Monday, March 07, 2005

Staff Meeting Assignment

When asked to respond to the following quote from Recovering the Lost Tools of Learning (Douglas Wilson, Crossway Books 1991), this was my response.


“It is not enough to take the curricula of the government schools, add a prayer and a Bible class, and claim the result is somehow Christian.” (Wilson 62)


“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things were made through Him, and without Him nothing was made that was made. In Him was life, and the life was the light of men. And the light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not comprehend it." (John 1:1-4)

“He has delivered us from the power of darkness and translated us into the kingdom of the Son of His love," (Colossians 1:13)

“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." (Colossians 1:16-17)

According to the passages quoted above, everything that exists does so because of God and for God. This includes everything we see and cannot see: us, our minds, the laws of science, the rulers in history, the syntax of languages, the colors in art, the sounds in music, and everything else that exists. He is also the one who sustains everything. If we are to understand the things in the world in which we live, we must first understand where they came from and for what purpose. Genesis begins by telling us that everything comes from God. If we deny that God is the creator (or even leave it open for other possible explanations, as some Christians do in “tolerance,”) we cannot hope to understand the truth that is found in creation. Once it has been determined that God is the source of all things, then we can begin studying them, but it is only through His light that we can understand them. Without Him we are in darkness. Since I began working at Petra, I have heard over and over, “If you want to know what a man thought, you must read what he wrote.” Well, if you want to know what God thinks, you must read what He wrote. Why did He create everything? In Colossians 1:16 we read that all things were created for Him. In Romans 1:20 we are told that God’s attributes are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made. Psalm 148 and 19:1 explain that the works of God declare His glory. The purpose of the creation is to glorify the Creator.

Shift your thoughts now to the classroom. Educators in secular classrooms are trying to study the creation without reference to the Creator. But the creation’s purpose is to point to the Creator! This is akin to purchasing a puzzle of a lighthouse, then using the pieces to try to form a picture of a kitten. The pieces weren’t designed to form any picture other than the one the intended by the puzzlemaker. As long as you are in process of putting the puzzle together, you can convince people that you are putting together a puzzle of a kitten. But sooner or later it will be evident that your progress is unsatisfactory. You cannot gain knowledge (much less wisdom!) without reference to God. The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge. (Proverbs 1:7)

As Christian teachers, we cannot fall into the same trap that the secular schools have. Satan would like us to, but we have to realize that the education of students is a spiritual endeavor, and is therefore a spiritual battlefront. We will lose the battle if we send our troops through the same training that the enemy uses. Our soldiers cannot simply match the enemy in strength and training, but must be swifter and stronger if we want them to succeed. We must train our students to filter everything through the Word of God, and to do so we must filter everything through the Word of God. It is not enough to filter the Bible class through Scripture; we must filter everything. God’s creation includes language, science, math, history, art, and music. Remember, the purpose of creation is to point to the Creator. Because of this, all subjects, facts, and the relationships between them must be carefully examined in the light of God’s truth. And not only the facts or subjects themselves, but also the way in which we approach our work and study of them. Colossians 3:17 says, “And whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through Him." Just a few verses later we are told, “And whatever you do, do it heartily, as to the Lord and not to men." (Colossians 3:23) It is not the content taught in Christian schools that makes them “Christian,” but the process of bringing the content under the Lordship of Christ, through the light of the truth of Scripture, with the understanding that doing so will bring glory to God, the Creator.


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