Proverbs 2-12-23

Christians led the way in education. Don’t believe me? Read for yourself!

Today we look at, School As We Know It, from, “Person of Interest,” pages 160-170.

The Education Revolution that Jesus ignited grew quickly.

  • People like Justin Martyr (100-165) established formal catechetical (relating to religious instruction given to a person in preparation for Christian baptism or confirmation) schools in Ephesus and Rome and became known as the first great scholar of the Christian Church.
  • Saint Pantaenus the Philosopher (130-200) established a catechetical school in Alexandria, Egypt.j
  • Origen (184-253) known as “prince of Christian learning” took over the leadership at the school in Alexandria and expanded its instruction to include mathematics and medicine.

As catechetical schools populated the landscape of the Roman Empire, they grew in stature and scope. They included universities and had three primary departments: Theology, Philosophy, and Medicine. Later on, the Imperial University of Constantinople (425) included departments for Law, Arithmetic, Geometry, Astronomy, Music, and Rhetoric in both Latin and Greek.

We are going to skip a whole lot of history to get to our topic for today. Even if you haven’t attended a university, you’ve experienced the impact of Jesus followers at some point in your education. Christians have been educational innovators:

  • If you were asked to read books as part of your education, you can thank Johannes Gutenberg (1400-1468), devoted Jesus follower and the creator of the printing press.
  • If you benefited from an organized, public educational system in your community, you can thank Johannes Bugenhagen (1485-1558), a Jesus follower who pioneered the organization of schools, along with several others including Jean-Baptiste de La Salle (1651-1719), a French priest who promoted compulsory education and spent much of his life educating the poor.
  • If you had access to an education as a child, you can thank
    • Martin Luther (1483-1546), the German theologian and religious reformer who argued for universal education and literacy for children,
    • John Calvin (1509-1564), the French theologian and reformer who advocated for “a system of elementary education in the vernacular for all, including reading, writing, arithmetic, grammar, and religion;” and
    • Friedrich Froebel (1782-1852), the son of a Lutheran pastor who is known as the “father of kindergarten education.”

There’s more, but we will have to wait until tomorrow. I don’t want you being late to church because you were reading a long post! May we worship our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, in our respective churches today.

Abba, I realize that I owe my education to these men. I also know that many women were involved in the process. Most of my teachers were women. I know that many of them are/were Jesus followers. Thank You for the legacy. May I be faithful to pass on my faith to faithful people, who will then pass on their faith to faithful people, and so on. Amen.

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