Christian Education — A Reflection of the Book of Hebrews

“In fact, though by this time you ought to be teachers, you need someone to teach you the elementary truths of God’s word all over again. You need milk, not solid food! Anyone who lives on milk, being still an infant, is not acquainted with the teaching about righteousness. But solid food is for the mature, who by constant use have trained themselves to distinguish good from evil.” — Hebrews: 5:12-14, NIV; emphasis added.

Should Christian education be limited to Divinity, Biblical Studies, Intercultural Studies, or Christian Studies? Should it be exclusively Bible-based or should it be opened to the exploration of earthly knowledge? Without a doubt, the former is of great importance. But on the personal level, I think we should treat the latter with equal importance.

Consider how would anybody be able to explore the invisible when they’ve not known how to rightly treat the visible. John teaches us that if we can’t love our brothers and sisters whom we can see, how then can we love God whom we have not seen” [1]. Likewise, how can anyone understand the invisible when they’ve yet understood what is visible? If we do not understand the workings of the tabernacle that is an earthly replica of the heavenly one [2], how then can we understand the glories behind the works of Christ [3] who is God’s own Son — the radiance of God’s glory and the exact representation of God’s being [4]?

God, being the builder of everything that is seen and unseen [5], should be acknowledged with thankfulness and worshipped with reverence and awe [6]. This acknowledgement and this worship should be the cornerstone of Christian Education. Only when God is acknowledged and worshipped will all things fall in its rightful place.

“And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to Him must believe that He exists and that He rewards those who earnestly seek Him.” — Hebrews 11:6, NIV; emphasis added.

When God is acknowledged and worshipped, science will no longer be merely the “systematic study of the structure and behaviour of the physical and natural world through observation and experiment” [7]. Rather, science will be the systematic study of the logic behind God’s handiwork. And through observation and experiment, we worship the glorious designs of His unfathomable wisdom.

When God is acknowledged and worshipped, psychology will no longer be “the scientific study of the human mind and its functions” [8]. Rather, psychology will be a scientific study of God’s delicate design of human relationships and its relations to the Theocentric bond of the Trinity.

When God is acknowledged and worshipped, mathematics will no longer be “the abstract science of number, quantity, and space, either as abstract concepts or as applied to other disciplines such as physics and engineering” [9]. Rather, mathematics will be the study of the physical realities in contrast with the invisible. It will be a platform for understanding the immense wealth of God’s glorious design in both the visible reality and the invisible realm.

When God is acknowledged and worshipped, philosophy will no longer be “the study of the fundamental nature of knowledge, reality, and existence” [10]. Rather, philosophy will be the study of the fundamental thought processes of God and the systematic reasoning behind the creation of this reality and our trans-physical existence.

I could go on, but I believe you get the picture.

Christian education is not limited to Theological Seminaries or Bible Seminaries. What I — and I believe the author of Hebrews too — envision it to be is a Theocentric University that educates with the core acknowledgement that God exists. And through this acknowledgement, rooted in faith, the wisdom of God is manifested in all of academia.

It is this rooting that will help the normal Christian weather through the age of fake news and the bombardment of information. It is this rooting that will help the church weather through the ages to come [11]. It is this firm belief of God’s existence — not only in heaven but how His glory is manifested in all of creation — that will help us put all things in this observable reality into perspective.

Then we will no longer be infants, tossed back and forth by the waves, and blown here and there by every wind of teaching and by the cunning and craftiness of people in their deceitful scheming. Instead, speaking the truth in love, we will grow to become in every respect the mature body of him who is the head, that is, Christ. — Ephesians 4:14-15, NIV.

I’m not calling Christian Education to be in line with the rest of academia. In fact, the ground in which we stand differs from the rest of academia in the first place. The key to Christian Education is to “hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for He who promised is faithful” (Hebrews 10:23, NIV).

I mean, how are we to spread the word of God when we ourselves have not seen nor tasted the visible glories of God’s own creation? How do we know His heart when we have yet seen the created universe through His eyes? And how better can we do it than to devote ourselves to studying the glories of His work?

It is of no use to be worried about the upcoming changes in technologies nor the changing societal trends when we aren’t concerned with acquiring knowledge of God’s initial design. It is of no use to verbally say that we want to get to know God when we do not put in the effort to see creation through His eyes.

If by faith, we believe that God exists, then the focus of Christian Education must be built on this very faith. It is from this faith that Christian education expands to all possible fields of studies, preparing God’s people for works of service so that the body of Christ may be built up until we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God and become mature, attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ. (Ephesians 4:12-13, NIV).

All glory be to God.

Footnotes:

[1] – Whoever claims to love God yet hates a brother or sister is a liar. For whoever does not love their brother and sister, whom they have seen, cannot love God, whom they have not seen. — 1 John 4:20, NIV.

[2] – If He (Jesus) were on earth, He would not be a priest, for there are already men who offer the gifts prescribed by the law. They serve at a sanctuary that is a copy and shadow of what is in heaven. This is why Moses was warned when he was about to build the tabernacle: “See to it that you make everything according to the pattern shown you on the mountain”. — Hebrews 8:4-5, NIV; emphasis added.

[3] – It was necessary, then, for the copies of the heavenly things to be purified with these sacrifices, but the heavenly things themselves with better sacrifices than these. For Christ did not enter a man-made sanctuary that was only a copy of the true one; He entered heaven itself, now to appear for us in God’s presence. — Hebrews 9:23-24, NIV; emphasis added.

[4] – The Son is the radiance of God’s glory and the exact representation of His being, sustaining all things by His powerful word. After He had provided purification for sins, He sat down at the right hand of the Majesty in heaven. — Hebrews 1:3, NIV.

[5] – For every house is build by someone, but God is the builder of everything. — Hebrews 3:4, NIV.

[6] – Therefore, since we are receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken, let us be thankful, and so worship God acceptably with reverence and awe. — Hebrews 12:28, NIV.

[7] – https://www.lexico.com/en/definition/science

[8] – https://www.lexico.com/en/definition/psychology

[9] – https://www.lexico.com/en/definition/mathematics

[10] – https://www.lexico.com/en/definition/philosophy

[11] – Then we will no longer be infants, tossed back and forth by the waves, and be blown here and there by every wind of teaching and by the cunning and craftiness of men in their deceitful scheming. — Ephesians 4:14, NIV.

Image by Marius Mangevicius from Pixabay
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2 Comments

  1. We can confidently press all knowledge through the filter of God’s Truth. Could it be that our own doubt makes our filter weak, has us scared of studying more? God is omniscient, omnipotent, and omnipresent. While He cannot be comprehended, He invites us to try.

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