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Christian educator

Updated May 14, 2022
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Christian educator essay

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Introduction

What we may believe as an educator and even as a Christian educator is often communicated in many different ways to our students. Even when we are trying not to make a Biblical reference or association as educators, it is often difficult to not have this happen. The concept of having an experienced, worldview and exposing students to the same view has been widely used in recent years to describe how others often understand the world and how we also teach our students. A Christian educator might affirm that worldview is a very deeply rooted religious and sacred concept and that particularly in education, we should seek to understand and reflect upon our own world perspectives to make sure that we are offering education that is aligned and affiliated with desires to celebrate Christ over all of foundation rather than an education that is culturally admirable in design. This paper offers a concise reflection and summary of how Christian higher education fits within a classroom as well as a view of the world and human life that is often designed by the same ideas as listed in the literature by author Corneilus Plantiga. The reflection includes how teaching and philosophy may have permeated our teaching, and suggests foundational perspectives that are biblically faithful which could be adopted as cultural shaping in our classrooms.

Summary

Engaging God’s World is essentially a Bible overview that is sectioned into three features of God’s plan for the world: creation, fall, redemption. In my personal opinion, Plantiga demonstrates in his writing how these three aspects affect our calling and mission to educate others. What’s important to note about Plantinga’s book, and what I feel sets it apart from other Bible overviews, is that it doesn’t just retell and recount the story of the Bible but it also invites the reader to consider what effect the Christian worldview should have on his/her life and how we perceive things as well as how we present those perceptions to others.

To share one particularly aspect of the literature, Plantinga writes, ‘Learning is a spiritual calling: properly done, it attaches us to God. In addition, the learned person has, so to speak, more to be Christian with.’ When he states this in his literature I reflect on how the academic career can be a calling. I like to refer to it as the ministry of education and something that God wants us to do. Not only does this assertion come to my mind while reading Plantinga’s work, I also look at how the literature suggests that investing time in understanding God’s word means that we will have more opportunities to show off God’s creation for what it is: God’s creation.

I also found Plantinga’s invitation to the academic world so compelling that I started to research and review other literary work by authors with the same things in mind. One in particular is Work in the Spirit: Toward a Theology of Work by Miroslav Volf (2001). Volf provides a critical theological evaluation of the work and its central understandings in a very modern society. Working toward a strong doctrine of work, Volf suggests that a theology of work should be based on charisms and that “the various activities human beings do in order to satisfy their own needs and the needs of their fellow creatures should be viewed from the perspective of the operation of God’s Spirit”

Another piece of literature that is similar to a theological perspective similar to Plantinga’s is Wolter’s Creation Regained: Biblical Basics for a Reformational World View (2005). This short read examines Christians’ basic beliefs and views in addition to how it carries significance and worth for those who seek to follow the scriptures. Wolters clearly defines and describes the nature and scope of a worldview, differentiating it from philosophy or theology and dully noting that the Christian community has advanced a variety of ways and perspectives. He then details a transformed analysis of the three foundational turning points in human history which he describes as the creation, the fall, and the redemption, concluding that while the fall might reach into every angle of the world, Christians are called to participate and contribute in Christ’s redemption of all creation. Similar to Plantinga, author Woltor focuses on three central perspectives in his literature as well.

In summation, I feel as if Plantinga’s captures a great perspective of how to encourage Christian and even non-Christian students and scholars to be actively engaged in some Christian organization that will help them develop a Christian philosophy able to purposely guide them toward developing a Christian understanding that will support them to be better disciples for Christ. I recommend this book to those who are about to start out on the road of learning or those of who are engaged in high-level graduate or academic research. Plantinga’s book offers a very simplistic of reading and understanding for knowing and developing a thorough Christian perspective for anyone, any age or any background.

Critique

As I read Engaging God’s World, I continued to reflect and consider the author’s purpose in writing this. I felt that he wanted to encourage Christians to work to use their skills to bring about the Kingdom of God. He emphasizes outcomes that have to do with combining our biblical perspectives to the knowledge and other practical issues in the world around us. I felt that a goal in understanding his view is to also have the reader work to sharpen critical thinking skills and other skills that enable students to deal with the world through a biblical worldview. The goal is not that the subject matter and skills they learn are solely Bible knowledge, but that they (teacher and student) will be able to develop other knowledge and skills in light of the biblical worldview and in light of biblical truth and understanding.

The reoccurring themes of love and hope are evident throughout Plantinga’s work through various aspects. To note, I find Engaging God’s World to be not only insightful, but very similar in writing style and technique with Plantinga’s earlier award winning book Not the Way It’s Supposed to Be: A Breviary of Sin (Eerdmans, 1995). It is in this novel that he describes Shalom for which we were made and hunger for and yet have trashed such that it no longer exists except as a hope. This was compelling to me as with this concept it has become part of my own being which is longing for hope.

I can also appreciate Plantinga’s theme of putting your faith in Christ as we try to maneuver the life’s challenges. He also alludes several times in the book to having a zeal and passion for loving Christ and spreading the word. Piper calls Christians to consider their roles in worldwide mission. Christians can participate by being “senders” or by becoming “goers” to mission fields where the Gospel has not been heard. particular, I found parts of the book similar to John Piper’s in his book Don’t Waste Your Life (2003) where he tries to set the tone for the reader as being much more than just a spectator of the story. Just as Plantiga, Piper calls Christians to consider their roles in worldwide mission. Christians can participate by being “senders” or by becoming “goers” to mission fields where the Gospel has not been heard.

Lastly, Plantinga’s work mirrored the bravery and faith that I felt Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. exhibited during the Civil Rights Movement. Plantinga calls for teachers to be brave and keep faith and hop in their passion and ministry to others. A piece of literature aligned with this is The Beloved Community: How Faith Shapes Social Justice, From the Civil Rights Movement to Today by Charles Marsh. Published in 2004, Marsh seeks to help the reader understand that faith is not about making it plain and real that the way of life comes in the form of doing good and not propagating self-worship. Here, he offers examples of spiritual vision at work.

To conclude, I found several other of Plantinga’s common themes in other literature that uses the belief in Christ as a foundation for their work. The most prevalent take away from my reading of Engaging God’s World has been the author’s clarification of the role Christian higher education plays in intellectual and spiritual formation.

Christian educator essay

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Christian educator. (2022, May 14). Retrieved from https://samploon.com/christian-educator/

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