Basic Biblical Principles Of Christian Nurture And Some Considerations For Their Contextualization -- By: Henry W. Holloman
MTJ 1:1 (Spring 1990) p. 5
Basic Biblical Principles Of Christian Nurture And Some Considerations For Their Contextualization
Christian nurture is the process of fostering the believer’s spiritual development in Christ. There are unchanging principles of Scripture and changing cultural patterns or forms in which these biblical principles operate. The foundational principles are biblical knowledge, obedience to biblical truth, reliance on the Holy Spirit, and interrelation between believers. Cultural problems include acquiring biblical knowledge without integration with life, measuring spirituality by cultural values rather than by Christ-likeness, emphasizing alleged shortcuts to spiritual growth, and substituting modern philosophy for propositional revelation from God.
What is Christian nurture? Christian nurture basically concerns the process of fostering the believer’s spiritual development in Christ. As such, spiritual nurture encompasses all factors, both human and divine, involved in the total process of developing mature and wholistic Christian living. This study will attempt to go beyond this general meaning of Christian nurture and discover from Scripture the more specific principles essential for Christian nurture. Also, at certain points it will suggest how these principles may be effectively contextualized into culture.
It would be ideal and interesting to include two other important areas of study about Christian nurture. First, one might examine the specific biblical disciplines for Christian nurture such as study and memorization of Scripture, meditation, solitude, worship, fellowship, prayer, confession, etc.1 A second area would be a
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survey of the practice of Christian nurture in church history. However, for the sake of brevity and in line with the limited purpose of this article, these two significant areas of research will not be included.
In his book, Sharpening the Focus of the Church, Gene Getz distinguishes between the unchanging principles of Scripture by which the church must function and the changing cultural patterns or forms in which those biblical principles operate.2 This same significant distinction must be maintained as we seek to communicate and apply the permanent biblical principles of Christian nurture through the forms and methods most effective in our own culture.
An examination of biblical data reveals certain foundational principles essential for spiritual development. The details of how these principles are experienced and expressed will naturally vary somewhat with different individuals. Yet Ch...
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