Over five hundred years ago, Martin Luther nailed his 95 Theses to the door of a church in Wittenberg, Germany. According Westminster Headmaster Mr. Janikowsky, “It’s important to note, we are not merely remembering a historical event, we are not remembering a parchment on a door in Germany, we are remembering a thought, an important idea that should live with us 501 years later.”
At Westminster Academy, we teach all subjects from a biblical world-view, specifically from a Reformed theology perspective. Our students memorize the Westminster catechism in the third and fourth grades, and they study the works and writings of Luther. Students circle back to delve deeper into these topics as part of Theology and History classes in Upper School. But what does it really mean to teach from the Reformed perspective?
To give us some insight, Mr. Dillon, Upper School Theology teacher and MDiv, lends us his words:
Reformed theology can be defined in a variety of ways. It can refer to a certain view of salvation, including such doctrines as predestination and perseverance. It can refer to a certain view of redemptive history, emphasizing the continuity between the Old and New Covenants. However, at an even more basic level, to be Reformed simply means to apply the sovereignty of God and the authority of Scripture to every area of our lives. In the famous words of the Reformed theologian Abraham Kuyper, “There is not one square inch of the whole creation over which Christ, who is sovereign over all, does not cry out, ‘Mine! This belongs to me!’”
Since God’s sovereignty extends to all aspects of our lives, it should affect the way we do education as well. Now to teach from a Reformed worldview does not necessarily mean that every subject has to have a Bible verse to back it up. Nor does it mean that we should seek a distinctively Christian way of applying, say, the Pythagorean Theorem or the Periodic Table of Elements. However, it does mean recognizing that all of these subjects find their ultimate grounding and purpose in Christ. Reformed theology gives ultimate coherence and meaning to these various subjects. For any subject we study, we can ask such questions as, How does this subject help me better understand God and his relationship to the world? How has sin affected our understanding and application of this subject? How can Christians as sinners redeemed by grace explore and pursue this subject with excellence? How do we see God’s common grace in the work of unbelievers in this subject?
So theology is not just one discipline among many in a classical Christian education. Theology is more like an umbrella that encompasses and integrates all of the disciplines.” Acknowledging that God is sovereign over all of the subjects and the source of all knowledge empowers the graduates of Westminster, in being taught within this framework, to go out into the world and live as sons and daughters of God in whatever profession or path of life they choose.