Augustine, one of the great Christian thinkers/leaders of history, was not always a fan of school. He loved Latin, but found Greek, math, and other studies dull. Regardless of the harsh discipline administered to him, he was not motivated by the punishment—he was motivated by love. He said, “…free curiosity has greater power to stimulate learning than rigorous coercion.” (Confessions, 1.23). He loved Latin, and so he excelled there. (Note: Augustine was not saying that we should pander to the desires of young people, but he was noting that desires have power.)
Biblically integrated courses have the ability to help build a Christian worldview through the areas that students love. If all of our classes are integrated, the student who loves art will encounter biblical truths, challenges, and encouragements through art. The same is true for the math genius, superior athlete, language lover, and history buff. Christian educators can engage students with and for the gospel through free curiosity.
Speaking to God, Augustine declared, “You stir man to take pleasure in praising you…” (1.1) The excellent Christian school will remember that God has made each student differently, and will respond to that reality by recognizing that an integrated computer class might stir some to praise differently than an integrated grammar course.
The Christian school has a diverse collection of tools that God can use to stir up praise. Along with those tools, God has provided an even more diverse group of students. This is a part of his wise plan. So, how can you put yourself and your course in the best position for God to use to engage a holy curiosity in your students?
Only God knows, but there may be another Augustine sitting in your class—and your course might be the tool the Lord uses to stir up the desire to praise.