A Time To Teach -- By: Homer A. Kent, Jr.

Journal: Grace Theological Journal
Volume: GTJ 01:1 (Spring 1980)
Article: A Time To Teach
Author: Homer A. Kent, Jr.

A Time To Teach

Homer A. Kent, Jr.

Now is the time to teach. America is shouting this at us in scores of ways. During 1979 Congress increased federal aid to students with the passing of the Middle Income Student Assistance Act which increases government funds for education nearly twofold.1 In addition, the states and territories spent another $828 million on student aid in 1978–79.2

Legislation recently passed Congress, and was signed into law by President Carter, to establish a cabinet-level Department of Education, instead of the past arrangement with an Office of Education within the Department of Health, Education, and Welfare. The purpose is to give education a higher visibility and priority in the federal organizational structure, rather than having its interests confused amid the welter of other programs administered by HEW. Many independent institutions are not enthusiastic about this prospect, having learned from experience that increased government attention is not usually a blessing. The fact remains, however, that America is saying, “It is time to teach.”

Not only at the federal level is this emphasis seen; the states are also deeply involved. Scholarship programs exist in almost every state to assist young people to obtain higher education. At the same time there is a growing concern that real teaching must be accomplished. The movement is growing that competency testing be incorporated, at least at the secondary level, before graduation be granted.

Meanwhile, parents are developing a growing suspicion that in spite of modern and expensive buildings, the latest in equipment, and every conceivable gadget, genuine teaching is not always accomplished. “Back to the basics” is the cry in many circles. One is confronted with the disturbing fact that the 3 R’s are rapidly being replaced by the 6 R’s: Remedial Reading, Remedial ‘Riting, and Remedial ‘Rithmetic. Teaching must involve learning; if students are not learning, then we are not really teaching. Parents are telling us, “It is time to teach.”

The Christian church must also recognize that it is the time to teach. In this context teaching is defined as that function which instructs people in the Word of God as clearly, accurately, and thoroughly as possible so that learning is achieved. It is assumed that the Word of God is the basic context of instruction and that our responsibility is to teach the whole counsel of God, not just certain favorite sections. It is also assumed that the Bible is the Word of God and without error, and thus its teachings are fully authoritative for man and e...

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