The Integration of Faith and Learning
I like to tell my students that I am both for and against the integration of faith and learning. This provocative statement is made to get several important points across. There is a sense in which there is nothing to integrate. This is because there are no tidy “religious” and “non-religious” spheres. In the words of Abraham Kuyper, the Dutch theologian and statesman,
“There is not a single inch in the whole domain of our human existence over which Christ, who is Sovereign over all, does not cry: ‘Mine!'”
Whether it’s Scripture, sex, or science, exegesis, economics, or education, preaching, painting, or poetry, every thought must be taken captive to the obedience of Christ.
It is precisely because I reject the false distinction between Christian faith and learning that I am fully committed to integration in another sense. The same God who formed the cosmos is the one that redeems in Jesus Christ, “in whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge” (Col. 2:3). As a result, I encourage my students to allow their Christians convictions to propel them to engage the world in which God has place them. One concrete way that I do this is by addressing current challenges to orthodox Christianity such as the value and dignity of human personhood, the design of human sexuality, the threat of moral relativism, and the Christian’s role in social activity.
Since redemption extends “as far as the curse is found,” Christian education should address nothing less.