Program Approach for Secondary Bible
With the continuing influence of secularism on Christian thought, the formal Bible class within a Christian school can help shape students, families, and future church leaders who know their Bible and can apply biblical principles appropriately and faithfully to the issues of life today. While the family and the local church are central in the New Testament plan, Christian education can support both of those institutions with a structured, intentional, and practical study through the Bible. A general, moralistic approach to teaching Bible isn’t an option. Christian educators need a grade-level appropriate program that approaches Bible study with the same academic rigor as they use to approach science, history, and every other academic discipline.
Throughout the BJU Press middle school and high school Bible program, students will explore and develop skills for Bible literacy and study. In learning these skills and Bible doctrines, they will consistently be asked to make applications to their lives and other real-life situations. Students will also learn to communicate their beliefs to others. Ultimately, this Bible program leads students to love God and serve others.
Presenting the Authority of the Bible
Since the Bible is the authoritative word of God, it directs every area of life. Students need to trust in it and believe what it says for it to change their day-to-day lives. Before students can trust in, believe, and apply the Bible to their lives, they must understand that the Bible is true and is the ultimate authority. Each course explores the authority of Scripture, but Basics for a Biblical Worldview, for Grade 6, and Biblical Worldview: Creation, Fall, Redemption, for Grade 11 or 12, lead more extended discussions on how the Bible proves its own authority. Basics for a Biblical Worldview explores the ultimate authority, which leads to the ultimate proof. If God, the Creator, says it is true, and He cannot lie, then His witness must be taken as proof that the Bible is true. Biblical Worldview: Creation, Fall, Redemption takes the discussion further, establishing that all people believe what they believe about the things they cannot see—and about quite a few things they can see—by faith. It is by faith that Christians accept that the Bible is true and has ultimate authority over their lives, regardless of what human wisdom might say on the matter.
The BJU Press Bible program reinforces the authority and truth of Scripture by constantly pointing students back to it for answers and insight on all kinds of issues. In Grades 7–9, sections begin with a Bible reading and all grades include suggested Scripture memory.
Tracing the Big Story of Scripture
From Genesis to Revelation, the Bible tells a single, unified story that can be summed up in three words: Creation, Fall, Redemption. To interpret that story, students must be able to follow the story from the Old Testament through the New Testament. The story shows us not only the path the Bible follows but also how the significant events of Scripture are reflected in all academic disciplines and all areas of life.
To help students recognize and follow the storyline both in the Bible and in life, students will explore the three key elements of the story in each level of the BJU Press Bible program. For example, Unit 2 of Basics for a Biblical Worldview provides a focused discussion of how the storyline of Scripture should shape a student’s worldview. The Story of the Old Testament focuses on how Creation and the Fall are demonstrated in biblical accounts and how Redemption unfolds throughout the Old Testament. The Life of Christ focuses on Christ’s life as the fulfillment of the Old Testament promises and the revelation of the big story of Scripture. Biblical Worldview emphasizes the entire Creation, Fall, Redemption storyline and applies it directly to science, history, arts and culture, marriage, family, and government.
Teaching Bible Study Skills
It is important that students learn to study the Bible for themselves. The entire program will teach students an inductive approach to interpreting Scripture: observe, interpret, and apply. While each course will introduce all three steps for studying the Bible, different courses will emphasize different steps. The Story of the Old Testament emphasizes observation, The Life of Christ emphasizes interpretation, and The Triumph of Christ emphasizes application. The remaining high school courses will further develop the students’ ability to use the Bible study method.
The BJU Press middle and high school Bible program encourages students to observe the Bible passages they are reading—they must look at the whole passage, noting facts and details to encourage recall and to get a bigger picture of the context. To aid in accurate interpretation, we teach students important skills for uncovering the meaning of Bible passages. They might be directed to look up definitions, compare events and passages, review maps, or consider the major events or beliefs of the time. In the application step, students will need to move from understanding Scripture to living it out. What they know and believe about the Bible should lead them to apply those beliefs to their values and actions.
The student editions for Grades 7–9 explain the three steps in the Bible study method and offer practice in valuable skills for Bible study, including reading skills, map reading and visual analysis skills, and hermeneutics skills. The teacher editions for these courses offer teaching strategies to model and guide the Bible study method as well as technology tool suggestions to use during when studying the Bible. The student activities are vital for letting students practice and apply the Bible study method to each passage.
Developing and Encouraging Love for God and Personal Growth
As students recognize the authority of Scripture, see how it applies to every area of life, and learn how to study it, they should grow in their knowledge of and love for God. This growing love should be evident in the students’ behavior, their desire to worship God, and their continued submission to God in every area of their lives. While only God holds the power to produce real change in a student’s life, the BJU Press middle and high school Bible program has been designed to be a tool God can use to bring about lasting change.
Scripture memory will give students valuable verses to remind them of the love and grace of God. Thinking It Through questions will regularly ask students to apply biblical teaching to their lives. The student activities offer an ongoing prayer journal that teaches students how to pray specifically and scripturally. Feature boxes will also encourage students to consider how biblical teaching applies to them.
Teaching Biblical Apologetics
Students need to know how to defend their beliefs to those who would disagree. By analyzing and evaluating false teaching, students will be able to recognize the errors that lead to false teaching and to defend a correct worldview. To learn the difference between false teaching and teaching that is biblically based, students will compare beliefs with what the Bible teaches and how it teaches them. Discussions offer opportunities for teachers to remind students of the verses, principles, and doctrines they have learned, and debates give students a direct opportunity to articulate and defend what they believe on controversial issues. Additional notes in the teacher editions will also provide opportunities for teachers to address and correct student misconceptions about commonly held beliefs or principles.
Encouraging Cultural Engagement and Evangelism
The Great Commission commands the followers of Christ to go into all nations to share the gospel. Therefore, the BJU Press Bible program prepares students for this work by teaching them how to share the gospel with others. Since cultures think differently about the basic questions of life, our products will also teach students to understand how the cultures of the world are different and how believers should take that into account when they share the gospel.
Facilitating Informed Discipleship
Our middle and high school Bible program should, through consistent exposure to God’s Word, dedicated study of biblical principles, and regular application to real life, grow Christian leaders and disciple-makers. These leaders and disciple-makers will not be subject to the trap of legalism. Instead, they will be able to act according to the teachings of Scripture in the freedom of Christ, explain the big story of Scripture to others, and defend the authority and truth of the Word of God. To help develop this kind of leader, the student editions offer application questions in the unit reviews. Additionally, handouts available in the teacher editions provide further studies of important concepts.