Learning to think deeply and understand rightly is hard work. Period! This is especially true when it comes to the Bible. Therefore, we believe that Christian parents and the church need to pursue a rigorous study of the Bible and training of the mind for our children and youth. Here is how we state this in our core principles:
We believe that if children are to embrace and live out the Gospel, they must have a right knowledge of God and His purposes, as revealed in His inerrant and authoritative Word. Therefore, children must be taught to properly study and interpret God’s Word. Using an age-appropriate, step-by-step approach, the lesson format trains students to interact with the text using proper Bible study methods. This process begins in earnest in first grade and increases in depth and rigor as children age and mature. Furthermore, we incorporate an interactive teaching style, carefully laid out for teachers, that serves to develop critical thinking and reasoning skills aimed at a deeper understanding of the things of God and the ability to rightly apply the Word of God.
As parents and teachers, we cannot not teach what we do not know and understand. Desiring God has provided a very informative video, “Basics for Reading the Bible,” whereby John Piper talks about the necessity of understanding the true meaning of a text. In it, he defines what is meant by “meaning” and “understanding.” As a teacher who longs to pass on “a rigorous study of the Bible” to my students, I found his definitions and explanations really helpful.
You can watch the video here. His discussion of the above is from the 3- to 11-minute mark.
(Image courtesy of Arvind Balaraman at FreeDigitalPhotos.net.)