Monday, July 6, 2009

Leigh's Thesis: Chapter 2 (9)


What should be taught? (cont'd)

Living as a model of Christ’s love affects not only how we teach, but what we teach. The Bible uses three key words to describe educational skills: knowledge, wisdom, and understanding.

These three words relate to the three skills historically taught in American Christian education as grammar, dialectic (or logic), and rhetoric. These concepts will be expanded in Chapter 3. These samples (KJV) are listed among the theological framework so they are located in a single place for later reference.
  1. Proverbs 2:6 For the LORD giveth wisdom: out of his mouth cometh knowledge and understanding.

  2. Proverbs 9:10 The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom: and the knowledge of the holy is understanding.

  3. Proverbs 24:3-4 Through wisdom is an house builded; and by understanding it is established: And by knowledge shall the chambers be filled with all precious and pleasant riches.

  4. Isaiah 11:2 And the spirit of the LORD shall rest upon him, the spirit of wisdom and understanding, the spirit of counsel and might, the spirit of knowledge and of the fear of the LORD;

  5. Daniel 1:4 Children in whom was no blemish, but well favoured, and skilful in all wisdom, and cunning in knowledge, and understanding science, and such as had ability in them to stand in the king’s palace, and whom they might teach the learning and the tongue of the Chaldeans.

  6. Daniel 1:17 As for these four children, God gave them knowledge and skill in all learning and wisdom: and Daniel had understanding in all visions and dreams.

  7. Daniel 2:21 And he changeth the times and the seasons: he removeth kings, and setteth up kings: he giveth wisdom unto the wise, and knowledge to them that know understanding:

  8. 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;
After fear of the Lord, knowledge, or grammar, is the beginning of learning. Like World Memory Master Dominic O’Brien, 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 can’t stop at knowledge; it must be established through understanding. Holmes’ Building the Christian Academy discusses the church’s history of teaching the dialectic or logical skills so we can understand creation and use our God-given talents well.(1)

An education is not complete if the student can’t use the knowledge they understand wisely. The rhetorical skills were taught so sermons could be preached, new students could be taught interesting ideas, and the church could manifest the kingdom of God.

(1) Arthur F. Holmes, Building the Christian Academy (Grand Rapids, MI: William B. Eerdmans, 2001).

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

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