Every Fact in Education Has the Aura of God Upon It
Hearing my 3 and 4 year old granddaughters squeal with glee was a sheer delight. I had just fed a handful of grass to a horse and watching him chomp it down was what set them off. Of course feeding that horse was my “educational duty”, leading those two little dollies into the discovery of horses and their eating habits.
Later on those same girls will be introduced to the marvels of DNA and the human genome project. The biological data in that remarkable discovery is truly mind-boggling, a reality that should bring us to our knees in acknowledgement of God as Creator. But when you stop to think about it, isn’t a horse chomping on grass just as amazing? Isn’t a chomping horse just another link in this awesome net-work of realities that had to be created by God? I am fully convinced that this has to be true.
So, how does this impact education? Have we truly educated our children and youth when we give them all the so-called “scientific data” about the realities around us? If the rising generation learns the chemical composition, the physical weight, and the electromagnetic impulses making up the persons, animals and rocks in our universe, have they learned all they need to know? Have they learned what is most significant and important to know?
We should be profoundly grateful to modern science for the way it has discovered this kind of physical data about us and our world. We should be profoundly grateful to modern science because it continues to discover more of this same kind of data and is laying it out before us in most illuminating and helpful ways. But we should also insist that these amazing discoveries are incomplete without another element.
In one of his pictures of creation, C.S. Lewis is wrapped in a great darkness when he suddenly hears a voice singing softly. As the voice sings (Magician’s Nephew) a light begins to dawn revealing Aslan the Lion as the singer. This wonderful Lion, a figure of Christ, sings the entire world into existence, leaving his mark on every part of it. I believe Lewis is right here and that this means that both chomping horses and DNA are part of a vast network of realities chock full of pure WONDER. It is this element of wonder that gives truly beautiful and lasting significance to all of our ongoing scientific discoveries.
Now, I want to give you my own definition of Christian Education. I see this definition as fully harmonious with all the scientific discoveries that mankind has already made and all the scientific discoveries that we ever will make. This definition recognizes all the factual data we are discovering and it includes in it the element of WONDER, that sometimes invisible but always grand element that Christ put into it when he “sang” it into existence. Here is my definition:
CHRISTIAN EDUCATION IS THE JOYFUL AND REVERENT DISCOVERY OF THE DATA AND THE WONDER OF EVERYTHING IN THE LIGHT OF GOD’S CREATION AND CHRIST’S RESURRECTION.
In this definition the creating power of God is evident in two Creations:
(1) The Original Creation described first in Genesis and then celebrated in the Psalms and many other passages in both the Old and New Testaments.
(2) The New Creation which began with the bodily RESURRECTION of Jesus, His making all thing new in this age, and then perfecting all things in his 2nd Coming.