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FOUNDATIONAL CONCEPTS OF CHRISTIAN EDUCATION

Preface

Starting with the belief that God is the source of all truth, education becomes the exciting adventure of seeking to appropriate knowledge in all its various facets under the guidance of the Holy Spirit.

Education that is Christian takes for its perspective the biblical view of God, mankind and the universe in their mutual relations.

While education in a Christian context does not guarantee truth, it does seek to establish the starting point apart from which ultimate truth can never be learned. It becomes essential, therefore, to establish the direction for education from this Christian perspective, and the following Statement has been drawn up in an attempt to make this clear as related to Geneva College. In no sense should it be considered as the last word, but it purports to be the foundational concept upon which scholarship under God may thrive and expand.

This view of education rests upon the historic Christian faith contained in the Scriptures, symbolized by the open Bible on the seal of the College. Holding to the summary of this faith as contained in the Westminster Confession of Faith of the mid-seventeenth century, the Reformed Presbyterian Church of North America has endeavored for over 150 years to offer through Geneva College an education that articulates the implications of the sovereignty of Jesus Christ over all of His creation.

For with Thee is the fountain of life; in Thy light shall we see light.” Psalm 36:9

The Theological Basis for Christian Education

The Christian View of God.
God is one being, existing in three persons: the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. He is a personal being, possessing in Himself all that personality means yet without limitation. He is the self-existent Creator, Preserver and Controller of the universe in its totality.

The Christian View of Mankind.
Men and women are unique among all living creatures, being distinguished from the animals by being created in the image of God as rational, moral and spiritual beings. The purpose of human life is to glorify and to enjoy God, and only when life is so viewed can the highest happiness, welfare and honor be experienced. We are created as immortal beings. Earthly life is therefore preparatory to the life after death and should not be regarded as an end in itself, though as God’s creation the present earthly life has a real value of its own.

By our relationship to Adam, as representative of the human race, we are fallen creatures. By moral revolt against God, we lost both our position of communion with God and our ability to consciously reflect God’s glory, and instead became devoted to the worship and aggrandizement of self. Our fall into sin affected not only our moral nature but also our intellect, making us prone to error, and requiring divine revelation to determine ultimate standards and values in all fields. The moral and intellectual effects of sin are such that we are incapable of removing them by our own effort.

Jesus Christ, as the second Adam, died and rose again as our representative, in order that we who are chosen of God, regenerated by the Spirit, and by faith identified with Christ in His death and resurrection might be restored to fellowship with God in the Holy Spirit and enabled to glorify God actively in our lives. As believing Christians, having realized our union with Christ and hence our own death to sin and rising to newness of life in the Spirit, we renounce self-centeredness as a lifestyle and seek in every phase of our experience to understand and reflect God’s glory.

The Christian View of the Universe.
The universe, as the creation of God, serves to reveal God; and its revelation is true, valid, and useful in itself. The created universe, being full of God’s glory, is to be understood, appreciated, ruled and used by us. God in his goodness has bestowed upon us the ability to discover and use truths about the universe, which may be learned irrespective of a person’s spiritual relationship with Him. In seeking to understand the truth of the universe in all of its dimensions, we are responsible to use every faculty and effort, but the facts of the universe can be understood in the fullest sense only when viewed in relationship to God. Ultimate judgments must finally be made in the light of God’s Word, the Holy Scripture, which is the only adequate and inerrant standard of truth.