Darrow Miller and Friends

There’s No Christian Education without Context

Bible teachers have long emphasized the importance of context to establish the meaning of a text. The same is true for any communication. A friend pointed out to me once that an instruction to “Make the boat fast” without adding any context can be understood at least three completely different ways:

  1. “Design the boat so it can travel at high speeds.”
  2. “Tie up the boat so it will not come loose.”
  3. (with minor grammatical license) “Hurry up and build the boat!”

Context is essential to understanding. Yet that truth is often lost on Christian educators. Too much Christian education is fragmented: a little science taught here, math there, Bible around the corner.

Our friend Christian Overman is working to change that. He offers a robust view of why all education needs to be tied together. In fact, he says contextualization “is what Christian education is all about.”

Christian offers some splendid application of this truth with reference to teaching and learning. He exposes a frequent weakness in teaching and makes a strong argument for wholism instead. … And his writing is always fun, too!

– Gary Brumbelow


Christian education requires context says Christian Overman

Dr. Christian Overman is founder and director of Worldview Matters. His blog is often featured at Darrow Miller and Friends. Dr. Overman is a writer, a speaker, a coach, and a Colson Centurion, coaching training through Creative Results Management.


“In the past year, I have been using the word ‘integration’ less, and the word ‘contextualization’ more. Here’s why …

The Power and Import of Contextualization





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Gary is the Disciple Nations Alliance editorial manager. He manages Darrow Miller and Friends and serves as editor and co-writer on various book projects. For eight years Gary served as a cross-cultural church planting missionary among First Nations people of Canada. His career also includes 14 years as executive director of InterAct Ministries, an Oregon-based church-planting organization in Canada, Alaska, and Siberia. Gary is a graduate of Grace University, earned an MA from Wheaton College and a Graduate Studies Diploma from Western Seminary. He lives near Portland, Oregon with his wife, Valerie. They have two married sons and twelve grandchildren. In addition to his work with the DNA, Gary serves as the pastor of Troutdale Community Church.