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Restoration, Antithesis, and Education


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Title: Restoration, Antithesis, and Education

Restoration, Antithesis, and Education
  • Michael Goheen
  • Trinity Western University

Gods Response
  • While justly angry
  • God did not turn his back
  • on a world bent on destruction
  • he turned his face to it in love.
  • With patience and tender care he set out
  • on the long road of redemption
  • to reclaim the lost as his people
  • and the world as his kingdom (CT, 19).

Genesis 315 Mother Promise
Although Adam and Eve were expelled from the
garden and their work was burdened by sins
effects, God held on to them in love. He
promised to crush the evil forces they unleashed.
(CT, par. 20)
Genesis 3.15
  • Promise of battle
  • Promise of a Champion
  • Promise of victory

Observations on redemption
  • Redemption is progressive in its outworking
  • Redemption is restorative in its nature
  • Redemption is comprehensive in scope

Progressive in Outworking
  • Act One God Establishes His Kingdom Creation
  • Act Two Rebellion in the Kingdom Fall
  • Act Three The King Chooses Israel Redemption
  • Scene One A People for the King
  • Scene Two A Land for the People
  • Interlude A Kingdom Story Waiting for
    an Ending The Intertestamental Period
  • Act Four The Coming of the King Redemption
  • Act Five Spreading the News of the King The
    Churchs Mission
  • Scene One From Jerusalem to Rome
  • Scene Two To the Ends of the Earth
  • Act Six The Return of the King Redemption

Story of Gods Mission
  • The Bible renders to us the story of Gods
    mission through Gods people in their engagement
    with Gods world for the sake of the whole of
    Gods creation. (Chris Wright)

Story of mission
  • Gods mission Long term purpose to restore the
    whole creation and all of human life
  • Israels mission Embody Gods original
    creational purposes for the sake of the world
  • Jesus mission Reveal and accomplish Gods final
    redemptive purpose for the creation
  • Churchs mission Continue Jesus mission to make
    known the kingdom of God to the ends of the earth
    in life, word and deed

Mistaken Notion
  • Very often people have come to the New Testament
    with the presumption that going to heaven when
    you die is the implicit point of it all. . . .
    They acquire that viewpoint from somewhere, but
    not from the New Testament. (N. T. Wright)

Restoration of this life
  • . . . it is precisely ordinary earthly existence
    that is redeemed (G.C. Berkouwer).

Redemption is restorative
  • The creation is very good, the way God intended
  • Human beings are created to live a bodily life in
    the context of creation.
  • Sin is the problem not materiality.
  • Old Testament views future kingdom as restored
    life on new creation.
  • Jesus proclaims the gospel of the kingdom.
  • Jesus resurrection is a preview.
  • The biblical language of redemption, restoration,
    renewal all point to the return of the good
    creation to what it was meant to be.
  • Destruction of the creation would mean a Satanic

Restoration is comprehensive
  • And he made known to us the mystery of his will
    according to his good pleasure, which he purposed
    in Christ, to be put into effect when the times
    will have reached their fulfilmentto bring all
    things in heaven and on earth together under one
    head, even Christ (Ephesians 19-10).

As Far as the Curse is Found
  • For God was pleased to have all his fullness
    dwell in him, and through him to reconcile to
    himself all things, whether things on earth or
    things in heaven, by making peace through his
    blood, shed on the cross. (Colossians 119-20)

Mission of Israel Embody a Comprehensive
  • Israel called to embody a comprehensive salvation
    for the sake of the nations
  • OT Story Formation of people and placed on land
    to be light to nations
  • Law Orders whole life of Israel
  • Wisdom Orders whole life of Israel
  • Prophets confront Israel for not embodying Gods
    salvation in whole of their lives

Comprehensive restoration made known in Jesus
  • Everything he said and did was directly related
    to the coming of the kingdom. He reversed all the
    consequences of evil in the world disease,
    possession by inhuman spirits, guilt, ritualistic
    and empty religion, a caste system of purity and
    impurity, scarcity of food, a hostile nature,
    commercial exploitation and death (Andrew Kirk).

Comprehensive restoration accomplished in
  • Gustav Aulén The work of Christ is first and
    foremost a victory over the powers which hold
    mankind in bondage sin, death, and the devil.
  • John 12.31-33 Col. 2.15 Rev.12.7-12
  • Public battle and victory for the whole creation
  • Lesslie Newbigin We privatize this mighty work
    of grace and talk as if the whole cosmic drama of
    salvation culminates in the words For me for

Comprehensive restoration inaugurated in the
  • Resurrection in Jewish thought Arrival of life
    of new creation
  • Jesus Dawning of new creation
  • Firstborn from the dead (Rev.15)
  • Firstfruits (I Cor. 1520)

Prophetic Expectation
Spirit Messiah
Knowledge of God Love Joy Justice
Sin Death Evil Satan
New Testament Fulfillment
Powers of sin death evil
Power of Spirits renewing work
Mission as meaning of overlap
  • The meaning of this overlap of the ages in
    which we live, the time between the coming of
    Christ and His coming again, is that it is the
    time given for the witness of the apostolic
    Church to the ends of the earth. The end of all
    things, which has been revealed in Christ, isso
    to sayheld back until the witness has been borne
    to the whole world concerning the judgment and
    salvation revealed in Christ. The implication of
    a true eschatological perspective will be
    missionary obedience, and the eschatology which
    does not issue in such obedience is a false

Comprehensive salvation given by Spirit
  • Spirit is deposit of kingdom
  • Real money now
  • Promise of more in the future
  • Spirit is firstfruits of kingdom
  • First part of crop now
  • Points to the rest of the harvest in future

Foretaste and Preview
  • We have a foretaste of the Kingdom
  • Actual taste now
  • Complete meal in future
  • We are previews of the Kingdom
  • Actual footage of movie/kingdom
  • Designed to interest viewer in future
    movie/kingdom so they will want to participate

Churchs mission to make known a comprehensive
  • The Spirit thrusts Gods people into worldwide
  • He impels young and old, men and women,
  • to go next door and far away
  • into science and art, media and marketplace
  • with the good news of Gods grace. . . .
  • Following the apostles, the church is sent
  • sent with the gospel of the kingdom . . .
  • In a world estranged from God,
  • where millions face confusing choices,
  • this mission is central to our being . . .
  • The rule of Jesus Christ covers the whole world.
  • To follow this Lord is to serve him everywhere,
  • without fitting in, as light in the darkness, as
    salt in a spoiling world.

Acts 1.1-8
  • Acts 1.6 Question about the kingdom
  • Receive Spirit (firstfruits, deposit)
  • You will be my witnesses.

Battle for creation
Antithetical encounter
  • Israels battle with idolatry
  • Church takes up Israels mission (Ex.19.3-6 cf.
    1 Pet. 2.9-10)
  • Very different situation
  • Part of another culture based on different faith

Dilemma of the Believing Community
  • Part of western culture
  • Creational mandate responsible for cultural
  • Christs redemption is comprehensive
  • Whole of western culture distorted by sinful
  • Incompatibility between Scriptural and western

In the world but not of it
Jesus Prayer for His Disciples
  • I have given them your word and the world has
    hated them, for they are not of the world any
    more than I am of the world. My prayer is not
    that you take them out of the world but that you
    protect them from the evil one. They are not of
    the world, even as I am not of it. As you sent
    me into the world, I have sent them into the
  • -
    John 1714-18

I didnt realize until I took INT, and now this
course how much I try to make Western culture and
the Biblical worldview fit together. I realize
more and more that they are actually opposite and
against each other. Yet I must live in this
culture because I am a part of it. Many times I
struggle with how to do it. - Redeemer Student
Conflict Between Stories
  • Dominant story in culture seeks to become
    exclusive story (e.g. European vs. Native)
  • Minority communities
  • Faithfulness and conflict
  • OR
  • Accommodation and peace
  • Yes Biblical story is translatable

Purity of Heart is to Will One Thing Christ or
  • No one can serve two masters. Either he will
    hate the one and love the other, or he will be
    devoted to one and despise the other. You cannot
    serve both God and mammon.
  • - Jesus, in Matthew 624

Unbearable Tension ofLiving at the Crossroads
Unbearable Tension
Christians are
  • Members of western community
  • Shaped by cultural story
  • Members of covenant community
  • Shaped by Biblical story

Do western Christians feel this unbearable
  • Why did I not hear about modernity and its
    affect on me before? I really never knew how much
    modernity shapes my life until I came to
    Redeemer. It was always called worldly but I
    never knew what that meant. Modernity affects all
    of my life and I wish I had known.
  • -Redeemer student

Tension BetweenGospel and Culture
  • The deeper the consciousness of the tension and
    the urge to take this yoke upon itself are felt,
    the healthier the Church is. The more oblivious
    of this tension the Church is, the more well
    established and at home in this world it feels,
    the more it is in deadly danger of being the salt
    that has lost its savour.
  • - Hendrik Kraemer

Tension Healthy in Early Church
  • It is worthwhile to have a look at the struggle
    with adaptation by paying attention for a moment
    to the conflicts of Christians in their
    professions. The great question was, How far is a
    Christian allowed to enter into the professional
    jobs of those days with their mores and customs,
    without denying Christ and without becoming
    polluted by participation in idolatry?
  • - Hendrik Kraemer

Suffering as normal badge of discipleship
  • No human societies cohere except on the basis of
    some kind of common beliefs and customs. No
    society can permit these beliefs and practices to
    be threatened beyond a certain point without
    reacting in self-defense. The idea that we ought
    to be able to expect some kind of neutral secular
    political order, which presupposes no religious
    or ideological beliefs, and which holds the ring
    impartially for a plurality of religions to
    compete with one another, has no adequate
    foundation. The New Testament makes it plain that
    Christ's followers must expect suffering as the
    normal badge of their discipleship, and also as
    one of the characteristic forms of their witness
    (Lesslie Newbigin).

The Gospel speaks
  • Word of grace culture is good creation
  • Word of judgement culture is idolatrously
    twisted and sinfully distorted

Test everything. Hold on to the good. Avoid
every kind of evil (I Thess. 521f).
Biblical Position Affirmative/AntitheticalApproa
ch to Culture
  • Affirm
  • Gospel/Yes
  • At home
  • Good creation
  • May not withdraw
  • Reject
  • Gospel/No
  • At odds
  • Sinful distortion
  • May not accept status quo

Faithful Cultural Strategy
  • Faithfulness and relevance
  • Avoids withdrawal, absorption, common ground
  • Affirms both responsibility for cultural
    development and antithetical challenge to
    idolatrous development
  • Subversion Affirmation and rejection

What do we do with non- Christian education?
  • What is creational insight/structure?
  • How has that insight been twisted by idolatrous

What do we do with this idolatrous institution
called the school?
  • Subversive fulfillment!
  • Creational structure
  • Idolatrous twisting and misdirection

Another Biblical Example Household
OIKOS extended family in Roman empire structured
hierarchically and oppressively
  • Fundamental social building block of Roman empire
  • Undifferentiated institution made up of marital,
    family, economic, political relationships
  • Oppressive and hierarchical distortion

Response of the early church
  • Reject?
  • Affirm?
  • Subvert!

Subversive Fulfillment
  • Discerned creational relationships
  • Subverted relationships creating new institution
    recognizable as good news to culture

  • How can we participate in broader tradition of
    humanistic education, be at home, offer relevant
    witness (much creational good)
  • Where has purpose, structure, curriculum,
    pedagogy, etc. been twisted by idolatry
    (rationalism, consumerism, etc)?

Aiming for Christian Education
  • Alternative kind of education to public school
  • Rejects cultural idolatry that shapes these
  • Based on distinctive and comprehensive philosophy
    of education
  • Christian approach transforms the whole
    enterprise goals, curriculum, pedagogy,
    evaluation, structure, etc.

Settling for Christians Educating
  • Christianity-enhanced public school education
  • Adds moral integrity, devotional piety, and
    biblical insight to select topics
  • Maintains status quo about education

Christian Perspectiveon Education
  • Efforts at worldview and Christian educational
    philosophy sharpened vision for Christian
  • Language of Christian perspective Christ-centred
    curriculum, inner reformation of the sciences,
    biblical perspective on all areas of learning, or
    Christian world-and-life-view
  • Kuypers vision of comprehensive scope of gospel
    challenges assumptions
  • Reality is segregated into two realms, sacred and
    secular, and gospel belongs only to the sacred
  • Gospel transforms only individuals but not
  • Enlightenment notion that public life, including
    education is religiously neutral

Does Christian perspective transform school?
  • Perception Christian education will result from
    Christian perspective
  • Gap between rhetoric of Christian education and
    reality of Christian schools
  • Gap produces
  • Vague sense of task
  • False sense of security
  • Connection between perspective and
  • Persuasive Biblical
  • Elusive As far as I can tell, Christian schools
    do not provide an alternative Christian
    education, if by that term we mean that our
    biblical perspective on life leads to a biblical
    model of education.

Gap Challenge and Gap Problem
  • Gap challenge Rhetoric proclaims ideal toward
    which reality is moving--not there yet!
  • Gap problem Rhetoric and reality utterly
    inconsistent (negative)
  • Majority problem in Christian education is gap
  • "When confronted by all this evidence, my own
    allegiance to the ideal of Christian education
    sometimes wavers. The challenge of implementing a
    different, biblical model of schooling appears so
    far out of reach that I am tempted to think the
    whole idea might be wrong-headed. At times I
    wonder if there really is such a thing as a
    Christian model of education."

Educational Faithfulness
  • Christian education difference
  • Christian educating enriching additions
  • Third way educational faithfulness
  • Difference may be consequence
  • More emphasis on common task with different faith
  • Questions
  • What does faithful education look like?
  • What obstacles hinder us from implementing
    faithful education?
  • What can we do to remove these obstacles?

Understanding the Reigning Educational Paradigm
  • Need to understand reigning secular paradigm in
  • To enable Christian school to encounter this

Missionary Encounter in Education
  • Normal position of Christian school in cultural
    context if it is faithful
  • Clash of ultimate and comprehensive stories
  • Spiritual battle
  • Requires Christian school community that believes
    gospel (true, story, comprehensive, power)
  • Committed to living out of it and shaping whole
    life by it
  • Requires a school that knows idolatrous story of
  • School that wrestles with dominant education
  • Encounter takes place in all areas of education
  • Embraces insights rejects idolatry

Faithful Christian Education?
  • Purpose of education First battle?
  • Then What needs to be taught to equip children
    for that purpose? (Curriculum)
  • Then How can this be achieved? (Pedagogy,
    structures, evaluation)

PurposeWhy do we educate anyway?
  • Traditional African education
  • Teach traditional life values
  • Goal of integration into tribal community
  • Muslim education
  • Teach universal shariah law
  • Goal of integration in theocratic community

Teach certain things so that children will
be socialized into a certain kind of
community. Purpose governs educational activity.
Modernity and thePurpose of Education
  • Pass on a unified body of universal scientific
  • Equip a world of rational citizens
  • Build a more rational world leading to freedom,
    justice, truth, and material prosperity

Postmodern Challenge to Modern Education
  • If (in modernity) education was guided by the
    story of progress towards a better society by
    science and technology but we no longer believe
    that story...
  • If (in modernity) education was to pass along a
    unified body of universal knowledge but we no
    longer believe that exists...
  • Then what is the purpose of education?

Postmodernity andPurpose of Education
  • Postmans trinity economic utility, consumerism,
  • Vendor of useful information and marketable
  • Enables student to compete or survive in the
    jungle of the market

Biblical Story andPurpose of Education
  • Serviceable insight
  • Education for witness
  • Education as witness

Questions Curriculum
  • What needs to be taught to equip students for
  • How does this differ from state requirements?
  • Are there any specific omissions?
  • How does modern and postmodern worldview affect

What now?
  • Size, complexity, and difficulty of task can lead
    to discouragement
  • Need to return to gospel for forgiveness and
  • Need for ongoing study (individual, community)
  • Continuing baby steps in joy
  • As individuals
  • As community