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By John E. Russell



The Learner

The learner is a spirit-being who possesses a soul (intellectual and emotional faculties) and lives in a body. ".... May your whole spirit, soul and body be kept blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ." (1 Thessalonians 5:23, NIV).

The Teacher

Jesus of Nazareth is the Master Teacher and paradigmatic Self (Model). Students are to develop as Jesus did--spiritually, mentally, physically and socially. "And Jesus grew in wisdom and stature, and in favor with God and men." (Luke 2:52). In this verse, WISDOM includes both moral and intellectual development. The word STATURE has to do with physical growth and development. The phrase IN FAVOR WITH GOD has to do with spiritual development. IN FAVOR WITH MEN has to do with social development.

Both parents and teachers are to be like Jesus who taught by precept and example.

The Curriculum

Curriculum includes the entire learning environment. The student learns through interacting with the Holy Spirit, the Bible, the teacher, the students, physical surroundings, and written curriculum (includes audio visual).

The primary written curriculum is the Bible (the Word of God), which serves as the ultimate criterion for all other written curriculum. The secondary curriculum is constructed from Biblical principles and content with collective human experience under the headings of math, English, science, social studies, word building and electives.

The Method

The method is God-centered, rather than man-centered. The focus is on the student rather than the teacher or curriculum. The Holy Spirit leads the whole process, guiding the interaction of the student with the Word of God, the teacher, and the written curriculum (1) to form Christ within the student and (2) to prepare the student for life.

The School

The school derives its authority from the local church, of which it is an integral part. The Great Commission clearly states that the Church is to teach:

Then Jesus came to them and said, "All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age." (Matthew 28:18-20).
God made three great institutions: (1) The Family, (2) The Church, and (3) The State. Both the family and the Church are commanded to teach. The state is not to teach--it has other important functions.

Parents have the primary responsibility to teach their own children:

These are the commands, decrees and laws the LORD your God directed me to teach you to observe in the land that you are crossing the Jordan to possess, so that you, your children and their children after them may fear the LORD your God as long as you live by keeping all his decrees and commands that I give you, and so that you may enjoy long life. Hear, O Israel, and be careful to obey so that it may god well with you and that you may increase greatly in a land flowing with milk and honey, just as the LORD, the God of our fathers, promised you.

Hear, O Israel: the LORD our God, the LORD is one. Love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength. These commandments that I give you today are to be upon your hearts. Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. Tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads. Write them on the door frames of your houses and on your gates. (Deuteronomy 6:1-9).
The school derives its authority to teach children whose parents give it that authority. Each set of parents gives the school authority to teach only their children, in which case the school stands IN LOCO PARENTIS (in place of a parent).

The Social Policy

Justification corrects the student's relationship with God (vertical relationship). The new birth (Conversion) corrects the students relationship with himself (circular relationship). Revival, through the sanctification process, corrects the immediate relationship with family, church, and other groups (horizonal relationship). Reform for the United States is effected by the believer's influence in society--social order is reconstructed.

From Christian education philosophy we move logically towards a proper set of training objectives for the student.


Copyright © 1994-1995 by John E. Russell,
Internet Version Copyright © 1998 by John E. Russell