People are never more confused about what I do for a living when I tell them I work in Christian education. At best, they take this to mean I teach Sunday school everyday, but usually I just get comments like “Good for you! That must be so nice.” This is not surprising, as few institutions are more misunderstood than Christian schools. Some assume that a Chrisitian school means every student is a Christian and will always act like one (spoiler: they aren’t and they won’t). Others think it means we have no regard for academics because we’re too busy catechizing and baptizing our kids. But no matter what the misunderstanding is, they all share a common effect in undermining the primary purpose of Christian education to pursue truth.
It is for this reason that CCHS is launching our Why Christian Education? series. These monthly posts are designed to instill a sense of collective responsibility throughout our school community by drawing attention to what makes Christian education distinct. There has never been a more important time for us to be rooted in who we are and what we are doing and it is our prayer that these brief articles will prompt you to be even more actively involved in our mission to provide excellence in academics, fine arts, and athletics while instilling biblical truth in the hearts and minds of our students (emphasis added).
Education is about truth. This is not intended to be a complicated– or controversial– statement, but it is easier said than done. Part of what confuses the pursuit of truth is the worldview from which it is accessed. Worldviews serve as our most basic assumptions about reality1 and therefore inform all of our efforts, including the education of our children.
But worldviews are not created equal. The secular worldview, for instance, grants the individual the autonomy to determine what is true, rather than prompting him to discover what is true. It’s not hard to see how this sabotages one’s pursuit of truth, but sadly the secular worldview is not done there. In addition to treating truth as if it were relative, the secular worldview goes on to treat God as if He were irrelevant2 to a proper understanding and ordering of His creation.
As Christians, however, we recognize that approaching truth from a biblical worldview has an inherently formative effect. Whether it’s at church, in our small groups, or during our personal time with God, we are made different by our pursuit of truth. Although we may be tempted to settle for a “practical education” that will simply transfer facts from one brain to another, education is capable of so much more. Education is formation! When we recognize that the students in our classrooms are eternal beings with the ability to know their Creator through the very disciplines they’re studying, only then will we begin to rightly estimate the opportunity we’ve been afforded. It’s no longer just about college acceptance or future career paths, but the ability to accept and apply Truth as the final authority in their lives. As someone once said, “Ideas have consequences…bad ideas have victims.”
1Wilson, Doug, Excused Absence (February, 2022)