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The cost of gullibility and importance of discernment

With Joe Goodson, a pastor from Temple TX, to co-host, we will discuss the Book of Joshua and the insights about education we can get from it. Just a reminder that every Friday at 7:30 PM CST we have live broadcasts about the Bible and Education. We are going book by book. You can always join us at this stream.

The book of Joshua opens up with the famous call to courage (1:9). I would like to discuss how schools deal with the virtue of courage, both in teachers and in students. In what ways can we teach students to be brave? Why is courage necessary and what duty falls on educators to cultivate a culture of courage in the people they teach?

The story of Rahab in Joshua 2 reminds us that people who are not part of our church body can be drawn to the Lord's people through unexpected means. What are the proper means by which a Christian school can reach those who are not part of our Christian family yet? Does this mean appealing to unbelieving parents' concerns about their children's education or does that run too many risks of defying the principle we got from Deuteronomy last week -- namely, that the primary task of education falls on parents?

In Joshua 4, after the Israelites have crossed the Jordan, they are commanded to set down memorial stones as a reminder to the world of the Lord's power. This reveals to us that the Lord wants historical memory to be passed down to later generations in tactile, tangible ways and it presents a challenge to educators. How do we teach history and other related principles in ways that make the subject feel tangible and authentic?

In Joshua 7-8, the disobedience of Israel at Ai shows us how the Lord views discipline and atonement. Acts of public restitution and confession have a role in social institutions, especially when leaders direct public atonement toward God as the ultimate aggrieved party. Joshua's leadership style in general presents a different model to educators, somewhat distinct from what we have seen so far.

In Joshua 9, we have an episode with the Gibeonites that demonstrates the cost of gullibility, and conversely, the importance of discernment. Foolishness is not merely an individual failure but can also be the failure of Christian societies to teach younger generations how to be discerning and savvy.

Joshua 12-22 reminds that the Lord cares about material realities, physical measurements, and quantification, because the text shows the care given to mapping the correct boundaries for every tribe.

Lastly, Joshua's farewell address in 23 presents us with much to ponder as a template for leadership.

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