Thursday, November 10, 2005

Christian Education in the Modern Age

I have a professor at Seminary Dr. Johnson that is becoming quite the writer. He has recently has a submission in CrossRoads: A Southern Culture Annual A little info about it can be found here .

You can also learn aobut some of his other writings and his professional work at these sites. and .

The best pictue of him is found on the seminary faculty we page.

I can’t post any of his work without permission and all that goobley-gock so i submit to you this is a poorly written abstract of Christian Education in the Modern Age that was written For Dr. Ronnie Johnson at B.M.A.T.S. a while back.

Christian Education seems to have come a long way since its early days and its beginnings in the Jewish faith. Many things we do today were new a radical in their time. We try to push the envelope at times in our efforts to equip the saints.

One of the most significant events to happen in Christian education was the response of “Bobby Wild Goose”, better known as Robert Raikes to complaints of the “little old ladies” of his church. His response to the complaint of children running amuck in the streets was the creation of Sunday School.

The birth of the Vacation Bible Schools that has now morphed to 5 day Bible clubs was an important change in the reaching aspect of Christian Education brought on by Robert G. Boville. This is only rivaled in importance by the return of men back to God, Church and Family in the Promise Keepers movement, instituted by Bill McCarty.

In the nineties another wave or push towards discipleship with the birth of The Purpose Driven Church philosophy in a public format that re-emphasized five biblical purposes that a Church must have. One of those essential, non-negotiable purposes of the philosophy was Discipleship of Believers.

Earlier I posed the idea that, “Christian Education seems to have come a long way since its early days and its beginnings in the Jewish faith. From that a question arises, “Has it really?” It seems things have come full circle. The teachings of the Mishnah are being still proclaimed:

“And thou shalt love the LORD thy God with all thine heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy might. And these words, which I command thee this day, shall be in thine heart: And thou shalt teach them diligently unto thy children, and shalt talk of them when thou sittest in thine house, and when thou walkest by the way, and when thou liest down, and when thou risest up. And thou shalt bind them for a sign upon thine hand, and they shall be as frontlets between thine eyes. And thou shalt write them upon the posts of thy house, and on thy gates.” (Deut. 6:5-9 KJV)

In the modern church, there has been a refocusing on this set of teaching with regards to doing these things in Christ. When new Christians are properly discipled they are taught to make The Word of God part of their daily life, as well the seasoned believer is also challenged to continually learn more. The era changes, but the truth remains the same. A modern translation that is trying to reach new generation with the spirit of The Word, The MESSAGE, renders them this way.

“Love GOD, your God, with your whole heart: love him with all that's in you; love him with all you've got! Write these commandments that I've given you today on your hearts. Get them inside of you and then get them inside your children. Talk about them wherever you are, sitting at home or walking in the street; talk about them from the time you get up in the morning to when you fall into bed at night. Tie them on your hands and foreheads as a reminder; inscribe them on the doorposts of your homes and on your city gates. “(Deut. 6:5-9 MSG)

Today, we have house churches, small groups and cell groups that are not unlike early apostle led Bible studies. We pass around CD sermons, DVD Bible studies, and email devotions like the Letters of Paul that were exchanged by early believers. For all of this, we still have those who are undiscipled, and will not believe in Christ. We have made great steps in our efforts to create well rounded, mature believers, but we still have much work to do in the future generations of Christian education

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