Christian Education Aiming for Christian Education_ Settling for

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					Restoration, Antithesis, and Education


            Michael Goheen
       Trinity Western University
              God‟s Response

While justly angry
God did not turn his back
on a world bent on destruction;
he turned his face to it in love.
With patience and tender care he set out
on the long road of redemption
to reclaim the lost as his people
and the world as his kingdom (CT, 19).
  Genesis 3:15: Mother Promise

Although Adam and Eve were
expelled from the garden and their
work was burdened by sin‟s effects,
God held on to them in love. He
promised to crush the evil forces they
unleashed. (CT, par. 20)
              Genesis 3.15

 Promise of battle
 Promise of a Champion
 Promise of victory
     Observations on redemption

 Redemption is progressive in its outworking
 Redemption is restorative in its nature
 Redemption is comprehensive in scope
         Progressive in Outworking
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
       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
           Mistaken Notion

Very often people have come to the
New Testament with the presumption
that „going to heaven when you die‟ is
the implicit point of it all. . . . They
acquire that viewpoint from
somewhere, but not from the New
Testament. (N. T. Wright)
        Restoration of this life



. . . it is precisely ordinary earthly existence
that is redeemed (G.C. Berkouwer).
           Redemption is restorative
 The creation is very good, the way God intended it
 Human beings are created to live a bodily life in the context of
  creation.
 Sin is the problem not materiality.
 Old Testament views future kingdom as restored life on new
  creation.
 Jesus proclaims the gospel of the kingdom.
 Jesus‟ resurrection is a preview.
 The biblical language of redemption, restoration, renewal all
  point to the return of the good creation to what it was meant to
  be.
 Destruction of the creation would mean a Satanic victory.
   Restoration is comprehensive

And he made known to us the mystery of his
will according to his good pleasure, which he
purposed in Christ, to be put into effect when
the times will have reached their fulfilment—
to bring all things in heaven and on earth
together under one head, even Christ
(Ephesians 1:9-10).
   As Far as the Curse is Found

For God was pleased to have all his fullness
dwell in him, and through him to reconcile to
himself all things, whether things on earth or
things in heaven, by making peace through
his blood, shed on the cross. (Colossians
1:19-20)
        Mission of Israel: Embody a
        Comprehensive Restoration

 Israel called to embody a comprehensive salvation
  for the sake of the nations
 OT Story: Formation of people and placed on land
  to be light to nations
 Law: Orders whole life of Israel
 Wisdom: Orders whole life of Israel
 Prophets confront Israel for not embodying God‟s
  salvation in whole of their lives
   Comprehensive restoration made
          known in Jesus

Everything he said and did was directly
related to the coming of the kingdom. He
reversed all the consequences of evil in the
world: disease, possession by inhuman
spirits, guilt, ritualistic and empty religion, a
caste system of purity and impurity, scarcity
of food, a hostile nature, commercial
exploitation and death (Andrew Kirk).
        Comprehensive restoration
        accomplished in crucifixion
 Gustav Aulén: “The work of Christ is first and
  foremost a victory over the powers which hold
  mankind in bondage: sin, death, and the devil.”
 John 12.31-33; Col. 2.15; Rev.12.7-12
 Public battle and victory for the whole creation
 Lesslie Newbigin: We “privatize this mighty work
  of grace and talk as if the whole cosmic drama of
  salvation culminates in the words „For me; for
  me.‟”
          Comprehensive restoration
        inaugurated in the resurrection

 Resurrection in Jewish thought: Arrival of
  life of new creation
 Jesus: Dawning of new creation
     Firstborn from the dead (Rev.1:5)
     Firstfruits (I Cor. 15:20)
Prophetic Expectation

     Spirit Messiah


  Sin       Knowledge
 Death        of God
  Evil         Love
                Joy
 Satan
              Justice

OLD AGE    AGE TO COME
New Testament Fulfillment



Powers of
                Power of
     sin
                 Spirit’s
  death
                 renewing
    evil
                work
   Satan


 OLD AGE    AGE TO COME
  Mission as meaning of overlap

The meaning of this „overlap of the ages‟ in which
we live, the time between the coming of Christ and
His coming again, is that it is the time given for the
witness of the apostolic Church to the ends of the
earth. The end of all things, which has been
revealed in Christ, is—so to say—held back until
the witness has been borne to the whole world
concerning the judgment and salvation revealed in
Christ. The implication of a true eschatological
perspective will be missionary obedience, and the
eschatology which does not issue in such obedience
is a false eschatology
      Comprehensive salvation given by
                  Spirit

 Spirit is deposit of kingdom
     Real money now
     Promise of more in the future
 Spirit is firstfruits of kingdom
     First part of crop now
     Points to the rest of the harvest in future
            Foretaste and Preview

 We have a foretaste of the Kingdom
     Actual taste now
     Complete meal in future

 We are previews of the Kingdom
     Actual footage of movie/kingdom
     Designed to interest viewer in future
      movie/kingdom so they will want to participate
    Church‟s mission to make known a
       comprehensive restoration
The Spirit thrusts God‟s people into worldwide mission.
He impels young and old, men and women,
to go next door and far away
into science and art, media and marketplace
with the good news of God‟s grace. . . .
Following the apostles, the church is sent—
sent with the gospel of the kingdom . . .
In a world estranged from God,
where millions face confusing choices,
this mission is central to our being . . .
The rule of Jesus Christ covers the whole world.
To follow this Lord is to serve him everywhere,
without fitting in, as light in the darkness, as salt in a spoiling world.
                 Acts 1.1-8

 Acts 1.6: Question about the kingdom
 Receive Spirit (firstfruits, deposit)
 „You will be my witnesses.‟
          Battle for creation


Kingdom of darkness   Kingdom of God

             one domain
            Antithetical encounter

 Israel‟s battle with idolatry
 Church takes up Israel‟s mission (Ex.19.3-6;
  cf. 1 Pet. 2.9-10)
 Very different situation:
     Part of another culture based on different faith
      commitments
           Dilemma of the Believing
                Community
 Part of western culture
      Creational mandate: responsible for cultural development
      Christ‟s redemption is comprehensive
 Whole of western culture distorted by sinful
  idolatry
      Incompatibility between Scriptural and western story
       In the world but not of it
  Jesus’ Prayer for His Disciples
I have given them your word and the world has
hated them, for they are not of the world any more
than I am of the world. My prayer is not that you
take them out of the world but that you protect
them from the evil one. They are not of the world,
even as I am not of it. As you sent me into the
world, I have sent them into the world.
                            - John 17:14-18
I didn‟t realize until I took INT, and
now this course how much I try to make
Western culture and the Biblical
worldview fit together. I realize more
and more that they are actually opposite
and against each other. Yet I must live
in this culture because I am a part of it.
Many times I struggle with how to do it.
                     - Redeemer Student
            Conflict Between Stories
 Dominant story in culture seeks to become
  exclusive story (e.g. European vs. Native)
 Minority communities
     Faithfulness and conflict
               OR
     Accommodation and peace
 Yes Biblical story is translatable
Purity of Heart is to Will One Thing:
           Christ or Idols
 No one can serve two masters. Either he will
 hate the one and love the other, or he will be
 devoted to one and despise the other. You
 cannot serve both God and mammon.

                        - Jesus, in Matthew 6:24
 Unbearable Tension of
Living at the Crossroads
             Unbearable Tension

  Christians are:
    Members of western community
      Shaped by cultural story
    Members of covenant community
      Shaped by Biblical story


Two incompatible stories   Unbearable tension
       Do western Christians feel this
           unbearable tension?
“Why did I not hear about modernity and its affect
on me before? I really never knew how much
modernity shapes my life until I came to
Redeemer. It was always called „worldly‟ but I
never knew what that meant. Modernity affects all
of my life and I wish I had known.”
                               -Redeemer student
                Tension Between
               Gospel and Culture
The deeper the consciousness of the tension and
the urge to take this yoke upon itself are felt, the
healthier the Church is. The more oblivious of this
tension the Church is, the more well established
and at home in this world it feels, the more it is in
deadly danger of being the salt that has lost its
savour.
                                 - Hendrik Kraemer
            Tension: Healthy in Early
                     Church
It is worthwhile to have a look at the struggle with
adaptation by paying attention for a moment to the
conflicts of Christians in their professions. The great
question was, How far is a Christian allowed to enter into
the professional jobs of those days with their mores and
customs, without denying Christ and without becoming
polluted by participation in idolatry?
                                          - Hendrik Kraemer
        Suffering as normal badge of
                discipleship
No human societies cohere except on the basis of some
kind of common beliefs and customs. No society can
permit these beliefs and practices to be threatened
beyond a certain point without reacting in self-defense.
The idea that we ought to be able to expect some kind of
neutral secular political order, which presupposes no
religious or ideological beliefs, and which holds the ring
impartially for a plurality of religions to compete with
one another, has no adequate foundation. The New
Testament makes it plain that Christ's followers must
expect suffering as the normal badge of their
discipleship, and also as one of the characteristic forms
of their witness (Lesslie Newbigin).
             The Gospel speaks:

   Word of grace… culture is good creation
   Word of judgement… culture is idolatrously
    twisted and sinfully distorted




 Test everything. Hold on to the good.
Avoid every kind of evil (I Thess. 5:21f).
 Biblical Position: Affirmative/Antithetical
            Approach to Culture


 Affirm                Reject
 Gospel/Yes            Gospel/No
 At home               At odds
 Good creation
                        Sinful distortion
 May not withdraw
                        May not accept
                        status quo
        Faithful Cultural Strategy
 Faithfulness and relevance
 Avoids withdrawal, absorption, common
  ground
 Affirms both responsibility for cultural
  development and antithetical challenge to
  idolatrous development
 Subversion: Affirmation and rejection
        What do we do with non-
         Christian education?
 What is creational insight/structure?
 How has that insight been twisted by
  idolatrous direction?
What do we do with this idolatrous
 institution called the „school‟?

 Subversive fulfillment!
 Creational structure
 Idolatrous twisting and misdirection
         Another Biblical Example:
                Household
OIKOS: extended family in Roman empire
structured hierarchically and oppressively
  Fundamental social building block of Roman
   empire
  Undifferentiated institution made up of marital,
   family, economic, political relationships
  Oppressive and hierarchical distortion
     Response of the early church

 Reject?

 Affirm?

 Subvert!
         Subversive Fulfillment

 Discerned creational relationships
 Subverted relationships creating new
  institution recognizable as good news to
  culture
                    School?
 How can we participate in broader tradition of
  humanistic education, be at home, offer
  relevant witness (much creational good)
 Where has purpose, structure, curriculum,
  pedagogy, etc. been twisted by idolatry
  (rationalism, consumerism, etc)?
   Aiming for Christian Education

 Alternative kind of education to public school
  system
 Rejects cultural idolatry that shapes these
  schools
 Based on distinctive and comprehensive
  philosophy of education
 Christian approach transforms the whole
  enterprise: goals, curriculum, pedagogy,
  evaluation, structure, etc.
     Settling for Christians Educating

 Christianity-enhanced public school
  education
 Adds moral integrity, devotional piety, and
  biblical insight to select topics
 Maintains status quo about education
                  Christian Perspective
                     on Education
 Efforts at worldview and Christian educational
  philosophy sharpened vision for Christian education
 Language of Christian perspective: Christ-centred
  curriculum, inner reformation of the sciences, biblical
  perspective on all areas of learning, or Christian world-
  and-life-view
 Kuyper‟s vision of comprehensive scope of gospel
  challenges assumptions:
      Reality is segregated into two realms, sacred and secular, and gospel
       belongs only to the sacred
      Gospel transforms only individuals but not society
      Enlightenment notion that public life, including education is
       religiously neutral
            Does Christian perspective
               transform school?
 Perception: Christian education will result from
  Christian perspective
 Gap between rhetoric of Christian education and reality
  of Christian schools
 Gap produces:
      Vague sense of task
      False sense of security
 Connection between perspective and implementation:
      Persuasive: Biblical
      Elusive: “As far as I can tell, Christian schools do not provide an
       alternative Christian education, if by that term we mean that our
       biblical perspective on life leads to a biblical model of education.”
     Gap Challenge and Gap Problem
 Gap challenge: Rhetoric proclaims ideal toward which
  reality is moving--not there yet! (positive)
 Gap problem: Rhetoric and reality utterly inconsistent
  (negative)
 Majority problem in Christian education is gap problem
 "When confronted by all this evidence, my own allegiance
  to the ideal of Christian education sometimes wavers. The
  challenge of implementing a different, biblical model of
  schooling appears so far out of reach that I am tempted to
  think the whole idea might be wrong-headed. At times I
  wonder if there really is such a thing as a Christian model
  of education."
            Educational Faithfulness

 Christian education: difference
 Christian educating: enriching additions
 Third way: educational faithfulness
      Difference may be consequence
      More emphasis on common task with different faith
 Questions:
      What does faithful education look like?
      What obstacles hinder us from implementing faithful
       education?
      What can we do to remove these obstacles?
      Understanding the Reigning
        Educational Paradigm
 Need to understand reigning secular
  paradigm in education
 To enable Christian school to encounter this
  paradigm
             Missionary Encounter in
                   Education
 Normal position of Christian school in cultural context if it
  is faithful
 Clash of ultimate and comprehensive stories
 Spiritual battle
 Requires Christian school community that believes gospel
  (true, story, comprehensive, power)
 Committed to living out of it and shaping whole life by it
 Requires a school that knows idolatrous story of culture
 School that wrestles with dominant education paradigm
 Encounter takes place in all areas of education
 Embraces insights; rejects idolatry
     Faithful Christian Education?

 Purpose of education: First battle?
 Then: What needs to be taught to equip
  children for that purpose? (Curriculum)
 Then: How can this be achieved?
  (Pedagogy, structures, evaluation)
   Purpose:
   Why do we educate anyway?
 Traditional African education:
     Teach traditional life values
     Goal of integration into tribal community
 Muslim education:
     Teach universal shariah law
     Goal of integration in theocratic community
      Teach certain things so that children will be
      socialized into a certain kind of community.
      Purpose governs educational activity.
            Modernity and the
           Purpose of Education
 Pass on a unified body of universal scientific
  knowledge
 Equip a world of rational citizens
 Build a more rational world leading to
  freedom, justice, truth, and material
  prosperity
        Postmodern Challenge to
           Modern Education
 If (in modernity) education was guided by
  the story of progress towards a better society
  by science and technology but we no longer
  believe that story...
 If (in modernity) education was to pass along
  a unified body of universal knowledge but
  we no longer believe that exists...
 Then what is the purpose of education?
           Postmodernity and
          Purpose of Education
 Postman‟s trinity: economic utility,
  consumerism, technology
 Vendor of useful information and marketable
  skills
 Enables student to compete or survive in the
  jungle of the market
          Biblical Story and
         Purpose of Education
 “Serviceable insight”
 Education for witness
 Education as witness
         Questions: Curriculum

 What needs to be taught to equip students for
  witness?
 How does this differ from state
  requirements?
 Are there any specific omissions?
 How does modern and postmodern
  worldview affect curriculum?
                        What now?

 Size, complexity, and difficulty of task can lead
  to discouragement
 Need to return to gospel for forgiveness and
  renewal
 Need for ongoing study (individual, community)
 Continuing baby steps in joy
      As individuals
      As community

				
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