Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Leigh's Thesis: Chapter 2 (11)


What should be taught? (final)

God’s first story to man in the Bible was how he used words to name creation and speak it into existence. In the process of doing this, He named the major categories of creation for us to study so He can be revealed to us. Light (physics), the stars, sun and moon (astronomy), the waters and earth (geology), Plants and animals (biology), mankind (anthropology).

The first job God gave Adam was to name the animals. Our first job as parents is to teach our children to name. We say, ‘No, hot, stop, doggie…” a thousand times so our children can communicate with us. So memorizing names, vocabulary, jargon, and words is where we, too, begin.

Most of us just breeze through the scriptures rather than even noticing God’s character, gifts, and glory in every little stroke of ink. An educated Christian adult has the opportunity to worship and teach about God in every sound the Christian makes, in every idea he thinks, in every thing he touches. But these opportunities escape us as teachable moments because we don’t see God in the everyday.

Genesis 1 tells us we can know God through creation (light, time, space) and language (words). In Genesis 1:1, “In the beginning,” God had to create space, otherwise the word ‘in’ has no meaning. In what? He had to create time; otherwise the word ‘beginning’ has no meaning. The beginning of what? He had to create words that represented abstract ideas; otherwise, telling us He is ‘the Word made flesh’ can’t be communicated. 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, Christians feel a responsibility to learn about creation and words that represent creation so we can learn more about Him.

He tells us we know Him through three things:
  • His word – “All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness” (2Tim 3:16, NIV).
  • His world – “For since the creation of the world God's invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature—have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made” (Rom 1:20, NIV).
  • Our conscience – “Since they show that the requirements of the law are written on their hearts, their consciences also bearing witness, and their thoughts now accusing, now even defending them” (Rom 2:15, NIV). We are without excuse if we refuse to recognize that there is a Creator.
The Bible doesn’t tell parents to teach their children algebra or science, so you may argue that home-centered education as a biblical mandate is too much of a stretch. But it doesn’t tell us to teach phonics or spelling either.

It is inferred that if you are going to teach words, you need to teach language arts. If you are going to be without excuse and read God’s invisible qualities in the visible world, you must study science and math. If you are going to be ready with an answer for your faith, you need to study people and cultures and arts.

John 13:3 relates Jesus saying that the Father gave Him all things under His power. Satan tried to negotiate ownership of all kingdoms with Jesus in the wilderness. We cannot spiritualize ‘all’ to mean that only a prayer life with character traits are required to understand the Scriptures.

All means all.

Copyright © 2009 by Leigh A. Bortins. All Rights Reserved

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