What Particular Views Are We Appealing to When We Say “Christian”?
Connecting education to Christian faith necessarily means drawing in some way on Christian theology. Christian theology is a rich and deep topic, the study of a lifetime for some. But this site does not exist to provide a course in theology; it focuses on the practice of Christian teaching and learning. We therefore have thought about how to draw upon theology in a way that is concise enough for teachers to work with, rich enough to open up further exploration, and focused on genuinely central issues.
People have found various ways of summarizing the message of the Bible, many of them useful. We have decided to work with one of the summaries offered within the New Testament itself. In 1 Corinthians 13:13 Paul writes, “And now these three remain: faith, hope, and love. But the greatest of these is love.” Faith, hope, and love are three great central strands of Christian thought and action, and we have organized the material in this site around them. The Christian tradition is long and rich and has given rise to a variety of specific theological positions and frameworks; by focusing on this concise Pauline summary we have hoped to focus as far as possible on what Christians of every theological persuasion hold in common, rather than on the particular accents of a certain group or denomination. For every teaching and learning activity we describe here, we ask how it connects to Christian faith, hope, and love.
These three words are short, familiar, and memorable, but they do need some unpacking. Taken out of context, each one is open to many possible interpretations, not all of them Christian. The links below examine faith, hope, and love briefly but carefully so that you can clearly see what we mean by them. This will help clarify the connections we see between “Christian” and “education.”