The Frustration of Modern Education

Van Til 3

“Our work as educators would be hopeless and futile if we engaged in it on the principle of synthesis discussed above. But what joy it is to know that Christ has come to save man and his culture! The first Adam by his sin refused to undertake the cultural mandate given him. When he was told to subdue the earth he would not do so as unto God his creator. But the second Adam undertook anew what the first Adam, and all men with him, failed to do. Now then, we who are saved by grace, we who have by the Spirit of God been born from above, need not beat the air. There is for us a true synthesis of all things in Christ. And we may offer this Christ to all men that they too with us might escape the futility and the absurdity, the immorality and the blasphemy, of seeking to synthesize what by their very sinful act they are all the while destroying. The task of educators who do not educate in and unto Christ is like the task of Sisyphus as he rolled his stone to the top of the hill only to see it roll down again. If the facts of the world are not created and redeemed by God in Christ, then they are like beads that have no holes in them and therefore cannot be strung into a string of beads. If the laws of the world are not what they are as relating the facts that are created and redeemed by Christ, these laws are like a string of infinite length, neither end of which can be found. Seeking to string beads that cannot be strung because they have no holes in them, with string of infinite length neither end of which you can find; such is the task of the educator who seeks to educate without presupposing the truth of what the self-attesting Christ has spoken in the Scriptures.”

Cornelius Van Til, Essays on Christian Education (The Presbyterian and Reformed Publishing Company: Phillipsburg, NJ, 1979).

"Of making many books there is no end . . ." Ecclesiastes 12:12

Van Til and Jaspers

In the first place we would note the excited interest in matters educational. The number of books on education is legion. Man throws all his hopes on the education of the next generation. He is conscious of the fact that the present generation is in a hopeless condition. “A generation which has no confidence in itself occupies itself with education, as though here again something could come into being from nothing.”

Cornelius Van Til and Eric H. Sigward, Unpublished Manuscripts of Cornelius Van Til, Electronic ed. (Labels Army Company: New York, 1997). In quotations: Karl Jaspers, Karl Jaspers, Die geistige Situation der Zeit (The Intellectual Situation of Our Time) (Berlin: W. de Gruyter, 1932), p. 94 (trans. D. E. J.)

“Of making many books there is no end . . .” Ecclesiastes 12:12

Van Til and Jaspers

In the first place we would note the excited interest in matters educational. The number of books on education is legion. Man throws all his hopes on the education of the next generation. He is conscious of the fact that the present generation is in a hopeless condition. “A generation which has no confidence in itself occupies itself with education, as though here again something could come into being from nothing.”

Cornelius Van Til and Eric H. Sigward, Unpublished Manuscripts of Cornelius Van Til, Electronic ed. (Labels Army Company: New York, 1997). In quotations: Karl Jaspers, Karl Jaspers, Die geistige Situation der Zeit (The Intellectual Situation of Our Time) (Berlin: W. de Gruyter, 1932), p. 94 (trans. D. E. J.)

Why Non-Christian Education Fails: Godless Education

Antitheses in Education

The principles by which believers live are squarely opposed to the principles by which unbelievers live. This is true in the field of education as well as in the church. Accordingly we speak of antitheses in education. These antitheses cover the whole educational field. They cover first the field of educational philosophy. This is of basic significance, but is often overlooked. In the second place these antitheses appear in the field of what is to be taught, i.e., the curriculum. Finally these antitheses appear when we consider the child or the young person to be instructed. Under these three aspects we shall try to bring out the antitheses in educational philosophy.

Non-Christians believe that the universe has created God. They have a finite god. Christians believe that God has created the universe. They have a finite universe. Non-Christians therefore are not concerned with bringing the child face to face with God. They want to bring the child face to face with the universe. Non-Christian education is Godless education. What is of most importance to us in education, that which is absolutely indispensable to us, is left out entirely.

Godless education ignores or denies that man was created responsible to God. This implies that sin is not a transgression of God’s law. Hence Christ did not need to die in our stead. Godless or non-theistic education is therefore also non- or anti-Christian education. Godless, non-Christian education naturally becomes humanistic, i.e., man-centered. If man does not need to live for God, he may live for himself If then we want a God-centered and truly Christian education, we will have to break away completely from the educational philosophy that surrounds us.

Non-Christians believe that man is surrounded by an absolutely unknowable universe. Man is grasping in the dark, except for the little light that his own mind is radiating as a headlight in the mist. Christians believe that originally man lived in the light of the revelation of God and that in Christ as the fact-revelation and in Scripture as the Word-revelation, man is in principle restored to that true light of God.

Accordingly non-Christian education dashes first this way and then that under the delusion that it has pierced the darkness, or it stops altogether in utter despair. Often non-Christian educators do away with the idea of a definite aim or purpose in education altogether. They talk of “functional adjustment” to one’s environment. But if man does not know the road and drives in the mist, why should he “step on the gas”? As Christians we know the purpose of education. We also know what should be the content of education. Finally we know that a definitely Christian method is to be used in the instruction of a definitely Christian content.

Non-Christians believe that insofar as man knows anything, he knows apart from God. Man’s mind is not an electric bulb that needs a current if it is to show any light, but it is rather an oil lamp that carries its own supplies. Christians believe that everything is dark unless the current of God’s revelation be turned on. We cannot even see any “facts” without this light. Non-Christian teachers will accordingly sometimes think they really have and know the “facts” and can teach the child all about them, and then again when they see that the “facts” are really in the dark they will give up in utter despair. Christian teachers know that not a single “fact” can really be known and therefore really be taught unless placed under the light of the revelation of God. Even the laws of arithmetic cannot be known otherwise.

We need to become more conscious of these basic distinctions. Unless we are conscious of them, we shall never have genuinely Christian schools. To be conscious of these distinctions does not mean that we must spend much more time on the direct teaching of religion than on teaching other matters. If we teach religion indirectly, everywhere and always, we may need less time to teach religion directly. To be conscious of these distinctions does mean that the plan of curriculum is to be God-centered. Man exists for God. But in the created universe other things exist for man. Hence in this sense the curriculum must be man-centered. Only thus can it become God-centered.

Non-Christians believe that the personality of the child can develop best if it is not placed face to face with God. Christians believe that the child’s personality cannot develop at all unless it is placed face to face with God. Non-Christian education puts the child in a vacuum. In this vacuum the child is expected to grow. The result is that the child dies. Christian education alone really nurtures personality because it alone gives the child air and food.

Non-Christians believe that authority hurts the growth of the child. Christians believe that without authority a child cannot live at all.

Non-Christians do speak of the authority of the “expert,” but that is not really authority. Christians want authority that is based upon the idea of God as man’s Creator and of Christ as man’s Redeemer.

Thus we see that the antithesis touches every phase of education. To try to enforce the idea of the antithesis at one point and to ignore it at others is to waste your energy and your money. We cannot afford this.

Van til 2
Cornelius Van Til and Eric H. Sigward, Unpublished Manuscripts of Cornelius Van Til, Electronic ed. (Labels Army Company: New York, 1997).

The Antithesis in Educational Philosophy

van til

“The whole Christian church is based upon the antithesis idea. But, if anything, it is still more pointedly true of Christian instruction in particular than of Christianity in general that it is based upon the idea of the antithesis. Oh, yes, I know there are voices heard on every side that we must not always emphasize the negative and the destructive but that we must emphasize rather the positive and the constructive. We are told that such is far wiser in the end. Now we all wish to be positive and constructive. But in this world of sin no Christian individual and no Christian organization can be positive and constructive till after they have been negative and destructive. To deny or to ignore this fact is to deny or to ignore the fact of sin. For anyone who recognizes the fact of sin in its unadulterated biblical connotation of insult to God on the part of man under the leadership of the devil, antithesis is in the nature of the case basic to synthesis. He who seeks to bring good tidings and to publish peace, he who calls upon Judah to perform her feasts and pay her vows, is a false prophet unless he offers as a reason for his optimism the assurance that the “wicked one will no more pass through because he is utterly cut off” (Na 1:15).”

Cornelius Van Til and Eric H. Sigward, Unpublished Manuscripts of Cornelius Van Til, Electronic ed. (Labels Army Company: New York, 1997).

Kinder Surprise: "Kinder Drag Alter Ego"

So, to be brief: one person’s confusion becomes that person’s right to confuse children. This is as creepy as it sounds. Article from the Hamilton Spectator

You may find this perspective refreshing.

Kinder Surprise: “Kinder Drag Alter Ego”

So, to be brief: one person’s confusion becomes that person’s right to confuse children. This is as creepy as it sounds. Article from the Hamilton Spectator

You may find this perspective refreshing.

Blogging the Revised Ontario Sex-Education Curriculum: 12 things you must know

Many parents are shocked to learn what has been happening in their children’s schools. This situation, however, was many years in coming. Scott Masson has a very good video here.

My purpose in this entry is to simply make 12 concise statements about the Government of Ontario and its view of you and your children. Once you know these things, you may plan accordingly.

  1. The Government of Ontario does not see your children as really yours. The children you birthed or adopted belong to the state, which determines what is best for your children in health, education, and their general welfare. At best, parents are seen as “co-parents” with the state.
  2. The Government of Ontario determines what is fact and truth in matters of sexuality.
  3. The Government of Ontario will state that their view of sexuality is based upon scientific fact. This is not true. It is based on a collection of theories that express the strong desires of a few people.
  4. It has been decided that homosexuality and transgenderism, and the vast varieties of experience brought for by these orientations, are as normal and correct and right and true as heterosexuality.
  5. The actions of non-heterosexuality good, even if it includes what has been for years considered sodomy.
  6. These orientations and behaviours are not to be avoided, cured, treated, pitied, or restricted; rather, they are to be embraced and accepted as fully as heterosexuality.
  7. Children must decide for themselves what is right, and parents, religion or tradition may or may not be a part of this decision.
  8. Non-heterosexual orientation may occur at any time in a person’s lifetime, including the preschool age.
  9. Gender is not sex. The sex you were born with is not necessarily your gender. This is called “gender fluidity.” Your child’s gender may be “fluid,” and you as a parent have no right to interfere with it.
  10. When your religious views contradict those of the government, which will occur most often in school, your religious views must yield to those of the government.
  11. Historically, the family is the place of nurture and education, health and wellbeing. The state sees the schools and other state institutions as superior to the family. The state sees the traditional family is a its competitor. This curriculum is a part of the Government of Ontario’s attempt to effectively destroy the traditional family.
  12. Individuals do not have rights, only groups have rights, and those groups must be approved by the state. You, your child, and your family have value only as they contribute to society, and society that is worthy is determined by the state.

resistance

Blogging the Revised Ontario Sex-Education Curriculum: the experiment is over.

Stevenson Quote

Public education, which I define as taxpayer funded, government controlled, and compulsory, is a very recent development in Canadian history. What is also clear, that given the backdrop of human civilization, taking education from the home, church, or synagogue and placing it in the hands of the government has a very short history. As an experiment, we may see that it has largely failed.

I believe that public education, as presently defined and practised, is an experiment that must end. It has not produced the fruits that parents desire, and all too often has produced children who are more indoctrinated in the will of governments rather than educated for critical thinking and moral knowledge.

Anyone who calls to end the present system will be met with charges that he is anti-education. It must be kept in mind, however, that education and school are not the same thing. Public school and church academy are not the same thing. There are a variety of means to educate, but the family is primarily responsible. So insofar as public education now seeks to  pit child against parent, it is time for the parents to once again take full control of their children’s education. Those who doubt this is true should remember that in 2001, parents were given a tax break in Ontario if they paid tuition to a private school, whether or not that school was religious or not. The Liberal Government does not believe in competition in forming young minds, however, and quickly cancelled the tax deduction when they came to power.

The problems we face today have been very long in coming. Public education has, from its beginning, been against a Christian worldview, and therefore set against Christian families. The moralistic lessons that were once taught in public schools gave false sense of security to religious parents. That day is past, and the mask is off.

Homeschool or private school: your children are your responsibility.

Please read this quote, then be sure to make note of when it was written. Could it be that we’ve been in this struggle much longer than we first thought?

“The whole development of modern society has tended mightily toward the limitation of the realm of freedom for the individual man. The tendency is most clearly seen in socialism; a socialistic state would mean the reduction to a minimum of the sphere of individual choice. Labor and recreation, under a socialistic government, would both be prescribed, and individual liberty would be gone. But the same tendency exhibits itself to-day even in those communities where the name of socialism is most abhorred. When once the majority has determined that a certain régime is beneficial, that régime without further hesitation is forced ruthlessly upon the individual man. It never seems to occur to modern legislatures that although “welfare” is good, forced welfare may be bad. In other words, utilitarianism is being carried out to its logical conclusions; in the interests of physical well-being the great principles of liberty are being thrown ruthlessly to the winds.

The result is an unparalleled impoverishment of human life. Personality can only be developed in the realm of individual choice. And that realm, in the modern state, is being slowly but steadily contracted. The tendency is making itself felt especially in the sphere of education. The object of education, it is now assumed, is the production of the greatest happiness for the greatest number. But the greatest happiness for the greatest number, it is assumed further, can be defined only by the will of the majority. Idiosyncrasies in education, therefore, it is said, must be avoided, and the choice of schools must be taken away from the individual parent and placed in the hands of the state. The state then exercises its authority through the instruments that are ready to hand, and at once, therefore, the child is placed under the control of psychological experts, themselves without the slightest acquaintance with the higher realms of human life, who proceed to prevent any such acquaintance being gained by those who come under their care.

J. Gresham Machen, Christianity and Liberalism, New Edition. First published: 1923. (Grand Rapids, MI; Cambridge, U.K.: William B. Eerdmans Publishing Company, 2009), 8–10.

Blogging the Revised Ontario Sex-Education Curriculum 4: "It's too heavy, Pappa!"

One of the criticisms leveled against the Revised Ontario Sex-Education Curriculum is that it is age-inappropriate. If understood, however, that the plan is to make transgenderism and homosexuality normative, it becomes clear that younger is much better. It is much harder to unlearn what has been taught at early ages, and this is why such material is delayed until High School.

Corrie Ten Boom is well known among Christians as a Dutch woman, who, along with her immediate family was imprisoned for sheltering Jews during the Nazi occupation of the Netherlands. They were betrayed and sent to concentration camps. I believe that only Corrie survived to tell the tale, and she lived to old age.

She is the Corrie in the article excerpt below. Although this was written in 2013 about the US president Obama and his Attorney General, ,Eric Holder, the principles of the destruction of childhood apply to Ontario today. Please take the time to read the whole article here.

“Corrie Ten Boom, in her autobiographical The Hiding Place, relays the story of when she, still a young girl and traveling with her father, asked him what sex was. He told her to try to lift his packed luggage bag. She couldn’t. He said he would be a cruel father if he made her carry this heavy bag. Just like that bag was too heavy for her, the knowledge of which she was inquiring was too heavy. But when she grew stronger and more mature, she could bear it. It was a timely metaphor from a very wise father, and quite to the point. Sexual knowledge is too glorious for a young child to bear. Every good parent understands this implicitly. It is not a mere social construct that makes parents uneasy when their children begin to inquire into this more glorious knowledge before they are ready to bear it. And when a child learns of it prematurely, it tends to twist and pervert her just like a heavy object would twist a young tree growing under the weight.

Understanding the nature of glory in this way, especially is it pertains to human sexuality, exposes the cruel agenda of sex-education in our government schools. The Enemy would crush our children with the weight of sexual glory in the hopes of perverting them and even robbing them of that very glory. Given the statistics of divorce, unmarrieds and abortions since the advent of sexual “liberation,” the scheme seems to have worked nicely. Satan is not so much interested in attacking the family generally as He is in crushing the woman (man’s glory) and the fruit of her womb. He has always targeted the womb, lest the woman be saved through childbearing.”

Corrie Ten Boom risked her life to save Jews from the Nazis

Corrie Ten Boom risked her life to save Jews from the Nazis