Monday, April 12, 2010

Teachers as Truth Brokers

This is from God's World News e-newsletter 4/12/10

Teachers as Truth Brokers

Just before he was crucified, Jesus had an eye-opening confrontation with Pontius Pilate about truth. In response to one of Pilates's questions, Jesus said, "I come into the world to testify to the truth, and everyone on the side of truth listens to me." What an amazing statement!

Pilate's cynical response, "What is truth?," sums up the attitude of our current generation. We are living today in a culture which has become cynical and sometimes downright hostile to truth.

According to a recent survey, 73 percent of Americans no longer believe in moral absolutes. Truth is no longer a universal concept. Few people dare testify any longer to knowing the truth, leaving us only with an individual's personal belief in what's true for him.

Living in an age stripped of absolutes--an age where, according to the prophet, "Truth has stumbled in the streets" (Isaiah 59:14), it has never been more important to answer the question, "What are we doing to help our children develop a love for the truth?"

See That No One Takes You Captive

The Bible teaches that we are constantly under the threat of being taken captive by the hollow philosophies of our age. Colossians 2:8 says, "See to it that no one takes you captive through hollow and deceptive philosophy, which depends on human tradition and the basic principles of this world rather than on Christ."

These empty principles get a foothold in our children's lives through deception. They appear to be good. They mask themselves as neutral or harmless, but ultimately result in taking our children captive--making them slaves to the world.

The Bible also tells us how to resist being taken captive: "We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take every thought captive to make it obedient to Christ" (2 Corinthians 10:5).

Christian teachers unmask the lies that would undermine the knowledge of God in our children by taking every thought captive to Christ. We keep our children free by teaching them how to take every idea captive to Christ. Otherwise they are vulnerable to being taken captive by the lies of the evil one.

Teachers as Truth Brokers

So how important is the role of Christian teachers in helping our children develop a biblical worldview? And will the sweeping technological revolution make their role obsolete in the future? By no means! In fact, it's just the opposite.

The explosion of information available to students today makes the role of the Christian teachers more indispensable than ever. Christian teachers are truth brokers, accomplishing their task by helping students interact with truth in four progressive ways:

 Encountering the Truth

In classes studying math, science, the Bible, or art, Christian teachers help their students encounter truth on a daily basis. They employ a variety of means to stimulate students to search for the truth, uncover it, and understand it in all its manifold expressions in God's creation.

· Engaging the Truth

After helping them encounter truth, teachers spur students to engage the truth with their minds. They devise creative activities that get them working and wrestling with it--activities that magnify the power, beauty, and reasonableness of the truth.

· Endorsing the Truth

Relying on the Spirit of truth to make it clear, teachers encourage their students to endorse the truth with their minds. They commend the truth in such winsome ways that students approve it, submit to it, support it, and endorse it. Thus teachers equip students with the ability to defend the truth as they are confronted by the various deceitful elements of our culture.

· Embracing the Truth

Finally, Christian teachers lead their students to embrace the truth with their hearts. Setting a persuasive example, teachers inspire students to integrate gladly the truth into their daily lives. In this final stage, students are brought to love, treasure, and obey the truth.

In All Things

A child's education may have many commendable qualities that provide an appearance of excellence. But like a house of cards, even the best looking education will come tumbling down if it is not built on the foundation of God's truth. Praise God for the truth. And work daily to foster in tomorrow's leaders a lifetime of treasuring the truth of God in all things.

- Russ Gregg

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