Dr. Josh Mulvihill
Education matters. That’s a phrase that just about every Christian agrees with. Education matters because it influences what children believe, who they become, the choices they make, the friends they choose, and it demands thirty-five hours a week of a child’s time for eight months of the year.
Yet, you wouldn’t know this at most churches. Education is overlooked and undervalued. The topic is ignored with a fervor so as not to offend parents. To speak about education is equivalent to blasphemy in many churches. An elder from a church I pastored told me, “You are not allowed to talk about education.” The common sentiment is to respect all educational choices as there is no single right decision for all parents.
Nicole Fulgham, author of Schools in Crisis, embraces the idea that there is no Christian view on education. She states, “There is certainly not a monolithic viewpoint that represents the ‘Christian’ point of view on public education.” 1 Tim Challies shares a similar perspective: “I find myself grappling with this thought: What if God doesn’t care a whole lot about how we educate our children? . . . One thing I’ve never heard anyone suggest is that maybe it’s just not that big of a deal. And, honestly, I am beginning to lean that way.” 2
What if Fulgham and Challies are wrong? What if God does care about how we educate our children? What if there is a biblical perspective on education? If so, wouldn’t it be good for parents to know this and for churches to address the topic?
What Does the Bible Say about Education?
Many people believe the Bible has little or nothing to say about education because the term never appears in Scripture. We only find a single reference to the word school in Scripture, Samuel’s school of the prophets. 3 Despite this reality, the Bible has a lot to say about education.
Here is a sample of what Script