|Christian Liberty Press Standards for Evaluating Christian Curriculum|
You have come to realize that it is your God-given responsibility to train up your children in the fear and admonition of the Lord (Eph. 6:4). You soon discover, however, that there is an overwhelming number of resources available. Today, the challenge is not to find a Christian curriculum but to judge the quality of what is available. How can you evaluate curriculum in the light of Scripture?
There are many admirable qualities to seek in a curriculumgood organization, scholarship, interesting material, accuracy, etc. All these combined, however, do not result in a curriculum that is Christian. How can you discern what characterizes a curriculum or textbook as Christian? 1. Christian curriculum should have the Bible as its foundation and standard.
Curriculum must be built on a solid foundation. Only Scripture provides that foundation. It is the infallible rule for Christian education. Although the Bible is not the textbook in every subject, it should be used throughout. How is this to be done?
First, actual texts of the Bible should be used appropriately in each course. This helps to reinforce that each subject is to be studied in the light of Scripture. Throughout, Scripture should be used as the standard by which to judge the opinions of men. It should not end there, however.
The student should learn the great truths of Scripture and see how these provide the principles by which he should evaluate all things. In this way, he will learn to reason biblically and bring every thought captive to the obedience of Christ (2 Cor. 10:5).
|2. Christian curriculum should embody a consistent biblical worldview.|
Curriculum is not made Christian by merely adding Bible verses, talking about Christian topics, or teaching moral character. It must not be guided by a philosophy which is after the traditions of men (ancient, medieval, or modern) but after Christ, in whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge (Col. 2:8). The sacred Scriptures reveal the mind of Christ and provide us with a unique worldview. This biblical worldview must be clearly evident in the way subject material is taught.
While there are many attempts to formulate a biblical worldview, the simplest approach is to follow the basic doctrines of Scripture. Textbooks and other materials should be shaped by the fundamental truths of Scripture. Doctrines such as the Trinity, creation, sin, redemption, etc., should direct the approach to every subject. These truths have been summarized in the Westminster Confession of Faith and Catechisms (1647). These embody the great teachings of the Protestant Reformation and are the tradition in which we stand. They render a unified and integrated system of truth which provides the framework for curriculum.
|3. Christian curriculum should have a God-centered unity.|
Because biblical truth is the criterion of Christian curriculum, each subject should be understood as a part of God's comprehensive view of the universe. A Christian curriculum will be characterized by a God-centered unity. Since there is only one God, and He reveals one unified system of truth in Scripture, Christian curriculum should be a coherent whole. God's truth must undergird and integrate the whole curriculum.
Because God created the world, it reflects His order. As a result, all aspects of the world in which God has placed us should be taught in an organized and systematic fashion. Each part of this knowledge is interrelated. Furthermore, this unity should be conveyed from subject to subject and from grade to grade. A fragmented curriculum promotes a fragmented concept of reality and teaches the student that there is no one philosophy that accounts for everything.
|4. Christian curriculum should be Christ-centered. |
A God-centered curriculum implies that it should be Christ-centered. It must not be centered around the child, his needs, society, nor any other aspect of creation. While it must indeed minister to the child, it should seek to subject the whole child (spirit, mind, and will) to the whole Word of God, which focuses on Christ.
Christian education means that Christ is central to the curriculum. Because of this, the gospel of Christ must be integrated into each textbook. It is by means of the gospel alone that the child will become a student of God. It is by faith alone that sound teaching will result in good behavior. Therefore, the gospel should neither be neglected nor simply added as a supplement to a secular presentation. Rather, the gospel claims of Christ must be woven, like a thread, into the very fabric of the curriculum.
5. The goal of Christian curriculum should be to make disciples of Christ.
True Christian education takes place when wisdom and maturity in Christ are attained. Its goal must not be simply to train children to be well-educated or prepared for a vocation, but to glorify God and enjoy Him forever. This means that they need to be taught not just reading, writing, and arithmetic in a neutral vacuum. Instead, each child must be encouraged to exercise faith in Christ so that he will read, write, and count for God's glory. In this way, education is part of fulfilling Christ's Great Commission. Teachers should employ a curriculum that helps them to nurture and instruct their students to be disciples of Christ.
Curriculum is thus never an end in itself. Textbooks are important tools in teaching, but in the final analysis only God the Holy Spirit can make good materials effective. To that end, the teacher should pray and work that the student may be subject to God's authority. God is the primary teacher and we must depend upon Him to make teaching successful.
|6. Christian curriculum should incorporate sound Christian scholarship.|
Because God created every part of the universe according to His own wisdom, a Christian curriculum should seek to uncover the facts which He created and the laws which He ordained. God made us in His own image, and our minds should reflect His own wisdom and intelligence.
Good Christian textbooks will therefore be characterized by a thorough study of all the relevant God-interpreted facts and pay close attention to how these are organized according to a biblical worldview. Christian curriculum should not follow secular models as the standard of what is best. It should not be led away by every wind of doctrine. Instead it should forge out a unique Christian approach through building on the achievements of sound Christian scholars. It must popularize and apply their insights into a biblical approach to each discipline that is academically sound.
7. Christian curriculum should be presented in a manner that is interesting and appropriate for each grade level.
To effectively train students, you must not only have sound content, but the presentation of that content must minister to each child as they grow to maturity. A course of study should be appropriate for the maturity level of each student. Materials should be suited for their level of understanding and should engage their interest. Nevertheless, it should not be judged merely by its enjoyment or entertainment value. Study is hard work, and students must learn the satisfaction of exercising their intellects to the glory of God.
In the early grades, basics should be stressed. Students should concentrate on memorizing concrete facts, general information, and learning basic skills and the rudiments of God's truth. These common areas of study are necessary for every child to have in order to serve Christ effectively. In essence, these lay the foundation for further education.
As they develop, the course of study should include a study of the following subjects: Bible & Christian DoctrinePhonics & ReadingWriting, Spelling & GrammarLiteratureHistory & Geography BiographyGovernment & EconomicsMathematics Science & TechnologyCulture & the Arts
As students grow older, they should grow in godly wisdom and develop discernment from Scripture. They should be able to articulate a biblical worldview and defend it against false beliefs. They should become skilled in communicating God's truth to others.
God has also endowed students with unique gifts. Teachers should help students identify and develop their gifts by specialized study and activity. Therefore, Christian Liberty Academy curriculum offers a number of elective courses and supplemental materials which you can use to minister to your students.
|While no perfect Christian curriculum exists, you should endeavor to obtain one which most effectively communicates the biblical worldview and helps you disciple your children to Christ. At Christian Liberty Press, we have sought to implement this by collecting, evaluating, and publishing materials which reflect this biblical worldview approach.|
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|Statement of Faith|
We believe the Bible to be inspired, to be infallible, and to be the supreme and final authority for all faith and life.
We believe that there is one God, eternally existent in three persons: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.
We believe in the deity of our Lord Jesus Christ, in His virgin birth, in His sinless life, in His miracles, in His vicarious and atoning death through His shed blood, in His bodily resurrection, in His ascension to the right hand of the Father, and in His personal return in power and glory.
We believe that man was created in the image of God but fell into sin and is therefore lost, and only such as are born of the Holy Spirit are saved from their sins.
We believe that the ministry of the Holy Spirit is to convict men, indwell, guide, instruct, and empower the believer for godly living and service.
We believe in the bodily resurrection of both the saved and the lost; of the saved to everlasting blessedness and joy with the Lord, of the lost to judgment and everlasting conscious punishment.
We believe in the spiritual unity of believers in our Lord Jesus Christ.