The Pattern of God’s Truth -- By: Frank E. Gaebelein

Journal: Bibliotheca Sacra
Volume: BSAC 111:441 (Jan 1954)
Article: The Pattern of God’s Truth
Author: Frank E. Gaebelein


The Pattern of God’s Truth

Frank E. Gaebelein

[Editor’s Note: Dr. Gaebelein, Headmaster of Stony Brook School for Boys, delivered the W. H. Griffith Thomas Memorial Lectureship, March 24–27, 1953. This article is a condensation of the first lecture of that series. The material is published by permission of The Oxford University Press, New York, which will publish The Pattern of Gods Truth in 1954.]

The preparation of these lectures has been accompanied by a special sense of obligation, which further study has done little to dispel. More than that, it has brought with it a burden of humility; for even thirty years spent by one man in a corner of the vast field of Christian education, much of which still needs to be explored, do not justify an attitude savoring in any way of the oracular. At the same time, however, the lectures express personal conviction based first of all upon truth revealed in the Word of God. Moreover, there are some things of which one becomes sure, either because he has tested them by experience and knows them to be true, or because, finally, he has sometimes seen them put into practice at the cost of principle and to the detriment of both student and school.

The Relevance of the Subject

“The Pattern of God’s Truth: Problems of Integration in Christian Education.” Perhaps some are wondering what a subject like this has to do with an audience of seminary students and faculty, or, for that matter, with the general Christian reader? “Must every minister or missionary, theological student or professor,” the question is asked, “really be concerned with Christian education? Must all Christians have an interest in it?” The Bible answers “Yes.” For it takes only a glance in a concordance at the hundreds of listings of such words as “child” and “children” to demonstrate the fact that the Bible has a great deal to say about youth. Some day a thoughtful student of Christian education will make a thorough study of every reference in the Bible to children and will go on to develop inductively the principles of child training set forth in the Word of God. The

result of such an investigation may turn out to be a major contribution to Christian thought.

For the present, however, we need look no farther than the fourth chapter of Ephesians to be assured of the pertinence of our subject. St. Paul, who has been enumerating the gifts of Christ, mentions in the eleventh verse, “pastors and teachers.” It is evident from the Greek text, says Dean Alford, that in this case the two offices were held by the same persons.1 In short, while apostles, prophets,...

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