The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom, not only in
our educational philosophy, but also for each discipline of study.
Education is not made Christian by merely adding a course in
Bible or by beginning a class in prayer. If the course content
or teaching method is humanistic, Christian supplements will
do little to change the orientation. A Christian curriculum must
derive its fundamental principles from God’s Holy Word and work
these out in a self-conscious manner. CLASS provides parents
and students with these principles as well as the content and
skills which enable them to develop a biblical worldview in each
subject. The following is an overview of such a curriculum.
Foundational to the Christian curriculum is the study of the
Bible. Students need to be mastered by the Word of God before
they can properly evaluate the writings of men. Bible study focuses
the student’s attention on the inspired text of the Bible as
they are taught to understand it correctly. Its purpose is not
the mere study of religion, nor even historical studies of Bible
characters, but to arrive at a unified understanding of the biblical
system of truth. It is this system of truth that provides the
fundamental principles of a Christian worldview which must be
applied to every area of life and thought.
To properly learn each subject, the student must not only be
able to read, but he must also have the standard by which to
judge what he reads. Therefore, the very first book a child should
be taught is the Holy Bible. The Bible is the mind of God revealed
to man. From it we learn about the creation, the fall into sin,
and God’s gracious plan of redemption. It is this knowledge which
provides the key to right thinking and enables the student to
correctly interpret all he learns in the light of God’s truth.
The arts and technology are gifts given to men by the Holy Spirit.
When an artist paints a picture, a musician composes a song,
an architect designs a building, or an engineer designs a machine,
each is using his God-given talent. Every gift should be used
to reflect the wisdom of its Giver and imitate the beauty and
usefulness of His creative work. The humanistic worldview sees
culture, art, and technology as existing only for self-expression,
human enjoyment, and selfish vanity. The non-Christian uses culture
as a way to revolt against God and glorify himself. He thinks
that he can create out of nothing something totally original.
When man creates, he is not creating something absolutely new,
but merely discovering a potentiality which has existed from
the beginning. Its proper use becomes a blessing from God for
the benefit of men, while its misuse becomes a curse for the
destruction of men.
Because the arts and technology create works that express thought and emotion,
they exert a moral influence on one’s behavior. The arts and technology
can be powerful forms of religious fellowship; religious because thoughts, emotions,
and actions are always moral, and fellowship because of the sharing between artist
and audience. For the Christian this imposes a serious responsibility. It means
we are not to enjoy art and technology which promotes thoughts, emotions, and
behavior contrary to the Word of God. The Scripture says, “What fellowship
has light with darkness?” (2 Corinthians 6:14). Instead, students should
be taught to enjoy art and develop technology that reflects the glory of God’s
creation and ministers to others. The student is to develop his talents in harmony
with God’s truth and law. Furthermore, the Christian should use both the
arts and technology, either directly or indirectly, to promote the Gospel of
Jesus Christ and thereby promote a biblical understanding of God’s world.
In so doing, the student will learn how to employ his skills to advance the kingdom
of God on earth for His honor and glory.
God is the possessor of the earth, the source of all wealth. He owns it, and
gives it to whomever He wills. He also ordained laws to govern human economics.
God has given men the right to own private property, the right to choose an occupation,
the right to make a profit, and the right to decide how earnings should be spent.
Yet because God owns all things, the student should be taught to exercise these
rights as God’s steward.
According to Scripture, it is not the duty of civil government to regulate the
economy except as it regards the enforcement of God’s law against stealing.
God’s law affirms the right of private property and profit from labor.
To exercise these God-given rights, Scripture provides guidelines for an economic
system that glorifies God and shows charity toward the needs of others. Such
an economic system is based upon hard work, competition, and the risks of the
marketplace. These factors compel sellers to use their skills and economic resources
more carefully, which produces a higher quality of goods and services at very
reasonable prices. The proper role of civil government is to serve as a referee,
praising good and punishing evil in the marketplace according to God’s
Wealth is not just a result of economic shrewdness. Economic prosperity is possible
only by God’s blessing upon the lawful use of labor and profit. Productive
harmony in the marketplace is possible only through the grace of God which enables
men to obey His law in their hearts and minds. To the extent that men understand
and obey God’s law in the economic realm, that is, when Christianity has
a significant bearing on economic life, men will respect each other’s property,
refuse to steal from or cheat one another, abide by contracts, and, when in charge
of a corporation or elected to public office, they will not use their power to
amass wealth for their own selfish ends.
For man to rule over the earth as God has commanded, he must have a practical
knowledge of geography. The study of geography must begin with the Holy Bible.
Here God reveals that the earth consists of separate but interrelated parts which
form a unified whole. During the worldwide flood in the days of Noah, the surface
and appearance of the earth were greatly changed. With this important knowledge,
the student can properly study the great continents and oceans, their particular
characteristics, their many natural resources, the variety of climates and weather
patterns, and God’s ingenious ecological balance over all of it.
We also learn in Scripture the origin of the nations, how God divided mankind
at the Tower of Babel. It was here that God confused man’s language and
laid the basis for the nations. The student is then able to properly study the
geographical circumstances of the various nations, both ancient and modern. He
studies their locations, their natural resources, physical environments, and
general climates as planned by God. He learns how these geographical traits affect
the nations’ economies, their position in world trade, their military defense
capabilities, and their independence of, or dependence upon, other nations. The
study of geography plays an important role for Christian students as they learn
about the worldwide advance of the kingdom of God, and how they may help promote
Christian missions to every nation and land.
The study of government (political science) and politics must be grounded in
the Word of God. In studying civil law and government we need God’s infallible
standard in order to distinguish justice from injustice. Because civil government
enacts laws, it is concerned with deciding right and wrong. Right and wrong,
however, have to do with morality, and morality is religious. This means that
civil government by its very nature is a religious institution.
The Old Testament reveals God’s system of law for civil government. At Mount Sinai, through the prophet Moses, God gave to Israel an entire system of civil law and government. In the books of Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, and Deuteronomy, we see a complete system of law with due process, a federal system of government with three branches, and a separation of powers with a system of checks and balances.
The student who learns this system has the proper criterion by which to analyze
human governments of the past and present as to their structure, laws, and policies.
This knowledge will provide the student with understanding necessary for intelligent
Christian voting, and stimulate him to promote a responsible government regulated
by God’s law.
The purpose of health and physical education is to care for our bodies to the
glory of God. A healthy body enables one to serve God diligently and perform
the duties He commands. Therefore, principles of proper diet, exercise, and rest
should be taught for maintaining good health to the glory of God.
Physical education also helps prepare students for responsible leadership and
effective work. Students should be taught to play and labor for God’s glory,
not our own. Due to sin, people are naturally inclined toward laziness. Consequently,
physical exercise and sports, when combined with sanctification, can play an
important part in developing self-discipline. Through competition students are
taught the importance of playing by the rules, accepting direction from those
in authority, using skills in harmony with others, and being gracious in victory
as well as in defeat.
The Bible clearly reveals that God is the Lord of history. He governs all nations
and peoples by means of His providence. He acts indirectly and directly in history
through blessings and judgments upon the earth (Deuteronomy 28). The prophecies
recorded in Scripture, many of which have been fulfilled, demonstrate that history
has not only been planned by God but proceeds according to His purpose. For this
reason all history—ancient, medieval, and modern—must be seen as
the sovereign rule of God over the affairs of men. All men and nations are accountable
to Him. The lessons of history warn students that God’s curse on unfaithfulness
and His blessing on faithfulness will surely come to pass.
A proper understanding of history is founded upon the key events of creation,
man’s fall into sin, the cross of Christ, and the return of Christ. Creation
sets the stage for history. With Adam’s sin history becomes a conflict
between the children of light and the children of darkness. Because God’s
plan is to sum up all things in Christ (Ephesians 1:10), history has one purpose.
Consequently its meaning and interpretation must be understood in terms of Christ.
History is more than a chronicle of names, dates, places, and events. History
is the study of the moral or covenantal relationship between God and man in time.
It centers on the redemptive work of Christ and how He is building His church.
All earlier events must look forward to the cross. All later events must be viewed
as the hand of God directing history toward the final victory of the risen Christ
at the end of the age.
CLASS’ history study focuses on the unfolding of world history with a special
emphasis on the shaping of Europe and America by God’s providence and the
efforts of Christians as they applied God’s Word to their nation and culture.
Students will be equipped to study the vain attempts of apostate men to build
the kingdom of man. Those who have attempted to destroy Christ and His Kingdom
in order to reestablish pagan ideas in the civil, ecclesiastical, and academic
disciplines will have their lives and works evaluated by the Bible. This comparison
will give us insight us as we work by His grace in our day to restore God’s
Law-Word to our lives, families, nation, and culture in obedience to Genesis
1:26-28 as modified by Matthew 28:19-20. God’s people must diligently work
and “occupy,” as they advance His kingdom on earth through the gospel
for His honor and glory.
In the beginning God spoke and it came to pass. The three persons
of the Trinity have spoken to each other eternally. When God
created man in His own image, He gave him the gift of language.
The Bible tells us that after the Great Flood, the whole earth
used the same language. Men desired unity apart from God, however,
when they built the Tower of Babel. Seeing this, God confused
their one language by changing it into many languages and scattered
them abroad over the face of the whole earth. Language thus originated
with God, and is to be used for His glory. Men in their sin misuse
and corrupt this gift. To discern the proper use of language,
we need to study the Bible. It is only from the Bible that we
come to know truth and error.
Reading and writing are foundational
skills each child must learn. Without reading, they cannot study
the Bible for themselves.
These skills are also basic to learning all other subjects
in the light of God’s Word. They must be taught to read, write,
speak, study, and think in terms of the Word that makes language
and life meaningful. They must develop the linguistic abilities
that God has given them to glorify Himself. The teaching of
phonics, therefore, is very important. Language skills are
not neutral, but must be oriented toward reading, writing,
and speaking the truth in love.
Because language is thought expressed, and thoughts are never
neutral, all literature has a religious point of view. When
reading any kind of literature, the question should therefore
be asked: Is the author Christian or non-Christian? If non-Christian,
from what religious point of view is he writing? Most importantly,
how does the author’s message compare with what the Bible teaches?
Students must learn to read and evaluate all human literature
from the perspective of Scriptural truth.
While CLASS desires to help acquaint students with the great
literature that has helped shape Western civilization, the
study of such great books must be subject to the greatest book—the
Bible. After learning the Bible properly, the student will
be equipped to judge the words of human authors by the Word
of truth. The student should learn to prize not only great
classics, but distinguish Christian classics from the classics
of unbelief. The great classics of the Christian heritage will
inspire and challenge both teacher and student to follow Christ
As Trinity, God is the reason there is both unity and diversity
in creation. This is the basis for unity and differentiation
in mathematics. The Bible teaches us that the Creator is a God
of order (1 Corinthians 14:33). As we study the created universe
we are impressed with its mathematical order. Creation is governed
by mathematical laws which reflect the character of the One who
made it. Many of the laws of creation are described in terms
of mathematics. When presented with the marvelous precision in
nature and physics, the student should be led to marvel at God’s
mathematical ingenuity. Mathematical principles never vary; formulas
and equations always exhibit flawless consistency. Consequently,
as a tool for studying God’s creative handiwork, mathematics
helps discover God’s creation laws and patterns.
It is impossible for us to understand creation without God’s
gift of mathematics, for we would not have the means of measuring
His world. Mathematics is a tool to help men rule over the earth
under God. All callings in life demand planning, calculating,
and evaluating in order to carry out God-given responsibilities.
Mathematics plays an important role, whether it be in business,
medicine, engineering, art, science, etc. The Christian student
should thus master this wonderful gift to advance Christ’s kingdom
Science is the study of God’s creation. The facts of creation
can be understood properly only by looking at them through the
lens of Scripture (Hebrews 11:3). By studying science as God’s
creation the student learns to see God’s awesome power, the beauty
of His handiwork and design reflected in every creature. Because
creation was brought into existence by God’s wisdom, and man
was created as a part of it, he is called to understand and subdue
it for His glory. In Eden God assigned man his task of ruling
over the animals and plants and keeping the earth. Under God’s
authority he is to cultivate, care for, and develop each aspect
of the world for God’s glory. Adam pursued scientific education
when he learned to cultivate the soil, plant and dress the trees
and vegetation, study the animals, and give each a special name
that described them.
To rule over the earth as God commanded, the student must similarly
acquire an organized and systematic scientific knowledge. By
studying both God’s physical laws and His creatures, students
will learn to apply this knowledge in accordance with His holy
will. As they grow in their knowledge and appreciation of each
new discovery about God’s world, they should acknowledge that
Jehovah is the One who made it and learn to subdue and care for
creation in the right way. To do this, the study of science must
be subject to the Word of God. Creation must never be seen as
something independent of its Creator, about which men can study
without reference to Him. Otherwise the student may fall into
the trap of the evolutionary worldview and “science falsely
so called” (1 Timothy 6:20).
Biblical sociology (social studies) begins with God, who exists
in an eternal relationship between the persons of the Trinity.
Because the Bible stresses God’s unity and plurality as equally
ultimate, we find that it does not place the human individual
or the corporate society above each other. Thus Christianity
has the only solution to the problems of humanism in its careening
between individualism and collectivism.
In His infinite wisdom, God instituted the fundamental social
relationship—the family—at creation. From this basic institution,
all other social orders have developed according to His providence.
He ordained the state, the church, and the family. Each social
sphere is directly responsible to God and each has rights that
must function within the sphere of authority given to it by Him.
These coordinate rights and responsibilities have been clearly
marked out in His Holy Law.
The Bible also provides social facts which should be taught.
For example, the social structures of the Old Testament covenant
community of Israel demonstrate God’s purpose for each, and contrast
them with pagan society. A biblical presentation of the social
order is needed to address effectively the current corruption
of society. Biblical law provides the tools for analyzing the
various social structures of different nations and peoples.
Having analyzed God’s original order and the perversion of that
order by apostate man, the student should be led to see God’s
provision for an alternate society. What sin has distorted in
the social order established by God, He restores by His grace.
Students should be instructed in how Christ and his redemption
not only restore the relationship between God and man but, as
a result, the social relationships between men, women, children,
races, and nations. The Christian family and the Christian community—the
church—should be presented as the alternate society in the midst
What is our philosophy of Christian education?