The National Institute has a strong biblical statement of belief which affirms the historic doctrines of the faith. Being an educational institution, however, the National Institute is particularly interested in what the biblical narrative teaches about knowledge, humanity, creation, and culture.
We believe that all knowledge comes from God or as Arthur Holmes put it, “All truth is God’s truth”. God is good to all and enables all kinds of people to discern truth from engagement with His creation. We therefore honour learning and insights from a range of sources. We also believe that the true, coherent meaning of knowledge is only found in Jesus Christ as He is revealed in the Bible. Furthermore we believe that in our natural state people suppress the coherence of knowledge found in Christ and worship a god substitute. The ultimate faith in humanity is a common example.
We believe that human beings have great dignity due to their creation as God’s image bearers; that we were created to develop and care for the world God made; to reflect God’s character and to be in relationship with Him. We believe that humanity has rejected this relationship, image, and task and, in seeking to be God, we have disowned our dignity and become enslaved to falsehood. We believe that this image is perfectly restored in the historic person of Jesus and progressively in those committed to Him.
We believe that creation is all that exists apart from God and that everything was created according to God’s will and that it was “very good”. Although God’s hand can still be discerned in the order and beauty of creation, the world is not as it was meant to be. Because of human refusal to submit to God’s authority and rule as His representative, the creation has been given over to frustration and groaning. We believe, however, that creation is still loved by its maker and is being restored through the obedient sacrifice of Jesus. We look towards and teach in the light of the new creation.
We believe that human culture is a part of God’s creation. The inherent dignity of humanity is that we have the task of ordering God’s world as we develop culture. In our natural state, despite God’s sustaining goodness, we develop culture in disobedient ways, reflecting the worship of god substitutes and yet as part of God’s creation, we look towards the renewal of culture and seek to engage with it in the light of God’s ordering purposes as our minds are progressively renewed in the likeness of Jesus.
These biblical beliefs guide our scholarly endeavours as we exercise our task as a rigorous tertiary education institution. We acknowledge that our best efforts are tainted with compromise and ignorance and yet we are bold to proclaim that the National Institute seeks to celebrate the Lordship of Christ over all creation as we engage with the whole of the Bible for the whole of life.
“The Institute has enriched my perspective on what Christian education is. I feel so much more confident and bolder in my understanding”.Jannet De Bruyn
Statement of Faith
Holy Scripture and Education
By faith we confess the books of the Old and New Testaments to be the divinely inspired, inerrant Word of God (2 Tim 3:16-17), the only absolute rule for all faith and conduct, and therefore also for the education of our children at home and at school.
Christian Parents and Education
As believing parents we have Christ’s comforting assurance for our children that theirs is the Kingdom of Heaven and that He will bless them when we bring them to Him (Mark 10:13-16).
Expecting fulfilment of His promise and obeying the command of His apostle, we endeavour to bring our children up “in the discipline and instruction of the Lord” (Eph 6:4).
Since the responsibility for this task has been placed on our shoulders as parents we gladly accept responsibility for that part of education which takes place outside our homes in the school.
We consider the establishment of Christian parent controlled schools, which are to assist us in the work of Christian nurture and education, to be our duty and God-given privilege.
As Christ is the Saviour and King of the whole of human life (Matt 28:18; Eph 1:20-22; Col 1:16-17) we understand a Christian school to be an educational institution in which Christ is not only honoured by prayer and study of the Bible, but all subjects are taught by the light of God’s revelation in Jesus Christ contained in the Old and New Testament.
For such Christian schools we as parents claim all freedom in the field of education so long as this education takes place in obedience to the requirements of God’s Word and in adherence to legitimate governmental standards and provisions.
Some Doctrines Fundamental to Christian Education
Believing all the truth revealed in the Word of God we wish to emphasise some doctrines which are of special importance for Christian education. They are:
1. God and Creation
All things were created by God so that “what is seen was made out of things which do not appear” (Heb 11:13). God created them in, through, and for Christ (Col 1:15-17) by His Word and Spirit (Gen 1; Ps 33:6), to the glorification of His Holy Name (Ps 8; Ps 19; Rom 11:36). It is also by God’s hand, power, and care that all created things are preserved and controlled (Ps 99; Matt 6:24f; Acts 17:24f). In order to understand the world, man, and history, they must be seen in their relationship to God as the Bible speaks of it.
2. The Bible and Science
Creation as well as Scripture has been brought forth by the same God of truth. Therefore, any seeming discrepancy between the Bible and science can only be due to human error either in science or in the interpretation of Scripture. Science is truly scientific when both nature and Scripture are taken seriously.
Man was created in the image of God to enjoy true communion with his Creator (Gen 1:26f; Acts 17:26f).
Man was instructed to exercise dominion over the world in strict and loving obedience to God, to interpret all reality in accordance with His design and law and to reflect in his person and works the excellence of his Maker (Gen 1:28f; Ps 8:4f; Rom 1:20).
By disobeying God’s law and forsaking his office, man estranged himself from God and his neighbour and brought God’s curse upon himself and upon all creation (Gen 3:16-19; Rom 8:19f). He became also blind to life’s true meaning and purpose, misuses his knowledge and abilities, adheres to man-centred philosophies, and makes himself false gods of his own imagination and desires (Rom 1:18f).
Jesus Christ, the second Person of the Holy Trinity, is God incarnate, the Word become flesh (John 1:1-14).
Laying down His life for His sheep (John 10:10-15), He paid the price of sin for them, being a ransom for all who truly believe in Him (Matt 20:28; Rom 5:6f; 1 Tim 2:5-6).
Having risen from the dead in His physical body (Luke 24:36-43) and ascended to the throne of Heaven, He is the King of the universe (Matt 28:18; 1 Pet 3:22). By His Word and Spirit He rules in grace over all true believers. Redeeming their lives in entirety, renewing them after His image and restoring them to fellowship with God and their fellowmen, He makes them obedient to God’s will in all spheres of life (Rom 8:1-17).
6. The Holy Spirit
The Holy Spirit, the third person of the Holy Trinity (2 Cor 13:14), the divine source of all created life (Gen 1:2; Ps 104:30), is also the source of faith in Christ, of true, spiritual knowledge, and of a new sanctified life in grateful obedience to God’s will (John 3:3f; 1 Cor 2:9f; 12:3; Eph 3:14f).
Since, therefore, the fruit of all Christian education depends on the gracious operations of the Holy Spirit, both parents and teachers are to perform their task with constant prayer that the Spirit may enable them to be good instruments in His hands for bringing the children up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord, and that He may so bless their work that the children come to know the Lord Jesus Christ as their personal saviour and master, whom to follow and serve in all spheres of life is their greatest privilege and joy.