Education Gone Existential
Theory and Design of Christian Education Curriculum, by D. Campbell Wyckoff (Westminster, 1961, 219 pp., $4.50) and The Role of the Bible in Contemporary Christian Education, by Sara Little (John Knox Press, 1961, 190 pp., $3.50), are reviewed by G. Aiken Taylor, Editor The Presbyterian Journal.
The first book is the outgrowth of the findings of the Curriculum Study Committee of the Christian Education Division of the National Council of Churches. It is billed as “the best theory upon which major Protestant denominations can build their curriculums for the foreseeable future.”
The viewpoint turns upon what modern theology calls “biblical theology.” Now “biblical theology” is not to be confused with an interest in the biblical text as an object of study. Dr. Wyckoff distinguishes between biblical theology and systematic theology in that the former guides the student to experience his religion as well as to understand its subject matter.
Now this identification of experience with biblical theology rests upon the presupposition that in a careful study of the Bible it becomes the Word of God to the one studying it. As it becomes the Word of God it says something of spiritual significance to the one studying it. What it says, under the circumstances (a sort of existential apprehension of truth on the part of the student), is the content of “biblical theology.” And the process of learning by responding to the Bible as a witness to and instrument of Revelation (“biblical theology”) is Christian education.
The context of Christian education is the worshiping, witnessing, working community of persons in Christ.
The practice of Christian education is the development and use of group and individual goals that will ...1
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