thinking beyond the (tick) box

Back to work today and this quote stood out and grabbed my attention:

As the classicist Mary Beard has very truly said, “one of the consequences of the new-style sixth form curriculum is that students get the impression that they are only learning when they are being taught.”

In a provocative article by Philip Hensher he uses the quote to make the point that target culture creates target-hitters and no more. Thinking around the subject is given little opportunity when the learner has been brought up being ‘taught to the test’. Indeed, such is our highly pressurised culture that many higher education students are working harder to achieve their grades whilst working to earn money to stave off an insurmountable debt. This leaves little room for creative, lateral thinking except for the most exceptional minds.

It made me wonder about church culture- do we simply learn when listening to a talk, podcast or homegroup DVD? What lines do we draw between our faith and the culture we are immersed in, outside the regimented times of learning? I’m tempted to compartmentalise my life, nice easy well-defined boxes seem somewhat more ordered and predictable. Less taxing, perhaps. But what does it say about my faith if I fail to make the connections- and what are the implications? If a problem emerges between the values of Christian truth and cultural norm which way will I jump? Being a consumer is never enough because I’m the axis around which everything else revolves. Being a disciple, well, that’s altogether different.


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