What Is Integration? began a quote series from Education for Human Flourishing: A Christian Perspective* (Paul D. Spears and Steven R. Loomis, InterVarsity Press, 2009). Below’s a section from Chapter 1 where Spears and Loomis establish their understanding of biblical anthropology.
We have argued that human beings are composed of a material body and an immaterial soul, and that the soul directs the body’s actions ultimately through its rational capacities. The development of these rational capacities through a life of study most effectively allows humans to pursue excellence, by which we mean actions that best enable them to obtain their most proper state. Through education, we are able to understand who we are and how to seek our proper end, which ultimately leads to our happiness. When we think about the life of study and how it can increase our own and our students’ happiness, this resonates with us as educators. Giving others the opportunity to become happy is a rewarding experience.
In a limited sense teleology can enable us to help ourselves and others be more satisfied with our current existence. However, classical teleologies are constrained by a limited viewpoint, that is, from a human perspective alone. Classical teleology is eminently superior to a physicalist view of human beings; however, compared to a robust Christian theological anthropology, it falls far short. — p. 64.
Questions to ponder: Spears and Loomis contend for the foundational role of theology in the anthropology needed to engage educational pedagogy and curricular paradigms. Do you agree? How does your anthropology align (or overlap) with the one the authors advance?
About the author:
Tom enjoys daily conversations regarding living out the Biblical Story with his wife Theresa and their four girls, around the block, at Elizabethtown Brethren in Christ Church (where he teaches adult electives and co-leads a small group), among healthcare professionals as the Northeast Regional Director for the Christian Medical & Dental Associations (CMDA), and in higher ed as a volunteer with the Emerging Scholars Network (ESN). For a number of years, the Christian Medical Society / CMDA at Penn State College of Medicine was the hub of his ministry with CMDA. Note: Tom served with InterVarsity Christian Fellowship / USA for 20+ years, including 6+ years as the Associate Director of ESN. He has written for the ESN blog from its launch in August 2008. He has studied Biology (B.S.), Higher Education (M.A.), Spiritual Direction (Certificate), Spiritual Formation (M.A.R.), Ministry to Emerging Generations (D.Min.). To God be the glory!