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, May 7, 2010

The Missing Curriculum: Part 1

Over the next few weeks, I'll be posting an article I wrote for the May-June issue of Home School Enrichment magazine. It speaks to the need for recovering something that many early Americans took for granted, but has since disappeared—to our great detriment.

The article is also relevant to last week’s comments about the Islamization of Indonesia and the inroads Islam is making in Africa today.

Part 1:

Many things have changed since 1721. Some things, like men’s white powdered wigs and women’s corsets, we can live without. But some things have gone out of fashion that we really need to recover.

1721 was the year Jonathan Edwards graduated from the Collegiate School at New Haven, known today as Yale University. But before Edwards and his classmates could exit Yale, whether to work as pastors or merchants, they were tested in a particular field of study that has since disappeared from virtually every school in America: the practical art of God-centered work.

The course of study that Edwards and his fellow Puritans completed had a name: technologia, a Latin term. It was a curriculum complete with textbooks.

Technologia was a holistic curriculum that helped people to approach work in the broader context of a Christian worldview.

It is the biblical worldview that gave work—all kinds of legitimate work—remarkable purpose and meaning for Jonathan Edwards and his peers, whether they were missionaries, bankers, cobblers or homemakers.

Dr. David Scott, professor of history at Southern Evangelical Seminary, discovered the technologia while doing eight years of Ph. D. research on Jonathan Edwards. “The Puritan curriculum of technologia,” writes Dr. Scott, “taught Edwards a God-centered view of all reality. He grew up in a church that believed it had an obligation to teach what it meant to live a God-filled life in everything we do. That is why the textbooks of technologia began with the being of God and traced His truth through creation all the way to how it is lived out as a farmer, shoemaker, or merchant.”

But today, there is little curricula available that integrates an understanding of biblical worldview with everyday work. This is what I call, “The Missing Curriculum.”

Have you ever taken a class that specifically focused on how to align biblical worldview premises with repairing automobiles, designing software or running a legitimate business?

Part 2 next week.