The Gospel, the good news of Jesus is the Word of truth, – it is life-transforming, creation-making, covenant-forming, a faithful & wise servant word that takes on flesh in the Lord Jesus. So truth is no longer neutral detached verifiable facts to be committed to memory and known to pass a test. As teachers, once we comprehend the amazing grace of God in truth and embody it in our lives, then we can unfold it to our students, as God’s storytellers. We can unfold to our students the wisdom of God that traces the way of an infinitely wise and good Creator who orders the world in all its splendour and diversity. We are called to do this in a community of truth where Jesus is the Head.
Parker Palmer says, “To know truth is to become betrothed to engage the known with one’s whole self, an engagement one enters with attentiveness, care and goodwill”. In the community of truth, a subject is to be understood as a living part of God’s creation that finds its meaning in Christ (Colossians 1:17).
The learning occurs in community as teachers and students grapple with a reality of what God has created. Rather than the teacher providing the perspectives for students, the teacher in the role of an unfolder of truth structures the instruction and learning which encourages students to self-author, (in age-appropriate ways) to share their own perspectives and construct meaning under the authority of the Biblical text.
Exploring truth is “a passionate and disciplined process of inquiry and dialogue itself, as the dynamic conversation of a community that tests old conclusions and comes into new ones. This learning can bring the “knowers and knowns, into mutually obedient relationships of truth.” (Parker Palmer)
The role of the teacher is to create a learning space where the truth is practised, that is, where students enact the truth to bring blessing to others. The learning is to form the student’s character and enable them to serve others.
Consider the following example: Digital technology is having an enormous impact on shaping the lives of our students. In the virtual world, friendship has been reduced to have a connection through data sharing. Human flourishing has been reduced to individual satisfaction.
- How can we assist our students to critique and discern the nature of the virtual world which they
- In what ways can we assist our students to reimagine the world of shalom where they are responsible
stewards of technology to bless others in the way God intended.
Alexander Solzhenitsyn, the renowned Russian writer who was imprisoned by Stalin said: “one word of truth outweighs the world.”
As we are no longer children of the darkness but those who have been redeemed by God’s grace, we have been set free to image the journey to shalom.
Under our loving care, we can assist our students to have a renewed understanding of wisdom, provide opportunities for them to respond to truth in their hearts and minds and live it out in service to others. We are engaging our students in the language and deeds of the new creation (Mt 5:13)
“When followers of Jesus live out the Gospel in the world, as we are called to, we become an incarnation of the truth of the Gospel and an expression of the character and shape of its truth. It is this living-in-truth that proves culturally powerful.” (Os Guinness)
Grace and Peace
The Excellence Centre