The Foundational Beliefs Of The Biblical Worldview
To build a biblical framework, or foundational beliefs about God, His character, His world, and His plan one must go to Scripture, for these are His words. Here answers are found to life’s questions; why are we here, good and evil, our purpose, and where we are going. God exists (Hebrews 11:6, English Standard Version) in three distinct, but co-equal persons, He sovereign and holy, and He is the Creator of all and sustains the universe and everything in it (Colossians 1:17). God is a personal God and desires a relationship with mankind. Having free will, the choice was given between good and evil. At the Fall, Man in his rebellion chose evil. Sin and all its effects entered the world, and caused death and separation between God and man (Romans 5:12-14). Despite our sin and rebellion, God chose to redeem His creation. To reconcile us to Himself, Christ came as God incarnate (John 1:14) and died for our redemption, conquering sin and death. We are saved by grace, alone, through faith and are called His children (Ephesians 2:8,9), joint heirs with Christ and are given the task of leading others to Him These truths, which lie in God’s inspired and infallible Word (2 Timothy 3:16) then serve as the lens through which we view life, our thoughts and our actions (Smith, C., 2015, p. 2). They are the backbone for our values. The apostle Paul writes in Romans 12:2, “Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing, you may discern what is the will of God, what is good, acceptable and perfect ” (English Standard Version). In other words as we read Scripture, grow in the Lord and begin to see things through His lens, our worldview and the actions that flow from it, will reflect the nature of God.
Christian Philosophy of Education
Mankind has long struggled with the age old questions: “Who are we?”, “What is our purpose in life?’, “What is real?”, “How does one determine right and wrong?”, and in the knowledge of what we learn, to quote Francis Shaeffer, “How should [we] then live?” (Shaeffer, F., 2005, pg. 10). In searching for these answers, humankind is ultimately seeking to define truth and find the source of all truth. This has been going on for millennia. Solomon grappled with these issues in the book of Ecclesiates. Pilate asked, “What is truth?” (John 18:38). Jesus gave the answer in John 14:6 when he stated, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me” (New International Version). By saying this, He identified Himself, and therefore God, as not only the source of all Truth and existence, but the ultimate guide for how we should live.
Therefore, we approach metaphysical issues in light of this. Romans 1:19-20 reminds us that our understanding of God can only come from what He has revealed to man through natural and divine revelation since the beginning of time (English Standard Version). God is the creator and sustains life. This includes all that exists and how it functions. Humans are physical and spiritual beings, made in God’s likeness and are to be good stewards of what He has created and entrusted to man (M. MacCollough, 2016, p. 96). Rejecting God’s authority, mankind has fallen short of God’s holiness and righteousness, and are in bondage to sin and death. However, because of His great love for us, the story does not end there. He continues to reach out, revealing Himself through His Son, the Holy Spirit and His Word. He still has made a way to accomplish His purpose in our lives. Thus questions, “Who am I?”, “What is my purpose?”, and “What is real?” find their answers in Him.
God has revealed His greatness, holiness, and goodness through His creation and Word to humankind. Thus, His design cannot help but to impact the formation of one’s morals and ethics. God is absolute. This is reflected in the laws of nature which remain constant throughout the ages. If this is so, then it confirms that His Word and His nature never change. Hebrews 13:8 tells us that, “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever” (English Standard Version). His character is the standard by values and ethics should be defined. Therefore, concepts such as right and wrong, justice, integrity and mercy are constantly and universally applicable (Vallance, 2012, p. 143). Hence, as the Holy Spirit works, wisdom As His redeemed, then, our decisions and actions should become more and more submitted to God’s will and aligned to His wisdom. “If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives generously to all without reproach, and it will be given him” (English Standard Version).
An educator with this Biblical philosophy, therefore, is given the mandate to educate so as to point the learner to Christ and teaching His truth, help him, or her develop a relationship with Him. Therefore, if what is taught is done so from a biblical perspective, it will help the learner discover their sense of worth, the talents the Lord has given them and use them His glory Bartlett, J., 2011, p. 9). “I have no greater joy than to hear that my children are walking in the truth” (English Standard Version). One can teach about the physical world of realism and can impart to their students metaphysical ideals. However, this author believes students are short-changed and can even be misled when God and His truth are not at the basis of learning. God commands His people in Deuteronomy 6: 6,7, “…[to] teach them [the commands of God] diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise.” A Donovan Graham writes that when this is done, students will “develop a knowledge of God and His created reality and use that knowledge in exercising a creative-redemptive dominion over the world in which we live” (Graham, 2003, p. 57). An educator with this Biblical philosophy, therefore, is given the mandate to educate so as to point the learner to Christ and teaching His truth, help him, or her develop a relationship with Him. Therefore, if what is taught is done so from a biblical perspective, it will help the learner discover their sense of worth, the talents the Lord has given them and use them His glory Bartlett, J., 2011, p. 9)
Implications for Educational Practice
As one’s Biblical worldview shapes their philosophy of education, it also develops their theory and practice. A Christian educator’s practice should evidence the character of God (Graham, 2003, p. xiiii). The creativity, skill, integrity, commitment, professionalism, and excellence that an educator brings to their students, their subject matter and their community as a whole should be a reflection of God. When an educator is seeking after, and walking with the Lord, they cannot help but to bring Him into their classroom and hallways. Teaching is more than a job. Instead, it is a calling and opportunity to use the abilities they have been given to change the world, and in doing so, make an eternal difference.
Viewing each student as a creation of God, and a “developmental being,” with a unique personality, background, gifts and needs, the educator must continually evaluate whether they are meeting the needs of the whole learner (Edwards, 1984, pp. 155-173). As such, they seek to create a safe environment where students may grow and flourish in all aspects of their lives. This takes place on many levels from how an educator organizes their classroom to how they engage their students.
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