Teaching from a Christian perspective


How Kids Think, a project of God’s World Publications, asked:

I’ve become increasingly aware that my parenting/educational perspective can come more from moralism than a biblical worldview. In an effort to correct this, I sometimes “over-God” everything by making practically everything I say have a reference to the truth that God allowed for it, God created it, God is aware of it.

How do you approach teaching kids that, “whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God” (1 Corinthians 10:31)? What does math look like when taught from a biblical worldview? How about science? art? music? How do you avoid the “squirrel scenario”?

You can read the whole post here. You’ll need to read the opening joke in order to understand the squirrel scenario.

My lengthy comment was as follows:

Warning: soapbox sermon ahead. Proceed at your own risk.
How math is taught depends upon the teacher’s religious presuppositions. I think we are largely unaware of this because our culture is built upon Christian thinking and presuppositions. Even those who do not call themselves Christians are still affected by generations of Christian thinking.
In a world that is truly ruled by chance, you never know if 2+2 will be 4. We simply assume that it will be the same answer we have generally seen. (“How do I know that 2+2 is four? In my experience, 2+2 has always been 4.”) This is the logical conclusion of those who hold to evolution.
If I believe that truth is relative, 2+2 will be whatever I believe it to be. This thinking has begun to infiltrate schools, in that teachers will ask for a “a better” answer rather than the *correct* answer. The concept of right and wrong is slowly being erased – perhaps because we have forgotten the importance, the basis, and the definition of the concept.
Many eastern religions hold that all is one. This underlying belief has obvious impact upon mathematics – and believe it or not, it does have practical mathematical application.
Evolution is the most obvious example of why science can and must be taught from a Christian perspective. Evolution is based not upon the simple observation of the world around us, but the *interpretation* of what we see. Non-Christians have interpreted what they see based upon non-Christian assumptions, and put forth their opinions as fact. By teaching these “facts” to very young children, they are teaching children to build their thinking upon non-Christian thought patterns. They are teaching children the “squirrel scenario” in reverse. The answer *can’t* be God, so it must be evolution.
In music and art, our presuppositions very quickly come into play again: how do we know what is good or what is beautiful? Is it because it pleases *me*? Doesn’t this sound a bit humanistic?
What if I hate what you love? Is quality in art or music simply relative? We are certainly seeing the effects of pursuing art and music from an anti-Christian perspective: violent rap music and poo-smeared canvas art come immediately to mind. Without an absolute standard, who are we to say that these works of art are inferior to those of Michelangelo or Bach?

Actual methods might vary but teachers must teach every subject from a Christian perspective, or else they are teaching from an anti-Christian perspective. There is no neutrality, even in math, science and the arts, and it is good for our children to understand this from the very beginning.

Comments

  1. Elisabeth Renee says:

    Thank you for this post Kim. I just started teaching math to 5th-8th graders at a small Christian school. However, I went to college at a secular university and after reading your post can clearly see how this has turned my focus away from true education based on our true God. I truly believe God lead me to my university, but I also now see areas where I should have stayed strong and searched the Scriptures but instead went with their flow. Thank you for pointing this out. I’ll be considering these thoughts more as I head into this school year.

  2. Kaz Maslanka says:

    What is the difference in teaching math from a Christian perspective as opposed to a non-Christian perspective? Could you please give me an example?

    Thanks
    Kaz

  3. No argument here. 🙂 Reaching for santifying grace.

  4. I just wrote a post about this a couple of weeks ago on my homeschool blog. (But not nearly as concise and well-crafted as your comment!) I recently read an e-book called Beyond Numbers that discusses this very thing:

    http://www.christianperspective.net/products/math.aspx?

    You’re right, math (or any other subject) is *not* neutral. And I would add that school work with Scriptures written at the bottom of the page or story problems about Elijah aren’t necessarily “Christian.”

    Great post!

  5. Interesting…I agree that too many have let themselves believe that too many things are ‘neutral.’ As one who hopes to homeschool my children with a Christian perspective, this is definitely something to think about. Thanks!

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