Basis for Christian Education
BASIS FOR CHRISTIAN EDUCATION
The Word of God, the truth it presents, and the reality it announces as good news, are the basis for Christian Education. Learning these teachings of the Bible, recognizing the reality of which it speaks, and acknowledging it in the formation of Christian character, provides the foundation and aim of our educational effort: Proverbs 1:7 “The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom.” What follows is an elaboration of this perspective based upon the theology of the Reformed Protestant tradition, especially presented in its creeds and confessions, with which our teachers and staff express their agreement.
The LORD is Triune: Father, Son, and Spirit. Because of his revelation in the Word, we state the following to explain Christian Education:
- God is the Creator of heaven and earth. God is sovereign over all and actively rules over all. In the first chapter of the Bible we read that Man, as male and female, was created different from all others of God’s creatures, and has been given a unique place and critical responsibility in God’s creation. (Genesis 1:26). Throughout the Bible, we are taught emphatically and repeatedly that God establishes his kingdom in the earth and makes covenant with his people, calling upon parents, as their Heavenly Father, to bring up their children in the ways of the Lord (Genesis 17:1-8; Deuteronomy 6:4-9; Acts 2:38-39; Ephesians 6:4). In education, therefore, we engage in the study of this world as belonging to him, acknowledging his sovereign rule over all things in it. In this we respond to the cultural mandate (“Be fruitful and increase in number; fill the earth and subdue it. Rule over the fish of the sea and the birds of the air and all the creatures that move on the ground.” Genesis 1:28), and we seek to learn the wisdom taught us as the chief end of man: “to know God and enjoy him forever” (Westminster Shorter Catechism, Question and Answer 1).
- God is the Savior of the world, redeeming it through the cross of his Son Jesus Christ, without whom nothing was made that has been made (John 1:1-3; Colossians 1:15-23). Because of this we pursue an education which knows Jesus Christ as being the Truth, Way and the Life, in himself, in his teaching, and in his direction. In education, therefore, we seek to discern the spirits of the age (I John 4:1), become sensitive to the corruptions of mind and will in our time, and address the claims of God’s redeeming and renewing work to all the activities of thought and ambition by which we live (2 Corinthians 10:5). Christ-centered education is indispensable in a fallen world, and is, in fact, part of God’s redeeming work. It is our only comfort in life and death that we belong to him: consequently, Christ’s Holy Spirit makes us “Wholeheartedly willing and ready from now on to live for him.” (Heidelberg Catechism, Answer 1)
- God is the Sanctifier of the world through the Holy Spirit proceeding from the Father and the Son, who, in making men and women holy to God, calls us to serve in his Kingdom with understanding and wisdom, with devotion, commitment, and enthusiasm. Thus, in Christian education, the ways of devotion are cultivated, Christian encouragement exercised, and all our dreams and goals focused on what God calls us to do and enjoy in his world.