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Equipping followers of Christ to engage in their everyday work as the work of God, so workplaces are invigorated, communities flourish and culture is renewed to the honor and glory of the Lord.

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Friday, March 30, 2012

The Student Statesmanship Institute

Last week I suggested we equip Christ-loving lawyers, legislators, senators, council members, and mayors to bring biblically-informed minds to work with them on a daily basis, where they can winsomely “connect the dots” with the real-life issues related to their everyday professional lives. Sounds good, but who is equipping people to actually do this?

In the days of Jonathan Edwards, it was standard fare for churches and schools to equip people to “connect the dots” between the biblical worldview and the totality of life. The Puritans had an extensive curriculum to this end, called “Technologia,” which followed young people from the earliest ages up through undergraduate level. The Church has no comparable curriculum today.  

Dr. David Scott, Assistant Professor of Historical Theology at Southern Evangelical Seminary, did eight years of doctoral research on Jonathan Edwards. He examined the Technologia and wrote about it in his excellent paper, “A Church Without A View: Jonathan Edwards And Our Current Lifeview Discipleship Crisis.” To read it, click here.

“The Puritan worldview curriculum of technologia was comprehensive and systematic,” writes Dr. Scott. “It taught how all knowledge and human endeavor was a unified God-glorifying circle called ‘encyclopedia’ with Christ at its center as the sum of all things.” This “philosophy-of-all-things” was so critical to the formation of the mind, notes Dr. Scott, that Jonathan Edwards and his classmates at Yale were required to defend it publicly in order to graduate.

One of the greatest challenges we face today, is that our culture has lost its “Christian mind.” This sober reality was addressed by Harry Blamires years ago in The Christian MindBut thankfully, efforts are being taken to restore the Christian mind, and a "philosophy-of-all-things." Although we have a long way to go, some excellent programs are available to help the People of the Vine to make connections between biblically-informed minds and the “real world” around us, including the world of politics, law, business and media.    

One such program is the Student Statesmanship Institute, in Lansing, Michigan, which is geared for high school students. If a picture is worth a thousand words, a four-minute video must be worth 400,000. With this in mind, I urge you to take a look at a short video clip about the Student Statesmanship Institute. Click here.

Does that video blow anyone's mind besides mine? For more about SSI week-long Summer Programs starting in June, click here.

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