Saturday, November 20, 2010

Unprofitable Home Defense 11

Continued from "Unprofitable Home Defense, 10"

To recap what I've already covered in this Unprofitable Home Defense series:

  1. God requires that we Christians train up our children in the discipline and counsel of the Lord (Ephesians. 6:4); He also warns us against walking in the counsel of the ungodly (Psalm 1:1);
  2. Godly education follows a Biblical model of discipleship (Deuteronomy 4:9; 6: 6-9; Mark 3:14);
  3. By judicial fiat and legislative initiative, government operated, statist (socialist) schools have deliberately and systematically expunged all connection of the God of Scripture to all His works; such an exclusion of God from one's worldview and thought processes is a mark of the wicked (Proverbs 21:4; Psalm 10:4); you cannot do this without replacing God with something else (natural processes) and grounding knowledge in something other than God (human reason);
  4. A comprehensive 20-year survey reveals that over the past couple of generations, the worldview of Christians has slipped markedly from moderately Christian to deeply humanistic, and this degeneration bears a high correlation to the kind of education participants received (poll by Nehemiah Institute); other surveys that mark the departure of 60%-70% of young adults from churches (Barna, Lifeway) and that Christianity is no longer the default faith of Americans (Barna) corroborate the existence and depth of the problem;
  5. The various excuses offered by Christians who subject their children to indoctrination in godlessness simply do not hold water; the idea that choosing public education is a matter of Christian liberty is an egregiously presumptuous assertion that borders on blasphemy (Christ died to liberate us from sin and its consequences; therefore, to make ungodly education a matter of Christian liberty is to say that Christ died so that I could turn my child over to a secular humanist system that will teach him/her to think about all things without reference to the Creator & Redeemer -- if this is not blasphemy, it's damnably close, and I do not use the word damnably at all lightly).
Perhaps I should conclude this series with a short presentation of how you can provide the greatest protection for your family: a program of education in godly wisdom. For wisdom is the major objective of a truly Biblical education.

Wisdom is the principal thing; therefore get wisdom: and with all thy getting get understanding. (Proverbs 4:7)

Wisdom in the Bible has a twofold meaning.

FIRST, is what we might call cognitive apprehension (head knowledge), which in turn has two levels. In its basic form head-wisdom includes a mental catalogue of facts. On a deeper level comes understanding: the ability to relate these facts in to each other and -- more importantly -- to God as the integration point of all knowledge.

SECOND, the Bible includes in the term wisdom the idea of application of knowledge -- what we would call skills. These skills may be mental (arithmetic, reading comprehension, etc.) or physical (carpentry, machinists' skills, music, painting, etc.)

For a Scriptural instance of the latter use of the word wisdom, see Exodus 31:3-5:

And I have filled him with the spirit of God, in wisdom, and in understanding, and in knowledge, and in all manner of workmanship, To devise cunning works, to work in gold, and in silver, and in brass, And in cutting of stones, to set them, and in carving of timber, to work in all manner of workmanship.

If wisdom is the objective of Biblical education, then the Christian educator must relate all wisdom to Jesus Christ "in whom are hid all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge" (Colossians 2:3). We must acknowledge Him in everything, from basic reading to World Literature, from simple counting to advanced mathematics, from . . . well, you get the idea. 

Christ is given to us as "the head over all things" (Ephesians 1:22), and it is a sin as well as a serious distortion of our curriculum's scope and sequence to neglect an acknowledgement of His Lordship over every speck of creation. The more successful you are at doing this, the more Christian -- more Biblical -- your worldview will be.

Having defined the objective and the worldview context of Biblical education, let me give you an operational statement that I believes comprehends said objective and context in terms of the process:

Christian education is a process of discipleship in which the teacher, by precept and example leads the student  

     1. To Think Biblically about 
  • God Himself
  • God's World (Creation)
  • God's Works (Providence, Redemption)
     2. To Relate Covenantally to
  • God Himself
  • Family, Church, Civil Authority, Society (brethren, neighbors, enemies)
  • Self
     3. To Act in terms of God's Royal Law of Liberty with respect to
  • his own place in God's order
  • his calling in life (purpose)
Well, that's just about it. If you or those to whom you delegate the educational responsibility for your children do not disciple them in this way, then you are not following God's model for child nurture found in Ephesians, Deuteronomy, Proverbs, the Gospels, etc. You may very likely cause the child for whom God made you responsible to stumble in his/her faith.

If you are striving to follow the Biblical pattern (albeit imperfectly), may God bless and multiply your efforts. Either way, you ought to ask yourself whether God sees you as part of the problem or part of the solution. 

The outworkings of that question in time has eternal implications -- see Matthew 18:5-6.

Soli Deo Gloria


The Warrior said...

Bravo, bravo! One of your best series to date. It's almost too bad it's over now! (This is the last entry, correct?)

Thank you for sticking your neck out on this one. I know it wasn't easy...but at least we aren't alone, isn't that right?


P.S. I mention this mostly because you already know of the other sources that I think of on this topic (Rushdoony, Bahnsen, Van Til), but mentioning mathematics makes me wonder, did you ever read James Nickel's Mathematics: is God Silent? It's one of my favorite books, and not only covers math, it also gave me a framework with how to view scientific inquiry period. Wonderful, wonderful book! (Sorry to digress.)

Gravelbelly said...

Warrior, I have Nickel's book on the shelf & although I have not read it all, it is a great testimony to the fact that there is such a thing as a Christian view of mathematics. I have also found the math essay by Vern Poythress in "Foundations of Christian Scholarship" to be very insightful on the subject.

I originally intended to mention Nickel's book in the post, but forgot. Thanks for bringing it up.

The Warrior said...

Hmm...if I remember right, Poythress's essay was mentioned in Nickel's book.

Do you have his newer edition? 2004 I think it is? (It's updated and expanded, excellently, is why I'm asking).