Education is not simply accumulation of facts but the molding of an outlook that examines all things from a given center

“But when the time had fully come, God sent forth his son.…” If we grasp that phrase of Paul’s (Gal. 4:4), we are well on the way to grasping the nature and purpose of Christian education. But the phrase is not easy to comprehend. Paul’s meaning must be put together bit by bit, and only when all the pieces are in place does the overall picture come clear. Thus we must do three things: first, lay out the parts and pieces. Second, put the pieces together to see Paul’s overall thought. And third, try to determine what this tells us about Christian education.

First, then, the parts of the puzzle. One part is the work of Posidonius. Centuries before Jesus was born, Posidonius journeyed overland from Greece to Spain, to Gades on the Atlantic seaboard. There, through careful observation, he learned that the rise and fall of the sea was directly related to the moon. Posidonius went on to reason that if even as mighty a body as the surging sea was controlled by the moon, what chance did puny man have? He too must be determined, his destiny spelled out by the rotation of the heavenly bodies above. With this there arose the conviction that man was a slave to impersonal celestial forces, and the word “lunacy”—from the belief that helpless man’s madness was molded by the moon—became a part of human language and literature. Out of England came the werewolf tales—when the moon was full, the nice chap next door would sprout hair on his teeth and bite his neighbor’s wife in the neck, sucking her blood.

Just when Posidonius was arguing that man’s ...

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