Monday, January 10, 2011

What I Believe


I did this off the top of my head. Please ask questions, I am sure there are areas I have forgotten. This is not intended to be my theological beliefs. Instead these are my core beliefs that influence education.
  • I believe students (and teachers) are created in the image of God. Because God creates each person with a specific and individual plan, each student has his (or her) own personality, gifts, talents, inclinations, learning styles, attention span, etc. Combined with their prior experiences, choices, and cultural influences, each student is a unique individual unlike anyone who ever was or will be again. Because God’s plan for each person is unique, each student must be taught how to think rather than what to think so that they can apply their mind to their specific situations. Yes, there is foundational knowledge, but teaching simply to that knowledge hinders the students from using knowledge beyond the scope of what they were shown.

  • I believe there is an absolute truth that is the person of Jesus Christ, through whom all things were made. The Truth has been revealed to us through the Holy Scripture which points us to the Designer, Creator, Organizer, and Sustainer of the universe. All truth is God’s truth. He created it to be in consort with Himself. Therefore, all knowledge should align with the Scripture. Any knowledge that is not in harmony with the Scripture is due to either misinterpretation of the earthly knowledge or misinterpretation of the Scripture. All truth claims not passing through the “filter” of God’s Word should be regarded as false claims.

  • I believe that we educate students in order that they may fulfill the greatest commandment: “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind.” (Luke 10:27). We, therefore, urge students to sharpen their minds not for their own selfish ambition, but out of love for God. This, obviously, shows that we should never stop learning. The minute we stop learning about God and His creation, we stop loving God with the mind He gave us. 

  • I believe all people are sinners and prone to rebellion against authority. I also believe all people are free agents, able to make conscious choices about their decisions. However, only after a person receives the Holy Spirit (through a saving faith in Jesus Christ) can a person choose to make decisions that are pleasing and glorifying to the Lord. This has major implications for the behavior and discipline of students. While external motivation may achieve desired outcomes for a time, those outcomes will only be present in conjunction with stimuli. That is why we have teachers who say, “My students behave for me but not other teachers.” The key to student motivation and discipline is a transformation of the heart. This transformation allows the students to self-govern their thoughts and actions and intrinsically motivate themselves to Godly choices and desires. “Discipline” should more appropriately be called “Discipleship”. It is through discipleship that a person becomes more Christ-like in their thoughts and actions.

  • I believe it is the duty of the parents to raise and educate their child. It is imperative, then, that parents find an educational institution that is in line with their family’s beliefs. Parents who send their children to a school that follows a different worldview will face increased difficulties in their child’s education. School is seen as a source of truth. Parents are naturally looked to as educators. Therefore when a child hears one truth claim at school and an opposite truth claim at home, the child will be forced to stop trusting either school or the parents and will develop a pluralistic and confused worldview. It is vital that a school works as a resource in partnership with the home and not as a replacement of the home. The school must be prepared to defer to the home on questionable or divisive issues.

All of this is with the understanding that we serve an infinite God who can never be fully understood. While his creation exists in the finite, we can never fully understand his reasoning or design.

No comments:

Post a Comment