(28.) I is for Imagination

(28.) I is for Imagination

(28.) I is for Imagination

Why does it seem that education in general, and Christian education in particular, are going out of their way to starve the imagination of their students? Schools are producing split personalities: all work and no wonder; all logic and no intuition; all explaining and no exploring; all rubric and no razzmatazz. What ever happened to the other side of the brain? The surest sign of a growing mind is an active, healthy ability to see images with the mind’s eye. The imagination is the intellect at play, caught up in the God-given creative impulse. Capture the imagination in school, and the rest of the student will gladly follow.

A Christ-centered school that doesn’t feed the imagination, that doesn’t inspire curiosity or spark creativity, just doesn’t reflect the mind of the Maker, to borrow a phrase from Dorothy Sayers. In fact, a Christian education that doesn’t give equal opportunity employment to the imagination is simply unChristian. For, the fired-up imagination is needed to believe as well as create. Faith is dead without works, but faith will never even be┬áborn without imagination. How else can we be “certain of what we don’t see?” How else can we “understand that what is seen was not made out of what was visible?” (Hebrews 11). How can we recognize God’s presence in this world, or follow his unseen path, without a vivid, sharpened imagination? In many ways, faithlessness is a failure of the imagination.

So then, our calling in Christian education needs to go beyond mere fact retention and recall, beyond information accumulation and standardized tests and impressive scores. Our calling travels through rational and measurable data to all things beautiful, seen and unseen, to the dance of ideas and the romance of faith.