Biblical integration is why I believe in Christian education. Yet, the term biblical integration can sometimes mean different things to different people, and it is important to make sure that we are clear on our terms.
First, what are some things that biblical integration does not mean:
* Having a Bible verse at the top or bottom of a worksheet or sprinkled throughout a textbook
* Starting a class with prayer and/or devotions
* Finding and reading all of the Bible verses on any specific topic after learning about it
To be honest, I dislike some textbooks produced by Christian publishers because they seem to use the “sprinkling” approach to biblical integration. Either for lack of effort or lack of ability they seem incapable to drawing a real connection between the Bible and the subject being taught. They are Christian textbooks, though, so there needs to be Christian content. As a result, they sprinkle in some Bible verses or they find a Bible story that has a tangential-at-best relevance to the subject and then stretch the application of the biblical narrative. The problem is, students see right through that, and it ultimately defeats the purpose of Christian education. Why? Because when we have to twist, bend and stretch in order to make the Bible seem relevant we cause the Bible to actually seem irrelevant. It appears we are trying to make it something it is not, and as a result those efforts seem weak.
Rather, biblical integration means that every subject and every class is taught with the Scripture as the foundation and the filter through which everything else is done. Every topic taught can reveal the nature of God, of creation, or man, and/or moral order. The Bible is relevant to every subject. Sometimes that relevance and connectivity is more clearly seen that at other times, but if a publishing company and/or teacher cannot make a clear and effective connection between the Bible and whatever subject is being taught, (1) they should resist the temptation to do so on the fly, and (2) they should stop publishing and/or teaching until they have grown enough in their own understanding of the Scriptures to make a real and relevant connection.
Biblical integration means teaching and equipping students to see every subject as God sees it. This means that students learn that there is such a thing as absolute truth, and that it can be known. This also equips students to identify fallacies when they exist.
Biblical integration means that students learn to think biblically and critically about every subject, and to see the connection between the Bible and the world around them, between the Bible and their everyday lives. The Bible is not just a history book, it is not just a love letter—it is the owner’s manual for life, and in it God reveals Himself to us and equips us to live our lives for Him. Only when students see the connection and the application of Scripture to “the real world” will we have truly provided an education with biblical integration.
A biblically integrated curriculum provides students with knowledge, with wisdom and with understanding – in other words, with information, with the ability to apply the information, and with the discernment to know when and how to do so.