The Biblical Theory of Christian Education

2.     Now that we know what education is — now that we have defined it — we are in a position to take a look at the goal of Christian Education.

When God created our first parents, Adam and Eve, He gave them – and in them, also their descendants – a most glorious “inducational”  and educational goal, namely:  “Be fruitful and multiply and replenish the earth, and subdue it, and have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the fowl of the air and over every living thing that moveth upon the earth.”(10)   And by persuading Adam and Eve both inwardly through His Holy Spirit(11) as well as outwardly through His Divine Word,(12) God instructed our first parents as to the goal of their lives.

Having created them with the ability to reach that goal, unloseable eternal life and unloseable eternal knowledge, God proceeded to educate them.   He this went on to draw out from Adam and Eve the gifts which He had previously put into them — and also to “inducate” them, alias to indoctrinate them by confronting them with the world and all its fullness outside of them and all around them.    In this way, God started to put into them what He had previously put into the whole world outside of them.

Next, God took His pupil, man.   As the Supreme Teacher, He got man started on his task of subjecting the earth and the sea and the sky — by putting him into the Garden of Eden to dress and to keep it.(13)

Positively, God instructed man to till the ground.  Negatively, He instructed man to refrain from the tree of knowledge of good and evil.  As a patient Teacher, the Lord God brought every beast of the field and every fowl of the air He had formed — to Adam, to

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see what he would call them.  And whatsoever Adam called every living creature, that was to be its name.(14) The Supreme Teacher exhibited the variety of created things to His first human pupil. And the first human pupil then studied them.   The pupil saw these things, and himself pronounced his own words about them – which words which were then heard and approved of by the Supreme Teacher.   So here we have the first true teach-yourself method of education, and the first truly audio-visual means of education.

This then was the beginning of human education; but it was not the end.  For man was destined to progress out of the Garden of Eden which was his starting point — and to fill the entire earth. Man was destined by education and “inducation” to increase in the knowledge of the Lord and of the Lord’s Earth — and ultimately to subject the whole Earth, the whole Sea, and the whole Sky to God’s glory.(15)    Man was destined to see to it that the Earth “shall be filled with the knowledge of the glory of the Lord as the waters cover the sea.”(16)    This, then, was — and still is — the great goal of Christian Education.

But this great goal of increasing in the knowledge of God and of subjecting the Earth and the Sea and the Sky to God’s glory — demands also  a number of lesser goals, in order to achieve the great goal.   And so the lesser and more immediate goals of Christian Education must be to acquire knowledge – specialized knowledge – of both the Earth and the Sea and the Sky, as well as of the God Who created and redeemed and sustains them all; to acquire knowledge of God and of all of God’s earthly creatures in all of God’s earthly creation.

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