Fathers, do not provoke your children to anger, but bring them up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord. – Ephesians 6:4
The word paideia means to educated a student in such a way that they will become a fully equipped person. This isn’t just limited to skills, but the shaping of the student’s heart. Paideia can be traced all the way back to the great Athenian school of Greece’s golden age, where the point of education was to shape the next generation with the values and skills for civic leadership. The Greeks understood that if their culture was going to continue, it needed to be handed down to the next generation. Greece accomplished this goal. After Alexander the Great there was an explosion of Hellenistic culture throughout the world. Even when Greece was eventually conquered by Rome, Rome’s culture would be conquered by the Greeks.
Paideia is powerful. It is what makes culture. Paul, knowing the richness of this word, realized that the greatest form culture can take is one that is submitted to Christ. That is why he says to fathers, bring them up in the paideia of the Lord. He was commanding fathers to educate their children in such a way that Christian culture would be produced. This is the culture of the Garden of Eden. This is the culture that should have existed before sin entered the world. But now, through the triumph of Christ and the power of his Spirit, Christian fathers are able to train their children in recovering that culture.
Again, to an imperfect degree, this succeeded. Christian culture came to dominate European life leading to the production of the greatest art, scholarship, music, governemnt and technology the world had ever seen. Even though we now live in the grip secularism, the power of Paul’s command still echos in our cultural consciousness.
This blog is dedicated to the recovery of Christian culture. It deals with cultural and educational issues that intersect with Jesus’ command for Christians to go out and make disciples. I’m by no means an expert. There are many who are much further down the road then I am, but the only way to get there is to start walking. I’d love to have you join me.