The Spirit and Education

‘Come, Creator Spirit!” is a prayer for Christian education.  To trace the work of the Spirit in creation and history is a spiritual task.  To praise God with the labours of our hands from the field, the laboratory, the factory and the study is spiritual service.  We do all to the glory of God.  While not all that we do is worship in the special sense, and while not all is under the direction of the officers of the church, yet the whole life of the Christian grows in the service of Christ, and is a life of spiritual nurture.

The Spirit of life is also the Spirit of truth, and he brings together what secular education routinely separates.  The dilemma of contemporary education is the contradiction between science and freedom.  Science seeks to programme everything, but people would be free.  Our conquest of nature has reached out into space, but it has also turned in upon human nature.  Social engineering imagines controlling the minds of the living, shaping the genes of the unborn, and even freezing the dead for scientific resurrection.  Perfect liberty for science becomes perfect tyranny for humankind, for when humankind is free to determine everything, then humanity will be determined by those who control the crucial moment.  Today, the secular mind, recoiling from the possibility of a Nazified science, turns instead to an irrational mysticism that shrouds another tyranny: possession by dark spirits.

The wisdom of the Spirit does not offer a supplement to the human mind, but challenges its autonomy at the roots.  Knowledge that knows not God is folly, for the fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom.  We are not computers, not is wisdom only data-storage and problem-solving.  Fellowship with the living God, and with the Spirit who searches the deep things of God, frees us to seek and possess knowledge.  Such spiritual wisdom combines theory and practice, word and life.

Edmund Clowney (1917-2005), The Church, 142-43.

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Filed under Applied Theology, Christian Education, Christian Living, Christian Thinking, Knowledge of God, Spirit, Worldview, Worship

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