The Berean Attitude: Integrating a Search for Truth

We want to teach our students truth, but we also want to teach them how to find the truth. We must be careful that everything we share is accurate, but we also want them to be able to measure accuracy throughout life. This is a biblical concept.

The Bereans in Thessalonica examined Paul’s message against the Scriptures (Acts 17:11). They were finding out if his message was true. We want to bring this Berean Attitude into all of our classes so that our students are equipped to find the truth throughout life. There many ways that this can happen across a broad range of subjects.

In geometry, when we work on proofs, students need to understand that we are testing an idea.

The Pythagorean Theorem says a*a + b*b = c*c. But how do we know? When we work on a proof, we are testing for truth. We are seeing if a statement is valid and accurate.

In history, we need to teach our students to test for truth as well. The past is often contested. Within the past few years, there was a case of a prominent conservative Christian teaching major inaccuracies about Thomas Jefferson and American history. Joe Carter makes the point that, while Christians would not easily allow revisionist history from secularists, we are prone to give other Christians a pass. This is something we must teach our students to be careful about. The gospel (which is true) is controversial enough without us adding embarrassing factual errors and misleading claims about American history. Part of our biblical integration must be to help our students think biblically—testing for truth.

In language studies like English, Spanish, or Speech, truth is always on the line. This is because when we speak, we are either engaging truthfully or not. We must work to be clear, honest, and rightly perceived. We must not lie, and we must be able to see through the lies of others. (This is a big deal. When I searched online for “politicians perjury” the first article to come up was from the New York Times and entitled, “All Politicians Lie. Some Lie More than Others.” Wow.)

There could be more examples from Science and Sports and more, but I think the point has been made. In biblical integration, we must be teaching truth, but we must also be teaching students to find the truth.

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