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The Use of the Bible in Home Education Michael Goheen Burnaby, B.C. Three Roles of Bible in Home Education Worldview context Devotional book Academic subject

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The Use of the Bible in Home Education

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The Use of the Bible in Home Education

Michael Goheen

Burnaby, B.C.


Three Roles of Bible in Home Education

  • Worldview context

  • Devotional book

  • Academic subject


Worldview: The basic religious beliefs embedded in a shared story, which integrate and shape the whole of our individual and communal lives.


A worldview will . . .

  • Shape every part of family life including education

  • Provide the bigger context for the educational task

  • Shape purpose of education, curriculum, pedagogy, disciplines, etc.


The Bible . . .

. . . must shape every subject.


“The place of the Bible in our task of studying the creation is not to give answers, but to guide us in our search for answers, to be the light by whose illumination we find answers in the creation itself.”

-Stuart Fowler


Two Dangers

  • Dualism: Scriptural authority is reduced to “spiritual” or theological or religious or moral issues

  • Biblicism: Seeks data for sciences in Scripture


Authority of Scripture for Academic Disciplines

  • Shapes worldview

  • Gives relevant themes and norms


Themes and norms that give more specific direction

  • Natural sciences: world as cosmos; ordering word of God

  • Political sciences: sovereignty of God; God-given authority of government; justice; liberty; peace

  • Sociology: norms for family, marriage


Themes and norms (cont’d)

  • Psychology: humankind as image of God fundamental unity of humankind as religious being

  • History: kingdom of God; human origin, purpose, destiny; cultural mandate; antithesis

  • Economics: justice, stewardship ownership, work


Bible as Devotional Book

  • Pressure of immediate gratification

  • Empowered for task


  • Spiritual battle in educational task

  • Power of sin

    Sin: a “seductive power”, a “damning power”, an “active dynamic and destructive force”

    “Sin is a power that seeks to rule and ruin everyone and everything.” (Berkouwer)

  • Power of the gospel

    Rom.1.16; 1 Cor.1.18


Bible as Devotional Book

  • Pressure of immediate gratification

  • Empowered for task

  • Need to refocus confessional eyesight


Role of chapel or devotions(or family worship?)

To provide an opportunity for the educational community to gather together as an academic body to refocus their confessional vision in worship of Jesus Christ and his kingdom as the goal, source, and standard of their academic work.


The primary purpose of chapel is to nourish the faith life and refocus the confessional vision of the educational community. The kingdom of God is the ultimate horizon and context in which we carry out our academic work. We do not automatically pursue that kingdom in our work; it is vision that needs to be nourished.


The context of this worship is an academic community. That determines will determine the worship experience of the educational community. Chapel worship is to deepen our common commitment to carry out our academic calling in the light of the gospel.


“Such listening together to God’s Word, singing, praying, and unitedly confessing [our] faith should take on an academic form as a liturgy for learning. These convocations should not be regarded as spiritual “mountain-top” retreats from the mundane realities of the classroom, but as a communal rallying-point, summoning students and teachers together to renewed dedication to the eye-opening experience for returning to readin’, writing’, ’rithmetic with renewed vision. It is a time for putting on the spectacles of Scripture anew so that in its light we may see more clearly in every branch of learning.” (Gordon Spykman)


The Bible as Academic Subject: Two Misunderstandings

  • Biblical studies is automatically Christian

  • Bible is easier to teach than other subjects


Bible as Academic Subject

  • Theological reflection: What is the Bible?

  • Hermeneutical reflection: How do we interpret the Bible?

  • Pedagogical reflection: How do we teach the Bible?


Theological Reflection: What is the Bible?

  • Divinely authoritative message in human words

  • Redemptive intent


The Bible is the Word of God,

record and tool of his redeeming work.

It is the Word of Truth,

fully reliable in leading us

to know God and have life

in Jesus Christ

(Our World Belongs to God)


  • Record: Narrates, recites God’s redemptive work and response of his people.

  • Tool: Incorporates us into that redemption; nourishes salvation; gives us guidance in living out redemption.


  • Historical narrative narrates the history of redemption and calls for response: revelation and invitation

  • Poetry nourishes our covenant faithfulness

  • Wisdom and law guide us in our covenant walk

  • Gospels witness to Jesus and call for faith

  • Epistles open up significance of gospel for life


Theological Reflection: What is the Bible?

  • Divinely authoritative message in human words

  • Redemptive intent

  • Christological key


Hermeneutical Reflection: How Do We Interpret the Bible?

  • Theological context

  • Literary context

  • Historical context


Skeleton of the Bible: Historical Books

  • Tell one story of God’s redemptive acts in history


“ . . . the Bible provides us with an overarching narrative in which all other narratives of the world are nested. The Bible is the story of God. The story of the world is first and foremost the story of God’s activity in creating, sustaining, and redeeming the world to fulfill God’s purposes for it” (Gerkin).


Bible as One Story

Act One: God Establishes His Kingdom: Creation

Act Two: Rebellion in the Kingdom: Fall

Act Three: The King Chooses Israel: Redemption Initiated

Scene One: A People for the King

Scene Two: A Land for the People

Interlude: A Kingdom Story Waiting for an Ending: The Intertestamental Period

Act Four: The Coming of the King: Redemption Accomplished

Act Five: Spreading the News of the King: The Church’s Mission

Scene One: From Jerusalem to Rome

Scene Two: To the Ends of the Earth

Act Six: The Return of the King: Redemption Completed


Danger!

  • Breaking up the Bible into little bits—moral, sermon, theological, historical-critical, devotional

  • “If we allow the Bible to become fragmented, it is in danger of being absorbed into whatever other story is shaping our culture, and it will thus cease to shape our lives as it should. Idolatry has twisted the dominant cultural story of the secular Western world. If as believers we allow this story (rather than the Bible) to become the foundation of our thought and action, then our lives will manifest no the truths of Scripture, but the lies of an idolatrous culture. Hence, the unity of Scripture is no minor matter: a fragmented Bible may actually produce theologically orthodox, morally upright, warmly pious idol worshippers! (Drama of Scripture, 12)


Skeleton of the Bible: Historical Books

  • Tell one story of God’s redemptive acts in history

  • Ultimate context for other books

    ‘ . . . the Bible is essentially narrative in form. . . . It contains, indeed, much else: prayer, poetry, legislation, ethical teaching, and so on. But essentially it is a story.’ (Newbigin)


Story of God’s Mission

“The Bible renders to us the story of God’s mission through God’s people in their engagement with God’s world for the sake of the whole of God’s creation.” (Chris Wright)


Story of mission

  • God’s mission: Long term purpose to restore the whole creation and all of human life

  • Israel’s mission: Embody God’s original creational purposes for the sake of the world

  • Jesus mission: Reveal and accomplish God’s final redemptive purpose for the creation

  • Church’s mission: Continue Jesus’ mission to make known the kingdom of God to the ends of the earth in life, word and deed


Redemptive-History Narrated from Four Standpoints

  • Mosaic (Genesis-Numbers)

  • Exilic (Joshua, Judges, Samuel, Kings)

  • Post-exilic (Ezra-Nehemiah, Chronicles)

  • Post-resurrection (New Testament)


Authors:

  • Select (e.g., Jericho and Ai)

  • Arrange (e.g., David and Saul)

  • Interpret (e.g., Why can’t Israel take the land?)

  • Emphasize (e.g., Omri and Ahab)


Literary Context

  • Literary structure

  • Literary genre


Understanding genre . . .

. . . will provide a reading strategy


Historical Context

  • What is the intent of the author?

  • How would the original audience understand the text?

  • What is the historical-cultural context?

  • How is my historical-cultural context shaping my interpretation?


Pedagogical Reflection

  • What can children handle at what age?

  • Story telling

  • Visual enforcement


Percentage of Content We Remember


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