Sometimes teachers make a big mistake. The problem is not that what they teach is false, but that they teach a truth in place of the truth. For example, a doctor who tells a patient that they are mostly healthy, but fails to mention a small tumor in the brain is missing out on something big. Teachers do this often… when they leave out biblical integration. This can even happen when teaching the Bible. Let me illustrate:
One of the most famous passages in the Old Testament is a conversation between Esther and her uncle. Mordecai warns, “Do not think that because you are in the king’s house you alone of all the Jews will escape. For if you remain silent at this time, relief and deliverance for the Jews will arise from another place, but you and your father’s family will perish. And who knows but that you have come to your royal position for such a time as this?” (Esther 4:13-14)
This little discussion often is taught with an application something like: “Make the most of the opportunities God has given you…Be like Esther and take risks for Him.” While there are times when this is good advice, the real point to the discussion is much, much bigger. The major key in this passage is that God is in perfect control, and there is nothing that can be done to stop Him. He will not be slowed down by Esther’s “Yes” or “No.” He will save if He chooses to save. His plans cannot be stopped.
The call to follow God is contingent on the bigger truth—He is unstoppable and worth following. We need to show that obeying God is no risk because He is good, wise, and strong. Who He is comes before what we should do. (History teachers, a great example of this can be seen in Martin Luther’s stand at the Diet of Worms. In the face of certain death, he chose to stay committed to God and God’s Word because, in reality, that was the safe way.)
Back to biblical integration directly, when we teach content, we might be teaching truth. However, we must be committed to teaching the foundational truths of who God is. His identity is foundational to all other things. (English/Spanish teachers, an example can be seen in the idea of language itself. God spoke the universe into existence. He created Adam and Eve and spoke to them. Language is creative. And language is a gift.)
His identity is foundational to everything else as well. Art teachers, all beauty is a reflection of Him, and the creative act is a reflection of what He is like. Science teachers, He is the answer to the big questions of origin. Philosophy teachers, He is the one who defines worth, destiny, and purpose. Math teachers, He is Order-er that all order is built on—in fact, He is the One who gave the laws that the universe follows. Math shows us that even the universe submits to Him.
It all (literally all) comes back to this: No truth can be true without the Truth.