Have Students Connect Relevant Biblical Principles to What They Study

BibleWe want our students to develop a Christ-centered worldview.
We want our students to see all of life through the lens of Scripture. And the good news is that you can help your students develop a Christ-centered worldview during class. How? By having your students connect the part of God’s world they study and God’s Word.

You might be wondering, “How does God’s Word connect to the part of God’s world my students study?”
Well, your science students’ study of photons connects to God’s creative power. Your math students’ study of how to pay for a computer connects to what God’s Word says about stewardship and debt. And your language arts students’ study of Miss Nelson is Missing connects to biblical teaching on authority and respect. Your social studies students’ study of war connects to what God’s Word says about submitting to governmental authority and the sanctity of life.

Here’s a 5-step process you can use to determine how God’s Word connects to the part of God’s world that your students study:

  1. Think of something your students study about God’s world.
  2. Identify one or more items from the following list that naturally connect to what your students are studying. For example, my science students’ study of photons fits with creation.”

Here’s the list: God, people, morality, death, history, creation, fall, redemption, restoration, loving God/neighbor, caring for creation, making disciples, being part of the Church, respect/disrespect of authority, sanctity of life/murder, sexual purity/promiscuity, private property/theft, truth telling/bearing false witness, contentment/covetousness, servanthood/selfishness.

  1. Ask yourself, “What does God’s Word say about these items that naturally connects to what my students are studying?”
  2. Ask yourself, “How could I state what God’s Word teaches in terms of one or more biblical principles?”
  3. And ask yourself, “What Bible verses support each biblical principle?”

What does using this 5-step process look like?

  • Step 1: Imagine your students are studying racism.
  • Step 2: Racism fits with several items from the list like creation and loving God/neighbor.
  • Step 3: God’s Word says we are His image bearers and that we should love our neighbors.
  • Steps 4-5: You decide to use the following principle: Because people are created in God’s image (Gen. 1:28), we should love others (Lev. 19:18, Mt. 22:39, Mark 12:31, Rom. 13:9), not murder them (Gen. 9:6, Exod. 20:13) or curse them (Jas. 3:9).

Why have students use biblical principles (supported by verses), instead of just verses?

  • Because using principles helps students understand what God’s Word teaches, not just what one verse teaches.
  • Because using principles supported by verses decreases the likelihood that students will use Bible verses incorrectly.
  • Because using principles supported by verses is more scholarly than using just verses.

Here are biblical principles that teachers use:flags
Elementary school:

  • God cares about people from all nations (Mark 16:15, John 3:16, Gen.12:13).
  • God created an orderly world for us to live in (Col.1:17, Ps. 147:4, Luke 12:7).

Middle school:

  • Creation is God’s artwork (Gen. 1, John 1:3, Col. 1:16-17).
  • God expects His people to obey Him (1 Sam. 15:22, Mic. 6:8, Rom. 2:13).
  • We need to use our time wisely to reap rewards (1 Pet. 3:8-9).

High school:

  • All people have responsibilities to steward God’s creation (Gen. 1:26).
  • Blessings come from following God’s plan for family (Eph. 5:22-6:4, Exod. 20:12).

Take action: Document one or more biblical principles you want your students to connect to the part of God’s world they are studying. Ways to get started on this include discussing this reading and using the 5-step process outlined in this reading to identify biblical principles you want your students to connect to the part of God’s world they study.

Michael Essenburg
School Improvement Coordinator
Christian Academy in Japan (CAJ)

Today’s OnPractice is an excerpt from a larger curriculum called Help Students Connect God’s World and Word published in 2010 by Michael Essenburg and closethegapnow (www.closethegapnow.org). If you are interested in learning more, feel free to contact Michael directly at mbessenburg@caj.or.jp.

Photo Credits:  Bible. rykneethling. http://www.flickr.com/photos/48946094@N04/4543060842

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