First century Christians never gathered for worship — at least, not in the sense that the practices of the Jewish people and the pagan mystery religions represented this. How could they, when Paul had totally redefined the meaning of worship, as the twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week offering of one's whole self to God? But he does not only take a stand against contemporary religious practices. In the passage where he states his view of worship most emphatically, he also evokes a contrast to the educational practices of his age: the nonconformity for which he calls requires Christians to repudiate the ideal of the "cultivated person" then current and to be transformed by the renewal of their minds. Remarkably, the Classical ideal is not far distant from the description of the "educated person" proffered by British philosopher R. S. Peters nearly 2,000 years later — an intellectually sophisticated individual. If serving God is a whole of life affair — not confined to "worship services" — becoming a mature person in Christ is far more than cognitive competence. It involves the whole person. Education (and its institutionalised subset, schooling) must give way to the biblical goal of edification, the upbuilding of people in the image of their Redeemer. How might schools — both Christian and otherwise — be restructured so that they more and more reflect God's desire for human flourishing? This is the question that has guided my practice of and reflection on teaching and learning for almost forty years.
My Research Foci
Doug Blomberg, PhD
Professor of Philosophy of Education
BA(Hons), PhD (Sydney), MEdSt, EdD (Monash), FACE
Doug Blomberg’s reflections on knowing, learning, teaching and the curriculum are embedded in many years’ experience in Christian schools and education more generally. He investigates how schools might be restructured to better reflect God’s purposes for our lives, bringing biblically-directed insights informed by reformational philosophy into dialogue with classical and contemporary educational understandings. He is the author of Wisdom and Curriculum: Christian Schooling After Postmodernity (Dordt College Press, 2007). His next book draws various theories of learning within the frame of a Christian view of humanness as complex yet integrally spiritual.