Education as Christian Calling
[Note: At the end is a resource we’ve put together with our recent blog posts]
by Andrew Lindsey
Each follower of the Lord Jesus Christ has been commanded, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind” (Matt 22:37), and each follower of the Lord Jesus Christ has been commissioned, “Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you” (Matt 28:19-20). Each follower of the Lord Jesus Christ must have the goal of both being a disciple and using his or her gifts to help “make disciples” of the Lord Jesus Christ. While we often (rightly) consider disciple-making in terms of evangelism, we must also realize the fact that loving the Lord God with all of our minds, and training others to love God with all of their minds, will necessarily involve disciplined thinking in all areas of life, seeking to be fully educated, while also turning students’ attention to matters concerning proper Christian desires and affections.
Each follower of the Lord Jesus Christ has been commanded to “be transformed by the renewal of your mind” (Rom 12:2b). This transformation comes about first and foremost by means of the Scripture: “All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for instruction in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work” (2 Tim 3:16-17). A Christian student must have the goal of seeing life through the lens of the inerrant, infallible written word of God; a Christian teacher will help his or her students see life through that lens. Every subject will, therefore, be related to Scripture. Some subjects (such as Theology), are directly derived from Scripture, whereas other subjects (such as general History) are conducted according to biblical principles, with a view of seeing God’s providence, learning from both positive and negative examples. Students and teachers engaged in studying areas of math and science should strive to see the orderliness and inter-connectedness of concepts and the natural world that our God has created.
Each follower of the Lord Jesus Christ has been commanded to do any work that we perform in a whole-hearted manner, in a way that seeks to please God (see Col 3:23). This general principle is applicable in the area of education. In gaining education or seeking to educate others, we cannot be half-hearted, or do just enough to get by.
As the new academic year gets underway, there is much for each student, each family, and each teacher to consider. For anyone involved in a formal educational process, that process necessarily involves a change of schedule, the purchase of resources, and hard work: all of which can seem overwhelming. Given the stresses involved, it is good to consider the ultimate reason that we must take part in the educational endeavor. Our Lord Himself—Creator of the universe—is a teacher, and He has made us all to be both teachers and learners. Seeking to be educated and to educate others—in all areas—is more than just a mastery of certain facts; education, rightly understood, is truly an act of worship.
Firm in Faith 1.1– The link on the right is a compilation of our recent blog posts, put together into a PDF with an attached “Letter from the Pastors.” We will continue to produce these on a periodic basis, and print them out for our members without internet access.