All posts written by Jared Kennedy

Thursday Book Club: Values for Education

Daniel J. Estes, Hear, My Son: Teaching & Learning in Proverbs 1-9, (Inter-Varsity Press, 1997), 174 pages.

Estes’ second chapter unpacks values for education.  He gives four values:

1.  Wisdom is skillful living within God’s ordered world.  Ultimately this is found not merely in doing what appears to be wise but in fearing God and shunning evil (Proverbs 9:10).  When we teach, we must teach for response, because the Scriptures value more than mere knowledge.  Knowing is not enough.  It must be put into practice.

2. Teachability is the humble willingness to accept instruction both from God and human teachers.  As Estes states, “Rejection of instruction is a degenerative condition that leads to scoffing and folly” (46).  Proverbs presents three kind of unteachable people.  The simple love their simple ways, because they don’t possess the knowledge necessary to make wise decisions.  Mockers despise wisdom because they take pleasure in tearing down what they don’t accept.  Fools have settled into a fixed pattern of antagonism against the Lord’s way of wisdom.

3. Righteousness. The righteous man conforms to God’s wise standards.  “Wisdom declares in Proverbs 8:13 that to fear Yahweh is to hate evil in all of its forms.  Because Yahweh is righteous, reverence for him necessarily entails both embracing what is righteous and rejecting what is unrighteous” (50-51).

4.  Life is substantial, meaningful existence within God’s world.  On the one hand, this can be seen as a value for education in Proverbs.  On the other hand, it can be seen as the reward which comes to those who esteem the first three values.   Life in the Lord must be valued above all other counterfeits.

This is why, as Christians, we must value Jesus in our education.  He is our wisdom, righteousness, and life.  And only he can make us humble and teachable.

Photo Blog: East Campus Egg Hunt

Normalizing the Abnormal: If you regularly interact with an Autistic child or adult, watch this:

HT: Justin Taylor (via Bryce Butler)

New Series: Parenting & Christian Freedom

Hobbes: Is it a right to remain ignorant?
Calvin:
I don’t know, but I refuse to find out.

Sojourn believes in Christian freedom, and our church has done a good job of staring down some of the legalistic controversies that plague many churches.  Sometimes we really do seem to “get it,” but what do we believe about Christian freedom when it comes to our children?  Is there freedom when it comes to feeding babies, school choices, spanking, and immunizations?  And what does Christian freedom look like when it comes to these kinds of issues?

As careful parents, we certainly have opinions about all of these matters.  We have done our homework, studied the options, read books, consulted with friends and other like-minded parents then made the decision that we believe is best for our kids.  And, since this is the best for our kids, it must be the best for every child, right?  In reality, this logic is flawed.  We are sinners, and our tendency is to become judgmental and self-righteous about our preferences—even trying to justify ourselves (or our children) by the choices we’ve made for them.  We are frail and fallen, and our tendency is to be deceived by the latest parenting fad—thinking it must be the best rather than weighing our options against the Bible’s teaching.

As Sojourn’s Pastor for Children’s and Parent Ministry, my hope is that our church community will learn to approach each of these issues (and others like them) with strength and grace—standing firm on Biblical principles and Biblical wisdom, and exercising liberty where the Bible is not so clear.  Over the next few weeks, we will take a look at these matters in a series of blog posts on Christian freedom.  Joining me in this endeavor are other Sojourn members—parents, medical professionals, and Sojourn leaders.  Stay tuned for what will be a fun journey!

Personal Agency & Childhood Salvation

Check out these two posts where one of LaGrange Baptist Church’s pastors, Doug Wolter, interviews Southern Seminary professor, Dr. Eric Johnson, on the issues of personal agency and childhood salvation:

Part 1

Part 2