A regular article written by Phillip Jensen in his role as Dean of Sydney at St Andrew's Cathedral.
11th February 2008
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Christians have always been heavily committed to education. The theology of the Bible drives us to study.
God created the world by His Word. He spoke and it came into being. The world was not an accident of divine carelessness. It is an expression of the intention and purpose of the mind of God.
God saw the world and declared that it was good. He did not create chaos but an ordered and habitable world (Isaiah 45:18). His creation is regular, predictable, both open to, and worthy of study.
God created humanity in his image and likeness to rule over His world. We are to fill and subdue His world. He gave us the ability to perform our appointment and responsibility—minds that can study and understand the world and can communicate by language. We are not like the other creatures that have no understanding—we are the creatures who can study (Psalm 32, 49).
God revealed himself to us. His works in creation show his power and divine nature. But God has also shown this to us (Romans 1:19). Furthermore, he has spoken to us by his prophets, explaining and interpreting for us the history of Israel. God showed himself and his plans in the person of His own Son. For He, who was the eternal word of God, became flesh and lived with us. Finally, God has sent His Spirit—the Spirit of His Son—into the world to teach us His ways.
For Christians then the mind matters. Growing in our understanding is our desire. Teaching and learning is our practice. Living self-controlled lives of wisdom is our duty and joy. Men, women and children are all commanded to learn.
Furthermore, we are committed to passing the wisdom of God from one generation to the next. The responsibility of the Old Testament parents to teach their children is, not surprisingly, applied to the parents of the New Testament. So we are to raise our children “in the discipline and instruction of the Lord” (Ephesians 6:4).
Christian education must not be limited to learning or our redemption. Christian education must explore God’s creation. For the God who has redeemed us by His Word, is the same God who created us by His Word. It is the same Word—the Lord Jesus Christ.
The wisdom of God is not a secret wisdom of unworldly spiritual realities—but the way of right living in this world. It is not to be limited to morality or spirituality but covers all that God and humans have done in this world and the very way the world works. From the way that the ant builds its nest to the practical outworking of ruin that falls upon laziness (Proverbs 6). From the way that the sun and moon mark the seasons, to the skills that God has given us to farm and to build, to make tools or to play music, to fashion jewellery or to run governments.
Thus, Christians have always been deeply committed to education. Our commitment is to learning and research, as well as teaching and providing wisdom for the next generation.
For over 120 years St Andrew's Cathedral has enjoyed the privileged responsibility of partnership with St Andrew's Cathedral School. We rejoice in the harmonious relationship between the Cathedral and the School at both the Chapter/Council and the staff levels of operation.
We look forward to another profitable year of Christian service as we help each other advance the cause of Christ.