Worldview, everything you see should be viewed through the Word of God. A Biblical worldview has it’s entire focus on God.” (Pope, 2007, pg1). Within a Biblical worldview people acknowledge God and believe that God created the universe. People with a Biblical worldview also believe that God created man and gave man a moral code of ethics. This viewpoint believes that the greatest problem in the world is sin and that the problem of sin is solved spiritually. Along with the tenement of sin the Biblical Worldview believes that all humans have a soul and has an eternal destiny. These tenants provide a way for a person to respond to issues faced in the world.

The philosopher James Sire outlines and discusses the “7 Elements of a Biblical Worldview” in his book, “The Universe Next Door” (pages 27-46). Those seven elements are: the ultimate reality of the universe, the nature of the universe, nature of humanity, what happens after death, the basis of human knowing, ethics, and the meaning of history. These elements are similar to the questions that Del Tackett challenges you to ask yourself to determine if you have a Biblical worldview, in the article, “What is a Christian Worldview” from Focus on the Family.

The first element that Sire proposes a Christian must deal with is, “the ultimate reality of the universe”. This element is probably the most critical aspect of a Biblical Worldview because it deals with the viewpoint of who is God, which is the foundation of Judeo Christian beliefs. In Revelation 1:8 the Bible states,” I am the Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the ending, saith the Lord, which is, and which was, and which is to come, the Almighty.” This verse shows us that God has always existed and is all powerful. In 1 John 4:8, we are told that God is our redemption and desires a relationship with us, “And we have known and believed the love that God hath to us. God is love; and he that dwelleth in love dwelleth in God, and God in him”. Another aspect of this element is that God is a trinity as stated in 2 Corinthians 13:14, “The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the communion of the Holy Ghost, be with you all. Amen.” These verses are the foundation to the first element, the ultimate reality of the universe, proposed by Spire.

The second element of a Biblical Worldview is the nature of the universe. The Bible states in Colossians 1:16, “For by him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by him, and for him:” God created the universe with order, structure, and clarity. The third element of a Biblical Worldview is the nature of humanity. In Genesis 1:27 it says that we are created in his image, therefore we were created to reflect His glory. Humanity then sinned and that reflection dimmed, Romans 3:23. God then created a way to restore our relationship with Him, John 3:16. These Bible references and elements show us that in the Judeo-Christian belief the universe and humanity were created by God, Humanity sinned breaking our relationship with God, God’s mercy gave us a path back to a relationship through Christ.

The fourth element of a Biblical Worldview deals with what happens after death. In the Judeo-Christian belief humanity has eternal life and what humanity does during his life determines where he will spend life after death. What man does with is life is not based upon life works like in other belief systems but the choice of confessing your sinful nature and asking for forgiveness and redemption through Christ Jesus. Man will either live in heaven with God, or in eternal torment without Him, Galatians 6:8.

The fifth element in Judeo-Christian beliefs is the basis of human knowledge, this includes both the knowledge of God and wisdom. This element will most affect our call to Christian education. Humans need to know God and the world around us, Colssians 2:2-3, “That their hearts might be comforted, being knit together in love, and unto all riches of the full assurance of understanding, to the acknowledgement of the mystery of God, and of the Father, and of Christ; In whom are hid all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge.” We called to the great commision and to seek wisdom.

The sixth element of a Biblical Worldview, the basis of our ethics, is also relevant in Christian Education. The ethics in the Judeo-Christian belief are found throughout the Bible. The most well known are Ten Commandments in Deuteronomy 4:13, which gives us the foundation of our ethics. Another well known verse that guides our ethics is Luke 6:31,: And as ye would that men should do to you, do ye also to them likewise.”

The seventh element of the Judeo-Christian belief is the meaning of history. History in a Biblical Worldview is not circular but linear. History is the unfolding of God’s ultimate plan. There is an appointed direction. Like in the first element, Revelation 1:8 the Bible explains this linear system,” I am the Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the ending, saith the Lord, which is, and which was, and which is to come, the Almighty.”

The Apostle Paul, best explains the Christian philosophy of education he states, “All Scripture is inspired by God and is useful for teaching, for correction, for reproof, for training in righteousness, so that the man of God may be adequate, equipped for every good work.” (II Timothy 3:16-17) This addresses both metaphysics and axiology of Chrsitan education. The Bible is “reality” therefore the primary source for all learning and answers all metaphysical questions about Christian Education. Even though the Bible doesn’t provide all content of each subject, it does provide, through principles of truth, the foundation from which the learner can reason to every subject and area of life. According to our textbook, Axiology examines values issues, especially in morality, ethics, and aesthetics. Developing Christian character or values and ethics, is the foundation on which other subjects can be built. A Christian curriculum should be developed in a way that searches all things for the knowledge and wisdom of God.

The main metaphysical issue that Christian education must face is, “What is reality?” To answer this question, the Judeo-Christian belief is that the world as we know it, see it, and experience it is the product of a Divine Creator. God created man in His image and controls every aspect of the universe in accordance to His plan. Christian Education emphasizes that the Bible must be our view of reality, this is the only way we can honor God the way He should be honored. The consequence of non-Chrsitain reality is the cause of sin, as found in Romans 12:2. Christian education teaches that God and His creation are “reality. In Corinthians 15:38-41 the Bible states. But God giveth it a body as it hath pleased him, and to every seed his own body.All flesh is not the same flesh: but there is one kind of flesh of men, another flesh of beasts, another of fishes, and another of birds.There are also celestial bodies, and bodies terrestrial: but the glory of the celestial is one, and the glory of the terrestrial is another. There is one glory of the sun, and another glory of the moon, and another glory of the stars: for one star differeth from another star in glory.

One of the axiological issues that Christian education must face is how to develop a Christian Character. Education works from the internal to the external. First, educators must reach the heart of a student for Chrsit, then his mind must be renewed, and finally, he will “walk in a manner worthy of his calling.” Lasting external change and growth comes only by way of internal character growth. “And not only this, but we also exult in our tribulations, knowing that tribulation brings about perseverance; and perseverance, proven character; and proven character, hope…” Romans 5:3-4. Once students form a relationship with God they must then recognize that the trials develop our character into one that is Christlike.

Another axiological issue that Christian education must face is how to address the three components of education; philosophy, methodology, and curriculum. Philosophy is the governor of our thoughts and actions. Philosophy gets to the heart of who we are, what we believe and why we believe it. The goal of any curriculum should be to discover truth. A Christian curriculum searches all things for the knowledge and wisdom of God. “Great are the works of the Lord; they are studied by all who delight in them.” (Psalm 111:2) Ones’ view of God, the heart and mind, and the child has everything to do with how one practices the art and science of teaching. Without all three of these components being steeped in the Biblical Worldview and Education can not be considered a Christian education.

When a teacher uses a Biblical Worldview approach within the classroom she uses the Bible as the filter in which all curriculum, methods, and relationships must pass through before being applied in her classroom. The teacher builds her relationships with her students in a way that her belief in God as being the creator and savior of man is reflected through her daily interactions with the students. The teacher models the Christian character that students should develop as the progress through school and grow closer in their own relationship with God. Curriculum and methodology is filtered for its alignment with the Bible before either are used in the classroom or instruction. When students are taught through a Biblical worldview a foundation is being built for our future as a Christian society.

As the foundation in Christian character is being laid, the academic capacity of the student is addressed and developed. Each child is an expression of God’s Principle of Individuality. He is seen as an individual created in God’s image, unique and possessing certain gifts and qualities that set him apart from all others. As his strengths and weaknesses are identified, the education process both affirms and stretches him, calling him up to excellence in every area of life so that he may effectively exert Christian influence in his life spheres.

Whether a Biblical Worldview will survive depends on the philosophy of education that prepares those who will lead. Building our students foundation using a Christian philosophy of education cannot be overstated for parents, teachers, and students alike. From birth, parents and teachers begin to train the philosophy of life that a child will take into adulthood. A person’s actions and responses will tell more about his worldview than his words.

To ensure that the curriculum has a Biblical Worldview it should be lively and appropriate to the needs of the learner, since each child is a unique creation of God. Educators must develop a Christian curriculum based upon the research and reasoning of the teacher who has mastered the subject from a biblical perspective.. A curriculum must be academically sound and based upon truth, not on prejudiced or biased points of view. Without a curriculum developed by research and based upon truth students will be easily lead astray by a secular worldview. Proverbs 22:6, states, Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it. Our curriculum must be strong enough to accomplish this mandate.

In conclusion, A Biblical worldview is the framework of the Chrstian education philosophy. If we do not educate our children by applying the philosophy of Chrsitan education then we face a future where a Biblical worldview is no longer a lense that is used to drive our Society. The seven elements of a Biblical Worldview discussed earlier along with the philosophy of a chrsitan education are vital to the great commission to reach those for Christ. Without them Christianity will diminish until it is no longer a driving for in our society.