Questions about Christian Education
What is central to Christian Education?
Christian Education places the person, significance and work of the Lord Jesus Christ at its centre. This is because the person of Christ is at the centre of God’s purposes and focus. Colossians 1:16-18 says, “For by Him all things were created that are in heaven and that are on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or principalities or powers. All things were created through Him and for Him. And He is before all things, and in Him all things consist. And He is the head of the body, the church, who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, that in all things He may have the preeminence”. Further still we read in Colossians 2:3 that in Christ, “are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge” and in v10, that our completeness is found in Him.
The centrality of Jesus Christ, in God’s purposes and intentions gives rise to His legitimate place at the centre of any educational system that recognizes the sovereignty of God within the sphere of man. Christian Education that is true to its calling and character will be such a system. As such, Christian Education is to be unashamedly, Christ-centred Education.
How is Christian Education that is Christ-centred, different?
The difference will essentially be one of perspective. Christ-centred Christian Education derives its perspective from God’s Word. It is God’s Word that is the source of truth, understanding and interpretation. The curriculum of a Christ-centred Christian Education seeks to present and view the world and all that is in it, based on Biblical principles and from Biblical perspectives. The starting point of this perspective is God, as the Creator and Originator of all that pertains to the spiritual and the material universe, and ends with God, as the Determiner of outcomes and destinies. God’s purpose for each individual is the place where the individual finds their purpose, discovering their identity and significance as uniquely loved by Him. The curriculum of a Christ-centred Christian Education measure all inputs against God’s Word and establishes all outcomes in the light of how His Word applies to everyday life.
Isn’t Christian Education narrow?
Not at all; a Christ-centred Christian Education presents what is true and real without apology, excuse or avoidance. Only where God’s truth reigns supreme, can ignorance and error be thwarted. Christian Education presents the world in all its aspects, enabling students to relate correctly to it. Christian Education presents the broad horizon of what God has determined to be possible for those who live in obedience to Him and in accordance with His purposes. There is no narrowness in an educational focus that realizes that “eye has not seen, nor ear heard, nor have entered into the heart of man the things which God has prepared for those who love Him. (1 Corinthians 2:9)
Is Christian Education academic?
Christian scholarship has been at the forefront of many of man’s greatest intellectual achievements, across every field of study and human endeavour. Christian Education embraces this scholarship and seeks to lead each generation of students to emulate the endeavours and aspirations of those who in previous generations have made a beneficial contribution to human society, discovery and invention.
Christian Education strives to see each student reach their full potential. This potential finds its expression through every aspect of human capability, character and creativity.
Doesn’t Christian Education shelter young people from a harsh world?
Yes and No. Yes it does, and quite rightly so, where there is a need to protect the formation and nurture of what is vulnerable, delicate and precious. No it doesn’t, in the sense that the realities of a harsh, fallen world can be properly explained, understood and confronted in the light of the truth of God’s Word. Teaching young people to see the world from God’s point of view enables them to be guided by God’s truth with regard to difficult issues.
Shouldn’t Christians be salt and light in our society?
Yes, this is the calling of the Christian disciple. But nowhere does the Bible advocate the placement of those who are not prepared for the battle, at the forefront of the battle. It is the very purpose of Christian Education to provide the training that will equip each generation of Christian young people to be the salt and light to their generation. An effective Christian education prepares them to take their God-ordained place in society.