The Bible in All of Life
The Bible in All of Life
The Bible is one book, made up of many books. It is by one Author (God) using many writers. The Bible is one story of creation, fall, redemption, restoration. To write this story God’s Book is divided into Old Testament and New Testament. The writing is complete but applying that writing is ongoing, generation after generation, through all of the ages. This is how you and I fit into God’s Story. We have been given all of the writings and we are taught to believe it, respond to it, teach it, live it. What is “it?” The whole Word of God.
Now in reference to school: Everything that we teach must fit into (flow from) the Word of God. As Christian teachers we want our children to see each academic area, each sport, all of the arts, household chores, employment, investments, free time activities, and the answers to any questions related to God’s Story and placed into our application of His Word.
A good first step in seeing the Bible as one story is to gain understanding of the New Testament by what you have learned from the Old Testament. For example, The Lamb of Exodus became the Redeemer of the New Testament.
Knowing where we fit into God’s Story and how He is redeeming and restoring, gives us hope and purpose. School takes on a bright new future when we see it in connection with what God is doing — how He can use us now and how training is provided for Him to use us in the future for His Kingdom business.
We want the child to come to understand that he goes to school because that is where he presently fits into God’s good, glorious, redemptive plan. And that what he studies also fits into God’s good story.
Enjoy your WORD reading.
I’ve been labeled as one who does not like textbooks. When you ask, “What
would I teach if not using a guiding text?” I really do want to explain. Let’s both pause and pray at this moment…
The enemy is not the textbook. But to be effective a textbook must fit somewhere in the student’s world of understanding. Let me try desperately to illustrate.
Your student has a math textbook and has been given 2 pages for assignment. You have prepared the way for successful completion. The child/student now has a goal — get the math finished. When finished he may have one problem wrong, zero problems wrong, or several problems wrong. You go over the wrong answers and close the book until tomorrow.
But consider this: Suppose you take one or two minutes with each math lesson and talk about:
1. The Creator’s intent with numbers
2. The purpose and value of numbers
3. Where accuracy has mattered in using numbers (think medicine, research)
4. How numbers have been used in helpful ways
5. Games that would be no fun without numbers
Now let’s go back to the math assignment where the goal was simply to finish the work and check the number wrong and correct.
We might add to that assignment: what is an occasion a problem like this could be used? Knowing that, what might you have done differently? Very often, in math, it really matters to get the answer wrong!
Here is just one point to consider for value. Consider the Old Testament as you read it today. Perhaps look at a Psalm. Originally the Old Testament was not written in the language you read it just now. So, imagine the horror if spelling had been ignored as a translator tried to write what we read. Value in spelling can be found in research, directions for construction, and in much of life.
Clarifying, I want to say that textbooks are often helpful but the teacher must make the subject one of purpose and value, connecting that subject to God’s plan.
Let me try to illustrate again with spelling. Almost always spelling is taught in isolation from a world view or Biblical principle. As such, it never really fits into “the big picture.”
Yes, you will teach spelling by phonics, by word families, by silent letters, by topics, by memory, by variations, but why? Why do we spell? Where did spelling begin? Do we have a history to see purpose in spelling? As the child sees value and purpose in spelling, and value and purpose as a person, learning to spell becomes a goal worth pursuing.
One of several definitions of erosion is, “the gradual destruction or diminution of something.”
As Christian teachers we are concerned about the effect erosion is having on how well our children embrace Christian truths.
I am often surprised (though I shouldn’t be) at how I notice the world’s influences in my own choices and decisions. The world view comes to us daily from many angles. Most of that view appears absurd to us. But little by little, bits of it come to be believed.
You see vividly the trick to gradually convert you from a solidly Christian worldview to an ambiguous one. When presented with the world’s interpretation of news, education, church, or other topics, you see the folly instantly. But your child listens and wonders… Therefore, I’m suggesting that regular review of what makes the Christian view valuable, be discussed and illustrated.
For starters go over these and see how easy it is to slip just a bit in the wrong direction:
1. Did God really say that? How can we know? If it’s in His Word, He said.
2. Can that be so wrong? If the Bible speaks directly on the topic, a clear answer is given. If the Bible speaks indirectly to your issue discuss why and how you have drawn your conclusion. Illustrate the joy that follows when we seek God and obey.
3. Would God be so narrow minded that…? Usually this type of question comes when we WANT to declare our way right. So, give truth and show God’s goodness in the truth.
These examples and many others could be discussed often through the early training years. Please, don’t assume. Please, see the eternal value. Realize also that each person must make commitment. Be brave — encourage and admonish!
What rights are owed me? What rights have I earned? What rights do I deserve? What is God’s opinion on my rights?
Often when training children, we imply that they have rights or can earn rights. One of the best lessons for me on the topic of rights came when reading Christoph von Schmid’s The Basket of Flowers. While this book teaches piety and the values of truth, I saw a great lesson on rights. Often while reading I had thoughts like, “This is expecting too much.” “This is too severe.” “This is beyond reality.” But in the end I got the point.
This was the first book I read when years ago, I was introduced to Lamplighter Publishing. It’s still available at lamplighter.net
Read Your Bible
How many times in a sermon, Bible study or from a friend have we been admonished to read our Bible? I remember some years ago, hearing a Godly man speak. He included that admonishment in his challenge to us. My mental response was, “I’ve heard that before!” I look back to that moment now and wish I had been more teachable.
So, here I am warning:
Listen to it.
Encourage others to read it.
Read your Bible.
Comfort, peace, joy
Draw us back to righteousness
Reminding us of God’s plan
Seeing the whole picture of God’s Story
Showing us the value of fitting into it
Kindly let’s challenge one another to Read Your Bible.
Meanwhile you are sharing with your children that daily your Bible brings you joy and comfort.