Traditional expository biblical studies for practical application to life and learning—
The Word of God: a journey back to what the scriptures actually say, without the malignantly legalistic, popularized contemporary, or liberalized social agenda.
I will give you a mouth and wisdom, which your adversaries shall not be able to contradict nor resist.
New occasions teach new duties; Ancient values test our youth. They must upward still and onward, who would keep abreast of truth.
–James Russell Lowell, 1844
One of the defining courses at The Branch School is Biblical Studies. Although part of the curriculum it, first, transcends academics by its own nature while, secondly, being interwoven into the curriculum. The course surpasses program requirements in a most valuable way. It seeks to improve and strengthen the spiritual life of each student. In so doing, each also gains continued spiritual assurance, confidence in presenting the Gospel, and in incalculable Godly wisdom. Hence, the Bible serves a dual purpose at The Branch School. It is the owner’s manual for human living, and it augments much of the academic material taught and studied.
In the former, the Bible is the textbook. In it is truth that changes lives, young and old. The studies of Old and New Testaments are expository in character, albeit spiritual in application. Of critical importance is that each Biblical Studies class begins in prayer, requesting of God truth, meaning, significance, nourishment, and discernment in the scriptures being studied. “Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that heareth my word, and believeth on him that sent me, hath everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation; but is passed from death unto life.” (John 5:24)
Taken straight, this is powerful stuff for young people. This class provides the spiritual sustenance necessary for growth in Christ so to meet the coming challenges. It is exciting to watch the spiritual maturation that takes place in students as they growingly incorporate Christ into their lives. Therein is the real success.
In the latter, the Bible balances and complements understanding in other course texts and materials. Scripture is an especially necessary component to the more intricate study of world history, American history, and government. It lends clarity, verification, and perspective in evaluating events and their historiographic elements. Its value to study in the sciences is paramount, rendering foundational truth to interpret the physical world as course levels advance and material deepens.
Similarly, the inspiration, interpretation, and masterful presentation of scripture in the arts and sacred music have remained a constant for centuries. Such classical work–in print and paint, instrument and statue—produced by earlier brethren faithful to plying their talents, illustrated the effulgence of God’s majesty, as well as the pure and simple faith of those it impacted.
Thus, in this secondary usage, scriptural and academic studies form a circuit, enhancing the interpretation, understanding, and assimilation of material germane to both.
A further word on Biblical Studies: Our position on the sovereignty of God and His Word…
Whether for daily personal growth or companion to other studies, The Branch School believes that the Bible stands on its own merits, addresses today’s problems in the same manner that it did yesterday and will tomorrow, and that it cannot be morphed into something that it is not. The Bible is inerrant and, as such, it does not contain the Word of God, it is the Word of God, as so stated in II Timothy 3:16, wherein, “All scripture is given by inspiration of God.”
As such, in biblically discussing their pinnacles and plummets, we favor our students engage experiential conversation about their lives as they are occurring, addressing such through ageless wisdom, God’s guidance, and Christ’s unconditional love that the scriptures have directly rendered throughout human history. Neither students nor parents need fret over this uncluttered, common sense approach to practical Christianity. There are three prevalent modern characteristics plaguing Christian churches and schools, none of which will The Branch Christian School espouse or promote: the Useless, the Hopeless, and the Godless.
The Branch School is where Biblical Studies prepares young men and women for their purpose, and this significance, not for their own personal glory, or for the benefit of the school, but to the glory of God. This is where the options for life are developed. We do not arrogantly order nor furtively cajole. We humbly beseech: what will you do with that faith?
I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit in you.
We trust that our students will see that there are no new sins to be committed. There are no new mistakes to be made. Even the consequences have not changed, nor their degree of impact. There is only the perennial presentation of these facts to generation after generation. Given the choice between life or death, darkness or light, but more presently, spiritual sickness or health, we steer them toward the latter, wherein the ultimate choice will Salvation. Along the way, we, too, pray that our students “may live a life worthy of the Lord and may please Him in every way…”