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The Biblical Antithesis in Education

Doug Wilson

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 teacher.

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 Hamlet omitted.[1]
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?"[2] 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.[3] 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.

Pious Propaganda?

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.[4 ] 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 are.

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 them.

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 acquire knowledge.

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...." [5]

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)."[6] 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 no way."[7]

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). [8] 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.[9 ] 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. [10] 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."[11]

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, theology. [12]

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."[13] 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 school." [14]

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 together.

Trousered Apes

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."[15] 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. [16] But when Lewis made the point, that flood was only a cloud the size of a man's fist.

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."[17] 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 destructive effect.

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."[18] 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." [19 ] Richard Weaver, who taught English at the University of Chicago, also taught us that ideas have consequences.[20] 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 12: 26-30).

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? [21] 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.[22] 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 delivered us?

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?[23]

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 the classroom.

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.[24] 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." [25]

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?[26] 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. [27] 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.


Notes

[1] R.L. Dabney, On Secular Education (Moscow, Idaho: Ransom Press, 1989), p. 17.

[2] Ibid, p. 18.

[3] 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.

[4] The charge of brainwashing can also be answered by saying our brains are usually pretty dirty and could use a little scrub.

[5] Richard Mitchell, The Leaning Tower of Babel (Boston: Little, Brown and Company, 1984) p. 95.

[6] Ibid, p. 215.

[7] 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. 277).

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 kidred 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 the 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.

[8] "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. 43-44.

[9] 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 his history is accurate. While it is not a science "text", it contains nothing in conflict with science.

[10] 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 kindergarten.

[11] Dabney, Secular Education, pp. 16-17.

[12] An understanding of theology as the "queen of the sciences" is more than just a pious truism, or a trowback 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.

[13] J. Gresham Machen, Education, Christianity, and the State (Jefferson, Md.: Trinity Foundation, 1987). p. 81.

[14] Ibid. p. 81.

[15] C.S. Lewis, Abolition of Man (New York: The Macmillan Company, 1947), p. 13.

[16] See Paul Vitz, Censorship: Evidence of Bias in Our Children's Textbooks (Ann Arbor: Servant Books, 1986) p. 4. When Lewis wrote 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.

[17] Ibid, pp. 16-17.

[18] Ibid, p. 14.

[19] Ibid, p. 22.

[20] Richard Weaver, Ideas Have Consequences (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1948).

[21] 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.

[22] In conservative Christain circles, American's Christian origin is often thoughtlessly accepted.

[23] Vern Poytress in Gary North, ed., Foundations of Christian Scholarship (Vallecito, Ca.: Ross House Books, 1979), pp. 159-188.

[24] Revolutions occur in violation of the Biblical instruction about civil authority in Rom. 13:1-7.

[25] John Eidsmoe, God and Caesar (EWestchester, Ill.: Crossway Books, 1984), p. 35.

[26] 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 to a graduate from the university with a degree in history, and he said, "Who?"

[27] My wife teaches American Literature to your 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 understanding it.


Douglas Wilson, M.A. (philosophy; University of Idaho) is pastor of Community Evangelical Fellowship in Moscow, Idaho, editor of No Stone Unturned, and the author of Persuasions, Law and Love, and Recovering the Lost Tools of Learning (forthcoming Crossway Books).
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