The Educational Pattern of Neo-orthodox Christian Education -- By: Roy B. Zuck

Journal: Bibliotheca Sacra
Volume: BSAC 119:476 (Oct 1962)
Article: The Educational Pattern of Neo-orthodox Christian Education
Author: Roy B. Zuck

The Educational Pattern of Neo-orthodox Christian Education

Roy B. Zuck

[Roy B. Zuck is Editor of Training Hour Publications Scripture Truth Press Foundation.]

In the first article of this series attention was called to the ascendancy of a “new philosophy of Christian education” which is based on neo-orthodox theology. In this system of Christian education the Bible becomes the Word of God as pupils respond to it, the Bible is a fallible book subject to the findings of higher criticism, and the curriculum should be gospel-centered—focused on the revelatory acts of God. It was shown that this system leaves Christian education without a final objective voice of authority. It vitiates the inherent authority of God’s infallible written revelation. Therefore, its theological substructure is untenable by evangelical Christian educators.

Further investigation of this system will be made in this article in relation to three phases of its educational pattern salvation and the learner, the purpose of teaching, and the teaching-learning process. Some consideration will be given to the implications of neo-orthodox Christian education to evangelical Christian education.

Salvation and the Learner

Wyckoff seems to suggest that one function of Christian education is to inform pupils that they are redeemed. He states that one of the teaching functions of the church is to “deliver the message that in man’s extreme need God has forgiven and redeemed him in Jesus Christ.”1 Along this same line, Smart

affirms that “man, in spite of his sin, remains the child of God.”2 We do not make a person a child of God by telling him that God is his Father. He has been a child of God from the beginning, and our words do no more than make him aware of who he is.”3 Smart denies the idea “that until conversion man is by nature a sinner, in complete isolation from God, rather than a child of God, belonging to God, but with the order of his life distorted and perverted by sin.”4

Salvation is “both ultimate and immediate, both eschatological and to be realized in the specifies of daily human action. To the degree to which men respond in faith and obedience to the biblical witness they…receive the salvation it offers.”5 Cully states that salvation “is God’s continuing activity in response to man’s deepest need.”6


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