Covenantal Education

Paul House provides a succint summary of Deuteronomy’s priniciples for covenantal education.  It is both inspiring, as well as humbling, as I consider my role as a teacher and a parent:

“Third, Yahweh commands the people to internalize the covenant and teach their children to do the same (6:6-9).  Each new member of the holy community must be taught God’s ways.  Faith does not occur automatically.  It must be understood and owned (6:6), so each parent must teach his or her children, just as Moses has been teaching them.  Instruction must be purposefule, even to the point of becoming public (6:9).  The idea is to ‘impress, or inscribe’ truth on the heart, not simply to suggest it.  Such careful teaching will help avoid forgetting Yahweh in prosperity (6:10-12), in new settings (6:13-19) or when new generations emerge, uncertain of what the old revelation means (6:20-25).  Only scrupulous intergenerational teaching can keep exclusive love of Yahweh alive in a polytheistic culture” (Paul R. House, Old Testament Theology, 178).

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