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This document will examine key elements of a biblical worldview, the Christian philosophy of education and the implications for practice. Its purpose is to solidify the foundation of where our Christian and biblical worldview are found. This paper will also discuss of the philosophy of education and themes found within that philosophy as well as the implications for educators within the educational practice with Jesus as our guide. The most fulfilling thing we can accomplish as educators is bringing our students to a relationship with the one true God.
Key elements of a biblical worldview The creation of the world, the fall of man and the redemption in Christ coming to Earth are all central themes in the construction of a Christian worldview. In building the framework, wholeness and unity are also themes that are worthy of being recognized in the pursuit of building a biblical worldview. (Graham, 2003, p. 25)
First, we must consider the source of our belief system, the Bible.
A biblical worldview can only be formed from the idea that the word of God is infallible. (Tackett, 2006) Timothy 3:16 says “All scripture is given by inspiration of God and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness.” (NKJV) Ethan Pope wrote “In a biblical worldview, everything you see should be viewed through the Word of God.” (Pope, 2000) The Bible should be the foundational element in which we view the world. We have been created in God’s image, and yet we fell into the corruption of sin, therefore giving us the need for a savior.
Christ became the Word of God in the flesh when he came to Earth. He is the living example we should strive to be as we go about our daily lives. Essentially, “a Christian worldview provides a framework for ethical thinking.
We recognize that humans, who are made in God’s image are essentially moral beings. We also recognize that the fullest embodiment of good, love, holiness, grace and truth is in Jesus Christ.” (Capps, 2013) The creation of the Earth, the fall of man and the coming of Jesus to Earth are all tenets of a creator who created for His glory, honor and worship. Building a biblical worldview is built over a lifetime of study, not built overnight as individual ideas are learned and studied and either accepted or rejected. Christian Philosophy of Education The Christian philosophy of education requires more than just the pursuit of knowledge. It requires the foundation of the knowledge of God paired with the Godly wisdom we attain by further study and devotion to the word. To consider the Christian philosophy of education is to consider the curriculum that is being taught, how Christian principles will affect the practical lives of our students and balancing that with the idea of building deep character within a student that can be applied within their lives.
One of the most important things that can be taught in my opinion is a strong work ethic for God’s glory, as shown in Colossians 3:23, “Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters.” (NIV) As educators we are bound to consider the final outcome of what our students learning experience should be, and work backwards to educate from the foundation of the Word of God. The ultimate goal in the Christian philosophy is to point our students to Christ. The ideas of love, truth and grace are foundational in God’s word. The philosophy of a Christian education essentially comes direct from the Bible even though every situation we will encounter may not have a biblical example to follow, the Bible’s overarching principles can carefully studied to derive meaning and purpose which can be used for application in our daily lives.
We should be teaching students the value of the fruits of the spirit, excellence in pursuit of biblical principles, and preparing them to be life-long learners of God’s Word. As educators “Our concern for learners goes well beyond the immediate function of providing students goes well beyond helping them to score well on tests and prove their intellectual abilities.” (Graham, 2003, p. 133) We should have as Graham describes, a “Christian mind” where we shift our thinking to an eternal paradigm versus an Earthly one. (Graham, 2003, p. 132) This mindset should lead us back to our own personal foundation we have built within the Christian faith. God’s holy word should influence our decision making not only in life, but also within the classroom. Implications for Educational practice The appropriate use of the Bible is critical in developing a biblical worldview. It is easy to cherry-pick a verse to fit any given situation, however, that can take us quickly off track before a good framework is built. Our text tells us “that the Bible should be used to build a framework for informing and directing our inquiries into any subject.” (Graham, 2003, p. 14)
We can accomplish this by first deciding what we want the students to know, and weaving Christian themes into our lessons. An issue that can develop here is that there are different interpretations as well as the need to apply passages in either a literal or metaphorical way. We must be careful that our studies don’t lead radical ideas that the Word has never before revealed, as some preachers and teachers of today’s religious ideals. As I learned in an introduction to hermeneutics course, context is everything, and the Bible isn’t going to mean something now that it has never meant before. This leads us to examine both our controlling and professed beliefs which are the foundation to our worldview. Ultimately, in application, the goal of every Christian is to be more like Christ, and as educators our supreme goal should be to point our students to God. As educators, we have the greatest example of a teacher in Jesus. Jesus “taught with authority”, but balanced that with a “servant-leader quality”, which resonates with me significantly. (Graham, 2003, p. 135,136)
With Jesus as our example to emulate, to become a servant leader we must actively listen with empathy to encourage our students on the right path. The commitment we have to education must be firm while we “shepherd our flock” of students. (Graham, 2003, p. 140) We will know that our students have grasped what we have taught them when their life shows the fruit of biblical principles they have applied to their life. It is God’s intention that we as educators not only love and meet the needs of our students but to point them to Christ. The biblical worldview is the way in which we look at the world through the Word of God, and it holds the framework through which we are to live our lives. It is my hope that I would always remain steadfast as Timothy 2:15 says to “Give the diligence to present thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, handling aright the word of truth.”(AMP) I hope to one day use the themes presented in the philosophy of education to teach my students a good work ethic, the fruits of the spirit, and the grace and love that Christ has shown me. As I continue to grow in faith, I expect to grow in servant leadership and to marry my teaching techniques to Jesus’ example.
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