Biblical View of Knowledge
Christ-centred education is to apply a Biblical view of knowledge. “To become free to teach, Christian Teachers must themselves be gripped by the knowledge that enables them to discover their true selves in Jesus Christ” (Greene, 1998:314). As Thinus Dreeckmeier (1997:27) states, “God makes all knowledge possible and human knowledge is possible, because God revealed Himself in His Creation, in Scripture, in Jesus Christ and through the Holy Spirit.”
These statements make it clear that every teacher should personally have a Biblical view of knowledge before applying it to their daily teaching and lesson planning. The teacher should therefore have a personal relationship with God. They must further listen to the Holy Spirit for guidance in daily lesson delivery. In John 8:19 Jesus accused the Pharisees of having head knowledge (factual knowledge about God). They did not have a personal relationship with God (Dreeckmeier, 1997:29).
So, in Christ-centred education head knowledge must change to heart knowledge. True knowledge from God is to serve others. God`s knowledge is unified and not divided by nature. There is thus no distinction between historical or biological facts (De Jong, 1989: 47-48).
Teaching as a Christian teacher with a Biblical worldview involves definite knowledge of the learners in their classes. The teacher is then able to communicate subject matter, different skill and values. Thus a healthy relationship between teachers and learners is vital. This is where the head knowledge must change to the heart knowledge. It should speak to the heart of the learners. Above all knowledge must focus on God as the source of all knowledge.
When a graduate learner leaves a Christian School, they should display some of the following outcomes:
- A personal relationship with Jesus Christ;
- In their everyday lives they must be able to apply Biblical values, such as stewardship, honesty, etc.;
- A readiness to share the Gospel of Jesus Christ with others;
- Good stewardship in their workplace and environment;
- Honesty and integrity in their lives;
- They must be intercessors and understand the importance of prayer;
- Sound relationships with their teachers and friends;
- Know how to listen to God`s voice and seek God`s will for their lives;
- A Biblical view of marriage;
- Make wise decisions based on Gospel principals to glorify God.
Christ-centred Education has a role and purpose for Africa and the world today. In the first place it is to develop a Biblical worldview in learners. Another is to be a good steward in God`s world and to become a student of the Word of God.
Learners should be encouraged to pray regularly. They must also be involved in caring for the lost and poor. They should indeed be teachable and lifelong learners standing firm in their convictions. These learners should furthermore be able to work independently or in a group and view life from a Biblical perspective.
Several books have also greatly influenced my thinking on worldview. The book by Africa Mhlophe, Freed by God but imprisoned by Culture, opened my eyes especially on cultural issues.
Col 1:16-17, says: “All things were created by Christ and for Him”. This means that even the content in a curriculum should point to the unity of knowledge. After all, knowledge and wisdom have their source in Christ. I strongly believe that the Christian teacher should have a Biblical view of knowledge. This approach will help us equip learners not only intellectually, but with Biblical wisdom and a renewed mind (Rom 12:2) (Dreeckmeier, 2012).
Learners should be taught and have opportunities to respond to subject learning. At the same time they should apply what they have learnt through serving. An example: after a lesson of pollution, learners can pick up litter in and around the school garden and yard. Learners are then encouraged to be faithful stewards at their homes, in hostels and in their communities. In this way learners are trained to develop Biblical values and a Biblical worldview.
Teacher Evaluation to Consolidate Christ-centred Teaching
To ensure the Christ-centred character of education in the school, regular teacher evaluation is necessary. Berkham (1995) emphasises the importance of also following up with teachers. The purpose is to assist them in their teaching, giving suggestions where they might improve to develop as teachers.
The main goal however of staff appraisal is to encourage the growth of Christian characteristics. It should accordingly be evident in every aspect of the teacher’s life. Teacher assessment instruments includes:
- Class visits;
- Book control;
- Subject file inspection; and
- Personal file reports.
The success appraisal checklist includes several points. It helps teachers in their teaching and thinking of Biblical worldview and Biblical integration. It also evaluates the following:
- The Christian characteristics displayed by the teacher;
- The teacher’s lifestyle as a reflection of Christ;
- Their involvement in prayer, outreaches and staff devotions.
I included some of these points after realising the importance of the teacher as the living curriculum.
My master’s degree studies at Morling College has made me very aware of the importance of cultivating a Biblical worldview. We need to be so aware of the ‘potholes’ in truth and values that we inherited from Greek philosophers. It means that we must constantly evaluate our thinking, since all our beliefs and actions are based on our underlying values and beliefs. This ultimately determines our behaviour. We must remember to consciously guard our hearts. As Proverbs 4:33 says, out of it comes the spring of life. Therefore, we must constantly evaluate our worldview and nurture a robust Biblical worldview in our learners.
Blackaby (2003) states it is a conscious decision to bring our minds, hearts and actions in line with God’s will. God can use us and work mightily through us if we are trustworthy and faithful. Unlike my dualistic growing up years, all our activities, character and integrity must be in line with God’s will.
Isaiah 59:4 describes inactivity and words to be just as destructive as action and violence. This happens as a result of compromising on God’s truth and give in to comfort and safety. As God’s children, we must intentionally get involved and be active in cultivating a Biblical worldview. This must not only be done in our own lives, but also in the lives of the learners we teach.
Mac van den Berg
- Blackaby, H. (2003). What the Spirit is saying to the Churches. Multnomah Books, United States of America.
- De Jong, Norman. (1989). Education in Truth. The Unity of Knowledge.
- Dreekmeier, T. (1997). Towards Christ Centered Education. Pretoria. South Africa. CcE Books.
- Greene, A. (1998). Reclaiming the Future of Christian Education. ACSI Schools International. Colorado Springs, Colorado.