The Challenge for Every Christian Parent (2)

They did not destroy the peoples, as the Lord commanded them, but they mingled with the nations and learned their practices, and served their idols, which became a snare to them. They even sacrificed their sons and daughters to the demons, and shed innocent blood, the blood of their sons and daughters, whom they sacrificed to the idols of Canaan; and the land was polluted with the blood (Ps.106:34-38).

Humanism is a religion which deifies mankind. Of course, it all began in the Garden, when Satan promised Adam and Eve, “you will be like God, knowing good and evil” (Gen.3:5).

The most obvious manifestation of humanism of our era, is Public Education. Leftist politicians generally are humanists, and great believers in Public Education. Public education is a means of indoctrinating the population with values which suit the political rulers of the nation.

Anything intrinsically wrong with that? Think of it this way: all education involves indoctrination. The question is, indoctrination in what? And this is what Christians have been most reluctant to face up to, for four generations. We’ve habitually said to ourselves, “education involves learning how to read and write, and how to relate to others in society. So, the children will go to the State School. We’ll teach them spiritual values at home.”

In the early years of the 20th century, the Fabian Society of England came out strongly in favor of state aid to independent Christian schools. When a board member resigned in protest, George Bernard Shaw rebuked him strongly. Nothing, Shaw held, would more quickly destroy these schools than state aid; their freedom and independence would soon be compromised, and, before long, their faith. Events soon proved Shaw to be right.[1]

How foolish and disobedient we have been to God’s Word. The Psalmist in the above text (recorded around 1,000 BC) offers a Holy Spirit inspired historical commentary on what the children of Israel had been doing 500 years earlier.

And what has the modern Church done? We have essentially followed the same practices. In sending our children to the public school, we have “mingled with the nations and learned their practices, and served their idols, which became a snare to them.” They were disobedient then, in 1,500 BC. Today, we repeat the process.

Now there would be some who will quickly be saying,

That’s not fair Andrew. We send our children to the Christian school, where the education is so much better.

My response is, “Who is controlling the Christian school?” If you threaten the supply of tax-monies from the Education Department to that school, that school’s leadership will cross flooded streams and crawl over broken glass to make sure their funding supply is secure. The school’s attitude is, “No funding-no school.” (In some “Christian” schools, government funding accounts for 90% of all of the school’s budget). Everything else is up for negotiation, including the curriculum.

And if the Department (dominated by humanistic bureaucrats) asks hard questions about the school’s 6-day Creation Science course, or school policies about anti-discrimination for homosexual teachers or a host of other things, which way will the school jump? Anyone can pretty well predict. The school will follow whatever path is necessary, to ensure the supply of funding continues.

Even if a school doesn’t come under direct pressure from the Department of Education, there is the implicit kind. Think of it this way. If the school gets all 125 boxes ticked for complete Departmental approval for the next 3 years, everything is hunky-dory. And if you have gone to a great deal of effort to do all the work, and committed the time and resources of the school to that project, what then do you have left, if you want to implement a Christian curriculum?

Chances are, you’ll have had enough. Chances are, you’ll say,

We’re over the line now for the registration and funding. Happy days! Do we really want to be bothered going the extra mile to press for that curriculum improvement? That would mean going back to the Department for a whole new registration process. The School Board doesn’t care. Most of the parents don’t care. The teachers are happy. What’s the problem?

So, the average “Christian” school plays the middle of the road game. The Department is kept happy, along with parents (who were never taught about this from the pulpit), and teachers.

Is this God’s way? If so, show me the scriptural validity of governments ever being involved in the education process. It’s not in the Bible, but parental responsibility is, both in the Old and New Testaments (see Deut.6; Prov.22:6; Eph.6:4).

The notion of taxes being collected for the purpose of educating children, assisting to press the national tax rates over 30-40%, only means two things. Firstly, we are a nation under judgment, and secondly, God’s way for education has been rejected.

This is what God said of Israel in Samuel’s day (see I Sam.8): God said, “…they have rejected Me from being king over them” (v.7), when the tax rate got to 10%.

Rushdoony was right, again:

Children are a God-given inheritance for our conquest of the world for Christ. They are a means of subduing the earth and exercising dominion under the Lord. If we give our children to state or private schools which are not systematically Christian in their curriculum, we are then giving the future to God’s enemies, and He will hold us accountable for laying waste our heritage.[2]

Conclusion:                                                                                                                                        The body of Christ has a lot of searching of heart to do, today. We will have to apply ourselves in faithfulness to Christ, to our children’s education. This will require some major changes in how we do things in the future, if we really want to please the Lord of heaven and earth.

Refusing to commit our children to godless institutions and people for their education will be the first step.

Is that what you’re ready for?

 

 

[1] Rousas Rushdoony, “Roots of Reconstruction,” 1991, p.446.

[2] Rousas Rushdoony, “In His Service,” 2009, p.20.

The First Church Of Christian Gnosticism

By Gary DeMar, Dec 31, 2019

Many Christians believe and teach a form of factual neutrality where some subjects, for example, science, geography, politics, mathematics, can and should be taught without any regard to religion since “facts speak for themselves.” This is most evident in education where a self-conscious sacred-secular divide is maintained and supported by Christians. Ninety percent of Christian parents send their children to government schools. Since these parents believe that math is math and history is history, the religious stuff can be made up at church.

One hour of Sunday school and an hour at Youth Meeting each week and maybe a mission trip in the summer can’t make up for five days a week, six hours each day, 10 months of the year, 12+ years of a government-developed curriculum that is humanistic to the core. The humanists understand the importance of education in creating worldview shifts and control, so why don’t Christians? Charles Francis Potter, who founded the First Humanist Society of New York in 1929 and signed the first Humanist Manifesto in 1933, made no secret of the purpose of the American public schools:

Education is thus a most powerful ally of Humanism, and every American public school is a school of Humanism What can the theistic Sunday-school, meeting for an hour once a week, and teaching only a fraction of the children, do to stem the tide of a five-day program of humanistic teaching?1

  1. J. Rushdoony pointed out the Humanist design for education in his books Intellectual Schizophrenia(1961) and The Messianic Character of American Education(1963). According to Rushdoony, modern government education “is erosive and destructive of all culture except the monolithic state, which is then the ostensible creator and patron of culture. When it speaks of the whole child, it speaks of a passive creature who is to be moulded by the statist education for the concept of the good life radically divorced from God and from transcendental standards.”2 Rushdoony was not the first to understand the goal of statist education. Robert L. Dabney (1820–1898) saw it more than 100 years ago:

[T]he Jeffersonian doctrine of the absolute severance and independence of church and state, of the entire secularity of the State, and the absolutely equal rights, before the law, of religious truth and error, of paganism, atheism, and Christianity, has also established itself in all the States; and still the politicians, for electioneering ends, propagate this State education everywhere. By this curious circuit “Christian America” has gotten herself upon this thoroughly pagan ground; forcing the education of responsible, moral, and immortal beings, of which religion must ever be the essence, into the hands of a gigantic human agency, which resolves that it cannot and will not be religious at all. Surely, some great religious body will arise in America to lift its Christian protest against this monstrous result!3

What would America be like today if the Church of Jesus Christ had heeded Dabney’s warnings and some “great religious body” had arisen to make the break from an educational system that was designed to be the indoctrination center for the State and its messianic motives? The usual Christian response is to reform the public schools, to get more parents involved, sue to get a moment of silence, prayers at sporting events and commencement exercises, release programs, and legislation to teach the Bible as literature as they’ve done in some states.4 There will be pressure groups in some cities to teach the Koran. Then there’s the question of how the Bible will be taught. Will the Old Testament be taught as myth? For example, NBC News anchor Chuck Todd has said that “Trump voters ‘want to be lied to’ since they believe in ‘fairy tales’ — like Noah’s Ark.”

Will someone teaching on the Olivet Discourse point out that Jesus was mistaken about His coming?

Some years ago, I received an email from a woman who asked me if I could direct her to some information that refutes Gnosticism. She wrote that a friend of hers “claims to be on an extraordinarily intense spiritual ‘pilgrimage’ of ‘really pressing in to know God intimately’—but this guy has in effect divorced himself from the material world and from all relationships (including his wife and 10 children) which he views as a hindrance to his spiritual growth.”

Gnostics claim to have special knowledge (gnosis is the Greek word for “knowledge”) on how to live the Christian life that is not revealed to “ordinary Christians.” God’s revelation in Scripture is not good enough or sufficient to give direction on how to live the Christian life. Of course, this refutes what the Bible says when it states that Scripture is “adequate” and equips the Christian “for every good work” (2 Tim. 3:17). She went on to say that this friend, a farmer, “was putting up hay recently and needed to get it in as they were expecting rain. Before he finished, he remembered that he had scheduled a Bible study, so he left his hay in order to keep the ‘spiritual’ duty. The rain came and the hay was lost, but he felt justified that he had chosen the higher calling.”

Another feature of Gnosticism is the belief that there are two separate realms—“one spiritual, the other material. The spiritual realm, created by God, [is] all good; the material realm, created by the demiurge, all evil. Man [needs] to be saved, not from Original Sin, but from enslavement to matter.”5

A further expression of Gnosticism was expressed by someone who “doesn’t believe in voting because that is a ‘worldly affair,’ and he wants only to be engaged in truly spiritual activities.” For the Gnostic, the material world is on a lower plane. Only “spiritual things” are useful and profitable. A Gnostic-like belief might forbid marriage while advocating “abstaining from foods” even though “God has created these things “to be gratefully shared in by those who believe and know the truth” (1 Tim. 4:3). Godliness for the Gnostic is defined as a retreat from the world and despising the things of the world.

[The Gnostics] devised a dualistic cosmology to set against the teachings of the early Christian Church, which, they claimed, were only common deceptions, unsuited for the wise. The truth was esoteric. Only the properly initiated could appreciate it. It belonged to a secret tradition which had come down through certain mystery schools. The truth was, God could never become man. The Gnostic secret is that the spirit is trapped in matter, and to free it, the world must be rejected.6

For the Gnostic, life “must be escaped at any cost.”7 But if there can be no immediate material escape, then a spiritual escape is a good enough substitute. The Gnostic escapes from the responsibilities of history. But for the Christian, history is the realm of decision making, and, therefore, is anti-Gnostic. If we are not responsible for history, then we are not responsible for decision making. Even a casual reading of the Bible will show that our faith is to be lived out in the world so that “fruit”– good works — is manifested for the world to see and for Christians to judge (Matt. 7:15–23). No restrictions are placed on where this fruit is to mature.

One of the central issues that divided gnostics and orthodox Christians in the early Church was their understanding of the relationship between religion and politics. The Church Fathers accepted the political worldliness of the Jewish faith, contending that religion and politics are interconnected and inseparable. The early Puritans and even Jonathan Edwards, following classical Calvinism, would have been clearly orthodox in this regard. The world of politics, of human institutions, was for them an essential locus of God’s redemptive work.8

What is contemporary Gnosticism like? While it might not manifest itself in ascetic practices like pole-sitting, it does reveal itself in an institutional escape. Institutional escape is not in the Protestant tradition, however. Our nation’s earliest Christian citizens did not view escape, eschatologically, ascetically, or institutionally, as being biblical. Education, publishing, law, science, medicine, and politics, to take just some worldview areas, were to be governed by the Word of God as were ecclesiastical affairs. Modern-day Gnosticism thrives in a climate of escapism which means a retreat from this world and responsibility to do anything to change any part of it. If this world means nothing, then I am not responsible for its evils.

  1. Charles Francis Potter, Humanism: A New Religion(New York: Simon and Schuster, 1930), 128. Quoted in David A. Noebel, J.F. Baldwin, and Kevin Bywater, Clergy in the Classroom: The Religion of Secular Humanism (Manitou Springs, CO: Summit Press, 1995), vi. []
  2. J. Rushdoony, Intellectual Schizophrenia: Culture, Crisis and Education (Vellecito, CA: Ross House Books, [1961] 1998), 10. []
  3. Robert L. Dabney, Discussions of Robert Lewis Dabney: Secular, C. R. Vaughan, 4 vols. (Harrisonburg, Virginia, Sprinkle Publications,1994), 4:548. []
  4. David Van Biema, “The Case for teaching the Bible,” Time(March 22, 2007). []
  5. Dusty Sklar, The Nazis and the Occult(New York: Dorset Press, [1977] 1989), 140–141. []
  6. Sklar, The Nazis and the Occult, 147. []
  7. [1]Philip Lee, Against the Protestant Gnostics(New York: Oxford University Press, 1987), 122. []
  8. Lee, Against the Protestant Gnostics, 123–124. []

The Challenge for Every Christian Parent (1)

Great are the works of the Lord; they are studied by all who delight in them (Ps.111:2).

We Christians must acknowledge one thing today: the Church has been letting a lot of things slip over the last hundred years or so, and it’s got us into no end of trouble.

Why has this happened? I believe it’s been because the Church has believed things that are not true. For example, Jesus explained to Pilate that “My kingdom is not of this world…” (Jn.18:36).

Does this mean that Christians are never to have a role, or play any part in the affairs of the world that we live in, that we are not to speak with confidence or authority about important issues in the life of the community or nation, and that we should just shut up and watch the world go by, to destruction? The Bible doesn’t teach us that.

Jesus was showing Pilate that the origins of His kingdom are not from this world. Jesus’ authority and kingdom came from God, and are not derived from a human, earthly source. But because God has made the world and all things in it, and He called Adam and Eve (and representatively, us) to “rule and have dominion” (Gen.1:26-28), Christian people are obliged under God to understand how we are to live and serve Him, so that we can give a good account to Him.

This means a lot of things. It means that we are firstly, to see all of life from God’s perspective. There is no subject or area of understanding that ought to be separated from the knowledge of God, or seen apart from scripture, for God has laid out in His Word His commands for life, and they are all encompassing.

Let me give you an example. The Bible teaches us that

You shall do no injustice in judgment; you shall not be partial to the poor nor defer to the great, but you are to judge your neighbour fairly (Lev.19:15).

Government instigated graduated taxation (where high earners pay a higher rate of tax) is in violation of this scripture, because it is “partial to the poor.” If there is to be income tax, it ought to be at a flat rate. But we in the Church have systematically ignored this scripture for all of the twentieth century, and now “progressive” tax rates are with us, all over the world. The politics of envy have triumphed over godliness, and now it’s hurting.

According to the law of God in Deuteronomy 6, education is a parental responsibility. It’s not a task that God has given to government to perform. But 150 years ago, the Church said, “That’s all right. We’ll let the government look after that. We won’t have to bother.” So now, we have Public Education: the most evil, wasteful and inefficient system of education known to man.

Why did this happen? The modern Church decided that when Paul said, “…you are not under law but under grace” (Ro.6:14), we had a licence to throw all of God’s law out the window.

The results have been catastrophic, both in the Church and in the world.

Paul was not advocating the rejection of God’s law. What he was doing was showing that obeying God’s law has never been and can never be the basis of our justification. Only the substitutionary death of Jesus on our behalf could accomplish that. The law of God teaches us how to live.

So as we think about our children’s education, we’re going to have to go back to God’s law to give us our marching orders.

The education of children for God is the most important business done on earth. It is the one business for which the earth exists. To it all politics, all war, all literature, all money-making, ought to be subordinated; and every parent especially ought to feel every hour of the day, that, next to making his own calling and election sure, this is the end for which he is kept alive by God-this is his task on earth.[1]

 

[1] Dabney (circa 1890), quoted in Bruce Shortt, “The Harsh Truth about Government Schools,” 2004, p.356.

Teacher Tells her Child Her Mother is not Her Teacher

By Gary DeMar (www.godfatherpolitics.com), 26/11/2014

Cassidy Vines recently began noticing a change in her daughter’s behavior. The kindergartener began to ‘snap’ at her mother when she tried correcting the little girl’s homework.  ‘She told me that I was her mommy, not her teacher.'”

Cassidy asked her daughter, “Is somebody telling you this at school?”

“She said, ‘Yes, I’m only allowed to learn from my teacher,'” Vines remarked.

There you have it. It doesn’t matter what you and I know and can find out on our own; it’s only what government-trained, and government-paid teachers are required to teach over any knowledge parents might have.

There are many teachers who want to be good teachers but are not allowed to teach anything but what the curriculum dictates.

When one mother objected how Thanksgiving was being taught, she called the principal “to point out that Thanksgiving was when the Pilgrims thanked God. The principal responded by saying ‘that was her opinion’—the schools could only teach what was in the books!”

If you ever sat through a college history class or even a high school history class, you will most likely be taught that there was a period called the “Dark Ages,” and it was all blamed on evil and ignorant Christians.

Nothing could be further from the truth, but in many cases there is no other view being taught. Art, science, architecture, music, literature, and so much more developed during the period that too many historians describe as “dark.”

The Enlightenment did not burst on the scene fully formed. There was a long development of progress preceding the area of a so-called enlightenment…

BN-CD488_edp_bk_ER_20140330172035

Take a look at Rodney Stark’s book How the West Won: The Neglected Story of the Triumph of Modernity.

The perception that there has always been a war between religion and science is of recent vintage. The myth finds its most formal statement in the nineteenth-century works of John William Draper’s History of the Conflict between Religion and Science (1874) and Andrew Dickson White’s History of the Warfare of Science with Theology in Christendom (1896).

White introduces his work with the claim that he is ‘letting the light of historical truth into the decaying mass of outworn thought which attaches the modern world to medieval conceptions of Christianity and which lingers among us—a most serious barrier to religion and morals, and a menace to the whole normal evolution of society.”

Tom Shachtman writes in his book Gentlemen Scientists and Revolutionaries: The Founding Fathers in the Age of Enlightenment (2014):

“It is also important to note that the Founding Fathers’ science was in no way opposite their religion. The notion that science and religion were antithetical is a nineteen-century construct” falsely popularized by Draper and White. “To split the Founders’ religious beliefs from their scientific ones creates a schism that did not exist in the Founding Fathers’ time. The Founders saw and felt no space between their faith in science and their faith in a Deity.”

And what did Cassidy Vines do? She took her child out of the government school and is teaching her at home. There are many educational opportunities available to parents these days that avoid the government education gatekeepers.

Counting the cost of national maths failure

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WHAT’S five times four? Geophysicist Peter Ridd was gobsmacked to see a first-year university student pull out a calculator to work out the no-brainer equation.

The James Cook University professor blames the dumbing down of a generation of Australian students on modern teaching philosophies that deride rote learning as “drill and kill”. His alarm is echoed by eminent maths, science and education professors concerned that under­qualified teachers, “student-led” pedagogy and assignment-based assessment methods are rendering a generation of Australian children innumerate.

“Modern educational theory says you don’t need knowledge because it’s all online; there’s Google,’’ Ridd tells Inquirer. “But you ultimately do need a basic proficiency in spelling and numbers; you need knowledge inside your head. I’ve seen uni kids, when I’ve asked them ‘What’s 61 x 0?’, pick up a calculator.’’

Scientist Jennifer Stow, a former Harvard University researcher with a PhD from Monash University and a postdoctoral degree from Yale, shares Ridd’s dismay. As laboratory head at the University of Queensland Institute for Molecular Bio­science, and a principal research fellow with the National Health and Medical Research Council, she teaches science to undergraduates and trains PhD students.

Stow is “flabbergasted” by what she views as substandard skills in maths and English among many Australian undergraduates. Foreign PhD science students outnumber the locals in her field, she says, because local students are so far behind in maths.

“They can’t do basic maths,’’ Stow tells Inquirer.

“A lot of them haven’t learned the times tables at school, they haven’t been drilled in spelling and they come to university not being able to do division.

“There are lots of international students at university now, and kids from places like Singapore have got much better reading, writing and maths skills than the Australian kids.’’

The sliding standards are spelled out in the latest results from the OECD’s Program for International Student Assessment. The international PISA test, last conducted in 2012, reveals the numeracy levels of Australian teenagers have plunged so far in a decade that four out of 10 lack “baseline” maths skills.

student ranking

Australia’s maths performance in Year 10 fell by the equivalent of six months of schooling between 2003 and 2012. Australia dropped from 11th to 19th place in the league table of 65 countries. China, Singapore, South Korea and Japan topped the class; the average 15-year-old from Shanghai is 1½ years ahead in maths than a typical Australian student. Just 15 per cent of Australian students were top performers, compared with 55 per cent in Shanghai. One-fifth of Australian students were ranked among the poorest performers in maths, in contrast to 3.8 per cent of Chinese students.

The national curriculum for maths has won broad support from maths teachers and university educators. Kevin Donnelly, one of two educational experts appointed to review the curriculum for the Abbott government, believes style and quality of teaching count as much as the content.

“If it’s not rigorous, and teaching isn’t explicit and well structured, you do get into trouble,’’ he tells Inquirer. “There needs to be rote learning, memorisation and mental arithmetic so it becomes automatic. The fashion for the past 20 years has been very much against memorisation and we need to bring that back.’’

The steady decline in mathematics performance in Australian schools has resulted, in turn, in a shortage of qualified maths teachers. Thousands of children are being taught maths by teachers who specialised in humanities subjects at university.

“At high school the person teaching physics is more likely to be a physical education teacher than someone qualified to teach science,’’ notes Ridd.

Forty per cent of Australia’s maths teachers are “out of field”. Queensland’s Auditor-General has revealed that one in eight maths B teachers in years 11 and 12, and one in three maths teachers in years 8 to 10, lacks a tertiary qualification in maths. Four times more phys-ed teachers graduated from Queensland universities than maths teachers in 2012. The audit noted a shortage of maths, science and technology teachers in high schools — but an oversupply of physical education, music, drama and dance instructors.

Stephen Norton, a senior lecturer in mathematics education at Griffith University’s school of education and professional studies, tests the numeracy of all his would-be teachers. The results are worrying: the average undergraduate teacher has the maths skills of a Year 7 student. Half would struggle with a Year 9 National Assessment Program — Literacy and Numeracy test, which measures basic levels of literacy and numeracy for 14-year-olds.

Norton believes most univer­sity teaching courses fail to demand “reasonable levels of numeracy’’ from trainee teachers. Instead, course lecturers concentrate on teaching “learning theories, the role of technology, mathematics of indigenous cultures, learners’ attitudes towards mathematics and curriculum trends”. A typical four-year teaching degree, Norton says, dedicates just 32 hours to the teaching of maths.

“Every year I test my students and they’ve got the understanding of a Year 7 or Year 8 kid,’’ he says. “Maybe 25 per cent have a good knowledge. They struggle with fractions and proportional rea­soning and anything to do with algebra. I believe it is our res­ponsibility in universities to make sure we can remediate that.’’

Norton is critical of schools’ emphasis on “inquiry-based teaching” at the expense of drills and memorisation. Performance is falling, he says, “not because our kids are dumber; it’s because they haven’t got the basics”.

“We’ve got to find a balance where we don’t stifle creativity but we give students the basics to apply in higher order ways,” he arg­ues. “On the one hand, we want kids to discover how to do things themselves and be persistent and resilient. But what happens when you have inquiry-based pedagogy, with teachers who don’t ­really know the discipline and don’t emphasise the basic skills, is that children end up falling behind.”

One example of the modern “student-directed learning” style is the maths homework set for 10-year-olds at a Brisbane state school this week. “Write a reflection that highlights at least 2 areas in maths that you feel more confident about as we draw to the end of Year 5,’’ it says. “List at least two target areas that you would like to work on and explain what strategies you will use to take responsibility for your learning.”

Ridd, the James Cook University scientist who despairs at the reliance on calculators for simple sums, is highly critical of Queensland’s unique but controversial assessment methods for high school maths. While other states and territories rely on regular external testing of kids’ maths ability, Queensland high schools set a series of written assignments that can be 10,000 words long.

“We (scientists) want someone who can solve an equation and add fractions,’’ Ridd says. “The Queensland Curriculum and Assessment Authority wants someone who can write an essay. The problem for us is the mark that comes down from the high school is a very poor predictor of whether the students can do simple maths. The subject has been hijacked by education theorists who have no idea what’s going on.”

A Queensland parliamentary inquiry has recommended that external testing be introduced for 50 per cent of students’ marks in years 11 and 12 — in line with the southern states — with a limit of one written maths assignment each year.

The Liberal National Party government, having sat on the findings for 14 months, is now promising a “draft response” by Christmas. This week it published a vague “30-year vision” on education reform, which referred to the need to “attract, retain and reward the best and brightest teachers”. It will appoint 300 “master teachers” to 463 schools next year. Queensland is also reviewing its OP system, which ranks students on their “overall position” in relation to other students, without external exams.

It is telling that Education Queensland’s selective Academy of Science, Mathematics and Technology — reserved for the state’s brightest students — has shunned the official curriculum. Instead, its students study the International Baccalaureate Diploma, which the academy describes as a “program for rigorous learning and assessment”.

Matthew Dean, a researcher and former first-year lecturer at the University of Queensland school of mathematics and physics, believes teachers who let kids use calculators at primary school are “ruining children’s lives”.

In a submission to the national curriculum review, Dean explained that technology had a “smart end” consisting of the creators, and a “dumb end” of consumers. “Rather than making all Australian students and parents pay to be at the dumb end of technology, a good education system would give students the freedom to one day be at the smart, creative end, if they so choose,” he wrote. “The way to this freedom and ability is through mastering mathematics — the power of thought behind science and technology.”

Dean likens reciting the times table to learning musical scales on the piano: boring and repetitive but essential to mastering more advanced pieces. Having lectured first-year maths students at university for five years, he notes that many have knowledge of mathematical concepts but not the skills to solve problems. “It’s as if they’ve done a mathematical appreciation course,” he says. “They know of things but don’t have the skill to do it themselves.”

Nationally, the number of Year 12 students enrolled in advanced maths has fallen 22 per cent in a decade, choking the supply of graduates for research institutions and industry.

The Australian Mathematical Sciences Institute is warning of a looming skills shortage for industries such as banking, mining, information security, IT, biotech and communications.

Stow, whose groundbreaking medical research is tracking the movement of proteins within cells, complains that high school students are getting “dumber by the minute”. She champions a return to the times tables and spelling bees in primary school. “There is no substitute for rote learning and it is the only way to build neural networks and imprint things into your brain,” she insists.

A surgeon, Stow argues, has no time to Google in an emergency. “You can’t operate that way,” she says. “You need a certain amount of basic skills and instant recall to do the job properly. You’ve got a computer; it’s called your brain.’’

Published on

 

Natasha Bita is national affairs writer for The Daily Telegraph. A Walkley Award winning journalist, she is a former Education Editor, Consumer Editor and National Correspondent for The Australian. She has cov… 

Absent Without Leave: Fathers and the Education of Their Sons

Gary North (www.garynorth.com), March 06, 2018
What if fathers in homeschooling families agreed to accept all of the responsibility associated with educating their children starting in the sixth grade? Would their wives resist?
This would mean that the fathers would have to teach chemistry, calculus, physics, business, personal finance, and everything associated with earning a living in a technological world.
Are most fathers prepared to do this? No. They are not academically prepared. Until the advent of the Khan Academy, fathers also were not prepared in terms of the time that it would require for them to do this and also earn a living.
This has been the #1 social problem of Western civilization since the beginning of the Industrial Revolution, which was approximately in 1800. Fathers began to go into factories, where they would spend 12 hours a day, not counting the time it took them to get to and from work. At that point, throughout the West, there was a new principle of education. Throughout the history of mankind, fathers had taught their sons how to earn a living, and mothers had taught their daughters how to run a household. But in English-speaking North America and the British Isles, this tradition was abandoned, family by family. Industrialization led to an historic increase of per capita wealth. It changed all of society. But the price of this transformation was that husbands abandoned the training of their sons to women.
In the second half of the 19th century in the United States, the public school system began to take children out of homes. They turned these children over to unmarried young women who had minimal educations. These young women taught in what we like to think of as the little red schoolhouse. They taught everything from first grade through high school.
Not that many young men went to high school. They went back to their families’ farms, where the rural fathers finally regained some control over their education. Others went into factories. But after World War I, that tradition also ended. Compulsory education laws forced children to stay in high school, where there were sometimes male teachers. There were no male teachers before high school.
In Western civilization since at least World War I, education has been based on females’ control over the education of boys prior to high school. In high school, there have been male and female teachers, with males dominating the natural sciences. Higher education has always been dominated by males, especially in the natural sciences. The forced hiring of women — the EEOC’s quota system — has led to the political correctness of the modern university, with safe spaces and all the rest of it. Higher education is being increasingly feminized. The educational system from kindergarten through graduate school will soon be in the hands of women and men who act on behalf of women. The main exceptions will be physics, chemistry, engineering, and the rigorous natural sciences.
Here is the economic bottom line: for classroom-based education, women are cheaper than men to hire, and therefore price competition will always favor women in the classrooms.
The reconstruction of Western society has to begin with the willingness of fathers to reclaim control over the education of their sons. Anything less than this will simply accelerate the feminization of the West.
THE INTERNET
Internet-based education is the one area in which men can reclaim their lost authority over the education of their sons. That is because price competition is so fierce that it drives down the cost of education to such an extent that men can regain control over their sons’ education by assigning courses at the high school level and even the middle school level as digital courses produced by men.
The question is this: will the male heads of households insist that they are responsible before God and other men for the education of their sons, and therefore make the decisions regarding what is taught to their sons and by whom? If they have access to online curriculum materials that are taught by men above grade 6, they can safely defer the education of their sons to male-based curriculum programs. But to do this, they have to reassert their authority in their households. They have to insist that they are in charge, and their wives are not in charge.
That is the problem. They are not in charge. They have deferred responsibility to their wives over education of their sons, as their fathers did, and their grandfathers did, and their great-grandfathers did. The only exceptions to this are the two Tyler brothers, whose grandfather was John Tyler, who was born in 1790. Their father was the president of William and Mary College. But with the exception of these two men, the legacy of education in the United States has been one of feminization.
We hear a lot about a subculture of men who are reasserting their authority. I regard this as posturing. We will not see men reasserting authority until they reassert control over the education of their sons. Spare me the burning pyre celebrations every year in the desert. I want to see homeschooling that has mostly masculine instructors above the sixth grade. In the long run, it would be better to have male instructors from kindergarten through high school, but that will be a task for a future generation.
I have no objection to women teaching girls. They have taught their daughters from the beginning of time. But the moment we say that there is equality of educational opportunity, men should take over the educational system for the sake of the sons, and the daughters will be allowed to tag along. If there were completely feminine-based curriculum materials online, and these were assigned by fathers to their daughters, that would be fine with me. I am opposed to the idea of equality in education generally, because I think the genders are different. But to the extent that we want to train our daughters to serve as men in business, government, and even the military, then we have to accept the fact that the daughters ought to be trained by men or highly successful women.
CONCLUSION
My problem as the marketer for the Ron Paul Curriculum is that mothers make the curriculum decisions, not fathers. I think they would be willing to surrender control over the education of their sons if their husbands demanded it and took over. But the husbands don’t demand it. They are absent without leave. Mothers have been forced for the last two centuries to intervene in the formal education of their sons. That was why the public schools gained such tremendous support after 1840. Mothers found a way to remove this obligation from their lives, and their husbands voted for politicians who recommended the creation of tax-funded educational programs. After women got the vote, men and women voted for the modern public school system.

The Day Solzhenitsyn Chickened Out

Gary North – December 12, 2019

Alexander Solzhenitsyn did not fear the Soviet establishment. But he feared a humanist twerp educator, so he remained silent in the face of petty tyranny.
I learned of this only this week. I was astounded at what I’m about report.
This much is well known. In 1978, Solzhenitsyn gave a lecture at Harvard against the humanism of the West and specifically the United States: A World Split Apart. He accused the West of a loss of courage.
Maybe the most striking feature which an outside observer notices in the West in our days. The Western world has lost its civil courage, both as a whole and separately, in each country, each government, each political party and of course in the United Nations. Such a decline in courage is particularly noticeable among the ruling groups and the intellectual elite, causing an impression of loss of courage by the entire society. . . . Should one point out that from ancient times decline in courage has been considered the beginning of the end?
He then said this:
In today’s Western society, the inequality has been revealed of freedom for good deeds and freedom for evil deeds. A statesman who wants to achieve something important and highly constructive for his country has to move cautiously and even timidly; there are thousands of hasty and irresponsible critics around him, parliament and the press keep rebuffing him. As he moves ahead, he has to prove that every single step of his is well-founded and absolutely flawless. Actually an outstanding and particularly gifted person who has unusual and unexpected initiatives in mind hardly gets a chance to assert himself; from the very beginning, dozens of traps will be set out for him. Thus mediocrity triumphs with the excuse of restrictions imposed by democracy.
Two years later, he faced a test. He then imitated the weak-willed, frightened bureaucrats whom he had criticized at Harvard.
In November 1980, Ronald Reagan defeated Jimmy Carter in the presidential election. The following brief story was published in The New York Times almost a quarter century later. It was reprinted on the Free Republic site the next day.
A Cold Morning in Vermont
By JOHN TIERNEY
Published: June 13, 2004
IGNAT SOLZHENITSYN understands why so many people have warm thoughts of Ronald Reagan, but one of his earliest memories is on the frigid side.
In 1980, Ignat was an 8-year-old transplanted to Vermont by his father, the famous chronicler of Siberia’s gulags. As Ignat tells the story, on the morning after the presidential election he got a taste of American political re-education at the progressive private school he and his brothers attended.
In response to the Reagan victory, the school’s flag was lowered to half-staff, and the morning assembly was devoted to what today would be called grief counseling. The headmaster mourned “what America would become once the dark night of fascism descended under the B-movie actor,” recalled Mr. Solzhenitsyn, who is now the music director of the Chamber Orchestra of Philadelphia. “At one point he interrupted himself to inquire if anyone present did not share his gloomy view of the Reagan victory.”
The only students to raise their hands were Ignat and his two brothers, Yermolai and Stephan. After a stony silence, he recalled, they were sent outside, without their coats, to meditate on the error of their ways underneath the lowered flag. Vermont in November was hardly Siberia, but there was frost on the ground, and they spent an hour shivering and exercising to stay warm. Still, Ignat said, their political exile was a relief from sitting in the auditorium listening to the party line.
The American education system from kindergarten through graduate school is dominated by narrow-minded, arrogant, gutless little twerps like the headmaster of that unnamed academy in Vermont. They have run the show since about 1950, and they have behaved, on occasion, just like the petty fondling headmaster. They are gutless wonders, but in dealing with subordinates who are completely under their jurisdiction, they like to push people around. This is nothing new.
What was new was this: the father of these boys remained mute. This story did not reach the public until 2004. Solzhenitsyn died in 2008.
If he had had an ounce of courage in the face of that spineless headmaster, he would have called a press conference. From around the nation, reporters would have come. He then would have told them the story of what the twerp did to his sons. The story would have been reprinted in every major newspaper in the country. I suspect that the TV networks would have been there, too. Then they would have gone to the spineless twerp for an explanation. The spineless twerp, half chameleon and half jellyfish, would have folded. He would have apologized. He would have crawled on his belly in front of the media. If the Board of Trustees had recognized the threat to donations, they would have fired him. But he got away with it. He got away with it because Solzhenitsyn chickened out. Solzhenitsyn crawled on his belly in private. He ran for cover. He would not defend his sons.
He had not buckled to the threat of the Gulag Archipelago, but he buckled in the face of a spineless twerp who was in charge of some unknown, overpriced educational safe haven for rich liberals in Vermont.
If you refuse to defend your young sons, you are lacking in courage. If you can take on the American establishment in a paid speech at Harvard, but you can’t take on a spineless twerp who treats your sons like this, there is something missing in your worldview.
Why didn’t he pull his sons out of that school?
I regard him as probably the greatest single voice of prophetic courage in the 20th century. More than any other individual, he was responsible for undermining the reputation of the Soviet Union in the West, putting the lie to half a century of mild-mannered, halfhearted criticism of the USSR by the American intellectual establishment. Yet when push came to shove where it mattered in the lives of his sons, he ran for cover. He huddled in the corner afraid to say anything.
How can this happen?
It happens because people really are afraid of the American intellectual establishment, whose authority extends downward into the school systems. Parents learn early to shut up, buckle down, and fork over the money. This is true of the public schools; it is also true of elite private schools. People send their children to Harvard, Princeton, and Yale, where their own worldviews are undermined by the faculties. They keep doing it, generation after generation. It began at Harvard in 1805, when Congregational Calvinists sent their children to be educated in moral philosophy by the newly appointed Unitarian who held the position. The practice is still in force.
He ended his Harvard speech with this call to action.
Even if we are spared destruction by war, our lives will have to change if we want to save life from self-destruction. We cannot avoid revising the fundamental definitions of human life and human society. Is it true that man is above everything? Is there no Superior Spirit above him? Is it right that man’s life and society’s activities have to be determined by material expansion in the first place? Is it permissible to promote such expansion to the detriment of our spiritual integrity?
If the world has not come to its end, it has approached a major turn in history, equal in importance to the turn from the Middle Ages to the Renaissance. It will exact from us a spiritual upsurge, we shall have to rise to a new height of vision, to a new level of life where our physical nature will not be cursed as in the Middle Ages, but, even more importantly, our spiritual being will not be trampled upon as in the Modern era.
Yet when push came to shove, he buckled. He paid a small fortune to send his three children to be educated by humanists, and his children paid the price early.
Christians should stop paying this price. They should stop paying humanists to educate their children.
In 2018, a literary magazine financed by the U.S. government published this article: “A Tiny Village in Vermont Was the Perfect Spot to Hide Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn.” It may have been perfect for him, but it was not perfect for his sons.

Christianity and the Academy (5)

Education Must Have Legitimate Goals
Education without the Bible is useless- (Noah Webster, 1758-1843)

All Christian education, regardless of the age of the student, should have goals. These goals must be in harmony with scripture, and be achievable. Goals should be both general and specific. The general ones should be those that should be applicable to any course, whilst the specific ones should be specifically oriented, around a course of study. Ideally, a student should have general and specific goals, that he is working to attain. The general goals are our focus here.

1. Growth in godliness: this should be the object of every Christian person, but especially the student. The Bible says that “godliness actually is a means of great gain when accompanied by contentment” (I Tim.6:6). Furthermore, “the real measure of godliness is how well we control our tongue” (Derek Prince).

2. Conformity to the image of Christ: the Bible says that “it is enough for the disciple that he become like his teacher, and the slave like his master” (Mat.10:25a). The Christian person seeks to live out the character of Christ, through his individual personality. We can trust, that this is what God is developing in our lives too. In this, we are co-operating with the Holy Spirit (II Cor.3:18), as He develops the fruit of the Spirit in us (Gal.5:22-23).

3. “That I may know Him” (Phil.3:10): this was one of Paul’s goals, and it should be ours too. Everything for the believer, comes from knowing Jesus Christ. Jer.9:24; 22:15-16.

4. Growth in accountability (Luke 16:1-2): Any supervisor wants to be able to leave his premises, and be confident that when he returns (in hours or weeks), his staff will have been diligently applying themselves to their tasks, in his absence. This is exactly what Jesus wants of His people, too (Luke 19:11-27). If we believe we have been “bought with a price” (I Cor.6:20), this should be evident in all of work, as we show that our time belongs to the Lord, not ourselves. Punctuality is an aspect of accountability.

5. Diligence (II Thess.3:8, 10; II Tim.2:15): The Puritan Benjamin Wadsworth, advised parents that in relation to their children, “if you’re careful to bring them up diligently in proper business, you take a good method for their comfortable subsistence in the World (and for their being serviceable to their Generation) you do better for them, than if you should bring them up idly, and yet leave them great Estates.”

6. Competency and professionalism in all things: It is no disgrace to not know how to do something, but something that is an aspect of a professional’s work needs to be mastered. “The man who knows how will always be at the mercy of the man who knows why.”

7. Growth in Christian service: the individual should hope that he is doing a better job for his supervisor, his other staff-members, and his customers that he was last year. Why? Because he is growing, in terms of his attitude and experience. He should be able to function more independently, and at the same time appreciate what others are able to do, in making his organisation more effective for the customer. This point is a summation of the previous six.

8. The dominion of Jesus Christ in the earth (Ps.110:1-3): this should be the ultimate goal of all education. This is what He has placed us in the world for; not merely to have pleasant children, a nice house, riches or a good retirement. The education of every person, whether it be the mechanic, the professor, or the housewife, is to be with this in mind.

Christians are to become the predominant people in the world, in terms of their influence; this is how everyone is to be educated, so that this can take place, and the gospel can be proclaimed both by word and deed. Jesus said, “Do not be afraid little flock, for your Father has chosen gladly to give you the kingdom” (Luke 12:32). A godly education is a huge component of the Great Commission (Mat.28:18-20).

Conclusion:
Christians in the context of education, regardless of what level, are obligated to consider carefully the challenge posed by Elijah to the people on Mount Carmel: “How long will you hesitate between two opinions?” (I Kings 18:21). The Lordship of Jesus Christ applies to every area of life, including the intellectual area. Our negligence in the area of the intellectual education has cost us greatly now for generations, and we have lost a lot of ground.

Thus our stewardship in this regard is vital, if we are to give a good account, that we did in fact “love the Lord your God with all of your heart and with all of your soul and with all of your might” (Deut.6:5).

How are you and the children God has given you, being educated?

Christianity and the Academy (4)

Education must be Independent

Place the lives of children in their formative years, despite the best convictions of their parents, under the intimate control of experts appointed by the state, force them to attend schools where the higher aspirations of humanity are crushed out, and where the mind is filled with the materialism of the day, and it is difficult to see how even the remnants of liberty can subsist. Such a tyranny … used as the instrument of destroying human souls, is certainly far more dangerous than the crude tyrannies of the past.[1]

I have found that one of the hardest things to do, is to convince Christians that the State will only harm their children’s education. It is a matter that most Christians are reluctant to consider, and find even more difficult to accept. Why? It is linked to the fact that we have all grown up with State controlled education. It has been part of our culture for about 150 years, and thus is considered to have de facto legitimacy. It is one of those things that, because of the compromise of the church in the nineteenth century, has come about with the passing of time, and seems to be here to stay.

But it is essential that Christian people submit to the Word of God, and allow it to direct them in all things. In the case of education, there is no Biblical warrant to permit the State to have any responsibility, as education is a parental responsibility (Deut.6; Prov.22:6; Eph.6:4).

Where responsibility rests, authority lies. To permit the State’s participation in the task of education, immediately leads to a shift in authority from parents to the State. The State then immediately requires taxation to carry out its responsibility, and it has to set up a massive bureaucracy, purchase land and buildings, employ staff, etc. But this is just the beginning of the problems.[2]

The Bible speaks very firmly to people who undertake a task, independent of the Word of God: “Woe to the rebellious children,” declares the Lord, “who execute a plan, but not Mine, and make an alliance, but not of my Spirit, in order to add sin to sin; who proceed down to Egypt without consulting Me, to take refuge in the safety of Pharoah and seek shelter in the shadow of Egypt! Therefore the safety of Pharoah will be your shame and the shelter in the shadow of Egypt, your humiliation” (Isa.30:1-3).

The question can be asked, “What happens when the State controls education?” Putting aside for the moment the obvious issues of inefficiency and huge expense in all State systems, there is an even more important issue: indoctrination. A child spends some 14,000 hours over 12 years, being indoctrinated in a hostile world-view which is communicated through the curriculum, through teachers and by other children. This has been admitted by humanists for a long, long time. Charles Potter, a signatory of the Humanist Manifesto in 1930, wrote that

Education is thus a most powerful ally of humanism, and every public school is a school of humanism. What can the theistic Sunday School, meeting for an hour once a week, and teaching only a fraction of the children, do to stem the tide of a five-day program of humanistic teachings? [3]

Education departments and their schools are not religiously neutral, benevolent institutions. They are always involved (implicitly or explicitly) in the process of indoctrination. Because all education is founded on a religious foundation, this will be humanistic, because the premise of State controlled education is itself humanistic. Christians who think they will be able to “reform the system,” are deluded. The “system” only exists because of the negligence and disobedience of Christians, and fiercely resists real reform. Parents should take responsibility for everything. They may home educate their child, or delegate the task of education to others, but pay themselves for whatever they choose.

The modern State seeks to steal the legacy of the faithful: the hearts and minds of children. The educational bureaucrats today have imposed a massive system of ideological kidnapping on the voters. This is the inherent nature of all compulsory education, regulated education, and tax-funded education. Education is not neutral. The bureaucrats have built a gigantic system of humanist indoctrination with funds extracted from all local residents in the name of common-ground education. This justification has always been a lie, from Horace Mann’s public schools in Massachusetts in the 1830’s until today. From the late nineteenth century until today, leading American educators have been forthright in their public pronouncements of their agenda. This agenda is deeply religious. John Dewey, the “father” of progressive education, dedicated humanist, and philosopher stated his position plainly: “Our schools, in bringing together those of different nationalities, languages, traditions, and creeds, in assimilating them together upon the basis of what is common and public in endeavour and achievement, are performing an infinitely significant religious work.” [4]

The humanists know exactly what they are doing, while Christians are confused about what they really want. Christians would like to inherit the promises of God in relation to their children, but unlike Joshua and Caleb of old, they are ill-prepared to face the conflict that is therefore inevitable, and so they procrastinate or excuse themselves. This has been an indictment on the leadership of the church for over a century. We have been procrastinating and excusing ourselves on this matter, ever since State education was established in Australia in the 1850’s, and our situation has only got steadily worse.

In the early years of the 20th century, the Fabian Society of England came out strongly in favour of state aid to independent Christian schools. When a board member resigned in protest, George Bernard Shaw rebuked him strongly. Nothing, Shaw held, would more quickly destroy these schools than state aid; their freedom and independence would soon be compromised, and, before long, their faith. Events soon Shaw to be right.[5]

What has been evident for generations, is that State accreditation for education, along with funding by the State, leads to control by the State. “He that takes the king’s shilling, does the kings bidding.”

 

This unconscionable compromise by Christians must end, if Christians hope to have any substantial influence in their society.

Parental control of child rearing, especially education, is one of the bulwarks of liberty. No nation can remain free when the state has greater influence over the knowledge and values transmitted to children than the family…The best way to improve education is to return control to the parents who know best what their children need.[6]

 

[1] J. Gresham Macham,“Christianity and Liberalism,” 1923.

[2] An excellent resource on this, is Bruce Shortt’s “The Harsh Truth about Public Schools,” 2004.

[3] Bruce Shortt, “The Harsh Truth about Public Schools,” 2004, p.54.

[4] Gary North, “Inheritance and Dominion,” 1999, ch.28.

[5] Rousas Rushdoony, “The Roots of Reconstruction,” 1991, p.446.

[6] Dr Ron Paul, U.S. Senator, (www.lewrockwell.com), 2007.

 

 

Christianity and the Academy (3)

Education must be Thoroughly Christian

The kingdom of God must replace the kingdom of Satan in history, which is the kingdom of self-proclaimed autonomous man. Part of this replacement process is the reconstruction of all modern academic disciplines in terms of the Bible. Any attempt to do this is resisted strongly by two groups: non-Christian scholars and Christian scholars. The first group does not want to surrender power. The second group does not want to abandon the fruits of the intellectual, emotional, and economic investment it made by accepting the methodology and most of the conclusions of humanistic higher education…Christian scholars, in their professional work, have preferred to bow to the god of the academy rather than bow to the law of God. This has been going on from the day that philosophical defenders of the Christian faith first invoked Greek philosophy as the basis of their defence. In short, it is an ancient tradition. It is time to call a halt to it. [1]

  1. The Bible does not give the State a role in the task of education; education is an entirely private concern, predominately for families to engage in, in the case of children (see Deut.6; Prov.22:6; Eph.6:4) or individuals for tertiary study, or businesses to consider in the case of their staff. Luther’s advice to parents, “I advise no one to place his child where the scriptures do not reign paramount …every institution in which men are not unceasingly occupied with the Word of God must become corrupt,” was valid instruction.

Paul’s language to the Corinthians is significant, in relation to education. He claimed that “the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh, but divinely powerful for the destruction of fortresses. We are destroying speculations and every lofty thing raised up against the knowledge of God, and we are taking every thought captive to the obedience of Christ” (II Cor.10:4-5). We can thus conclude that godly education in part, will be aggressive and destructive towards all ideas or world-views that are not in harmony with the sovereignty of God, and the dominion of Jesus Christ in the world.

This approach is nothing new. God had told Jeremiah that “I have appointed you this day over the nations and over the kingdoms, to pluck up and to break down, to destroy and to overthrow, to build and to plant” (Jer.1:10). John the Baptist later warned the proud Pharisees and Sadducees, that they were not to place any confidence in the fact that genealogically, Abraham was their father: he warned them that “the axe is already laid at the root of the trees; therefore every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire” (Mat.3:10).

All godly educational institutions must take this position, out of faithfulness to God. Jesus said that “he who is not with Me is against Me; and he who does not gather with Me scatters” (Mat.12:30). Godly education is an aspect of God’s war against humanism’s foolish ideas and wrong thinking, which lead to sinful behaviour, beginning in the Garden. Paul also spoke of his concern for the Corinthians, that “as the serpent deceived Eve by his craftiness, your minds will be led astray from the simplicity and purity of devotion to Christ” (II Cor.11:3).

  1. Some of the manifestations of humanism (such as Gnosticism and Pelagianism) have been with us for thousands of years. Others (such as Darwinism, feminism, Pietism[2] and environmentalism) are a more recent phenomena. Whatever the age, Christian educators must be familiar with what they are contending with, “…so that no advantage would be taken of us by Satan, for we are not ignorant of his schemes” (II Cor.2:11). Historically, the church has had a propensity to absorb ideas from its surrounding culture, which have been destructive and evil. The “wild gourds” of the world, thrown into the church’s pot of stew, have later resulted in someone crying out, “O man of God, there is death in the pot” (II Kings 4:38-40).
  2. For education to be Christian, it must think in terms of absolutes, because God is absolute, and deals in absolute (but not arbitrary) terms with man. “You shall have no other gods before Me” (Ex.20:3), is an assertion of God’s ultimate and absolute sovereignty, for God alone is the absolute commander of man’s being. [3] Only a fully self-conscious, self-existent, sovereign and creating God can save man, because only He can fully control, govern and determine all things. [4]
  3. All Christian education should not begin with the teacher, or even the student, but with God. Jesus commanded us to “come to Me, all who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me…” (Mat.11:28-29). Man has never been consigned to a lonely, onerous pursuit of self-knowledge. On the contrary, we live in the presence of the Creator of all things, who has provided His Word to us, so that human knowledge can be utterly dependent upon the original self-knowledge and consequent revelation of God to man. [5] God’s revelation is the ground of true knowledge.
  4. Because Christian education commences with God, we accept that scriptural belief is a foundational matter. Jesus comforted Martha, “Did I not say to you that if you believe, you will see the glory of God?” (Jn.11:40) We agree with Anselm of Canterbury that we believe, in order that we may understand. Kepler, Boyle, the Wright brothers and many others made their discoveries and initiated significant human progress out of an attitude of submission to an all-wise Creator and Redeemer, Who after creating all things, described all that He had made, as “very good” (Gen.1:31).
  5. Christian education gives man meaning. The Bible teaches that man is not some undefined, evolutionary accident, drifting at random in a meaningless universe. On the contrary, man under God derives his meaning from his Creator (Gen.1:26-28), and is placed in a meaningful world of people and things, to serve God and enjoy Him forever. Man was endowed with the ability and duty to find both the meaning of life and his own purpose on earth within the will of God.[6]

The command to “rule and have dominion” has not been negated by the Fall. Rather, it has been re-emphasised through the coming of the second man, Jesus Christ, and confirmed in His Great Commission.

The Christian person finds his role as a created vice-regent of God in the earth, described further in passages such as Psalm 8. The Psalmist’s rhetorical questions to God, such as “What is man, that you take thought of him, and the son of man, that you care for him?” open up the whole subject of our function, so that the theocentric person has meaning, relevance and dignity. A scriptural understanding of God’s purpose for us, enables us to “rule and have dominion” (Gen.1:26-28), to “reign in life” (Ro.5:17), be “ambassadors for Christ” (II Cor. 5:20), and to “occupy till I come” (Luke 19:13 KJV). People are recognised in scripture as full-orbed cultural creatures, called by the Creator to go forth and develop the earth.[7]

 

[1]Gary North, “Inheritance and Dominion,” 1999, Introduction.

[2]“Pietism emphasises the heart, the attitudes of man, and underrates the importance of man’s actions. Its roots are in the pagan, Greek and Stoic deprecation of matter as against spirit.” Rousas Rushdoony, “The Institutes of Biblical Law,” 1973, p.635. “Pietism led to a surrender of knowledge to the unbeliever and a withdrawal of the Christian to a purely inner world of experience… the result was a surrender of the world and of education to humanism.” Rousas Rushdoony, “The Philosophy of the Christian Curriculum,” 1985, p.12.

[3] Rousas Rushdoony, “Salvation and Godly Rule,” 1986, p.161.

[4] ibid., p.2.

[5] Cornelius Van Til, quoted in Rushdoony, ibid., p.177.

[6] Gary North, (Ed.) “Foundations of Christian Scholarship,” 1976, p.64.

[7] B. Walsh, and J. Middleton, “The Transforming Vision: Shaping a Christian Worldview.”