Christian education should not be conservative

16-03-2023

Christian Life

Lennart Nijenhuis, CNE.news

Prof Henk van den Belt at the conference. Photo CNE.news

Christians of all times thought that things were getting worse. Many believers repeat that today, but they have to be on their guard.

That was said by the theologian Prof Henk van den Belt at the ECCEN education conference in the Dutch Apeldoorn on Thursday morning.

If these Christians had been right through the ages, “we would be at the bottom now”, Van den Belt said.

He asked not to be too pessimistic and not too conservative either. “Let’s have hope in the future. Christians can be people of hope.”

Sure, there are “struggles and reasons for concern”, he said. “As teachers, we are called to give guidance.”

He referred to Romans 13, where Paul says: You know the time. Van den Belt: “Usually, the word “Zeitgeist” is understood negatively among Christians. That is seen as something revolutionary and anti-Christian. The spirit of the age teaches: No God, no master! And the world is occupied territory. I think this antithetical aspect is valid.”

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Group discussion at the conference. Photo CNE.news

But in the same chapter, Paul says, “to put on the Lord”. “Jesus is not only the Saviour, but He is Lord too. With Him, we can walk in love even during our age. We owe nothing to no one except love.”

That has consequences for Christian schooling, too, Van den Belt says. “Don’t give the impression that it was better in the past. That’s the same as what the world says, that believers are old-fashioned. But let’s long for the future. Salvation is nearer to us than ever. And Christ is faithful – don’t be afraid. He will accomplish His plans.”

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