In light of a recent discussion on this blog, and perhaps all discussions on this blog and everything I’ve done with my life for the past twenty years or so, I’m inclined to ask the question: What is the relationship between Christian faith and education?
The question arises for a number of reasons. First, Christianity has as a core (if not the core) component being a disciple of Jesus, and disciple is just an antiquated term for student. Second, if what the historical figure of Jesus has some importance in one’s faith (as presumably it should, since otherwise one might as well give the made-up person one follows a different name), then it is hard to see how that can be the case without one at least educating oneself about historical study. Third, if the Bible is important, then how can one make sense of this translated collection of ancient texts without information (a key part of education) about history, culture, and other relevant issues that provide the context and background to these texts? Fourth, can one really do anything more than repeat words such as “Trinity” without some theological education, even if acquired informally?
Are Christianity and education therefore inextricably intertwined? If one asserts (as is perhaps appropriate) that none of the aforementioned forms of education is required to be a Christian, then does this imply that most Christians will inevitably be dependent on Christians educated in Biblical studies, theology, history, ethics and other relevant disciplines? Or does it mean that Christianity is something today that has nothing to do with the historical figure of Jesus, the probable meaning of the Biblical writings in their original context, theology or anything else of that sort?
What do you think?