DEVELOPING A BIBLICAL WORLDVIEW
BIBLICAL PRINCIPLES OF EDUCATION
Proverbs 22:6 Train up a child in the way he should go
Proverbs 1:7-9 The fear of the Lord is the beginning of understanding
Deuteronomy 6:7 Teach them diligently
John 8:32 We shall know the truth
When one hears the word ‘education’ today, probably most common thoughts that come to mind
have to do with school buildings, hired teachers, text books and test. While these are certainly
key components of modern American education, such was not always the case.
In colonial days ‘education’ was more commonly understood to mean: 1) having possession of
truth, 2) mental and moral development to prepare one their station in life, 3) mastery of ability
to speak, read, and write, and 4) well grounded in religious belief.
Consider the definition from the original 1828 Noah Webster dictionary:
1) The bringing up as a child; instruction, formation, manners. 2) Education comprehends all
that series of instruction and discipline which is intended to enlighten the understanding,
correct the temper, and form the manners and habits of youth, and fit them for usefulness in
their future stations. 3) To give to children a good education in manners, arts, and science is
important; to give them a religious education is indispensable; and an immense responsibility
rest on parents and guardians who neglect these duties.
Sadly, in our country today, with the highest illiteracy rate and highest illegitimate birth rate
among developed nations, it would appear that we have sight of what it means to ‘educate our
C.S. Lewis (1898-1963) "Education without religion, as useful as it is, seems rather to make
man a more clever devil.
I. Biblical Philosophy of Education
A. There are many aspects the philosophy of education. Among these would be a view of the
nature of man, nature of God, and truth. Obviously, the view of these held by a devote
Christian will differ considerably from those held by a committed atheist. (Many of the founders
of public education were atheist)
B. For a Biblical philosophy of education, the following covers the most important
1) The foundation of a Biblical view of life is the belief in an infinite, personal God who has
spoken, who created all things, and whom all things consist. God is there and He is not silent.
He is Creator and Sovereign of the universe. (Col. 1:16)
2) Man was created in the image and likeness of God - In order that he could objectively see
the glory of God in all things of creation - That man might subjectively glorify God in whatever
he does in thought, word, and deed. (Rev. 4:11)
A.W. Tozer )1897-1963) "The widest thing in the universe is not space; it is the potential of the
human heart. Being made in the image of God, it s capable of almost unlimited extension in
all directions, and one of the world’s greatest tragedies is that we allow our hearts to shrink
until there is room in them for little besides ourselves."
3) In disobedience to God, man sinned by eating of the forbidden fruit of the knowledge of
good and evil. According to the warning of God, man fell into darkness and became totally (in
all areas of life) depraved and now abides under God’s wrath. Apart from man being reconciled
to God through the atoning work of Christ, he will forever live in misery in eternal darkness.
Therefore, man greatest need is to come to know Christ whereby he can be restored to his
intended place, to know God, to walk with God, and to learn the truth of God.
4) Man, being finite, can never spin truth out of his head; man always needs primary data.
God has given man the truth about Himself, truth about man, truth about the universe, and truth
about how all things stand in relationship to each other. This is central knowledge which man
desperately needs. The knowledge of God’s truth makes a difference both practically and
normatively. Practically as man attempts to control reality; normatively as man attempts to live
the good life, and to be what he should be, and act as he should act.
5) The Bible - the Old & New Testament - is the Word of God, written through men under divine
inspiration of God. Being the Word of God, the Bible is infallible and inerrant. The Bible is God’s
communication of truth to man. The Bible is truth which God guarantees.
6) Man and the universe are defined and interpreted by God. All lie is what says it is. The
reality of every area of life is properly investigated and understood only through the perspective
of the Word of God - the Bible.
Noah Webster (1758-1843) "Education is useless without the Bible."
II. Primary And Secondary Responsibilities of Education
1) Parents: There is little question as to parents being accountable for the education of their
children. This does not mean that all parents have the ability to teach all aspects of
education, but it does mean that parents are held responsible for how well the children become
educated. Task can be delegated, but not responsibilities.
Douglas Wilson, co-founder of Logos School, Moscow, ID, has said it well - "Not only are parents
responsible to oversee the Biblical teaching of their children, they are also responsible to see
that their children don’t receive false teaching. Error is pervasive. It can come from TV, from
library books, from music, from peers, as well as from the school - Responsible oversight is
2) For many aspects of education, parents can directly teach their children. Among these would
include: reading, penmanship, basic math skills, and memorization work (geography, history,
Bible work, social studies, etc.).
3) Of primary responsibility, and importance to both family and the community, parents must
teach their children proper manners, ethics, and respect for life and property of others.
Dr. John Witherspoon (1723-94) "A parent should rejoice in his or her children as they are a gift
of a gracious God; by putting this trust in the care a indulgent (kind) Providence for the
preservation of his or her offspring, as well as themselves; should be supremely desirous
that they may be in due time, the heirs of eternal life... This happy qualification of
parental tenderness will have a powerful influence in preventing mistakes in the conduct of
education. It will be the most powerful of all incitements to duty..."
In addition to parents as the primary parties responsible for the education of their children,
many others can (and have) played key roles in education. Some are the extended family; the
III. Six Biblical Purposes Of Education
A. To know who God is (Psalm 18:2) The Lord is my rock, my fortress, my deliver, my God my
strength, my buckler, the horn of my salvation, and my high tower.
B. To know man’s need of being restored to a right relationship with God (John 3:3) ...Except a
man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.
C. To know the blessings of God achieved through living in agreement with His Word (Deut. 28)
There are consequences to sin.
D. To know the history of God in His providential dealings with mankind (individuals and
Point: It has been said that humanists have forgotten the God of history, but Christians have
forgotten the history of God. Acts 17:26 ...and hath determined the times before appointed, and
the bounds of their habitation
E. To master academic disciplines necessary for serving God and their fellow man. Included in
these disciplines are: language, arts, natural sciences, social sciences, geography, government,
economics, astronomy, biology, medicine, etc.
Sidney J. Harris (1917-1986) "The most worth while form of education is the kind that puts the
educator inside you, as it were, so that the appetite for learning persists long after the external
pressure of grades and decreed has vanished. Otherwise you are not educated; you are
F. To develop a Biblical worldview such that all leaning is framed and understood in a
manner consistent with a Scriptural view of life. 2Tim. 3:16 All scripture is given by
inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for proof, for correction, for instruction in
Peter Marshall (1902-1949) "Let us not fool ourselves - without Christianity, without Christian
education, without the principles of Christ inculcated into young life, we are
simply rearing pagans.
2 Corinthians 10:5 Bring every thought into obedience
Point: Although one would never expect so today, America’s universities were founded to
promote a Biblical view of life. Dr. James Kennedy wrote, "Almost everyone of the first 123
colleges and universities in the United States has Christian origins. They were started by
Christians for Christian purposes, to train ministers. I read a statement recently on the rules
and principles of one of these schools which stated that the great end of all education is to know
the Lord Jesus Christ who is eternal life. It was Harvard.
Martin Luther (1483-1546) "If we are correct and right in our Christian life at every point, but
refuse to stand for the truth at a particular point where the battle rages - then we are traitors to
V. Review of Mini-PEERS Questions
Q2 Human nature, because it constantly adapts and changes, has unlimited potential for
A. Strongly Disagree
Q6 Educational programs must be supervised by the government to ensure fairness
A. Strongly Disagree
Q8 In a democratic society, citizens have a civil right to education, and this right must be
protected and enforced by civil government
A. Strong Disagree
Q18 Day-care schools for infants and toddlers, under the supervision of professionals
educators will enhance the educational process of children
A. Strongly disagree
VI. Quiz True or False
Q. There is no such thing as ‘core truth’ which transcends all cultures and all ages.
A. False Ps 25:10; Ps. 100:5; Ps. 117:2; Ps. 119:142 & 151; Acts 17:24-30; 2 Tim. 3:16&17
Q. In the United States, the government is the primary institution responsible for the education
A. False - It is still the parents, even though the state is trying to change that
Q. Religion should be left out of education so that academic subjects won’t be biased by
personal views of God.
A. False - Prov. 1:7
Q. Children should not be required to study subjects in which they have no interest
A. False - Dan. 1:4; Col. 1:9
Q. All children must receive an education all the way through college
A. False - Is. 54:13
A history of education reveals that initially educational training was via word of mouth, until
reading and writing were utilized. Those primarily educated were the ruling class/ wealthy and
those of various religions (Judaism; Hinduism...) Greece and Rome taught only its citizens,
though women were in some cases taught, their training was usually less then the men and
often related to home making. The mens training was in the usual categories of making war,
grammar, logic, rhetoric, oratory, math and were aimed to prepare the individual to be leaders
in government and administration (though some women also trained though at home - these
subject would later form the core of the liberal arts). By and large education still fell to the
special classes. Jewish education was two fold, the parents and Rabbis taught the children.
Medieval education was heavily shaped by Christianity, particularly the Roman Catholic
Church, but still only a small minority of the people were schooled. In the 10th century Arabic
learning had a pronounced influence on Western education (Math, natural science, medicine,
and philosophy). During the 14th and 15th century the Renaissance brought more secular or
worldly views to education.
In the mid 15th century the printing press made available more books and education was
offered to the middle classes. Omen were still primarily taught things related to the home and
for the wealthier girls the curriculum was art, music, needlework, dancing, and poetry. In the
16th century Luther (a Christian) believed the state, family, and school, along with the church
were leaders of the Reformation - And went on to encourage the state to aid the school in the
training of the children. Comenius in the 17th century (a Christian) made major changes to
education that greatly assisted children in learning. But still all children were not educated -
rather middle and upper classes - Parent were encouraged to sped more time training their
children. In the 19th century, witnessed the national systems of education in most European
countries at the encouragement of Christians to include the working class children along with
laws that limited child labor. This was at the Federal/National levels of government. And while
Christianity led sway all was fine. Now in the 21st century the Federal/National governments are
out of control and education is less and less in the hands of the parents.