Are Christian Teachers Different?

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According to the New Testament, Christians are always different. They have the tangy, preservative quality of salt. They are as light in an age of spiritual darkness. Christians are called to be a different kind of people, and the degree to which they allow God’s Spirit to transform them as people will be reflected in their vocations.

The Christian teacher should be professionally competent but never stagnantly satisfied with his present level of performance. He should not be in the profession because of the pay or the holidays involved. He will know the hours of forced isolation required for preparation and marking. He will love the children he teaches but be wary of courting popularity. He will always be more concerned for the quality of instruction and scholarship than for marks in an over-competitive system.

But these, surely, are features of any good teacher, not just of the Christian teacher. What characteristics distinguish the Christian teacher from all others?

1. He is governed by Scripture and thinks in a scriptural way. Romans 6:17 and 18 is one place where a certain way of thinking is clearly taught: “But thanks be to God, that you who were once slaves of sin have become obedient from the heart to the standard of teaching to which you were committed, and, having been set free from sin, have become slaves of righteousness.” It is the mind that is in a central, controlling position, and not the feelings or emotions (the heart). Paul teaches that the Holy Spirit directs the mind to an acceptance of doctrine clearly taught in the Bible (but often despised today). There is, then, an acceptance of the doctrines of fallen human nature, of man’s inability to save himself, and of man’s personal redemption through the finished ...

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