Is it possible to be biblical, yet realistic and relevant? This is a crucial and haunting question which demands honest confrontation by those engaged in Christian education. We cannot escape it, either by ignoring it, or by quickly and glibly answering in the affirmative, as if the question presents no real problem worthy of careful consideration.

The fact is that there are many who have answered the question negatively. As a consequence they are essentially “post-biblical” in their approach to Christian education. To be sure, they make use of certain broad biblical ideas which are deemed valuable, such as the fact that God is Creator, or that Jesus’ life represents the ideal for humanity. But they do not make a vital mastery of the Bible their ideal. For they are convinced that placing the Bible at the center of Christian education means turning back the clock to the prescientific world of the first century or of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. It means, as they see it, betraying historic developments not only in the physical sciences but also in the human sciences, that is, in anthropology, psychology, sociology, and philosophy. To their minds such an idea also means turning our backs on the burning personal and social problems of our day. They hold that the hydrogen-space age is vastly different from that of the Bible, and that we cannot hope to deal with its challenges and threats within a biblical focus.

Fortunately, even in such an approach more biblical ideas are utilized than is consciously realized either by the educators or the educated. Essentially, however, this approach resorts to moralizing, psychologizing, culturing, analyzing, socializing, legalizing, and philosophizing. The result is a natural, common ...

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