Contrary to popular opinion, being a Christian doesn’t mean leaving your brain at the door. One of the enduring benefits of Christianity through the ages has and always will be its holistic appeal to both head and heart.
Just like the spheres of gender, equality, and politics, Jesus has equally impacted the domains of education and health.
Education for all – regardless of social status, gender, race or religion is a byproduct of Christianity. A faith that holds that the universe is intelligible and rational will naturally aim to guide people into understanding the various aspects of existence.
While theology and philosophy may be the two principle disciplines that Christians have majored on, countless other arts, and sciences were by also upheld. While William Tyndale sought to translate the Bible from Latin into common English, thus addressing the spiritual needs of the illiterate (the vast majority of the population), other Reformers such as John Calvin legitimised the study of secular fields – mathematics, cosmology, and law, to name a few. By utilising this balanced and healthy approach to education, societies could be strengthened by the mutual sharing of ideas grounded in objective truth.
The formation of the university and the preservation of antiquities were both products of the Christian commitment to education and learning as much as possible about the created and Creator.
Intimately connected with our previous posts on equality and care, modern healthcare has significant roots in the Christian tradition. All people are created equal and stand in equal need of salvation from the pangs of sin and death, so why wouldn’t people be treated with equality with regards to healthcare?
Grace upon grace
Education and healthcare are not parts of the salvation that Christ offers, but rather gifts of common grace – common because they are for all mankind regardless of their allegiance, and grace because no one deserves them.
Rather than gifts detached from a comprehensive worldview, both education and healthcare can be seen as reflections of greater truths:
- As man continues to discover truth from a variety of discplines, we must acknowledge the Creator of Truth who knows all things. May this truth humble us in our pursuit of knowledge.
- Just as sickness and ailments constantly remind us of our mortality, the revelation of God in Scripture serves as a more painful reminder of our sin-sick state which requires a different kind of Physician.
The next time you learn something true or recover from some malady, remember Jesus – the Way, the Truth, and the Life – and the countless common gifts he gives us all, and the one-of-a-kind gift that they point to.