BIBLICAL FOUNDATIONS FOR AMERICAN EDUCATION:
VS PLURALISTIC RELATIVISM AND POST MODERN HUMANISM
True religion affords government its surest support. The future of this nation depends on the Christian training of the youth. It is impossible to govern without the Bible.
George Washington's words echo ominously in the ears of twentieth-century Americans. What does the Bible have to do with government? with training America's youth? "Separation of church and state!" cry those interpreters of history, the courts. Kr. Washington's mentality of education—is it anachronistic or the very quiddity of Truth? An examination of education's concept of man, stewardship, goal, and duties reveals the irreconcilable tensions between Christianity and humanism.
In the 1959 edition of Webster's New Collegiate Dictionary, "education" is rendered an act or process, a discipline of mind or character. It lists the verb "to educate" as meaning "to develop and cultivate mentally or morally." Interestingly, the above definitions assume that engaging in mental activities may be divorced from any moral considerations. Thus, the mind is neutral, and can choose between gleaning knowledge for knowledge's sake or knowledge for the building of character.
By comparison, the 1914 revised edition of The Century Dictionary provides a subtle variation in meaning for "education," construing it as "the imparting or acquisition of knowledge; mental and moral training." Here the mental and moral aspects of education are not necessarily implied as separate. A dilemma of sorts rears its head, for within half a century one word represents two ideas,
When one digs into history, he discovers "educate" has descended from the Latin educatio which translates as "a breeding, bringing up, rearing." Two people are effectively involved, then, in this -rearing process: the one who educates and the one to be educated. Whether education necessarily predicates morality is only answerable in terms of the nature of man. Is man a moral agent, created of God to conform to His standard of holiness? Or is man an amoral being, capable of knowing without any obligation of being? The 1933 Modern Encyclopedia acknowledges the Reformational belief that education is both mental and moral; however, the encyclopedia continues:
The freeing of education from the formalism and restraints imposed by religion was the work of Rousseau, Pestalozzi, Herbart, Froebel, Herbert Spencer, and others. With the 20th century, emphasis upon the practical relation of education to life became more marked.
In other words, "practical" education begins with the supposition that the rearing of a child is an amoral affair carried on in a neutral environment. Why is it that men clash over morality? Why do some educators maintain that morality may be truncated from the process of education? Can a person engage in an amoral pursuit of knowledge or is this an impossibility?
The key to any educator's definition of "education" rests upon the answer to the centuries-old query, "what is man?" To understand man is to know his abilities and limitations. But who is the best authority on man? Is it man himself? Or does man's very mannishness preclude him from accurately defining himself?
The Christian teacher posits that understanding man's significance in the universe must originate in a transcendent Creator. It naturally follows, then, that man was created and not evolved. Man is creature: finite and dependent ' upon his Creator for existence and purpose.
According to Genesis 1:26-27 man was created in the image and likeness of God. Speculation continues as to what exactly is the Imago Dei, but one assumption persists: Man is a most unique creature. The Christian educator notes carefully the proposition: "All flesh is not the same. Men have one kind of flesh, animals have another" (idor. 15:39). Indeed, while all creatures are said to possess the breath of life, it is solely man whose breath was God-breathed and who is assured an immortal breath (cf. Ecc. 3:21, 1 Sam. 20:3, Heb. 9:27). In the following two verses God indicates this "breath" to be the immaterial spirit of man:
I will not accuse forever, nor will I always be angry, for then the spirit of man would grow faint before me—the breath of man that I have created. (Isa. 57:16)
But it is the spirit in a man, the breath of the Almighty, that gives him understanding. (Job 32:8)
Any teacher would do well to presume man as significantly different from the animal kingdom. It is sui generis man alone who traces his ancestral roots back to "Adam, the son of God" (Lu. 4:38). I Thess. 5:23 and Heb. 4:12 seem to argue for the trichotomous man: body, soul, spirit. Sons of Adam were created to worship the Creator "in spirit and truth" (Jn 4:24). While animals have body and soul (i.e., mind, emotions, and will), only man may call God "the Father of our spirits" (Heb. 12:9). The Christian teacher strives to communicate "spiritual truths in spiritual words" (I Cor. 2:13), for he is conscious of the spiritual eyes and ears of each one he calls student.
Having examined what man was at creation, the Christian teacher must now grapple with the query "what is man today?" The believer's answer stems from the authority of Scripture. Since Adam’s willful disobedience, no human is capable in and of himself of keeping God's standard of holiness perfectly. Man today is a law-breaker, a sinner, one separated from God. For this God has passed his sentence upon an unholy mankind: "mene, mene, tekel, uparsin" (Dan. 5:25-6). Is there now a deficiency of being in man? Does this mean man changed metaphysically? No, sinful man still remains God's creaturely image-bearer (Jas. 3:9, Gen:6).
Did man remain a reasoning creature after the Fall? Does he continue to function epistemologically via the laws of thinking and rationality? If the answer is "no," education is a farce. Systematic instruction of particular subjects would be useless, for human minds could not ascertain logic, order, and COSCTOS. If separation from God entails the inability to think rationally, the Christian teacher could communicate no truth verbally or in writing, for all language would lack structure and exist as grammatical chaos. Mere life itself screams that the above conclusion prevaricates. And even more importantly Scripture affirms man to be a reasoning creature.
Just what does man do when he reasons? Webster's fleshes out this verb as meaning: "to hold argument," and "to use induction, deduction, or a combination of these in an effort to decide something," and "to think out systematically or logically." Briefly, then, man's mind is locked into certain powers of consecutive thinking, which permit him to make judgments. Reasoning is a method, a means to an end.
In Scripture reasoning often followed the posing of a problem, the asking of a question. In Mark 9:33-34 Jesus' 12 disciples had been arguing who was the greatest. The word "arguing" in the Greek text is from the root dialogizomai; i.e., "reasoning, debating." Each disciple, beginning with his own premise, produced a conclusion. If the disciples each approached the question, "who is the greatest?" from the same premise, they more than likely would have an agreed consensus. However, a lively exchange of different premises and conclusions would occur if one premise in particular were not held by all alike.
The dialogizomai-reasoning always accompanied the following considerations in Scripture: "Why does this fellow (Jesus) talk like that?" Beginning with the premise that Jesus was NOT God, and reasoning from that premise, they concluded: "He's blaspheming! Who can forgive but God alone?" (Mk. 2:6-7)
In Luke 20:9-19 the Parable of the Tenants is recorded. Here the workers "talked the matter over" (i.e., reasoned) whether to kill the vineyard-owner's son or not. Beginning with the premise "'the inheritance will be ours!'" they allowed their mind's methodological powers to produce the following conclusion: "'Let's kill him."
Scripture reveals the rich fool of the Luke 12 parable as reasoning to himself concerning the problem: "What shall I do? I have no place to store my crops." His solution to the problem was based upon the premise "I am the master of my fate." Grandiose plans were the logical conclusion when the fool said, "' I will tear down my barns and build bigger ones.... And I'll say to myself,... "Take life easy; eat, drink and be merry"'"(12:18-19). The end of the parable is sobering; man, a reasoning creature, is held accountable by his Creator to think and to act from a holy premise.
But what is this holy premise on which all man's thoughts and actions are to depend? By what pour-soi does the Christian man make moral decisions, arrive at godly conclusions, and judge truly between right and wrong? In Acts 17:2-3 we read of the Apostle Paul entering the Jewish synagogue in Thessalonica where "he reasoned with them from the Scriptures, explaining and proving that the Messiah had to suffer and rise from the dead." The root word for "reason" in this passage is dialegomai" in the Greek and contains the idea, " to dispute with others." Why would Paul, a most outstanding Jew, find it necessary to dispute with fellow Jews? Both Paul and his audience were agreed on the authority of Moses and the Prophets. Was not this the most important premise from which all other thoughts and actions stemmed? This was the key to the dispute: from the Scriptures two different deductions had been drawn concerning the coming Messiah. Jewish rabbis taught two Messiahs were to come: "the Son of Joseph" or the suffering Messiah (Isa. 53. Psm. 22:1-21) and "the Son of David" or the reigning Messiah (Isa. 11:1-10, Psm. 72:1-19).
The holy presupposition upon which all the rest of one's world view rests lies in understanding the person and work of Jesus Christ, Paul's pour-soi was the God-given affirmation that Jesus Christ was both the suffering and the reigning Messiah. Beginning with this premise, Paul appealed to the authority of the Scriptures to show how the God-man Jesus fulfilled all messianic prophecies. "This Jesus I am proclaiming to you is the Christ" (Acts 17:3)- Peter, another apostle, shared Paul's premise when he wrote of the Spirit of Christ in the prophets predicting "the sufferings" of Christ and the glories that would follow" (I Pet. 1:11). While neither Paul nor his Thessalonian audience questioned the authority of Scripture, it was (and always will be) the person Jesus Who divides men into one of two camps for all eternity: those who think and act from a holy premise and those who do not.
To review, man, according to God's Word, is a unique creature who reasons about the issues of life; it is a constant process. But what did Peter mean when he used reason as a noun?
But in your hearts set apart Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have (1 Pet. 3:15).
The Century Dictionary defines our English word reason as: "a premise producing a conclusion." Accordingly right reason is a premise "in conformity with the moral law." Peter was admonishing God's elect to identify their premise for anyone who might ask them about it. The Analytical Greek Lexicon defines reason (Gr. logos) here as "an account, statement." The implication is that man is a creature capable of holding one very special premise, which antecedes every other premise in his life. As such, all reasonings conform and depend upon a pour-soi. In theological terms, this is known as worship. One premise, then, spawns an entire worldview. The apostle Peter understood this when he wrote that the transcendent pour-soi ("Christ as Lord") produces such hope that it provokes the world to ask the Christian from what premise he operates.
By application, the Christian teacher postulates that man was created to integrate all knowledge from a transcendent premise; when Adam sinned, he and his posterity "exchanged the truth of God for a lie and worshipped and served created things rather than the Creator" (Rom. 1:25). Unregenerate man attaches the wrong significance to all knowledge, for he embraces the atheistic premise: Man is Lord. John V. Whitehead, Christian attorney and author of The New Tyranny, asserts:
Every moral act of man has its base in religion. As such, there is-no neutrality. Christ declared this when He said, 'He that is not with me is against me (Mt. 12:30).
King Nebuchadnezzar is a good example. In Daniel three this king "made an image of gold" (3:l) and decreed all men of every language to "fall down and worship the image" (3:10). Did his decree stem from the premise "Christ is Lord"? No, Nebuchadnezzar set himself up as the judge, the lawmaker of all men. Some astrologers told the king that three Jews "neither serve your gods nor worship the image of gold you have set up" (e:12). The transcendent premise of three Jews clashed with a human king's immanent premise. The issue was: who is sovereign? God or Caesar? God or autonomous man?
In arrogance Nebuchadnezzar queried, "What god will be able to rescue you from my hand?"(3:15). Daniel 3:16-18 records the divine hope of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego. This hope, produced by their transcendent premise, became the basis of their salvation from the fiery furnace.
One chapter later Daniel corxiands Nebuchadnezzar to forsake his autonomous pour-soi: “Renounce your sins by doing what is right”(4:27). God then judges Nebuchadnezzar by removing from his mind the capacity necessary for thinking raisonne. Nebuchadnezzar could neither deify self nor God. "Let his mind be changed from that of a man and let him be given the mind of an animal, till seven times pass by for him," decreed the Most High God (4:16). Nebuchadnezzar became as an animal—a creature of body and soul but no spirit. Scripture emphasizes this both positively and negatively. Job 32:8 tells us it is a man's spirit that provides him understanding, while Pslm. 49:20 posits, "A man who has riches without understanding is like the beasts that perish." It is the reason that establishes the reasoning powers, which in turn yield judgments.
That Nebuchadnezzar's spirit, reason, pour-soi, and premise-to-worship are synonyms which set apart man's unique creatureliness from the rest of creation seems obvious. The king was given the mind of an animal "until he acknowledged that the Most High God is Sovereign over the kingdoms of men and sets over them anyone He wishes" (5:21). When Nebuchadnezzar made his acknowledgement, he said, "my reason and understanding returned to me" (4:36). One is tempted to conjecture that Nebuchadnezzar concluded his narration from a new, transcendent pour-soi. One thing is for certain, though, Nebuchadnezzar recognized that autonomous man is not the lawmaker but rather is accountable to Jehovah-God as a lawbreaker. Before his sanity vas removed, the king had said, “Is not this the great Babylon I have built by my mighty power and for the glory of my majesty (4:30)”.
By contrast, his entire world view, his primary premise in reasoning, seems to have suffered a dramatic paradigm shift seven years later: "Then I praised the Most High" (4:34), Nebuchadnezzar begins, which connotes a more personal worship for Jehovah than when he had once conceded: "Praise be to the God of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego" (3:28). His old premise functioned upon rationalism: man is the measure, judge of all truth claims. However, when Nebuchadnezzar's reason is removed, and he is compelled to submit to God's transcendent will, that old reference point shatters; a new pour-soi produces new interpretive conclusions:
No one can hold back His (God's) hand or say to Him: 'What have You done?'...Now I, Nebuchadnezzar praise and exalt and glorify the King of heaven, because everything He does is right and all His ways are just. And those who walk in pride He is able to humble (4:35,37).
Thus, for the purposes of educating or rearing a child, the Christian cannot divorce man's pour-soi from his cognition and volition. According to Scripture mortals are held accountable by God for possessing the only holy pour-soi: Christ is Lord (Ecc. 12:14, Acts 17:30-1). For the Christian God exists and obligates all men to rear and bring up their children in the fear and admonition of the Lord. If the educator refuses to point a child's gaze toward truth or the educatee refuses to pursue truth, he has committed an immoral act. Education does not exist in an amoral vacuum.
Why do most modem educators in the public school system polarize knowledge into "religious" and "scientific"? Why are pluralistic views of right and wrong lumped under the heading "opinion" in the public classroom? Why is God "religious talk," but the State is "objective'' in its interpretation of reality? The answer lies in modern man's solution to the origin of man.
Humanists posit that man is a product of the universe; he is the descendent of amino acids and one-celled organisms. Man is an animal. From the social science textbook The Human Adventure public schoolchildren are educated to believe "one of the animals that developed over the eons of time was early man." The Concepts In Science third-grade book explains it this way: "It took millions and millions of years for living things from the seas to live and grow on dry land.'' On page 308, eight-year-olds see a picture of a man, a monkey, a deer, and a whale while the caption underneath reads, "In what ways' are these mammals alike? How are they different?"
The humanist posits that man is an animal whose worth derives from the belief that he is a survivor. :'In order to survive, early man was constantly forced to devise ways of obtaining food (my emphasis), but who or what is doing the "forcing"? If there is no Creator as modern educators project, then the only force controlling man's actions must be his changing environment. The Christian's Creator is promulgated by State humanists as merely early man's "combination of superstition and magic.
The only absolute in this system is that nothing remains constant: "The Earth and its living things are always changing," textbook writers admonish ten-year-olds. In the Teacher's Guide edition of Science Is Adventuring, the teacher is encouraged to inquire, '"How does a change in the habitat change the animals and plants that live there?'" Answer: "If a habitat changes, the plants and animals must adapt to the new conditions, migrate, or die."
Why has man survived where other animals have grown extinct? "By using his brain, he has become master of the Earth," the textbooks affirm. They continue: "It is true that man doesn't always use his mastery wisely.... Still man rules this planet, this changing planet with its changing life." How can man's brain be both the product of his environment and master over his environment? If nature is the creative force behind man's origin, why do humanists like Lawrence K. Frank contradict themselves? Frank, delivering a lecture to the Graduate School of Education at Harvard University in 1958, addressed the issue of "The School As Agent for Cultural Renewal." In his address he stated that history shows man ''engaged in transforming nature and human nature.” How do humanists reconcile their paradox: Is nature transforming man or vice versa?
Since affixing the “superstition” label to any supernatural explanation of man's origin, humanists believe all explanatory powers lie within man. While both Christians and humanists reason the same, they differ in that they each possess a raison d'etre at odds with one another. Where "Christ is Lord" remains the Christian's lodestar, the humanist affirms man is "at the center of the universe, in the sense that he has created this scientifically conceived universe."
Again we ask, who is creator—man or nature? Man is an "animal" when nature is creative, but man is a "survivor" when he can manipulate his environment, and thus control his own destiny. Humanists posit that man will acquire total control over nature when he acquires total explicability of the universe. (At present, the inexplicable is rendered "chance.") What is the universe? It is all that can be derived from science; what is science "but a quality of observation, study, and experimentation known as human? The universe is only that which makes itself known to man via his five senses. The humanist is not interested, therefore, in God, soul, spirit, etc., for God is not the foe, which determines his survival—it is materialistic nature.
In searching for a rational, inclusive system for unifying all of the material world, modern man chooses man's autonomy as the basis for processing all data. Man, the processor of all truth claims, unveils his pour-soi as the scientific method. In the words of C. S. Lewis: The ancient man approached God (or even the gods) as the accused person approaches his judge. For the modern man the roles are reversed. He is the judge: God is in the dock.
All "God talk" is immaterial and, therefore, worthless; the finite man only acknowledges the existence of a world capable of being tamed by the finite mind. "The dogma of creationism seems a mockery of scientific principles," wrote Carl S. Karlowski to the Chicago Tribune editors, January 15, 1982. In short, if the Creator is not a rational conclusion produced by man's immanent pour-soi (i.e., man is autonomous), the Creator is an anachronism of "the general public's scientific ignorance." Christians might well reverse Mr. Karlowski's accusation to read: "The dogma of science seems a mockery of biblical principles." The godly man's explanation of creation originates in a metaphysically distinct Creator who disclosed man's origin in the anthropomorphic terms of Scripture. Total explicability and no contradictions.
By contrast, unregenerate man, who worships the explanatory, integrating powers of the scientific method, possesses less than total explicability; he cannot explain the origin of truth because he cannot escape being creature. Edgar C. James, in his Chicago Tribune article "Creationism versus Evolution" wrote,
Because none of us was there when life began, any view of the origin of life must be a belief and accepted on faith. And if evolution is a matter of faith, why cannot other viewpoints also be taught (in public schools)?
Yet the unbeliever's explanation of life is antagonistic to the believer's pour-soi, and its expressed antagonism is founded on no more than a leap of faith. Not Christian, but humanistic dogma peppers an elementary textbook—prefacing statements with: "Some scientists think," "it may be," "many scientists believe," and "This probably...." Unbiased man is 20th century's chimera. All men are warring. The enemy is that pour-soi which does not sit enthroned in the being of man. Hamartia versus Jehovah. In a Chicago Tribune editorial reviewing "God and Science" Joan Beck records the American Association for the Advancement of Science passing a resolution "calling the teaching of creationism 'a real and present threat to the integrity of education and the teaching of science.'"
In another newspaper article Terry Resnick, science chairman of Sheepshead Bay High School in New York City and president of the Science Committee of New York City is quoted as saying,
'Creationism is not a science....In my opinion, creationism really masquerades in the name of science, but basically its roots are fundamentalism, which deals in terms of religion.'
If Mr. Hesnick wanted to clarify the issue even more, he might have substituted "pour-soi" for "science" and “creationism” and said, "That pour-soi is not my pour-soi." In the December 1982 issue of New Horizons Rev. Jack Kinneer critiques humanistic evolution this way:
To say that evolution is that which is purely empirical is to make a non-empirical assertion. To believe in an exclusively empirical verification for evolutionary truth is to hold to a religious faith precisely because the principle of empirical verification must be held by faith.
...To summarize, evolutionism and creationism...are both religious in that they both begin with a non-empirical and pre-empirical belief about the nature of reality.
Regardless, then, of the humanists' claim to "objectivity," humanism is religion; it exists by faith and its devotees battle Christianity for the minds of men. As one American Civil Liberties Union spokesman explained,
'You can't talk about creation without there somewhere being a creator, and a creator is an inherently religious belief. If it's a religious belief, it doesn't belong in. the public schools.'
Adamantly, the humanist fights the believer's ultimate, self-contained, personal Creator. Intolerant of "religion" in public education, humanists fail to note the religion in their system. They, too, possess a creator. In fact, they vacillate between two creators: 1) Nature as creator of man, creator of man's hardships, etc., and 2) Man as creator of language, time, mathematics, organizations, religion, etc.
By the ACLU's own definition of "religion," humanism violates any notion of being nonreligious—while actually enjoying its monopoly status in public schools. Yet on October 25-26, 1981, three-fourths of the Americans polled by the Associated Press-NBC News poll believed that both presuppositions—evolution and biblical creation—should be taught in public schools. Note the impasse between two worldviews: most respondents in the poll who identified themselves, as liberals were also teachers and librarians, while most conservatives identified themselves as parents.
In choosing books and curriculum material for public schools, 53 percent in the latest AP-NBC News poll said school officials should pay more attention to teachers and librarians than to parents. Thirty-two percent said officials should pay more attention to parents (my emphasis).
At this point, one must ask, who has the authority to educate? He who has a God-given right to child rear? Or he who has the state-given license to enforce child rearing?
First, we ask from where do children come? Are they brought into existence by two copulating complex animals—who themselves are products of the environ? Or is an infinite, personal Creator the Author of life and personality? On the self-attestation of Scripture, children are "a. heritage from the LORD, children a reward from him" (Psm. 127:3).
When is a child a child? at conception? as a fetus? at birth? Jehovah said to Jeremiah, "Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born I set you apart; I appointed you as a prophet to the nations" (Jer. 1:5). Mary, the mother of Jesus cried, '"As soon as the sound of your greeting reached my ears, the baby in my womb leaped for joy" (Luke 1:44), and Eve's summary of her child's origin implies sex as more than a biological function: "'With the help of the LORD I have brought forth a man"' (Gen.4:1). Thus, the believer assumes each child, born of a man and woman, is a personality whose existence was foreordained by the Designer. King David understood this when he wrote to God: "Your eyes saw my unformed body. All the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of then came to be" (Psm. 139:16).
Christians ask, to whom does God give children? to parents or to the existing state government? In Genesis 30:19-20 Leah confesses after bearing her sixth son, '"God has presented me with a precious gift." The fact is, children are precious gifts given to individuals. To date, the state system is incapable of manufacturing children. Rushdooney, quoting Gordon E. Clark in Intellectual Schizophrenia zeroes in on this: '"Render unto Caesar the things which are Caesar's, and unto God the things that are God's. Children do not belong to Caesar, "'(my emphasis)
Repeatedly Scripture points to the parents being responsible for the welfare of their children. Among the chronology of faithful people in Hebrews 11, God records the courageous act of Moses' parents: "By faith Moses’ parents hid him for three months after he was born because…they were not afraid of the king's edict"(H:23). The king of Egypt had told the Hebrew midwives to kill their peoples' baby boys and to save the girl babies. The king set himself up as judge over the worth of human life. Yet God's Spirited Word transcends kings, and in Acts 7:19 it judges this king as treacherous, oppressive to the Jews, and.forcing them to throw out their newborn babies so that they would die," Whose babies? The king's babies or the Creator's babies?
Not only does God hold parents responsible for their children's physical welfare, but more importantly their spiritual welfare. The humanist refuses to accept life as more than temporary existence, which will conclude in extinction of personality. The Christian child rearer is held accountable by God to prepare the child for an immortal existence. Scripture especially emphasizes the father's responsibility to educate:
(God said to Abraham) 'For I have chosen him, so that he will direct his children...to keep; the way of the LORD by doing what is right and just.' (Gen. 18:19)
Listen, my sons, to a father's instruction. (Prov. 4:1) Listen, my son, to your father's instruction. (Prov. l:8a)
(Asaph says of God) He commanded our forefathers to teach their children so that the next generation would know them. (Psm. 78:5b-6a)
Fathers do not exasperate your children; instead, bring them up in the training and instruction of the Lord. (Eph. 6:4)
Yet Scripture also recognizes the mother and her child rearing responsibilities:
...and do not forsake your mother's teaching. (Prov. 1:8b)
Should women eat their offspring, the children they have cared for? (Lam. 2:20)
Since God is the Creator of children and He has decreed that each child begin life with one set of human parents, lie also holds parents accountable to His holy standard for rearing them. Parents are merely stewards of the child God grants them. Their child's total welfare depends upon a satisfactory relationship with God; Paul speaks of this eloquently in I Thessalonians 2:11-12: "For you know that we deal with each of you as a father deals with his own children, encouraging, comforting, and urging you to live lives worthy of God." Not only is the father here recognized as the legitimate child rearer, but also the content of his teachings entails both what God defines as a worthy life and the child's obligation to live worthily. So God delegates this duty to the parent.
Finally, is there a principle in Scripture of parents delegating their child's education to another person or persons? Assuming that the parents' motive is holy, the answer is yes, for we see Hannah entrusting Samuel to Eli, and Samuel himself later setting up a school for prophets; also Saul is entrusted to his teacher Gamaliel, and Timothy's family entrusts Timothy to Paul. Whoever does the entrusting is the one who holds "the pseudo-parent" accountable. In American history public and private schools titled this delegation of authority in loco parentis (i.e., in the place of the parent).
Any delegation, therefore, to a person or institution that is not grounded in the Word of God is contrary to God's purpose. Since there is no reference in Scripture to the school as a separate institution from the family, a truly biblical school must be an extension of the family.
Throughout this paper we have hinted at humanistic educators' overt violation of God's perceptive will as well as their covert disregard for our ancestors' in loco -parentis principle. Who do they believe delegates responsibility to teach? The State. Who judges a would-be child rearer as qualified to teach? The State. To whom do they appeal as their ultimate authority? The State. And who is the State? Autonomous man. Where both parents and schools advocate humanism, a partnership occurs. Where parents and schools advocate biblical theism, cooperation may be expected. However, when Christian parents place their children in a school system founded upon in loco -parentis, and child rearers intentionally rear humanists, an act of treason has been committed. The war for control of a child's mind continues. Who will one worship— self or Christ?
From a Phil Donahue transcript the following abridged dialogue is excerpted. Dr. Donald Howard and Dr. Arno Weniger, both executives in different Christian school systems, assume education rests upon the "Christ is Lord." Donahue and the audience argue from the humanist's presupposition, "Man is Lord." Repeatedly, the verbal skirmishes represent an attempt by autonomous man to hold Christianity accountable to man-made standards.
Donahue: Who is watching you and how do we know your teachers know what 8 x 7 is?
Howard: Parents are watching us.... Well, the state says that they have the right to license the teachers and approve the school. The parent has the ultimate responsibility before God to know what is going on in that school and to pay the bills.
Donahue: Did you say...you don't believe God's program gets its right from the government?
Weniger: We say that we don't get our authority from government. We believe God gives government its authority.
Donahue: It is kind of hard to spank a kid anymore in school.
Howard: That is a problem in government schools because they write the rules and in a Christian school we get the rules out of the Bible theoretically.... We think obviously if-the parents give that right to the school... they have that authority given to them by the parents.
Audience: I have seen parents that put their kids in a Catholic school or Lutheran school just so they don't have the busing situation.
Howard: But they have the right.
Audience: I feel if it were my child those teachers (in Christian schools) should be licensed.
Howard: But you are assuming from your presupposition that licensure insures quality and the statistics prove that it doesn't.
Audience: Do you teach sex education in your schools?
Howard: That is a program for parents.
Audience: The thing that would concern me most is...there is no choice of some of the other theories. You have just got one slanted and that child would have nothing to compare your teaching with something they would have in the public schools.
Howard: In the public school they have only evolution and the humanistic philosophy and they have no choice ...You don't have creationism in the public schools.
Government has reneged on being the servant of the people. If it is no longer beholden to God, it becomes an instrument in the hands of power-hungry men. Intolerant of the godly parents' will, the state undermines the child's respect for God and God's stewards, the parents. Carefully humanist educators wean prospective teachers away from in loco parentis.
For each individual set of parents to educate its children— even with the help of older children, grandparents, and neighbors—is wasteful and socially inefficient," write the authors of Those Who Can Teach, a text for teachers-to-be. Arrogance often causes the teacher, then, to believe himself a more worthy child rearer than parents. While student teaching at a public high school this year, the writer of this paper actually heard a public high school teacher slam the phone into its cradle and exclaim: "Parents—I hate them! Why don't they keep their noses out of our business”?
The National Education Association also helps demoralize the authority of anyone not working for the State. Any teacher who becomes a member of this organization must agree to their Code of Ethics:
In the fulfillment of the obligation to their profession, the educator—...shall not assist 'a non-educator in the unauthorized practice of teaching, (my emphasis)
Now we have two classes of people: educators and non-educators. And who makes this distinction between them? The State. The repercussions of these distinctions are enormous. Newspaper headlines read, "Family Seeks Escape From Public Education" and "Officials Call Trend Harmful.” Parents who withhold their children from school and educate then in the home face persecution from State officials. Why? Because the State has become the arbitrary judge of what constitutes a school, a teacher, and an education.
Dr. Barbara Newman was one, who opted for home instruction, explaining: "I guess it's just the whole idea of not wanting to give up the educational function of my children to a stranger." Yet the assistant superintendent of public instruction for the 0hio Dept. of Education calls this a "growing problem."
In Kensington, Ohio, Wanda Miller chose to teach her two children at home, and, although she was even certified by the State, officials ordered them (i.e., the children) to enroll in public school, saying the home school didn't meet certain standards no American flag displayed, no maternity leave for the teacher, no effective filing system, and no monthly fire drills, (my emphasis)
Gary North, in his article "Who Should Certify Competence?" pulled it all together this way: "We have witnessed the creation of a monopolistic institution, the messianic State." He continues by indicting both Christians and humanists for believing that an "impersonal, bureaucratic, self-certifying educational institution is capable of certifying performance." Inevitably, when autonomous man creates his own criteria and method of measurement, he has arrogated to himself control, authority, and power. This power will always be directed against anyone who does not pledge conformity to the will of those who control this power. The purpose of this power is to protect humanism from the law of God.
Who guards this flame of power? They are legion—people who screen themselves from scrutiny. These power wielders are merely known as "research," "federal government," "leading authorities," or "scientific advances." Their very anonymity frustrates the individualist who refuses to conform. Probably the fountainhead of those who scorn biblical stewardship today has “become the Supreme Court”. John Whitehead reiterates this in his book The Second Revolution: "Judicial relativism deposits 'raw power’ in the hands of state institutions and, in particular, the courts." Consequently, the Federal government is empowered to abolish student dress codes, racial inequities, sex-role "stereotyping," ad nauseum. How do these men measure injustice? By their own man-made standard of what justice should be. Whitehead projects,
Man's new society must not be religious but technological, the humanist holds. Things must be judged, not in terms of good and evil, but in terms of utility and pragmatism. All things thus are relative to the purposes of society ... you will have no valid protest since there is no standard by which you' can judge the actions of the state ... Man, like a throwaway pop bottle, is disposable.
One small example of the State's growing unchecked power is a story printed in the Chicago Tribune June 25 1981, headlined "Little Red School Faces Cruelest Cut." The two-room Forest Glen School housed 19 children from kindergarten through third grade in the Cook County Forest Preserve District. Its operating costs were $72,000 a year according to Bob Musiala, a Forest Glen resident who moved to the district for the express purpose of sending his children to the school Mr. Musiala said:
The community of Forest Glen pays $300,000 in taxes to the Board of Education each year, and all we cost them was $72,000 and now they took 'the little red schoolhouse' away from us. So they are still taking out 300,000, putting it somewhere else, and giving us nothing.'
Indeed, how do parents of 19 children challenge a bureaucratic Board of Education? When educators no longer perceive their role as one of stewardship to God and parent, they are become an authority accountable to no one but themselves. Cathy Lalich, another Forest Glen parent, expressed her chagrin in this way:
Well, I feel, why bother with this city anymore when your number one concern is education for your children and the educational system tells you it doesn't care about you or your neighborhood or the neighborhood school anymore?
Justice and injustice are euphemisms in humanistic philosophy. What makes "right" right? To humanists there is no absolute "right," for morals are culturally created. So when the Board of Education flexes its will against the people it was once serving, and declares a schoolhouse now worthless, why cry, "UNFAIR!"? Change is the name of the game. Mr. Musiala's last quote in the article is "There's an injustice here, and we all feel it." Injustice? or merely a progressive change dictated by humanists? The Board of Education, in this case, operates as the steward of State humanism.
In conclusion, parents, primarily, are responsible to teach their children to conform all aspects of reality to a biblical interpretation. If parents delegate this responsibility to another, they are answerable to God on two counts: 1) for having a godly motive, and 2) for insuring their child receives a God-fearing education. By the same token, humanists give their allegiance to the State, and believe parents are answerable to the State for the kind of education the State defines as good.
Having considered the educator's stewardship, let us move on to
The Goal of Education.
From many volumes a diversity of responses is gathered. Education is a molding, a direction, a character, an improvement, survival, a commitment, an unlearning, a war, an understanding, and excellence. Humanists and Christians alike contributed to the above definition; what separates them into two camps are questions such as: what is a good character? How do you measure improvement; Temporal or eternal survival? Does God mold or man mold? To summarize, what is the true reference point for all knowledge; Finite man or an immutable God?
Prospective teachers are taught, “Perhaps the most basic function of all education is to increase the survival chances of the group.”  Notice the naturalistic assumptions here: 1) "Perhaps" indicates uncertainty; 2) temporal, physical survival is the summum bonum of life; 3) survival is not assured; but 4) is more probable when the individual is in a group and not alone. From that premise educational excellence means striving to survive in one's present circumstances.
Parents too often demonstrate their ignorance of naturalistic survivalism when they relinquish "the training of future generations to those whose most important goal in life is academic tenure, so that they cannot lose their jobs." One principal of a public junior high school wrote the Chicago Tribune admitting that regardless of performance, if public school teachers get tenure, only the grossest, provable offense major be cause for dismissal. In a public school marginal competence is expected, and excellence is admired for the rarity it is.
Humanistic educators not only live according to this philosophy, they also teach according to it. A child is taught to get an education that will provide a better chance of surviving in the world of careers. Certainly, the "three R's" are "out" and computer science is "in." Of course the underlying assumption is, the better the job, the better the money; the better the money, the better the chance of survival. When majorities of people grow disillusioned with money, a new definition of survival will result. Therefore, an educational goal is "selected by society and its school system leaders and by teachers and pupils themselves."
To suggest to humanists that God's Word provides the true goal of education only kindles their secondary purpose in education: "the problem of unlearning those pupils who" are handicapped by these older concepts, these familiar ways of thinking." Humanistic education is an intentional assault against God's explanation of reality. It is a declaration of war. As one humanist stated:
To say that we need an educational equivalent of war is to recognize as Teggart pointed out years ago, that wars, migrations, and invasions have been the great occasions for human advancement.
In short, Christianity was once a goal of education which served its purpose, but which must now be abandoned lest "human advancement" be retarded. Jerome Eruner in his book The Process of Education emphasizes the need for a relevant curriculum; he assumes, therefore, that a country's changing social, cultural, and political conditions "continually alter" the changing of a school's goals.
On the other hand, what is the goal of education for the Christian? Since the Christian believes each man possesses an immortal soul that exists beyond death, mere "survival" is a poor goal. Survival has the idea of out-living someone else—a word inappropriate in reference to eternity. Instead, the Christian educator's goal is integrating all knowledge from a transcendent pour-soi. An excellent education according to the spirited Scriptures is: "So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God" (l Cor. 10:31). Education is not a process whose only end is process. Education is learning Truth and the obligation it places upon men. The "trustworthy and true" words of Scripture record Jesus Christ's declaration, "I am the way, the truth, and the life" (Jn. 14:6). To know Truth is to know ethical fellowship with the Son of God in eternity and in our present time and space.
While humanists value the quantity of years a man lives on earth as "survival," biblical theists place their confidence in One Who conquered death. Hence, they tenaciously cling to the conviction that some beliefs are worth dying for. Survival, for them, is not life’s summum bonum; rather, it is the will of God. The Hebrews writer attests to this: "He (Moses) regarded disgrace for the sake of Christ as of greater value than the treasures of Egypt because he was looking ahead to his reward" (Heb. 11:26).
The goal of theistic educators like that of the humanists is also a declaration of war. Christianity wars against hamartia and humanism. The Apostle Paul states this forcefully in 2 Cor. 10: 4b-5: “We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.”
In American history the United States enjoyed a Christian consensus because it was founded upon biblical presuppositions. That is why George Washington could say the future of our country depended upon the Christian training of youth. And that is why William Holmes McGuffey, a Presbyterian educator and philosopher, could get his Eclectic Readers published in 1836 and used in public schools. These readers were texts, which defined "the good life" in terms of God's revelation to mankind. Carl Bode, professor of English at the University of Maryland at College Park, wrote in 1982:
I urge that we revive the reader (sixth), not only for the literature but also for the purpose behind it. McGuffey believed that literature should teach, that it should build character....
This approach is guaranteed to repel today's instructor.... I don't believe I have a single colleague who's convinced that literature should teach. Yet here's McGuffey announcing in his preface that his prime aim is “to influence the heart by sound moral and religious instruction.”
Today children in public schools continue to receive religious instruction— but it is a faith based on autonomous man as the only source of meaning, signification, and purpose. Because education is a commitment to either a transcendent or an immanent interpretation of reality, that interpretation not embraced, as truth is education's enemy. McGuffey wanted his young readers "to lead good and God-fearing lives." By contrast, modern educators like Jerome Eruner postulate education means "helping each student achieve his optimum intellectual development." The goal of education is only as lofty or demeaning as the goal of the educator.
This brings us to the final point in our paper: the responsibilities the educator assumes in carrying out the goal of education. At least three duties are involved: disciplining, teaching, and instructing.
To discipline, the educator must advocate one particular standard of judgment, so that he will have the confidence and wisdom to make decisions concerning right and wrong conduct. The Greek word paideuo has in mind "to train children," and the verb is used of family discipline, chastening.
Webster's Hew Collegiate Dictionary provides this definition of "discipline": "to train in self-control or obedience to given standards." The Christian educator, then, is in a position to correct the known thinking and known behaviors that are at variance with the God-given standard. "Be ye holy as I am holy" challenges fallen mankind to measure its shortcomings by God's yardstick.
The very existence of discipline assumes obedience (right conduct) and disobedience (wrong conduct) is not the same thing, and, in fact, a normative standard distinguishes between the two. Obedience has its antithesis because discipline is the consequence of known disobedience. When the preceptor possesses God's immutable Logos, he is capable of judging consistently and truly.
What is the Christian educator's motive in disciplining disobedience? The answer is two-fold. Primarily, an unruly child is chastised in the hope of true repentance transpiring. Paul wrote in 1 Cor.11: 32 that the Lord judges and disciplines his own "so that we will not be condemned with the world." Discipline involves conforming the individual, molding him into a more mature likeness of God the Son. Of course, the teacher can correct his student's wrong behavior or voiced thoughts, but God "looketh upon the heart." God alone can correct the wayward heart. The implication in the above verse is that God not only disciplines (temporal judgment), but He also condemns (eternal judgment). Condemnation, the final judgment, offers no hope for improvement. Therefore, teachers chasten because human chastening is a form of hope; condemnation remains exclusively God's prerogative.
Love is the second motive for disciplining: love to God as well as love for the child. The educator's model, Jesus Christ, declared to the Laodicea Church: "Those whom-I love I rebuke and discipline" (Rev. 3:19). Again, the educator of truth is committed to the agape principle: wanting God's best in another's life.
Because their normative standard for distinguishing between right and wrong conduct is the autonomous self, humanists live in a tension between anarchy and totalitarianism. If autonomy is the source of all discipline, how can a student be expected to conform to anyone's standard but his own? For example, prospective teachers are told: If the student does not have a valid reason for breaking a school rule, "we should not demand to hear it, nor should we place the student in a situation which demands covering up or being untruthful." A teacher may judge the student's reason "invalid," but the teacher is not expected to impose his self-made criterion upon another. Anarchy draws nigh.
Yet autonomous man heralds Christianity as his greatest adversary. As a foe it must be vanquished. Hatred unites all self-determined men together against the philosophy of selflessness. This common belief tends to hold anarchy at bay.
Discipline in the humanist classroom becomes a tool for prying a child's mind away from belief in a transcendent, immutable moral code. Humanists teach true freedom is where "autonomy may find high expression by yielding commitment to the social group"(my emphasis). Skirting anarchy, they pledge allegiance to the state religion: "freeing" or disciplining those who refuse to believe that truth is a product conditioned by culture. As culture adapts to change for survival, so should the individual be free to change, they assert.
Freedom is the catchword they employ: thus, there exists freedom From God's Word and freedom to commit one's autonomy to the State. "Schools have freed people from superstition and false information," teachers-to-be are told in their textbook. Anyone who teaches man and the State are beholden to a Sovereign God and His standard of holiness are considered sources of "inadequate conceptions and warped perceptions" who may cause a child to "resist replacement by new concepts." Dr. Susan L. M. Huck wrote a critique of secular humanism in which she states:
Children, our Secular Humanist educators complain, tend to develop their value system from the ‘moralizing’ of parents and other adults. ...The complaint is, really, that by the age five or six the child does not come to the government brainwashers as a completely blank piece of paper.
Modern discipline is no more than the humanist's imposition against and intolerance of God-fearing parents and God: "The function of the child is to live his own life—not the life that his anxious parents think he should lead." Predicating schools should be the place to replace anachronistic assumptions with new concepts and assumptions formulated in the last 50 years, educator Lawrence K. Prank said in 1958:
It is essential that this un-learning be started early, since the student will otherwise continue to practice and ever more firmly establish his ...obsolete assumptions.
The humanistic discipliner is motivated by his love for an autonomous State and his abhorrence of a future reckoning with the biblical Creator.
A second duty for which the Christian educator is responsible to God entails teaching. According to The Century Dictionary "teach" is a derivative of the Anglo-Saxon word taecan which is akin to our English word "token." Moreover, to teach is to point out, to-mark, to show, to guide. Teaching is guiding a man's thoughts toward a specific truth. It is an imparting of knowledge—teaching a person what to think, not how to think. Since the Christian teacher "believes each person is born with an obligation due his Creator, he postulates that:
He (God) has showed you, Oh man, what is good. And what does the Lord require of you? To act justly, and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God (Mic. 6:8).
Thus, the Christian teacher points his students' gaze towards the fulfillment of this precept. The New Testament word deiknumi (or deikmuo) means "to show, present to the sight," and, in fact, provides Englishmen with the word "diction": an "expression of ideas by words." The teacher, then, is one capable of pointing out ideas (that are not apparent to the senses) by means of words. He teaches some ideas as truth and other ideas as error.
In Matthew 4:8 Satan attempts to teach Christ that disobedience is more worthwhile than obedience to God. Satan shows Jesus all the kingdoms of the world, points out their splendor, and, finally, attempts to guide Christ's thoughts ("All this I will give you") toward a specific action (if you will bow down and worship me"). Satan tempts Christ to interpret reality from the humanistic pour-soi—that is, to set oneself up as judge over God's propositional revelation. Yet Jesus demonstrates that He is committed to The One Who guides His thoughts into all true obedient actions. Christ's reference point for judging two contradictory truth claims, unlike Eve, is not empiricism but the Incarnate Word of God. Jesus answers: "Away from me, Satan! For it is written: 'Worship the Lord your God and serve him only'"(4:10).
On the other hand, humanists say they do not believe an educator's duty is imparting knowledge so much as it is providing the proper environment. In other words, if the teacher can manipulate the classroom environment, he can control the child's learning. This premise originates in one's concept of man. If man is a product of nature, and the State demands a flawless man, the State (suddenly transcends nature and) must change the environment. George K. Kneller, author of Introduction to the Philosophy of Education, concludes, "Education is the conscious molding of man by men."
If the teacher controls the child's environ, the humanist believes it is the teacher's responsibility to provide students with opportunities to interact with their surroundings. Thus, prospective teachers are taught, "Schools are created for the express purpose of providing a certain type of educational experience which we call curriculum." Knowledge, therefore, cannot influence a student until it is "experienced."
For a curriculum to be meaningful and relevant, it should be flexible, built on an experience base, oriented toward the present, concerned more with 'why' than with 'what and be based on reality.
How can humanists teach this definition of curriculum, for what humanist has ever experienced "meaningful," "relevant" or "flexible"? If these ideas were not experienced, given the above definition, why do they exist in their vocabulary? Curriculum can no longer be a revelation of ideas by the Word-giver who exists regardless of one's feelings or interest; curriculum now is limited to "all the organized and intended experiences for which the school accepts responsibility."
The Christian teacher believes God's imparted Truth obligates a student to worship the Truth or be damned, while the humanist believes the student's interests obligate the curriculum to conform to those interests. Ironically, both the students' interests and the curriculum are overseen by the deified State. Does knowledge originate in revelation or human experience? Modern "knowing" eliminates the Creator of both the knower (man) and the known (world). Humanists posit that the knower imputes meaning to the world and then responds to the meaning that he has invested in situations or persons.
The final duty for which the teacher is responsible involves instruction. While "teaching" and "instruction" are very similar in meaning, The Century Dictionary extracts this nuance of difference:
Instruction has the imparting of knowledge for its object, but emphasizes, more than teaching the employment of orderly arrangement in the things taught.
In short, to instruct is to put in order, to systematize. But, the instructor asks, what is it that orders all the knowledge, experiences, and actions of men? His answer is his philosophy of life. It is the instructor who philosophizes and who imparts his reason for being, knowing, and doing to his disciples.
Where the teacher attempts to teach a child diverse lessons, the emphasis is upon diversity. Where the instructor-philosopher arranges all lessons to gravitate around one normative standard, the emphasis is upon a universalizing truth that can be applied unconditionally to any particular. Hence, every lesson ultimately stems from the same reference point; that is, whatever the instructor believes to be the summum bonum of life. This is "what physicists call an organizing principle-a principle or law-which is so basic to the subject concerned that it controls any future inquiry within it."
The Greek counterpart to our English word "instruct" is the verb didasko from which didacticism is derived. Didasko means to furnish with direction and its purpose is to convey an orderly arrangement of ideas and actions. So where teaching guides a man's thoughts toward a specific belief, instruction emphasizes how those collective beliefs, ordered by one normative standard, are to be practiced in the conduct of life.
Any normative standard which throws an all-encompassing umbrella over who God is, who man is, and what the external world is, is otherwise known as a doctrine (Gr. didaxa): "in general, whatever is laid down as true by an instructor or master". Thus, education is truly a religious enterprise. Jewish instruction in the Old Testament meant "knowing was not divorced from being and doing, and good character was seen to result from a right relationship with God." For the Christian instructor this principle continues to hold true today.
How does the Christian instructor reduce all knowledge to a system? What organizing principle encompasses all domains of teaching and provides the connective tissue between disciplines? Paul answered these queries in Colossians 3:16-17 where the Christian instructor's summum bonum is "the word of Christ.... And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him." In Titus 2:7-8 Paul admonishes Titus, “In everything set them an example by doing what is good. In your didaskalia (i.e., instruction) show integrity, seriousness, and soundness of speech that cannot be condemned.”
The above verse-demonstrates how the instructor's normative standard orders both beliefs ("what is good") and conduct ("set them an example by doing").
If a Christian instructor teaches that the Word of God is man's normative standard for knowing and doing, but his own life is a continual abrogation of this teaching, he is a hypocrite. Christ told the instructors of his day:
You pretenders—hypocrites! … Truly did Isaiah prophesy of you when he said: 'This people draw near Me with their mouth and honor Me with their lips, but their heart holds off and is far away from Me: uselessly do they worship Me, for they teach as doctrines the commands of men.'(Amplified, Mt. 15:8-9)
Christ told these teachers of the law that disorder and not order characterized their doctrine. While giving lip service to one normative standard, they arrogated to themselves a man-made standard and lived out a doctrine of lies. Modern hypocrites have occupied some of the highest offices in America. During his presidential term Jimmy Carter called himself "born again," and yet, according to the Decatur Tribune. August 13, 1980 President Carter's decision-making powers did not seem to be influenced by his "born again" profession.
The Carter Administration, each person hand-picked by the President, has launched an attack on Christian schools, selected 269 liberal 'federal judges, and opposed prayer in the public school while spending 175,000 HEW dollars producing the most radical sex education manual in history!
What a man values most is what he does with his time. Philosophies not only involve polemics, they also bear fruit.
Finally, what is it that distinguishes the instructor of God? In Mt. 22: 16 Jesus is addressed as an instructor known for his integrity, one whose instruction is consistent with the truth, and one not "swayed by men." Scripture describes Barnabas, a Christian instructor, as " a good man, full of the Holy Spirit and faith" in Acts 11:24. Even later in Acts, Paul himself is described by his enemies as a man who instructs "all men everywhere" (21:28). In brief, a godly instructor is one who teaches that the Word of God is the summum bonum of life and who proceeds to demonstrate this by ordering his own words and deeds consistently with Scripture.
By contrast, how does the humanist instructor order all perimeters of reality? What organizing principle interprets cognition and volition? discipline and teaching? The humanist's philosophy is founded upon a pour-soi of pseudonyms: self-concept, self-determination, self-actualization, self-awareness, and self-potentiality. The most important thing in life to the humanist is the survival of the self. All reality is judged according to how well it sustains the "needs" of the self.
Since there is no transcendence in this system, no god beyond man and the state, ethics gives way to aesthetics as the basis of life. When man is his own god, he is beyond good and evil. The decisions of life are then no longer questions of morality but matters of taste. Yet if man is the reference point for every question, why does he so often bungle answering the questions? Matthew Lipman, founder of the Institute for the Advancement of Philosophy for Children, assumes children must be taught how to think. His reason for teaching kids philosophy, he says, is because it makes them "more tolerant of others partly because there are no definite answers to most philosophical questions." When man deifies self, he immediately crystallizes his limitations; he does not possess total explicability because he is finite and mutable. Man chooses to believe only the present is important rather than admit himself a creature limited in time and space. Thus, everything gets its value as a means to a present action. All conduct revolves around the immediate interests of the individual and all curriculum is categorized as part of the dynamic human experience.
In conclusion, education is a battle for the mind of man. Nebuchadnezzar personified the humanistic State when he boasted, "What god will be able to rescue you from my hand?" George Washington said it was impossible to govern without the Bible. This paper has attempted to probe the tenets of Christianity and humanism as they pertain to educations: concept of man, stewardship, goal, and duties.
[Cf. see works of Bloom, Hirsch, Nash, and my three essays, Education and Enemies of Permanent Things; Persons and Events in The Educational Crisis; Education from The 1960's to the 1990's; and Going First Class on The Titanic]
Educational Paradigm Shift in the 1960's. The first shift was John Dewey; the second was "Spooked by Spock" from the 1960's to the 1990's; the third was Derrida, educational and cultural decadence through education and media.
From the 1960's to 1990's, education has been a conflict for the control of the mind of man. We live in a seeker, sensual, survival world. From Spock to Derrida (cf. "whole language" reader process, there is no meaning in a text; the reader creates it) the "whole language" perspective has come to dominate American education (reading is a transactional process). Competition from the secular sector for education control intensifies. Survival risks are all about us. The survival of continuing Christian education in these rapidly changing nineties are a fundamental challenge at this hour of the Church's life.
Cf. Higher Education Handbook of Theory and Research (Vol. I, NY Agrathon, 1986; N. P. Eurich, "Continuing Education and The Learning Industry" The Journal of Continuing Higher Education, vol. 39, no. 3 (Fall, 1991, pp. 2-6); "Positive, Visionary Leadership" Journal of Adult Training (Wheaton, IL, vol. 1, p. 3.; G. R. Hussberger, "The Changing Face of Ministry" Christian Leadership of The 21st Century" pp. 224ff in Reformed Review, vol. 44, Spring 1991, No. 3.
Deconstructionism now dominates much of our contemporary education. What is deconstructionism? Webster's New World Dictionary (3rd college edition, by Simon and Schuster, Inc.) defines deconstructionism as "a method of literary analysis originated in France in the mid-20th century and based on a theory that, by the very nature of language and usage, no text can have a fixed, coherent meaning." This Derridaian nightmare not only destroys the Bible but Derrida's works as well!
Derridaian deconstructionism has entered the "whole language" educator's reading process. The authors of, Whole Language: What's The Difference? (Heinemann, 1991) write: "From a whole language perspective, reading and language use in general is a process of generating hypothesis in a meaning making transaction in a sociohistorical context as a transactional process." (Rosenbatt, 1978; Goodman, 1984), reading is not a matter of "getting the meaning" from a text, as if that meaning were in the text waiting to be decoded by the reader. This view of reading implies that there is no single "correct" meaning for a given text, only a plausible meaning." (p. 19)
This theory affirms that each reader creates his or her own meaning rather than retrieves it from the text. Obviously, this is a recipe for the destruction of literacy, not its improvement. Meaning is created through transaction. Rather than viewing reading as "getting the words", whole language educators view reading as essentially a process of creating meaning.
In a transactional model words do not have static meanings. Rather, they have meaning potentials and the capacity to communicate multiple meaning (p. 32). In The Academic American Encyclopedia on p. 76, we note a parallel with the model of Deconstructionism:
"Deconstructionism is a theory about language and literature that developed in the 1970’s. Derrida's model declares that 'For deconstructionist, language constitutes everything. The world itself is "Text." Language shapes humanity and creates human reality . . . yet, upon close explanation, words seem to have no necessary connection with reality or with concepts or ideas, with the respect to "reality."
This model generates "reader-created meaning" on all texts. This model has no limit of creativity, thus no text "can" have a specific and communicable meaning. Deconstructionism has been regularly attacked as childish philosophical skepticism and linguistic nihilism.
Nevertheless, it became the leading literary critical school in the USA during the period following the Vietnam War (Birth of Pluralism). It is crucial to note that Deconstructionism is basically an attack on the notion of absolute truth and literal comprehension of a written text (cf. the Hermeneutical Revolution has also impacted Biblical Studies). Classical western and Christian education rests on linear thinking or "logocentric" in that it relies on the word as the means of conveying truth. The Bible is word-oriented (see my article on "Dancing in The Dark” on media's effect). The influence of The New Right on reading results is well known. Its consequences are less well known. Authors give the child control rather than the teacher. All forms of classical literature, including the Scriptures, are destroyed on the presupposition of Deconstructionism and its child - "reader created-meaning." Secularistic paganism is the direct result of the new gospel of Frank Smith's theory that "learning is social, not solitary." As with all error, this is partly correct. This view of the formation of language and meaning will reshape culture. Morally there are no absolutes; each reader creates his or her private meaning. The cultural consequence is the resurgence of new age, humanistic, secularistic, pluralistic, relativistic paganism. When a child is given sex education in kindergarten as part of the Aids prevention program and at the same time will be taught that there is no absolute word, and that the ultimate purpose in life is social and sexual intercourse, we can expect the rising generation to be the most licentious and depraved in American history. (cf. emphasis on adventure survival. Cultural data overwhelmingly confirms the judgment). Pagan societies are characterized by idolatry, occultism, sexual promiscuity (lifestyle variation), flagrant homosexuality, violence, murder, human sacrifice, incest, infanticide, child abuse, widespread disease, despotism, political instability, a low level of productivity, and a wide disparity between the rich and the very poor, with few in the middle). The key to paganizing America is by controlling how children learn language, for as Halliday writes, "language come to occupy the central role in the process of social learning" The semantic system which he is constructing becomes the primary mode of transmission of the culture" (p. 66). That, of course, is simply a form of insanity. A mind so inclined is a mind that will lead its owner to destruction, not the positive returns proposed by Deconstruction. Culture and the Church — Death by Deconstruction!
(The Influence of the Occult on Contemporary Educational Paradigms)
Educational courses in a growing number of universities around the country are offering young teachers courses with such title as "Imagineering: Tools for Unlocking Potential." This course offered at California State University at Long Beach in the spring of 1984 was advertised this way: "Learn to use Imagineering Skills /visualization and guide imagery in your classroom to accelerate achievement and facilitate learning."
Recent courses are committed to indoctrinating the future teachers of this country in the new age globalist/socialist and Eastern mystical perspective. Professor Philip Vander Velde's course entitled "Foundations of Education" is a globalist New Age classic. His key textbooks are global mandate Pedagogy for Peace, edited by himself and Kyung-chan Kim, and a work by physicist and new ageer Fritjok Caprin, entitled The Turning Point.
Every Christian parent and concerned educator should read Johanna Michaelson's book, Like Lambs to The Slaughter (Eugene, OR: Harvest House Pub., 1989). New Age evangelists have infiltrated our public school systems. Our youth are in a personal development technique syndrome in their school systems. This new technique of education is a "dangerous religion." The new techniques present the beautiful side of evil (Psychic and Yoga practices and the season of the witch; see Anton Lavey, The Satanic Bible and The Satanic Rituals (Isaiah 5.20-21).
B. Around 1984 (The Satanic Rituals, 1972 and The Satanic Bible, 1969) began to appear in force. Their influence became visible in ritual murders, self mutilation and sacrifices, in suicides (paraphernalia associated with black magic and satanism.
C. Major resurgence of Satanism in the U.S.A. in the past 18 months, ca. 1985.
D. In the 1960's it was the hippies; in the 1980's it was satanists.
E. Concentration at Albuquerque, NM, of. Los Alamos.
F. In San Antonio, a group was suspected in the torture, mutilation and deaths of 50 animals (very serious about Satanism).
G. El Paso is a center of Satanism.
H. The high priest of Satanism, Dr. Michael Aquino, said on the Geraldo Rivera show that Satanism is legitimate and ethical, (cf. Temple of Satan, Church of Satan).
I. Aquino and LaVey fall into the category of Religious Satanism (practices of Satanism is changing the understanding of Satanism in the armed forces. "The next best thing to sex, drugs, rock and roll was Satan;" local audio/video stores (Tipper Gore, Sally Nevius, “Parents Music Resource Center”)
J. 600,000 teenagers attempt suicide each year, 6500 succeed; 18 per day, every 80 minutes; horror films—Faces of Death, Friday the 13th, Halloween and Nightmare on Elm Street. Just a phase?
K. What to do? James 4.7 - "Resist the Devil and he will flee from you. "Troubled children and dysfunctional families; our struggle is not with flesh and blood (Ephesians 6.12).
L. Classic by Kurt Koch, Occult Bondage and Deliverance; The power of God and the powers of darkness (Ephesians 6, Revelation 8.31; 35-39) (John Goodwin, Occult America (NY: Doubleday, 1978); June Bletzer, The Donmig International Encyclopedic Psychic Dictionary (Norfolk, VA: Beacon, 1986).
M. Your Kid, The Psychic; Your Kid, The Yoga (Body, Mind, Spirit: Your New Age Information Resource); Johanna Michaelson, The Beautiful Side of Evil (Harvest House Pub., 1982).
More books to read:
Jannine Lucanco, "The Psychic Child and How to Deal with Him," International Journal of Early Childhood, 1984).
Dean C. Halverson, "A Course in Miracles: Seeing Yourself As Sinless" SCP Journal, vol. 7, 1987
Marilyn Ferguson, The Aquarian Conspiracy: Self and Personal Transformation. Feminist spirituality and worship of goddesses.
James W. Peterson, The Secret Life of Kids: An Examination Into Their Psychic Senses A Quest Book (Wheaton, IL: The Theosophical Pub. House, 1987).
Ted Schwartz, “Satanism, Is Your Family Safe?” New Age Journal, 1988.
Dale Pollock, Sky walking; The Life and Films of George Lucas. (NY: Harmony Books, 1983).
Sue Cornwell and Mike Kott, The Official Guide Book to Star Trek and Star Wars Collectibles (NY: Random House Inc. by the House of Collectibles, 1986.
Tipper Gore, Raising PG Kids in An X-Rated Society (Nashville, TN: Abingdon Press, 1987).
The Analytical Greek Lexicon. Grand Rapids: Zondervan Publishing House, 1977.
Beck, Joan. "Rendering Unto God and Science." Chicago Tribune. 15 January 1982, sec. 1, p. 10.
Klmgh, Glenn . Science Is Adventuring. Chicago: Scott, Foresman, and Co., 1965.
Bode, Carl. "Bring Back McGuffey's 'Reader.'" Chicago Tribune. 5 January 1982, sec.1, p. 11, cols. 4-5.
Brandt, Anthony. "Teaching Kids to Think." Ladies' Home Journal. September 1982, p. 105.
Brandwein, Paul F. Concepts In Science. Fifth reader. New York: Hareourt, Brace, and World, Inc., 1970.
Concepts In Science. Third reader. New York: Karcourt, Brace, and World, Inc., 1970.
Bruner, Jerome. The Process of Education. Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1977.
Capelluti, Frank J., Ruth E. Grossman. The Euman Adventure. San Francisco: Field Educational Publications, Inc., 1970.
The Century Dictionary. Ed. Benjamin E. Smith. New York: The Century Co., 1914.
Dunn, Marcia. "Officials Call Trend Harmful." Decatur Sunday Herald and Review. 8 June I960.
"Education." The Modern Encyclopedia. 1933.
"Family Seeks Escape From Public Education." Grit, 23 November 1980, p. 31.
Frank, Lawrence K. The School As Arent For Cultural Renewal. Cambridge: Harvard University Press, I960.
"The Fundamentalist Schools Movement." Donahue Transcript No 10231, Multimedia Program Productions. Cincinnati: Syndication Services, Fall 1981.
Hardison, jr., 0. B. Toward Freedom and Dignity. Baltimore: The John Hopkins University Press, 1972.
Euck, Susan L. M. "Secular Humanism." American Opinion. January 1980, p. 4
James, Edgar C. "Creationism Versus Evolution." Chicago Tribune. 29 December 1981, sec. 1, p. 11, cols. 1-3.
Jurenas, Albert C. "Success For Public Schools." Chicago Tribune. 12 January 1982, sec. 1, p. 11, cols. 1-3.
Karlowski, Carl S. "The Continuing Debates on Creationism."' Chicago Tribune 15 January 1982, sec. 1, p. 10.
Keegan, Anne. '"Little Red School1 Paces Cruelest Cut." Chicago Tribune, 25 June 1981, sec. 1, p. 5, cols. 1-3.
Kinneer, Jack. "Creation or Evolution—Or Both?" New Horizons in the Orthodox Presbyterian Church. December 1982, pp. 1,5-6.
Kneller, George P. Introduction to the Philosophy of Education, 2d ed. New York: John Wiley & Jons, Inc., 1971.
Krasnoff, Barbara. "From Whence We Came: Evolutionists vs. Creationists." Chicago Tribune. 20 September 1981, p. 1, cols. 1-5.
Lewis, C. S. God In the Dock. 2d. Walter Hooper. Grand Rapids: William B. Eerdmans Publishing Co., 1970.
Macaulay, Ranald, Jerramy Barrs. Being Hunan. Downers Grove: Inter-Varsity Press, 1978.
Morton, A. V. "Education in Biblical Times." 3 ed. Merrill C. Tenney et. al., eds. in The Zondervan Pictorial Encyclopedia of the Bible, 1980.
North, Gary. "Who Should Certify Competence?" Biblical Economics Today, Pebruary/Karch 1981, p. 3.
Rushdoony, Rousas J. The Biblical Philosophy of History. Phillipsburg: Presbyterian and Reformed Publishing Co., 1979.
_______. Intellectual Schizophrenia. Phillipsburg: Presbyterian and Reformed Publishing Co., 1961.
Ryan, Kevin, and James K. Cooper. Those Who Can, Teach, 3rd ed. Boston: Houghton Kifflin Company, I960.
"Seventy-six percent Want 2 Theories Taught." Decatur Herald and Review, 12 November 1981, sec. B, p. 8, col. 1.
Simpson, Elizabeth L. Humanistic Education: An Interpretation. Cambridge: Ballinger Publishing Co., 1976.
"Something Wrong Somewhere." Decatur Tribune, 13 August 1980, p. 2.
Valett, Robert E. Humanistic Education. St. Louis: The C. V. Mosby Co., 1977.
Vine, W. E. An Expository Dictionary of New Testament Words. Old Tappan: Fleming H. Revell Co., 1966.
Webster's New Collegiate Dictionary. Sd. John P. Bethel. Springfield: G. & C. Co., 1959.
Whitehead, John V. The New Tyranny. 1982.
_______. The Second American Revolution. David C. Cook Publishing. 1982.
James D. Strauss
Lincoln Christian Seminary
 John W. Whitehead, The New Tyranny (Ft. Lauderdale: Coral Ridge Ministries, 1982), p. 18.
 Webster's Nev Collegiate Dictionary, ed. John P. Bethel (Springfield: G. & C. Merriam Co., 1959), p. 261.
 Century Dictionary, ed. Benjamin H. Smith (New York: The Century . Company, 1914), p. 1845.
 The Century Dictionary, p. 1845.
 Education," The Modern Encyclopedia. 1933.
 Note: All Bible references quoted from the HIV unless otherwise stated. 7Webster's. p. 705.
 Webster’s, p. 705. W
 W. E. Vine, An Expository Dictionary of New Testament Words (Old Tappan: Fleming H. Revell Co., 1966), p. 252.…………
 The Century Dictionary, p. 4990.
 The Century Dictionary, 5177.
 The Analytical Greek Lexicon (Grand Rapids: Zondervan Publishing House, 1977), p. 249.
 Whitehead, The New Tyranny, p. 19.
 Frank J. Cappelluti, Ruth E. Grossman, The Human Adventure (San Francisco: Field Educational Publications, Inc., 1970), p. 28
 Paul F. Brandwein, Concepts In Science, Third Reader (New York: Harcourt, Brace, and Word, Inc., 1970), p. 266.
 Paul F. Brandwein, Concepts In Science, Third Reader, p.308.
 Cappelluti, Grossman, p. 33.
 Cappelluti, Grossman, p. 49.
 Paul F. Brandwein, Concepts In Science, Fifth Reader (New York: Harcourt, Brace, and World, Inc., 1970), p. 345.
 Glenn O. Blough, Science Is Adventuring, Teacher’s Guide (Chicago: Scott, Foresman, and Co., 1965), p. 189-G, 282. T
 Brandwein, Concepts, Fifth Reader, p. 338.
 Lawrence K. Frank, The School As Agent For Cultural Renewal (Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1960), p. 2.
 Frank, p. 9.
 C. S. Lewis, God In The Dock, ed. Walter Hooper (Grand Rapids: William B. Eerdmans Publishing Co., 1970), p. 244.
 Carl S. Karlowski, "The Continuing Debates on Creationism," Chicago Tribune, 15 January 1982, sec. 1, p. 10.
 Karlowski, p. 10.
 Edgar C. James, "Creationism Versus Evolution," Chicago Tribune. 29 December 1981, sec. 1, p. 11, cols. 1-3.
 Blough, p. 260.
 Joan Beck, "Rendering Unto God and Science," Chicago Tribune. 15 January
1982, sec. 1, p. 10.
 'Barbara Krasnoff, "From Whence We Came: Evolutionists vs. Creationists,"
Chicago Tribune. 20 September 1981, p. 1, cols. 1-5.
 Jack Kinneer, "Creation or Evolution—Or Both?" New Horizons in the Orthodox Presbyterian Church. December 1982, p. 1, 5-6..
 Krasnoff, p. 2.
 Cappelluti, Grossman, p. 34.
 “76% Want 2 Theories Taught,” Decatur Herald and Review, 18 November 1981, sec. B, p. 8, col. 1.
 Gordon H. Clark, A Christian Philosophy of Education (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1946), p. 195f. quoted by Rousas J. Rushdoony, Intellectual Schitzophrenia (Phillipsburg: Presbyterian and Reformed Publishing Co., 1961), p.76.
 Whitehead, The New Tyranny, p. 24.
 "The Fundamentalist Schools Movement," Donahue Transcript No. 10231, Multimedia Program Productions (Cincinnati: Syndication Services), p. 2f. No date but approx. Fall, 1981.
 Kevin Ryan, James M. Cooper, Those Who Can. Teach. 3rd ed. (Boston:
Houghton Hifflin Co., 1980), p. 227-28.
 Ryan, Cooper, p. 36.
 Family Seeks Escape From Public Education," Grit. 23 November 1980, p. 31..
 Marcia Dunn, "Officials Call Trend Harmful," Decatur Sunday Herald and
Review, 8 June 1980.
 Dunn, “Officials.”
 Dunn, "Officials."
 Dunn, “Officials.”
Gary North, “Who Should Certify Competence?” Biblical Economics Today, February/March 1981, p. 3.
 North, p. 3.
 John W. Whitehead, The Second Revolution (Elgin: David C. Cook Publishing Co., 1982), p. 134.
 Anne Keegan, “ ‘Little Red School’ Faces Cruelest Cut,” Chicago Tribune, 25 June 1981, sec., p. 5, cols. 1-3.
 Keegan, p. 5.
 Keegan, p. 5.
 Keegan, p. 5.
 Ryan, Cooper, p. 314.
 North, p. 3.
 Albert C. Jurenas, “Success for Public Schools,” Chicago Tribune, 12 January 1982, sec. 1, p. 11, cols. 1-3.
 Robert E. Valett, Humanistic Education (St. Louis: The C. V. Mosby Co., 1977), p. 46.
 Frank, p. 18.
 Frank, p. 21.
 Jerome Bruner, The Process of Education (Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1977), p. 8.
 Whitehead, The New Tyranny, p. 29.
 Carl Bode, “Bring Back McGuffey’s ‘Reader,’” Chicago Tribune, 5 January 1982, sec. 1, p. 11, cols. 4-5.
 Bode, p. 11.
 Bruner, p. 9.
 Vine, p. 264.
 Webster’s, p. 236.
 Marvin J. Woodstrup, “Never ‘Why?’ nor ‘If…I’ll…’”, Phi Delta Kappan, April 1977, 609, quoted by Devin Ryan and James M. Cooper, Those Who can, Teach, 3rd ed. (Boston: Houghton Mifflin Co., 1980), p. 261.
 Elizabeth L. Simpson, Humanistic Education: An Interpretation (Cambridge: Ballinger Publishing Co., 1976), p. 4.
 Ryan, Cooper, p. 175.
 Frank, p. 19.
 Susan L. M. Hunk, “Secular Humanism,” American Opinion, January 1980, p. 4.
 O. B. Hardison, Jr., Toward Freedom and Dignity (Baltimore: The John Hopkins University Press, 1972), p. 99
 Frank, p. 19.
 The Century Dictionary, p. 6205.
 The Analytical Greek Lexicon, p. 85.
 The Century Dictionary, p. 160J.
 George F. Kneller, Introduction to the Philosophy of Education. 2nd ed., (New York: John Wiley &Sons, Inc., 1971), p. 113.
 Ryan, Cooper, p. 227-8.
 Ryan, Cooper, p. 290.
 Ryan, Cooper, p. 291.
 Frank, p. 26.
 The Century Dictionary, p. 3125.
 Ranald Macaulay, Jerram Barrs, Being Human (Downers Grove: Inter-Varsity Press, 1978), p. 13.
 The Century Dictionary, p. 3125.
 A. W. Morton, “Education in Biblical Times,” ed. Merrill C. Tenney et. al., eds., in The Zondervan Pictorial Encyclopedia of the Bible, 1980.
 “Something Wrong Somewhere,” Decatur Tribune, 13 August 1980, p. 2.
 Rousas J. Rushdoony, The Biblical Philosophy of History (Phillipsburg: Presbyterian and Reformed Publishing Co., 1979), p. 123.
 Anthony Brandt, “Teaching Kids to Think,” Ladies’ Home Journal, September 1982, p. 105.