The Religious Character of Education
The Word of God indicates very explicitly that the education must be fundamentally religious.
In religion, there is no place for neutrality. Education is by logical necessity either Christian or non-Christian. Also, because there is no such human being as an irreligious person, since all persons fall into either the true-religion or false-religion category, we can now go on to assert that there is no such thing as an uneducated person. All men are educated, not only to greater or lesser degrees, but most significantly along either true or false lines.
Consequently, it becomes of great importance that we distinguish between Christian and non-Christian, between true and false (pseudo- or mis-) education rather than between the educated and the uneducated.
The Christian accepts ChristĄ¯s claim that He is the Truth. All those understandings and all those relationships, finally, must be focused on Him if they are to be true. Any process, any growth, and any development which takes place apart from the Truth is false. Any education which is not Christian is ultimately not education. It is pseudo- or mis-education. All education, then, is religious, but not all religion is Christianity.
Theology must be central to the educational ministry of the church if the ministry is to be true: Bibliology, the doctrine of God, Christology, Pneumatology, Anthropology, Soteriology, Ecclesiology and Eschatology.
The Unity of Education
The soul is a unit and education is a unitary process, aiming at the development of manĄ¯s essential nature into a harmonious life, full and rich and beautiful.
It is utter folly to think that you can inform the intellect without giving direction to the will, that you store the head with knowledge without affecting the emotions, the inclinations, the desires, and the aspirations of the heart. The training of the head and of the heart go together, and in both the fundamental fact that the student is the image-bearer of God must be a determining factor.
Curriculum in theological education should be comprehensive in dealing with the whole counsel of God.
Education is Covenantal
Life is covenantal from the very beginning. God made a covenant with Adam. But man became a covenant breaker. We are all covenant breakers in that we "fall short of the glory of God."
But in Christ God has established a new covenant. In distinction from the first covenant, a covenant of works, it is a covenant of grace. In Christ God is reconstructing the human race. A new racial continuity is established; that of the redeemed. The redeemed, they who accept Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord, are one in Him, who is the Head of the new covenant.
To the redeemed and their children is the promise, "I will establish my covenant between me and thee and thy seed after thee throughout their generations for an everlasting covenant, to be a God unto thee and thy seed after thee." Likewise, "For to you is the promise, and to your children, and to all that are afar off, even as many as the Lord our God shall call unto him." In all covenants, however, there are contained two parts. In this case the promise of God and the obligation that promise brings with it constitute these parts. The obligation is the life of the new obedience, namely, that we cleave to this one God, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit; that we trust in him, and love him with all our heart, with all our soul, with all our mind, and with all our strength; that we forsake the world, crucify our old nature, and walk in a godly life.
Christ is the Master Teacher.
God is the first and great Educator. GodĄ¯s revelation is the content of our teaching (truth, salvation and the will of God.)
Jesus was the quintessential Teacher. Jesus was both rabbinic and nonrabbinic. He brought a new paradigm to the rabbinic tradition. Jesus taught using new and distinctive instructional content and methodology in a multicultural setting. He provides the teaching template, the paragon of pedagogy. He was the ultimate authority and the prototype for teaching though He never discussed the subject.
Education is an essential part of ChristĄ¯s Great Commission to disciple the nations. Pauline epistles are in agreement with the teaching in the gospels. Pastoring is never separated from teaching. Pastor and teacher (Eph. 4:11) is one and the same office.