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Friday, April 23, 2010

African Reformation?

Educators from Uganda, Nigeria, South Africa, Cameroon and other African nations came together April 1-4 in Kenya to focus on Christian education.

We met at the International Christian Educators Conference organized by the Association of Christian Schools International (ACSI), where I was invited to teach on the topic of biblical worldview integration.

One leader said that what he hears most from African Christian educators are: "What is a biblical worldview?" and "How do we teach Christianly?"

This same African leader said: "Africans have understood the Gospel of Salvation, but not the Gospel of the Kingdom."

Biblical worldview, the Gospel of the Kingdom, and "teaching Christianly" are closely linked. Why? Because an understanding of biblical worldview opens up an understanding of the Gospel of the Kingdom, which in turn motivates discerning educators to "teach Christianly."

What is the difference between the Gospel of Salvation and the Gospel of the Kingdom?

The Gospel of Salvation helps people understand how to become born-again believers through faith in Christ's sacrificial death on the cross. Through this door we enter into a personal relationship with Jesus, and we can know we will go to heaven when we die.

This is critically important. But the Gospel of the Kingdom helps us to understand what the door of personal salvation leads to. We are not just saved from something, but saved for something!

Actually, the Gospel of Salvation is part of the Gospel of the Kingdom. There is only one Gospel. But personal salvation is not the whole picture. The Kingdom is much bigger.

The Gospel of the Kingdom is about the on-going life of Christ being lived out through the work-lives, civil-lives, and relational-lives of His redeemed people in the here-and-now, as well as in the then-and-forever.

This is what African educators are seeing. The African Christian school movement is burgeoning, not only in numbers, but in the vision of what distinctly Christian education can be.

Many African leaders see distinctly Christian education as a means of enabling the next generation to seamlessly integrate the all-encompassing biblical worldview into the totality of their social, economic, and civic lives.

This is the most hopeful thing I have seen in a long time.

Is this part of an African reformation? African Christian educators are smelling it. They want to carry the life-giving power of Christianity beyond the saving of souls to the transformation of nations.