Strategies for Implementing Biblical Integration

This post is a simple list of ideas for implementing biblical integration in your classroom. The idea is to help you bring the great ideas that you have developed in your syllabus to life. These are just starting points for acting on your plans. Each idea begins with a prompt that you might use to introduce your integration to students. Feel free to tweak them to work best in your class.

The Partnership: “I need you to help me understand how to help young people understand how [insert lesson content] relates to God/Christian-living/worldview/etc.”

The key here is that you are asking for your students to help you by sharing their expertise. They are youth-culture experts. Why engage their expertise and understanding in integration?

  • Example: I need you to help me understand how to help people your age understand that the laws of physics show that God is the powerful Law-maker.

The Pitch: What if I told you that [insert lesson content] helps us see the reality/goodness/power/etc. of God in the world?

This type of implementation is excellent for starting a unit because it is promotional. You are asking students to evaluate the credibility of what you are saying. This invites students to judge your idea… and they often love judging. Use this to get them talking, assessing, improving, and otherwise engaging.

  • Example: What if I told you that the fact that humans like us can create and appreciate art shows us that God made human beings uniquely in his image?

The Question: “What does the Bible tell us about [lesson content]? Does the Bible help us understand [lesson content]?

When the Bible speaks clearly about a principle or idea, we can ask students to generate the integration themselves. This is an excellent idea for moving them up Bloom’s Taxonomy.

  • Example: What does the Bible us about the importance of words and language?

The Conflict: “[Non-Christian] says that [subject area] tells us that Christians are incorrect. What would you say in response?”

Some kids love to fight. Why not leverage that instinct to help them fight for good?

  • Example: Richard Dawkins says that God might be “the most unpleasant character in all of fiction.” What separates a hero and a villain in literature? How can we tell if God is a hero or villain?

The Explorer: “In your [research-paper/science-project/case-study/book-review] include one paragraph showing how [your topic] relates to biblical teaching and worldview.”

All students can use their own unique gifts to observe and note worldview issues. You might share an integrated rubric to help them know what you are looking for.

  • Example: Your interactive review of The Cosmos’s “Where did we come from?” should include one paragraph pointing out where the host denies the biblical worldview. Then write one paragraph with a biblical response.

The Shovel: “Now that we have started to understand that [insert unit title] supports a biblical understanding of the world, let’s dig deeper by [insert research activity.]

Students can often do self-guided work once they have been started off in a supported way.

  • Example: Now that we have seen that solving equations shows that God equipped is to be problem-solvers, let’s dig deeper by discussing how solving equations could honor God in the real world. [Ideas: stewardship in calculating interest; service in determining the right amount of paint to buy to do a service project; missions in determining the amount of gas needed for a mission trip.]

The Hammer: “Using [insert academic idea], how would you smash [insert anti-biblical idea]?”

Many students like the idea of tearing things down. Be careful with this one, but don’t be afraid to use it wisely.

  • Examples: Using this math concept, how would you smash the idea that taking on debt is not a big deal? Using the historical example of Hitler’s rise to power, how would you smash the idea that political engagement is not important? Using your persuasive speech-skills and body-language, how would smash the idea that Bible-studies must be boring.

The Screwdriver: “We loosely described how [content idea] relates to [Christian idea]. But how can we tighten it up?”

One key element of integration is taking the general and moving to the specific.

  • Example: We loosely discussed that many great books echo the story of Jesus, but how can we attach that idea more tightly to Mark Twain?

The Role-Switch: “Last week, I showed you how [academic content] demonstrates the glory/love/work/etc. of God. Now I want you to step up to the front and teach it back to me.”

We often learn more through teaching, so let the students teach.

  • Example: Last week, I demonstrated that the human eye’s irreducible complexity shows God’s design. Erica and Steve, can you come to the front and teach those ideas to me? I’ll take a seat at your desk.

The So-What: “We saw that [academic idea] is important in understanding [Christian worldview idea], but how does that affect our everyday lives?”

Abstract worldview concepts are important, but they need to touch our lives too.

  • Example: “We have talked about the fact that the moon is the perfect distance from the earth for many reasons. Clearly, this is evidence of God’s design. But how does understanding God’s design help me follow Him today?”

Of course, there are many other ways to jump into implementation, but I hope this list helps!

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