Friday, September 06, 2013

Freedom to Make Disciples

For all my homeschooling friends (and others who want to listen in)

As you have probably heard, police stormed the house of the Wunderlich family near Darmstadt, Germany, and took their children. Their crime was homeschooling.

Meanwhile, here in the United States, you are allowed to homeschool. However, it seems that some people consider you to be a very bad person if you do not send your children to the public school. I encourage you to read this "manifesto" and see if you are not convicted and cut to the heart by the powerful reasoning demonstrated by this astute thinker.

Just in case you are wondering, that last sentence was tongue in cheek. But this really is serious...if this article is supposed to represent the level of education produced by the public school system, then I wouldn't send Darwin's great-great-granddaddy there. Thankfully, there are a great many graduates of the public school system who do use their reasoning powers in ways vastly superior to the author of the manifesto. (If you do read the manifesto, then you really should read this sharp response by Christopher Tollefsen.)

Education never has been and never will be religion-neutral. Our contemporary form of public education is structurally secular. You can read the Bible and pray in the public schools all you want to, and you will still be training up young people in a secular worldview, for the public educational system in our nation, like the political system, attempts to cordon off faith into the private sphere. With mounds of paperwork and hours of screen time, it tries to bury the fact that faith is involved in all knowledge. But confessing that Jesus is Lord, which is the fundamental confession of faith of the Christian (Rom 10:9), is structurally incompatible with the religion of secularism. (For a couple recent thoughtful engagements on this issue, see "Do Christian Kids Need Christian Education?" and "Classical Christian Education and Public Witness.")

Christian education is one of the most comprehensive disciple-making opportunities available to us in the United States, not only for our own children, but for all the people we interact with, if we use it well. Let us take the opportunity while we have it.

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