Blackboard and booksEducation is an essential sphere of human life. Through it, we prepare for the marketplace, become better citizens, develop skills and competences, and form our character. Although education may not always fulfill these goals efficiently or coherently, it is nonetheless vital to the Christian faith. But in what sense can education be “Christian”?

It's easy to see how the word “Christian” connects with the spiritual formation that takes place in our churches through kids and youth ministry, Sunday School and discipleship programs, or even through ministerial formation at seminaries and Bible colleges. But how does “Christian” connect with regular education? The one that teaches us to read, write and do mathematical calculations? The one that helps us understand our geographical, historical and cultural context, and develop dexterity and creativity? Does this kind of education also matter to God?

By Harold Klassen

Sometimes a bit of uncertainty can be a marvelous thing.

An article on the uncertainty of statistics is a thing of beauty to read especially when people seem so focused on finding numbers that will support their personal perspective on any subject. Susan Hamersma wrote "Uncertainty: the beauty and bedrock of statistics" for Cardus in Comment magazine, October 22, 2020. Her economic knowledge and experience of how economics shapes public policy give her the authority to speak about the limitations of mathematics and statistics in particular.

If I have been asked this question once, I have been asked it hundreds of times. It is asked most often after I have presented information about how dangerous secular education is to our children’s and grandchildren’s future.

Why are Christian parents, pastors and church leaders unwilling to address the issue of education biblically?

Having been asked this so many times and trying to prayerfully answer it, I have come to the conclusion that the main reason this isn’t happening is DUALISM! This is a term that I first read about in the late Dr. Albert Greene’s book, Recapturing the Future of Christian Education.

Having taught at a classical Christian school for five years and followed the classical Christian education movement for some years prior, I have come to believe that it is the best approach to K-12 education available today.

Due to its understanding of education as the reshaping of a child’s soul (in contrast to “discovery” models of education, for example), the method tends to develop thinkers defined by who they are instead of workers defined by what they do. Its focus on the Great Conversation gives students respect for history and helps them see themselves as contributors to that conversation. Unlike inward-facing fundamentalist approaches to education, this movement does not shy away from the world, but instead teaches students to interact thoughtfully with contemporary culture.

Classical Christian schools do these and many other things well, and consequently their numbers, acceptance, and influence are on the rise. However, as this form of education comes of age, it needs to be wary of certain temptations. Five specific cautions come to mind.

The starting point for knowledge is the recognition that God created the entire realm of space and matter. Without Him, nothing would exist.

“In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth” (Genesis 1:1). This is the simple-yet-profound foundation for all learning. It is the most fundamental of all fundamentals.

Not only did God create all things, but He owns all things, even after the entrance of sin into the world. The significance of this cannot be overstated. That's because if we get the issue of ownership wrong, it makes a huge difference in the way we interact with all things in God's world.

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"Children take more notice of what their parents [teachers] do, than what they say."

William Tiptaft