Trinity Curriculum Model
“The disciple is not above his master, nor the servant above his lord.”
As Christians, and especially as Christian parents, many of us have negative comments to make about what happens in school science lessons. In so many areas, it is often easier to criticize and break down than to build up something new. Many years ago, I came across a fascinating yet simple curriculum model idea that would be of considerable help in many Christian education situations.
In their book, Fighting the Secular Giants, Stephen Thomas and David Freeman outline their ideas for a so-called Trinity Curriculum Model. The three-part framework sees the Father as the source of all things, Jesus as the means of demonstrating God’s love to the world, and the Spirit as the fulfillment. Thomas and Freeman are wise enough to state that this is not an analogy of the Trinity because analogies of the Trinity always fall short of the full Trinitarian doctrine.
For example, suppose we are teaching children about the water cycle. The source concept is that God is the provider of all the water needed for creation. The water cycle therefore reveals God’s wise provision. The means would be the usual experiments about the water cycle, boiling water, condensing the steam, building charts, diagrams, and maps of the process. The fulfillment will be to see how much each student has learned about the process, especially that they have understood what this tells us about God.
It seems to me that even a so-called “neutral” topic like the water cycle actually has profound theological implications that need to be explained to students in order to complete their understanding.
Prayer: Thank You, Lord, for Your wise provision for us. Whenever we are in teaching situations, help us to show our students that everything they learn, if properly learned, can help them know more about You. Amen.
Author: Paul F. Taylor
Ref: Thomas, S. and Freeman, D. (1996), Fighting the Secular Giants, (Oxford Community Churches), pp. 99-122. Image: Adobe Stock photos, licensed to author.
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