PLAGIARISM FREE “A” WORK The final assignment of the course is a philosophy of Christian education (15 pages minimum, double-spaced, Times New Roman, 12 pt

PLAGIARISM FREE “A” WORK

The final assignment of the course is a philosophy of Christian education (15 pages minimum, double-spaced, Times New Roman, 12 pt. font), which is a statement of your beliefs about the central issues in Christian education. This philosophy (and the ideas underpinning it) should guide you in the decisions that you make as a teacher. 

Your philosophy should express your biblical and theological perspective on the nature of reality (Metaphysics), the nature of knowledge (Epistemology) and the nature of value (Axiology) as applied to central issues in Christian Education (these terms are defined and discussed in Anthony/Benson, chapter 13) (ATTACHED). Also, remember that your philosophy must be executed in a particular context, so, include brief, but concrete examples or illustrations from your teaching context.

In order to help you formulate your philosophy, do some analytical and reflective thinking before you begin to write. The list below contains some questions to guide your thinking. Your philosophy of Christian education is not simply a list of answers to those questions, but they will be useful in getting the cognitive gears turning.

Use the information you have from your personal experience, what you’ve seen practiced in formal education settings, what you’ve learned from class readings and assignments, what you’ve discovered from researching your institutional report, and what you learned from your classmates/colleagues to consider how your philosophy would address some or all of these areas:

1) What is the goal of Christian education?

2) What methodologies are appropriate?

3) How have the philosophies we have studied this semester affected your view of Christian education?

4) Would evaluations and assessments be included in your philosophy? Why and what kind? If not, why not?

5) What role might discipline and grace play in your philosophy of education?

6) What would the curriculum look like? What topics would you include?

7) How do the theological truths about God impact the aspects of Christian education: teacher, student, methods, materials, etc.?

8) What is your view of Christian education in an online context?

PHILOSOPHICAL FOUNDATIONS OF CHRISTIAN EDUCATION

their thought process, ministry activities, and rationale for action is neither
capable of walking on water nor calling down fire from heaven. They are
neither mystical nor magical. They simply take the time to examine the
“why” of their life and ministry. The result is a more reasoned response and
intentionality toward their life and ministry endeavors. They know how to
adjust their methods to meet changing social conditions and can articulate
why a particular instructional methodology works in one location but not in
another. They understand how to remain relevant and do not feel threatened
when unplanned circumstances force them to change their plans. They will
have a strategic plan laid out that explains why they do what they do, and
they will know what resources they will need to arrive at their destination
successfully. They don’t get carried away with every new seminar or tangent
that comes through town because they can determine whether the new idea
is needed or useful in their ministry setting.

TRADITIONAL CATEGORIES OF PHILOSOPHIC INQUIRY

To develop this critical philosophy of ministry, one must first gain a basic
understanding of some basic philosophical concepts and key terms. Having
done that, the student is able to begin to articulate the definitions of terms,
describe the rationale for activities, and formulate an understanding for what
is done in the ministry context. From a traditional point of view, philosophy
has been classified into three main categories of thought: metaphysics, epis-
temology, and axiology. We will explore each in greater detail to help the
readers formulate their own personal philosophy of ministry at the end of
this chapter.

Metaphysics

Literally defined as “after physics,” metaphysics is the branch of philo-
sophic inquiry that asks, “What is real?” It is concerned with examining the
essence of existence. Metaphysical questions can be divided further into
four subcategories of inquiry. Ontology deals with seeking an answer to the
problem of being. The ontological task is to determine whether an object
has existence and being. Questions central to this form of inquiry include
the following: “Is its reality found in matter or physical energy ( e.g., the
world we can experience through the use of our senses), or is its realness

387

Anthony, Michael J., and Warren S. Benson. Exploring the History and Philosophy of Christian Education : Principles for the 21st Century, Wipf and Stock Publishers, 2011. ProQuest
Ebook Central, http://ebookcentral.proquest.com/lib/amridge/detail.action?docID=6339650.
Created from amridge on 2022-03-11 05:42:15.

C
o
p
yr

ig
h
t
©

2
0
1
1
.
W

ip
f
a
n
d
S

to
ck

P
u
b
lis

h
e
rs

.
A

ll
ri
g
h
ts

r
e
se

rv
e
d
.

EXPLORING THE HISTORY AND PHILOSOPHY OF CHRISTIAN EDUCATION

found in transcendent matter?” “Is its realness limited to one realm (mo-
nism), such as physical matter, or does it exist in two forms (dualism) such as
matter and spirit?” “Is its reality limited to a finite existence, or does it
transcend time as we know it?”

Cosmology is the second subcategory, and it is concerned with the origins
of the universe. Cosmological inquiry asks such questions as “Is the universe
orderly and systematic or random and dynamic?” “Do universal laws govern
its operation, or do things occur without preliminary sequence?” Beyond the
existence of the universe, cosmology also investigates issues relevant to its
purpose by asking such questions as “What is the ultimate meaning or purpose
of the universe?” As Christians, we believe that the universe was created for
a distinct purpose and that it exists toward fulfilling this purpose. This belief
is referred to as teleological because the Bible speaks of God’s created purpose
for the world as reflecting His glory. However, some people in the realm of
science disagree with a teleological perspective and hold to a random ( e.g.,
Big Bang theory) or circulative (i.e., it repeats itself) philosophy. Two other
popular discussions regarding the cosmological argument involve the realm
of time and space. 10

Two additional subsets of metaphysics are anthropology and theology.
Anthropology deals with a philosophical understanding of the existence,
meaning, and purpose of humanity. Anthropological questions that a phi-
losopher ponders include “What is the essence of human nature?” “Is man
inherently good or evil?” “What is the relationship between body and mind,
and which one operates or controls the other?” “Does man have a soul; if so,
how does it function in relation to the other components of body and mind?”
Theology is the philosophical understanding of the existence, nature, and
character of God. Metaphysical questions concerning God include such in-
quiries as “Does God exist?” “Can God be known?” “What are the character
qualities of God?” “Do other spirit beings besides God-such as angels, de-
mons, or other entities-exist?” “Do these other entities interact with man-
kind; if so, under what conditions or limitations do they exist?” 11

In summary, the philosophical concept of metaphysics deals with the
issue of realness and existence. It is further subdivided into categories of

10. George R. Knight, Philosophy and Education (Berrien Springs, Mich.: Andrews
University Press, 1998), 16.

11. Ibid., 15.

388

Anthony, Michael J., and Warren S. Benson. Exploring the History and Philosophy of Christian Education : Principles for the 21st Century, Wipf and Stock Publishers, 2011. ProQuest
Ebook Central, http://ebookcentral.proquest.com/lib/amridge/detail.action?docID=6339650.
Created from amridge on 2022-03-11 05:42:15.

C
o
p
yr

ig
h
t
©

2
0
1
1
.
W

ip
f
a
n
d
S

to
ck

P
u
b
lis

h
e
rs

.
A

ll
ri
g
h
ts

r
e
se

rv
e
d
.

PHILOSOPHICAL FOUNDATIONS OF CHRISTIAN EDUCATION

inquiry to determine the meaning and purpose of the universe (cosmology),
the nature and purpose of humanity (anthropology), the existence of a spirit
realm (theology), and whether an object has existence and being (ontology).
Metaphysical reality is concerned with knowing what lies beyond the realm
of the observable world; it is a reality that is the foundation for physical
objects.

Epistemology

Epistemology refers to the investigation of the origin, structure, methods,
and validity of knowledge. Over the years, considerable debate has occurred
regarding the importance of epistemology in relation to metaphysics. The
most popular view-held by Descartes, Locke, Kant, and Dewey-was that an
investigation of the sources and validity of knowledge must come before
metaphysical speculation. The opposite view was espoused by philosophers
who placed a higher priority on metaphysics, including Spinoza and Hegel.
A compromised view allows both views to have equal importance. 12

Epistemology is philosophy’s attempt to determine whether what we know
is credible. Stated simply, epistemology asks two critical questions about
knowledge:

1. “Can we know?” (i.e., “Is the knowledge we receive really valid?”).
2. “How do we know?” (i.e., “What is the best means for obtaining

knowledge?”).

The first question is answered by one of four means: skepticism (knowl-
edge and truth is not knowable by the mind), relativism (knowledge and
truth is relative to the human mind), dogmatism (accepting knowledge and
truth without any substantiating proof), and positivism (knowledge and truth
are valid once they have been proven by the sciences). 13

The second question (“How do we know?”) is really concerned with the
means by which we know that something is true. For example, “Is this newly
acquired knowledge valid?” We can know if it is valid through four means of

12. Bowyer, Philosophical Perspectives for Education, 14.
13. Arnold Griese, Your Philosophy of Education: What Is It (Santa Monica, Calif.:

Goodyear Publishing, 1981), 136.

389

Anthony, Michael J., and Warren S. Benson. Exploring the History and Philosophy of Christian Education : Principles for the 21st Century, Wipf and Stock Publishers, 2011. ProQuest
Ebook Central, http://ebookcentral.proquest.com/lib/amridge/detail.action?docID=6339650.
Created from amridge on 2022-03-11 05:42:15.

C
o
p
yr

ig
h
t
©

2
0
1
1
.
W

ip
f
a
n
d
S

to
ck

P
u
b
lis

h
e
rs

.
A

ll
ri
g
h
ts

r
e
se

rv
e
d
.

ExPLORING THE HISTORY AND PHILOSOPHY OF CHRISTIAN EDUCATION

analysis. The first test of its validity is empiricism; the new knowledge comes
to us through the senses but also involves some degree of intellectual pro-
cessing. Sensationalism allows us to test this knowledge when it comes to us
through our sensory receptors. Rationalism allows us to test this knowledge
when we apply our human reasoning abilities. Finally, transcendentalism is
the means by which we verify knowledge when it comes to us from a source
beyond either the sensory receptors or the human intellect. From a historical
point of view, the two most popular means of determining its validity have
been empiricism and rationalism. For obvious reasons, scientists have been
reluctant over the years to wander far from that which can be replicated
under the strict confines of a laboratory environment. 14

Axiology

Axiology is the theory and science of value. It asks questions related to
what is right and wrong in a given circumstance. It is also concerned with
determining what is of natural or man-made beauty. For that reason, axiology
is subdivided into two subsets of study: ethics-the study of right and wrong
behavior, and aesthetics-the study of art and beauty. “Axiology is the mod-
ern term for search into: (1) the nature of value; (2) the types of value; (3)
the criterion of value; and ( 4) the metaphysical status of value.” 15

Coming to a concise definition and conceptualization of what determines
value depends to a large degree on one’s philosophical perspective. For ex-
ample, noted idealist J. Donald Butler makes a strong case for two generic
types of values: ultimate values, which are God-based ( God alone has abso-
lute existence), and social values, which are rooted in man’s interpersonal
and societal relations. Noted pragmatic empiricist John Dewey outlined a
theory of valuation based upon man’s human experience. Charles L. Stevenson,
a noted logical empiricist, analyzes ethical arguments from the perspective of
attitudinal differences. For this reason and others, the study of value has
been difficult for philosophy students because valuation is heavily influence
by personal philosophical bias. 16

14. Ibid., 137.
15. Bowyer, Philosophical Perspectives for Education, 14.
16. Hobart W. Burns and Charles J. Brauner, Philosophy of Education (New York:

Ronald Press, 1962), 196.

390

Anthony, Michael J., and Warren S. Benson. Exploring the History and Philosophy of Christian Education : Principles for the 21st Century, Wipf and Stock Publishers, 2011. ProQuest
Ebook Central, http://ebookcentral.proquest.com/lib/amridge/detail.action?docID=6339650.
Created from amridge on 2022-03-11 05:42:15.

C
o
p
yr

ig
h
t
©

2
0
1
1
.
W

ip
f
a
n
d
S

to
ck

P
u
b
lis

h
e
rs

.
A

ll
ri
g
h
ts

r
e
se

rv
e
d
.

Looking for this or a Similar Assignment? Click below to Place your Order