Education and Culture-making, Education and Worship

Home-based education and culture: culture-making as an expression of worship

Culture-making is a fundamental attribute of our humanness.  When God created the first man, Adam, He created him to be a culture-maker.

And the Lord God planted a garden in Eden, in the east, and there he put the man whom he had formed. … The Lord God took the man and put him in the garden of Eden to work it and keep it [cultivate it (KJV/NKJV) a word relating to culture and culture-making (Lee, 1976)] (Genesis 2:8, 15).

Smith (2009) points out that all culture-making, and participation in cultural expressions, is at root essentially an expression of religious worship.  Smith writes:

education … is not primarily about the absorption of ideas and information, but about the formation of hearts and desires.  Every part of a culture is formative, through the cultural liturgies, the ways of doing and perceiving things that arise out of the fundamental loves of the members of the culture.  These loves are akin to worship.  Every person is primarily a worshipper–a lover at the deepest level, and this motivation and orientation is much deeper than the cognitive level of worldview (Smith, 2009, pp.17-18).

This is why the Apostle John writes:

Do not love the world or the things in the world.  If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him.  For all that is in the world–the desires of the flesh and the desires of the eyes and the pride of life–is not from the Father but is from the world.  And the world is passing away along with its desires, but whoever does the will of God abides forever (I John 2:15-17).

The kinds of cultural expressions that we engage in and enjoy are shadows of the god that we deep-down, really worship.  If the God that we worship is the Triune God of the Bible, then the cultural engagements of our lives with reflect the Apostle Paul’s following list:

… whatever is true, whatever is honourable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, (we will) think about these things.  What (we) have learned and received and heard and seen in (the Apostle Paul–as an imitator of Christ)–(we will) practice these things, and the God of peace will be with (us) (Philippians 4:8-9).

Home-based education, more than any other mode of educational delivery, provides a family an opportunity to guard its cultural participation, and determine its course and depth of cultural creation.

Let us listen to the admonition of the Apostle Paul, who wrote:

So, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God (I Corinthians 10:31).

 

References

Lee, F. N. (1976). The Central Significance of Culture. U.S.A.: The Presbyterian and Reformed Publishing Company.

Smith, J. K. A. (2009). Desiring the Kingdom: Worship, Worldview, and Cultural Formation. Grand Rapids, Michigan: Baker Academic.

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