Wednesday, June 25, 2008

What should be taught?

We must teach truth to our families. In John 14:6, Jesus says He is the truth. Isaiah 29:14 and 1 Corinthians 1:19 illustrate what will happen if we do not teach Jesus as truth: “I will destroy the wisdom of the wise; the intelligence of the intelligent I will frustrate.”

Throughout American history, Christians have engaged in the battle to keep God’s word central to education and to the home. Our thoughts come from somewhere. We can think like other men, or we can try to capture our thoughts unto Christ.

The Bible uses three key words to describe educational skills: knowledge, wisdom, and understanding.

  • Proverbs 24:3-4 - Through wisdom is an house built; and by understanding it is established: And by knowledge shall the chambers be filled with all precious and pleasant riches.
  • Colossians 1:9 - For this cause we also, since the day we heard it, do not cease to pray for you, and to desire that ye might be filled with the knowledge of his will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding.
Knowledge, or grammar, is where a student begins. We need to teach students techniques that train their brain for maximum use. What an amazing muscle the brain is and how important it is to be exercised so it can truly memorize God’s Word.

But a good education cannot stop at knowledge; it must be established through understanding. An education is not complete if the student cannot wisely use the knowledge they understand.

The entire Bible is a model of good educational techniques. The Old Testament gives us the grammar of His Story. The Gospels give us the understanding of His Story. The Epistles give the church the wise application of His laws and grace.

Genesis 1 tells us we can know God through creation (light, time, space) and language (words). In Genesis 1:1a, “In the beginning,” God had to create space, otherwise the word ‘in’ has no meaning.

  • He had to create time; otherwise the word ‘beginning’ has no meaning.
  • He had to create words that represented abstract ideas; otherwise, telling us He is ‘the Word made flesh’ is meaningless.
  • He had to invent squiggles; otherwise, His transcribers couldn’t preserve His Word for us.
  • He had to make sound so phonetics would have meaning.
  • He had to create light so we could see His words.
  • Even the language of our flesh is encoded into words (DNA). Therefore, we feel a responsibility to learn about creation and words so we can learn more about Him.
We cannot understand an abstract God without understanding words and ideas. He has given us the tools to learn, the motivation to learn, and an organized creation to study.

The point of all education is to know God and to make Him known. As Paul says, that means being all things to all people and being prepared to share the knowledge and belief we have.

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