The Biblical Antithesis in Education
Antithesis, vol. 1, no. 6, 1990
republished in Family Matters, issue 2, 1995
The enmity between Christian and non-Christian thought is central to
the debate over public education.
One of the great ironies among modern evangelicals is the fact that
many have higher and stricter standards for their children's
babysitters than they do for their children's teachers. Is a
babysitter needed? She should be a Christian, and a reliable one. She
should be known to the family, or highly recommended by someone who
is. And for what task? To keep Johnny safe and dry until bedtime, and
then to tuck him in.
But five years later, Johnny comes home from his first day of school.
He bursts in the front door, full of news. His parents ask all kinds
of questions. And one of them is this one: "Who is your teacher,
Johnny?" The parents don't know the teacher's name. They don't
know if the teacher is an atheist or a Southern Baptist. They don't
know if she is a socialist or a conservative Republican. They don't
know if she is lesbian or straight. And what is the teacher's task?
Her task is to help them shape the way the child thinks about the
world. Does God exist? If He exists, is His existence relevant to the
classroom? And what is the nature of man? What is the purpose of
society? How did man get here? Where should he go? How should he
conduct himself on the way? None of these questions can be answered
without certain worldview assumptions, and the parents in this example
do not even know whether they share the worldview of their child's
There are two reasons why many parents have allowed this to happen.
The first is that the government has become the guarantor of
"quality" in teaching. If something is "licensed"
or "accredited," it is easy to assume the quality is good.
We forget that licensing also means control. The government has not
yet taken on a licensing role with regard to babysitting or parenting;
when it does, no doubt there will be some who acquiesce. But God has
placed the responsibility in one place, and to move it to another for
the sake of "quality-control" is abdication. The second
reason is related to the first. Neutrality is impossible; worldviews
in education are unavoidable. Jesus eliminated neutrality in all areas
when He said, "He who is not with Me is against Me, and he who
does not gather with Me scatters abroad" (Matt. 12:30).
About a century before anyone was listening, R.L. Dabney described the
impossibility of neutrality in education this way:
The instructor has to teach history, cosmogony, psychology, ethics,
the laws of nations. How can he do it without saying anything
favorable or unfavorable about the beliefs of evangelical Christians,
Catholics, Socinians, Deists, pantheists, materialists or fetish
worshippers, who all claim equal rights under American institutions?
His teaching will indeed be the play of Hamlet, with the part of
Concerning the question of origins, he asked if a scientist could give
the "...genesis of earth and man, without indicating whether
Moses or Huxley is his prophet?" The answer
of course is that directionless, nonaligned education is by definition
impossible. Certain worldview assumptions must always be made. They
will either be based on biblical truth, or they will not. A certain
direction must be chosen. It will either be the way God says to go, or
it will not. There is no neutrality. There is a bumpersticker which
says, "Everybody has got to be somewhere!" Applied to
geographical location, we have a tautological joke. But if we apply it
to worldviews in education, we have a profound truth -- so profound
that many miss it. Children are taught by missionaries of a rival
faith, and some parents continue to slumber.
I once gave a presentation on Christian education to a group of
parents. One of the parents took strong exception to the position I
presented, and told how she had communicated her feelings about the
celebration of Halloween at the public school where her child
attended. She apparently considered this to be evidence that Christian
parents can make a difference in the public schools. While many are
certainly trying, I feel the effort is misguided. Such attempts at
"reform" are almost always unsuccessful, and are a good
modern example of straining at gnats and swallowing camels. Does it
make sense to object to the inclusion of witches and goblins one day a
year, and not object to the exclusion of God the rest of the year?
The Difference God Makes
I was once instructing our seventh grade Bible class when I was
interrupted by an objection from one of the boys in the class.
"But that's a universal statement!" It turns out that in the
previous science class the students had been taught about universal
statements, and this student regarded with suspicion the appearance of
one in Bible class. The student was attempting to apply in one class
what he had learned in another. I answered the objection in class, but
when the class was over, I took the student aside and praised him for
attempting the application. Obviously, educators want to get the
students to think in class. But the real goal should be to get them to
think in the hallways between classes as well.
God is the Light in which we see and understand everything else.
Without Him, the universe is a fragmented pile of incomprehensible
particulars. Indeed, the universe can no longer be understood as
a universe; it has become a multiverse. Christian education must
therefore present all subjects as parts of an integrated whole with
the Scriptures at the center. Without this integration, the curriculum
will be nothing more than a dumping ground for unrelated facts. When
God is acknowledged, all knowledge coheres. It is obvious that all
aspects of this coherence cannot be known to us -- we are finite
creatures. But as the late Francis Schaeffer would put it, while our
knowledge cannot be exhaustive, we can grasp what is true. We can
understand that God knows what we do not, and therefore, the universe
is unified in principle. Where God is not acknowledged, the pursuit of
knowledge is just "one damn thing after another," and the
ultimate exercise in futility. The French existentialist philosopher
Sartre understood this when he said somewhere that without an infinite
reference point, all finite points are absurd.
Education is a completely religious endeavor. It is impossible to
impart knowledge to students without building on religious
presuppositions. Education is built on the foundation of the
instructor's worldview (and the worldview of those who developed the
curriculum). It is a myth that education can be non-religious -- that
is, that education can go on in a vacuum which deliberately chooses to
exclude the basic questions about life. It is not possible to separate
religious values from education. This is because all the fundamental
questions of education require religious answers. Learning to read and
write is simply the process of acquiring tools to enable us to ask and
answer such questions.
Public education can approach this problem in one of two ways. The
first is to refuse to address such questions. We have already seen
that such an attempt is impossible. If any information is transferred
at all, it will assume the truth of certain presuppositions. Every
subject, every truth, bears some relationship to God. Every subject
will be taught from a standpoint of submission or hostility to Him.
The second alternative is the hidden agenda. The agenda is implemented
when the state gives religious answers to the fundamental questions
but hides the fact that it is doing so. The
religion is humanistic, and is taught with the power of the state
behind it. Thus, a church has been established by law, but it is not a
Christian church. Without realizing it, many Christian parents are
requiring their children to attend.
In contrast to this, the apostle Paul teaches us that every thought
is to be made captive to Christ (II Cor. 10:4-5). But how is this to
be done, and how is this discipline of mind to be passed on to our
children? There is no way to do it without a total teaching
environment in submission to the Word of God. We cannot bring every
thought captive by allowing some thoughts to aspire to autonomy. There
is so much to learn about the biblical worldview that it is impossible
to accomplish it with Sunday School once a week, or even with a daily
devotional instruction in the home. Such daily instruction is rare to
begin with, and even where it does exist it is not possible to undo in
such a short time (15 minutes? 1 hour?) what took many hours to
accomplish earlier that day.
Teaching students to think in terms of a fixed reference point is not
the same thing as indoctrination. It is more than devout propaganda. I
was once speaking to a journalism class at Washington State
University, when one of the students asked, rather pointedly, whether
Christian education was anything more than fundamentalist
brainwashing. He didn't use those words, but the
point was clear. I answered him by using the creation/evolution
controversy as an example. I pointed out that the only school in our
town where a student could receive accurate information about both
sides of the debate was our school. Kids in the public schools are not
taught what creationists believe, or what their supporting arguments
It is true that at our own school, Logos School, as in most Christian
schools, we teach that creation is a fact. But it is that fixed
reference point which enables us to present the arguments of our
opponents as accurately as we can. We believe the Christian position
can be honestly defended and are not afraid of our kids hearing what
the other side has to say. For example, our science teacher once
brought in a professor from the University of Idaho and gave him two
class periods to present the arguments for evolution to our ninth
grade science class. A fixed reference point does not blind Christians
to the existence of objections; it enables Christians to answer
I also pointed out to my questioner that in our Bible classes the
students frequently challenge or question the Christian faith. This
happens regularly, and when it does, the students are encouraged and
their questions are answered. As iron sharpens iron, so students and
teachers sharpen one another (Pr. 27:17). The students are taught to
think in terms of the Christian faith. This is what makes it possible
for them to think at all. It is not propagandizing when teachers give
their students somewhere to stand. Relativism has only the appearance
of openness; in the end, it always frustrates the one who wants to
There are some who realize how the public schools are failing, and yet
do not recognize that ultimately the cause of the failure is
theological. This causes them to dismiss Christian education as mere
indoctrination. One example is Richard Mitchell, a trenchant and
hilarious critic of what passes for education in the public schools
today. In spite of his opposition to the type of "education"
provided by government schools, Mitchell refuses to regard private
Christian schools as a legitimate alternative. He admits they do a
better job teaching the "basics" and yet he opposes their
commitment to "a certain ideology." In his words, "No
school governed by ideology -- any ideology whatsoever -- can afford
to educate its students; it can only indoctrinate and train them. In
this respect there is no important difference between the Christian'
schools and the government's schools...."
Later he defines the fruit of education as "a mind raised up in
the habit of literacy and skill (it is one and the same thing of
language and thought)." But from a biblical
perspective, this sort of definition is inadequate; what good does it
do to advocate training in thought and then neglect the role of
thought? As the open mouth receives food, so the open, reasoning mind
should close on truth. In a world without truth, skill in thinking is
a useless skill. What good is thirst without water, or hunger without
food? In the same way, reasoning skills must lead to truth. Now it is
true that some who claim to hold to Christian truth are unreasoning
ideologues. But to argue from that fact to the position that all
commitment to truth (by schools or individuals) must be unreasoning
ideology is to be guilty of a non sequitur of the first rank. One
could similarly argue that because counterfeit money exists, real
money does not. As Samuel Rutherford used to say, "It followeth
Christians believe that Christ has been given a name that is above
every name. "And He is before all things, and in Him all things
consist. And He is the head of the body, the church, who is the
beginning, the firstborn from the dead, that in all things He may have
the preeminence" (Col. 1:17-18). We are not
to limit the light of Christ to our understanding of Christ. We must
understand the world in the light of Christ; He is the light in which
we see truth. Christians cannot understand the world in a Biblical way
without reference to Jesus Christ. In him all things hold together
(Col. 1:15-18). Without this understanding, "Christian
education" is no longer Christian; it is little more than a
baptized secularism. It is not enough to take the curricula of the
government schools, add prayer and a Bible class, and claim the result
is somehow Christian.
Humanistic education seeks to make man the defining principle for all
knowledge. But man is too weak a glue to hold everything together. In
himself, he cannot provide this integrating principle. In contrast,
educators who are truly Christian understand that Christ should be
acknowledged as having the supremacy. This means that every fact,
every truth, must be understood in that light. History, art, music,
mathematics, etc. must all be taught in the light of God's existence,
and His revelation of Himself in His Son, Jesus Christ. Because the
Scriptures occupy a central place in this revelation, they must also
occupy a critical role in Christian education.
This is not to say the Bible was meant to be read as a science or
mathematics text. It was not. It does, however,
provide a framework for understanding these so-called
"secular" subjects. Without such a framework for
understanding, all subjects will ultimately degenerate into chaotic
absurdity -- with each subject a pile of facts unto itself. Again, Dabney: "Every line of true
knowledge must find its completeness as it converges on God, just as
every beam of daylight leads the eye to the sun. If religion is
excluded from our study, every process of thought will be arrested
before it reaches its proper goal. The structure of thought must
remain a truncated cone, with its proper apex lacking."
The Christian educator's job is not to require the students to spend
all their time gazing at the sun. Rather, we want them to examine
everything else in the light the sun provides. It would be invincible
folly to try to blacken the sun in order to be able to study the world
around us "objectively." Because all truth comes from God,
the universe is coherent. Without God, particulars have no
relationship to other particulars. Each subject has no relationship to
any other subject. Christian educators must reject this understanding
of the universe as a multiverse; the world is more than an infinite
array of absurd "facts." The fragmentation of knowledge must
therefore be avoided. History bears a relation to English, and biology
a relation to philosophy; they all unite in the queen of the sciences,
J. Gresham Machen, a leader in the fight against theological
liberalism earlier this century, stated it this way: "It is this
profound Christian permeation of every human activity, no matter how
secular the world may regard it as being, which is brought about by
the Christian school and the Christian school alone." This is a strong claim, but Machen goes on to
back it up. "A Christian boy or girl can learn mathematics, for
example, from a teacher who is not a Christian; and truth is truth
however learned. But while truth is truth however learned, the bearing
of truth, the meaning of truth, the purpose of truth, even in the
sphere of mathematics, seem entirely different to the Christian from
that which they seem to the non-Christian; and that is why a truly
Christian education is possible only when Christian conviction
underlies not a part, but all, of the curriculum of the
As Machen states, truth is truth however learned. It is possible to
teach students to balance their checkbooks without any reference to
God. But this is not education; it is merely mental dexterity.
Students are not being taught to think thoroughly. They are merely
being trained to function in a particular way. When a student is
taught to think, he will relate what he learns in one class to the
information offered in another. But he can only do this when he has an
integrating principle -- something that will tie all the subjects
C.S. Lewis wrote a provocative analysis of modern education entitled
The Abolition of Man. The subtitle of the book is Reflections on
Education with Special Reference to the Teaching of English in the
Upper Forms of Schools. In the book, Lewis argues that what occurs in
elementary instruction has a profound impact,whether or not that
impact is recognized. He begins the book thus: "I doubt whether
we are sufficiently attentive to the importance of elementary
text-books." Many Christians today would
agree with his statement, but only because their children are being
washed away in a flood of humanistic, anti-biblical teaching. But
when Lewis made the point, that flood was only a cloud the size of a
It is a mistake to assume that the unbiblical nature of the curriculum
must be overt before Christians oppose it. If we come to understand
that a man's life is unified in his theology, whatever that theology
is, then we will not be surprised to see what he affirms in one area
surface in another. Lewis describes the power of the textbook writers,
which "depends on the fact that they are dealing with a boy: a
boy who thinks he is doing' his English prep' and has no notion that
ethics, theology, and politics are all at stake. It is not a theory
they put into his mind, but an assumption, which ten years hence, its
origin forgotten and its presence unconscious, will condition him to
take one side in a controversy which he has never recognized as a
controversy at all." In other words,
implicit assumptions picked up in English have an effect, years later,
in a completely different area. The result will ultimately be
"trousered apes," as Lewis puts it; men who look like men,
but who have been robbed of an important part of their humanity. This
is because God made the world, and men must have a unifying principle
even if their theology denies that one exists. Men must live as God
made them, and not as they believe themselves to have evolved. Those
with a fragmented worldview do not live in a vacuum; rather, in God
they live and move, and have their being (Acts 17:28). Because they
deny Him, their application of any unifying principle must be
inconsistent with itself, and a cause of constant philosophical
frustration. Nevertheless, what is learned is still applied, and the
subjectivist assumption picked up as a child in English has its
And what was it that alarmed Lewis about the direction education was
taking? His critique was prompted by two textbook writers who had
recounted the story of Coleridge at the waterfall. Coleridge had
overheard two tourists respond in two different ways; he had mentally
applauded the one who said the waterfall was "sublime," and
rejected with disgust the response of the other, who said it was
"pretty." To this, the textbook writers commented, in
contrast to Coleridge, that when we say something is sublime, we are
saying nothing more than that we have sublime feelings. "We
appear to be saying something very important about something: and
actually we are only saying something about our own feelings." Lewis describes what is happening here as
"momentous," and thought the error of such subjectivism
important enough to dedicate a book to the subject.
Lewis makes the same warning about hidden agendas in his response to
another textbook writer. "That is their day's lesson in English,
though of English they have learned nothing. Another little portion of
the human heritage has been quietly taken from them before they were
old enough to understand." Richard
Weaver, who taught English at the University of Chicago, also taught
us that ideas have consequences. We see now
that because ideas are inter-related, they can have consequences in
the most unexpected places.
Our Golden Calves
In considering the necessity of a biblical integrating principle,
there is an instructive passage in 1 Kings 12. The nation of Israel
had split into two kingdoms, Judah and Israel. The king of Israel,
Jeroboam, was concerned that if his people continued to travel south
to Jerusalem to worship at the Temple, then their loyalty would
ultimately revert to the king of Judah.
"And Jeroboam said in his heart, Now the kingdom may return to
the house of David: if these people go up to offer sacrifices in the
house of the Lord at Jerusalem, then the heart of this people will
turn back to their lord, Rehoboam king of Judah, and they will kill me
and go back to Rehoboam king of Judah.' Therefore the king took
counsel and made two calves of gold, and said to the people, It is too
much for you to go up to Jerusalem. Here are your gods, O Israel,
which brought you up from the land of Egypt.' And he set up one in
Bethel, and the other he put in Dan. Now this thing became a sin, for
the people went to worship before the one as far as Dan" (I Kings
Thousands of years before George Orwell, Jeroboam discovered the
memory hole. If the facts of history conflict with the current agenda,
then so much the worse for the facts of history. Jehovah God brought
Israel out of Egypt with an outstretched arm. This historical fact was
inconvenient for Jeroboam. The solution? Make some golden calves and
rewrite the history curriculum. Notice, however, that this rewriting
depends upon something else for its success. It depends upon an
ignorance among the people of what really happened. Jeroboam can get
away with his lie because the people have not been taught the truth.
But in what area is their understanding of the truth lacking?
The people were being enticed into idolatry. The application of the
lie was in the field of religion and theology. They were being taught
to bow down in worship to golden calves. But the refutation of this
lie was in the field of history. "What really happened when our
fathers came out of Egypt, and how do we know?" In order for the
people to resist the lie, they had to understand that different fields
of knowledge are connected, and that the connection was in the God of
Abraham. Does history have a theological meaning? Is there any purpose
to it? Do Christians believe that God acts in history? A little closer to home, are there any facts in
American history that are inconvenient to our modern Jeroboams? When
America was founded it was a Christian republic. This is an historical
fact which is not widely accepted. Does it
make any difference whether Jeroboam or Moses writes the curriculum?
Does it make any difference whether the teacher tells our children
that Jerusalem is too far away, and that these are the gods who
Suppose for a moment in ancient Israel there was a school run by the
priests who served these golden calves. Suppose further that some
Israelite worshippers of the true God thought that it would be
possible to send their children there to receive a
"neutral"education, and they would then "unteach"
whatever bad doctrine came with it. This approach reveals an attitude
which either trivializes the difference God makes, or overestimates
its own ability to undo the damage. Now the critic may feel that this
skirts the issue. "Yes, yes," he says, "I believe that
every thought should be made captive to Christ, but I do not believe
that 2 + 2 = 4 is part of the conflict between light and darkness.
What difference could it make who teaches neutral subjects like
mathematics? 2 + 2 = 4 is true whether you are a Christian or a
humanist." Not quite. Even here the impossibility of neutrality
can be clearly seen. How do we know that 2 + 2 = 4? Are we empiricists
or rationalists? Are 2 and 4 mere linguistic conventions? Is our
knowledge a priori or a posteriori? Do we remember this information
from a previous life as Plato taught? Is there any epistemological
foundation for mathematics?
On a more practical level, should a teacher of young children drill
them in their math tables, or should she simply seek to get them to
understand the concept? Do these different teaching methodologies
reflect differences in worldview? The answer is: they certainly do. At
Logos, we require that the children memorize quite a bit of material,
and that involves work -- productive work with lasting value. We
require this because of our biblical view of work. I have seen one
result of this type of hard work around our dinner table. My children
can beat me in answering questions like, "What is 8 times
7?" They have memorized their tables and I didn't! They are
receiving a much better education than I received. Their learning of
math is built on a different foundation than mine was, and it shows.
Those who think that neutrality in mathematics is possible need to
think again. To be sure, some of these questions will not be raised
explicitly when children are learning how to add or multiply. But this
does not mean that certain answers to these questions are absent from
We can return to history for some more examples of how subjects must
be tied together with this integrating principle. The Declaration of
Independence was signed in 1776. Surely that is a bald historical
fact, whether or not the teacher is a Christian. Yes, but did that
action by the colonists begin a Revolution, or a War for Independence?
A revolution occurs when the government established by God is toppled,
there are mobs in the streets, and lawful authority is rejected. This did occur in the French Revolution, but not
here. John Eidsmoe describes our War for Independence this way:
"Many in Britain, including Edmund Burke, recognized the validity
of the colonist's case...At Independence Hall on July 4, 1776, they
did not rebel against England; they simply declared that which was
already an established fact -- their independence." 
What role did the Christian faith play in this War for Independence?
One Englishman recognized that role when he said "cousin America
has run off with a Presbyterian parson." What relationship did
the Great Awakening, and its greatest preacher, George Whitefield,
have to the War for Independence? And was it a
mere coincidence that all but one of George Washington's colonels at
Yorktown were Presbyterian elders? The answer of course is that
Christianity in America at that time was very influential (as a result
of the Great Awakening a few years before), and the Christian church
supplied great support during the war.
These examples from history and mathematics are representative. There
is no subject where similar questions cannot be raised, and all
educators must assume the truth of certain answers to these
questions. They may do so consciously or
unconsciously, explicitly or implicitly, but they must do so. And when
they do, they have taken a side. They cannot be neutral. The truths of
each subject are related to God in some way, and that relationship is
understood in the light of the teacher's worldview. But if the
education is Christian, not only will each subject bear this
relationship to the God of the Bible, each subject will also be firmly
related to every other subject. Because the Christian worldview is
based on the Scriptures, the students can be given a unified
education. That unity is only possible because of the centrality of
the Scriptures in the educational process. Without that centrality,
true education will wither and die. With it, all subjects will be
understood and more importantly, they will be understood as parts of
an integrated whole.
Copyright © by Covenant Community Church of Orange County 1990
Douglas Wilson is the editor of Credenda/Agenda, a bimonthly classical
Protestant periodical. He serves as a pastor for Community Evangelical
Fellowship, Moscow, Idaho and is a fellow of Philosophy at New St. Andrews
College, where he teaches Greek and theology. He is the author of
`Recovering the Lost Tools of Learning', `Reforming Marriage', and
- R.L. Dabney, On Secular Education (Moscow, Idaho: Ransom Press,
1989), p. 17.
- Ibid., p. 18.
- The hidden humanist agenda in the public schools is a transitional
tactic. Once power is consolidated, this agenda becomes overt. Thus,
the current conflicts in the public schools were not caused by
humanists attempting to enter the school system, they came about when
the long-present humanism became obvious.
- The charge of brainwashing can also be answered by saying our brains
are usually pretty dirty and could use a little scrub.
- Richard Mitchell, The Leaning Tower of Babel (Boston: Little, Brown
and Company, 1984), p. 95.
- Ibid, p. 215.
- Another problem in Mitchell's book is equally glaring. At one point
the author quotes a William Seawell, a professor at the University of
Virginia. Mr. Seawell stated, "Each child belongs to the
state" (p. 272). This upset Mr. Mitchell,
as well it should. A few pages later Mr. Mitchell writes, "To
whom then will he turn in the great cause of excellence and reform of
schooling? Plato? Jefferson? To anyone who understands education as
the mind's strong defense against manipulation and flattery" (p.
Those readers who follow Mr. Mitchell's advice about thinking should
notice something here. On the question of children and the state,
Plato and Mr. Seawell were kindred spirits. Why does Mr. Mitchell
applaud the one and attack the other? Why does he put Plato and
Jefferson together? They both had great minds, and they are both dead,
and that is about the extent of the similarity.
Education is more than being equipped to read Plato, J.S. Mill or
Jefferson. It involves teaching students to think about what they
read. But thinking should include determining whether the author in
question was right or wrong, and that involves commitment to a
standard of truth.
- "It is this King, who, in the New Testament, is the God and
Father of Jesus Christ, who directs and guides all things toward the
telos which he has determined for creation. And this telos is the
uniting of all things in Jesus Christ, things in heaven and things on
earth (Eph. 1:10; see also Rom. 8:18-25; 11:36)." Benjamin
Wirt Farley, The Providence of God (Grand Rapids: Baker, 1988), pp.
- We must be careful with statements like this, however. There are
many who state that the Bible is not a textbook of this or that,
meaning that the Bible is unreliable at whatever point is under
discussion. But while the Bible is not a history "text," all
of its history is accurate. While it is not a science
"text," it contains nothing in conflict with science.
- It would be easy to dismiss the charge of chaos in the curriculum as
an overstatement. But the intellectual world is in a state of
humanistic anarchy, and that anarchy is marching steadily toward
- Dabney, Secular Education, pp. 16-17.
- An understanding of theology as the "queen of the
sciences" is more than just a pious truism, or a throwback to a
more naive "age of faith." Before the intellectual world was
shattered into its current fragments, theology was considered the
queen of the sciences for a reason.
- J. Gresham Machen, Education, Christianity, and the State
(Jefferson, Md.: Trinity Foundation, 1987), p. 81.
- Ibid., p. 81.
- C.S. Lewis, The Abolition of Man (New York: The Macmillan Company,
1947), p. 13.
- See Paul Vitz, Censorship: Evidence of Bias in Our Children's
Textbooks (Ann Arbor: Servant Books, 1986), p. 4. When Lewis wrote The
Abolition of Man, he was prophesying that no good would come of
teaching which neglected objective values. When Vitz cited Lewis, the
"no good" had already come, seen, and conquered.
- Ibid., pp. 16-17.
- Ibid., p. 14.
- Ibid., p. 22.
- Richard Weaver, Ideas Have Consequences (Chicago: University of
Chicago Press, 1948).
- A cautionary note about "divine purposes" is needed here.
As a firm believer in God's exhaustive sovereignty, I believe there is
a divine purpose in all history. But apart from any revelation from
God, we must be extremely cautious about our statements as to what
that purpose is. Our lives are mist (Jas. 4:13-16), and arrogant
pronouncements about God's purposes in history are unbecoming. See
also Dt. 29:29.
- In conservative Christian circles, America's Christian origin is
often thoughtlessly accepted.
- Vern Poythress in Gary North, ed., Foundations of Christian
Scholarship (Vallecito, Ca.: Ross House Books, 1979), pp. 159-188.
- Revolutions occur in violation of the Biblical instruction about
civil authority in Rom. 13:1-7.
- John Eidsmoe, God and Caesar (Westchester, Ill.: Crossway Books,
1984), p. 35.
- See Arnold Dallimore, George Whitefield, Vols. 1&2 (Westchester, Ill.:
Cornerstone Books, 1970).
While reading this magnificent biography, I came to the conclusion
that it would not be too far off to consider a second G.W. the father
of our country as well (in a non-political sense). I mentioned this
opinion about Whitefield to a student who was about to graduate from
the university with a degree in history, and he said,
- My wife teaches American Literature to our 10th grade. For just one
more example of the importance of worldviews in education, the impact
of evolutionary thinking on writers like Jack London was profound. My
wife is able to communicate how important ideas are in the study of
literature; to read literature as "mere literature," without
regard to the worldview of the author, destroys the possibility of