At GROW 2016, the Queensland Christian Schools' Conference, 2000 delegates were reminded emphatically the important place of Christian schools in the current Australian landscape.
Keynote speakers at the conference were renowned theologian John Dickson and Christian apologist Simon Edwards.
Simon Edwards provided compelling evidence for the Christian faith, particularly from his perspective as a lawyer. His particular areas of interest included evidence for the resurrection, historicity of the Bible, faith and reason, epistemology, tolerance, the nature of truth, suffering, miracles, and ethics.
John Dickson is a founding director of the Centre for Public Christianity (CPX), an independent research and media company promoting informed discussion about social, ethical and religious issues in modern life, described at its founding in 2007 by the Prime Minister as "a welcome development in the spiritual and intellectual life of Australia."
Dickson, in addition to his passion for promoting the public understanding of the Christian faith, is also fascinated by the paradoxical connection between high-level achievement and the historical virtues of compassion, charity, and humility. These themes were explored in one of his keynote lectures on Humilitas: a Lost Key to Life, Love and Leadership.
How does this relate?
So how does this relate to the Christian teacher teaching in a Christian school?
Four crucial points establish the foundation for the reasoning and purpose as to why we should have Christian schools in Australia today.
- We all have a crippled heart
- We have a credible faith
- We serve a compelling God and the only God with scars
- We are part of a critical movement
Our task is a tough one, but one of critical importance. The world we encounter, the world students encounter, is not as it should be. The Bible affirms this. But LOVE makes a way. The love "in action" Jesus talked about as he walked the earth reminds us of this.
In Luke chapter 6 verses 27-31 it says:
"But to you who are listening I say: Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you. If someone slaps you on one cheek, turn to them the other also. If someone takes your coat, do not withhold your shirt from them. Give to everyone who asks you, and if anyone takes what belongs to you, do not demand it back. Do to others as you would have them do to you."
Is this the way to make the world a better, safer place?
The way of Jesus is difficult.
The way of Jesus is different to any other religious teaching.
The way of the cross is God's answer to a hurting world.
Lives and hearts can be changed one by one in Christian schools as the gospel is alive and living in the people who are called to teach.
Russell Modlin teaches English and Physical Education at a Christian School on the Sunshine Coast. He is married to Belinda and they have three children.
Russell Modlin's archive of previous article can be found at www.pressserviceinternational.org/russell-modlin.html