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Scripture's Authority In Education

Scripture's Authority In Education

by Kristen McGuckin

Throughout the past three years, there has been a mass exodus of students out of the public school system. In fact, recent studies estimate 1.2 million K-12 students have left the public school system since 2020 (Spector, 2023). There are many speculations for this change: some parents are disgruntled with the public school system’s handling of COVID-19, others are seeking to protect their students from the radical gender ideology that has seeped into the walls of public education, still others are seeking a better education for their children after seeing the quality (or rather lack thereof) of public education during lockdowns. Regardless of the reason, it is clear that the current public school system has failed American families. As an alternative, many have chosen to either place their students in a private Christian school or to homeschool. The families at my church, Grace Community Baptist Church, are no exception.

Last year, without prior collective discussion, each family at my home church had the conviction to take control of their children’s education, seeking to follow the Biblical mandate of raising their children  in the admonition of the Lord. As a result, each family made the decision to homeschool their children. Thus Resolved Academy began, not to take over the students' education, but rather to come alongside parents once a week as they sought to be the primary educator of their children for the first time. Each of the families at our church is committed to training their children up in the way they should go.

I am thankful for the opportunity to come alongside parents, teaching our students to be resolved to stand firm in the Word of God in a hostile culture, just as the Old Testament’s Daniel was resolved to not defile himself with the Babylonian culture. As a teacher at Resolved Academy, it is my intention to ensure that in each class, we are not just merely “christianizing” a secular education, but rather, seeking to build off the foundation of Scripture with each lesson. In this endeavor, I have found it to be very beneficial to look back to the Protestant Reformers and their understanding of Sola Scriptura (Scripture Alone).

“Sola Scriptura” (Scripture Alone) is a principle in Scripture that was heralded during the time of the Protestant Reformation in the 1500s. The Reformation was a time of purifying the church and bringing it back to true Biblical Christianity. Essentially, this Sola is the description of a key doctrine that is found throughout the Bible: Scripture is sufficient for our justification and our sanctification. It is one of the doctrines that makes Christianity so distinct from any other religion. We understand that God has given us all that we need in Scripture; the Bible is totally sufficient for all of life and godliness (2 Timothy 3:16-17). This doctrine helps the believer to understand that truth does not change, and our understanding of whom God is and how we as Christians are to live can be found in the sufficient Word of God. With this in mind, it is Resolved Academy’s conviction that Sola Scriptura is a key doctrine and ought to be the foundation of our approach to education. Each lesson is built off of the key principles already found in the unchanging Word of God.

It is wrong of us to think that any other book or experience could possibly be on the same level as the Word of God.

As our students dive into subjects such as science and history, they discover each lesson is built around the truth of Scripture. Resolved Academy’s methodology begins each lesson with the key doctrinal foundations seen throughout Scripture; then, the entire lesson is built off the foundation of this key doctrine. This teaches our students that we evaluate everything through the lens of God’s Word, because God’s Word is authoritative and sufficient for all of life.

The opposite approach starts with the lesson, and then adds a Bible verse at the end to make it Christian. However, Resolved Academy understands we cannot Christianize secular education. Instead, we must start with the Bible.  A child’s worldview is already established by the age of 13 (Oshman, 2017).

For this reason, it is of the highest importance that we teach our students  everything is to be examined through the lens of Scripture. As we look back to our Christian heritage, we see several examples of the successful implementation of this approach. Many of the best universities were founded by Puritans who sought to live all of life to the Glory of God, and the natural result of this was academic excellence.

As Protestants, we understand that the Bible is not just a list of “to-dos,” or a story book that provides a balm to our wounds when life gets tough. Rather, the Word of God is “everlasting wisdom” and “the world was made through the Son, and indeed, He upholds all things by His powerful Word [Hebrews 1:2-3] (Calvin, 1960). “Unchangeable, the Word abides everlastingly one and the same with God, and is God Himself (see John 1) (Calvin 1960). Paul skillfully explains in 2 Timothy that “All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work.” (2 Timothy 3:16-17)

This was and continues to be a truth worth dying for, and many of our predecessors did die so that we could stand on their shoulders proclaiming this truth. This is a truth that I am passionate about and that I desire to share with each of my students. We must cling to the Word of God and teach our students to do the same.
The issue Christians struggle with throughout the entirety of our lives is that of submitting to Scripture. Day by day, our old sinful self is being killed and we are putting on Christ. God ordained that we should know Him through His Word and should meditate (think on) His Word day and night (Joshua 1:8), that as we behold the glory of God, we are decreasing and Christ is increasing.
We know that He is doing the work of sanctification in us; our confidence is in the Holy Spirit. 
Resolved students are trained to first be rooted in the Word of God (Psalm 1) so that they can go on to walk in a manner worthy of the calling to which they have been called (Ephesians 4:1) in a world that is hostile to the things of God.

It is my prayer that each of our students would seek to love the Lord and His Word above all else, that they would then seek to be holy as their Father in heaven is Holy, to put off
every weight and encumbrance.

It is my prayer that each of Resolved Academy’s students would seek to use their lives in pursuit of magnifying God’s glory, beginning by submitting to the authority of God’s Word in their education. 

There is great rest in this and great freedom in Christ.

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