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SOMETHING  TO  THINK  ABOUT

Education:
Christian School:
Christian College:
Body, Soul and Spirit:

Introduction:

A paper on education could begin by writing something about the ancient Egyptian method of embalming.   It is interesting to note that when a Pharaoh or some other celebrity of the Nile Valley was  mummified, everything was preserved except the brain.   Ornate receptacles were prepared for the liver, heart and lungs because each of these was considered important.  But the brain was thrown away; for no one, not the royal physicians or the priests of Isis could figure out what it was for.   A hook put up the nose yanked out the worthless brain.1  The situation in higher education is different today, we do preserve the brain.  In fact, we have a system of mummifying brains that is an expensive process called academic tenure.  It is known that in our nationís capital there even are think tanks.  But for all that, we have not progressed.  You could actually say we have frightfully regressed.  For now there are other parts of the human being which are discarded by scientists and even by theologians who have forgotten their purpose:  they are the soul and spirit.  The whole body is preserved now, but the soul is lost.  There are schools for brains, and health clubs for the body, hearts can be transplanted and bodies frozen, the seed of life is juggled in test tubes and yet the soul is thrown away.  A nation will rivet its attention on efforts to preserve even the bodies of whales, while professional voices deny that the soul of a baby means anything.  It may seem that the soul is no more fitting a subject for a paper on education than Egyptian embalming

Problem:

The great Duke of Wellington2  said "it is a dreadful thing when religion begins to interfere with the conduct of oneís private life".  That is just not so.  The crisis in education today is caused by the wholesale ignorance of the Bible which is needed for body, soul and spirit together.  So called "secular" education has tried to feed the organs of the body while starving the soul.  What has been the result?  It is felt everywhere around, in elementary schools, high schools, colleges and universities.  Writers, secular and religious, have admitted that universities and colleges at the end of the modern age have become factories of childish moralism and the welcoming refuge of arrested development.  Some of the most distinguished complainers only compound the problem: they make a good appeal for a classical revival, but in an aesthetic sense without a higher moral authority.  They speak of virtue apart from grace.  Their heroes are charming figures like Rousseau3 and Kant4 who were moral frauds and who largely caused the form of ignorance called modernism which we are scorning in retrospect.  A University, so called, which refuses to profess the Christian faith, is, by the nature of the case, hostile both to Christ and to His Church.  Jesus said in Matthew 12:30  He that is not with me is against  me;

We praise God that Christian colleges have been founded on the principle that the soul and spirit are the most important parts in the life of the intellect.  The history of Christian doctrine in large measure has been the history of defining the mutual dignity of souls and bodies.  Humility enables  Christians to assert the following truth:  Education is incomplete if it does not conclude in the revelation of God.  Christianity gave the world the university, in early America there were Harvard, Yale and Princeton.  It was once a requirement for admission that one submitted a testimony of conversion to Christ.  As Christianity declined, so scholarship lost its moral foundation.  Without God, without wisdom, without discernment; ethics and morality evaporated.  Only a renaissance of Christian teaching can bring true scholarship back to its full potential.

Biblical Teaching:

Christian theology is one whole.  The Bible is one whole and is the complete revelation of God for today, to which nothing can be added, from which nothing can be taken away.  Because the Bible has but one unified, coherent network of truth, an ignorance of systematic theology is not only tragic but unforgivable.  Too many have a good level of Bible knowledge and are illiterate when it comes to theology.  Due to the higher educational level of  the average person today, Christian workers ought to be well prepared and kept abreast of biblical studies so as to meet modern students on their own intellectual level with the truth of the Word of God.  Paul admonishes us in 2 Timothy 2:15 Study  to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.

The dichotomy:

It is very important that we define Christian education and secular education, and ask why a dichotomy exists?

What dichotomy?  Saint Thomas Aquinas. (1225-1274) was an Italian Dominican monk, theologian, and philosopher.  The outstanding representative of Scholasticism, he applied Aristotelian methods to Christian theology.  His masterwork is Summa Theologica (1266-1273). Aquinas promoted the theory that there are two  ways of acquiring knowledge, they would be philosophy and theology, Manís reason and Godís revelation.  Certainly "The heavens declare the glory of God; and the firmament sheweth his handiwork" Psalm 1:19.  One could come to a knowledge that there is a designer, a creator by studying the stars.  Certainly one can not learn about His Love, His mercy, His salvation apart from the Bible.  Both are important, but we will learn much more about God through theology than we will through creation.  The Christian must insist on only one Truth.  The Christian understands that all knowledge is theological.  God has created all things, He sustains all things, He is the cause that produces the effect.  He "worketh all things after the counsel of His own will". Eph 1:11.  So everything existing is what it is, and operates as it does, because God created it and therefore all points back to Him.  All knowledge is God-created, God-related, God-interpreted knowledge.  Since God is the one who has created, who controls, and who preserves this world, one cannot truly know anything unless he understands it in the light of its relationship to God.  God is the center and circumference of all things, therefore everything that exists in this world has the meaning which God has put into it.  When any arena of thought is analyzed and interpreted leaving God out, we have a limited, and distorted, knowledge.  So our God must be seen in all our understanding of science, mathematics, history, politics, or any area of study.  We must see all as the creation of God and the product of His wisdom.  The conclusion then, can only be that there cannot be a twofold division of human know-ledge. All knowledge is Godís knowledge, and thus it cannot be divided into the secular and the religious.  The Christian has no problem saying that six times six equals thirty six because God made it so.

Wisdom:

Wisdom is often considered as simply the art of learning how to succeed in life.  Is wisdom to be thus understood? How many successful people have taken their own lives?  How many successful leaders have brought the nations into war?  How many successful people cannot find rest apart from drugs?  Knowing how to succeed in life is not sufficient in and of itself, we need to know God in order to achieve a restful soul in a successful life.  To know, and do the very will of God, is the highest good to which a person can attain.

First; letís consider this aspect of wisdom: mankind quickly learned that there is a definite orderliness in the material world around them.  They further learned that resisting this orderliness would inevitably ruin their lives.  Therefore it was recognized that living within the limits of  this natural orderliness would benefit them with success and happiness.  We can know a lot about the Ford automobile, and know nothing about Henry Ford.  So it is with the orderliness of our world, we can learn a lot about it, while missing the most important truth, the truth that it is Godís creation, it is His orderliness. You can depend on the absolute consistency in the laws of nature because they are His Laws. (Prov. 22:17-24:22).

Secondly; let us consider the wisdom of the world apart from God.  A brief example of manís thinking could be found in the following;

The empirical: Those who are guided by practical experience and not by theory.  That is manís philosophical understanding of the essence of life, based totally on experience.  They only accept that which is verifiable by means of observation or experiment.
David Hume5 (1711-76), in addition to rejecting all the Lockean6 notions that Berkeley7 did, he also rejected what Berkeley had retained. His justification for this step was empiricist and scientific, for he thought that all science is empiricist and that there is no empirical justification for belief in mind or spirit since nether can be experienced.

Humanism: A system of thought that centers on human beings and their values, capacities, and worth.  Perpetrates the fallacy that mankind can solve all the problems of life without Godís help.
Philosophical anthropology in its narrowest (third) sense is founded on an insistence that the only knowledge available to man is knowledge from his human perspective, conditioned, as he himself is, by his situation in the world.  God cannot be invoked as a source of absolute standards of truth or of absolute values nor to give content to the supposition that there are any. If God exists, then the thought that there are such standards and values, even if we cannot know of them, remains possible.  This possibility was denied with Nietzscheís proclamation of the death of God; the attempt to come to terms with this view defines the scope of most philosophical anthropology8

The existentialist: The philosophy that emphasizes the uniqueness and isolation of the individual experience in a hostile or indifferent universe, regards human existence as unexplainable, and stresses freedom of choice and responsibility for the consequences of oneís acts.

This cannot be reconciled with Scripture.

Hebrews 11:1- 3  Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.  2. For by it  the  elders obtained a good report.  3. Through faith we understand that the  worlds were framed by the word of God, so that things which are seen were not made of things which do appear.

If you leave out the Creator, the Designer, the Architect of life, how can you come to any true meaning, or purpose, of lifeís experiences?

Thirdly, we ought to consider Wisdom that comes to us from God.  True Biblical Wisdom is the result of knowing and accepting Him as your personal Saviour.  Through scripture we learn that real wisdom is found in the fear of God.  The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge: but fools despise wisdom and instruction.  Proverbs 1:7  Then again in I Corinthians  1:30 we learn of the gift of wisdom to the believer  But of him are ye in Christ Jesus, who of God is made unto us  wisdom, and righteousness, and sanctification, and redemption: A wisdom to be used in our day by day living, but in no wise for boasting.  V. 31, That, according as it is written, He that glorieth, let him glory in the Lord.

By the idea of wisdom is not meant mathematical, scientific or legal knowledge, but in the Christian sense which is in part a habit of mind which sees through the ideology of the day.  It is an illumination which challenges the pedant, cracks the cliché, and enables the intellect to meet the great infidel questions of the day.  The questions of Biblical times remain the questions of  this day, and are written even more ominously on the cracking walls of the modern age.  Is there a difference between moral freedom and political liberation?  Is there a difference between constitutional law and the liberal interpretations of it?  Is there a difference between truth and utilitarianism  (The ethical theory proposed by Jeremy Bentham and James Mill that all action should be directed toward achieving the greatest happiness for the greatest number of people.)9 ? Only Christian Truth is broad enough to give full answers to the questions of any age.  Therefore academic freedom is free precisely when it is freedom for Biblical truth and not freedom from it.  Surely there is no particular way to be a Christian engineer or a Christian lawyer; but there is a way to be an engineer or a lawyer who is a Christian; and that is to be one as unto the Lord.  This cannot be done unless the result of oneís work conforms to the laws of God.  Whether therefore ye eat, or drink, or whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of God. I Cor. 10:31

Secular education:

An obligation to form the moral person is binding on secular education as much as it is on religious education.  Judeo-Christian morality has worked well in our schools in the past.  Our nationís educational system will not be giving our children a full fledged education until they return to the Judeo-Christian concept.  One needs to be taught the reason for morality, the basis for ethical behavior, why we live by the governing principles that are established in the Bible.  After all is said and done, Higher education is responsible to produce teachers for the good of mankind, the molders of society. It is responsible to produce an educated class of people that in turn are responsible for preserving and transmitting the cultural, the moral, and ethical learning of society.  Apart from recognizing God, this is impossible.  Our secular colleges wonít do this because they deny God, and for that reason they are incorrigible.  They are saturated with humanistic teaching.  They believe only in man.

Socialism:

The twilight of this century broods over a dying form of intellectual slothfulness known as communism.  Its essence is subscription to ideology instead of truth.  As the modernist and now the post-modernist rejected the Biblical demands of morality and ethic, so does the reactionary who invokes that teaching to put on a pedestal his own prejudices.  Honest Christian scholars hold neither false progressivism nor their reaction against the future.  They abide by the truth which will explain the present and the future.  On the campuses of the world today, from the venerable halls of the Western nations to the greatest square of China, students once again are rebelling; but this time the rebellion is against the rebels, challenging the false teachings of communism which denied the existence of the soul.  The present socialistic academic order is threatened and angry because it boasted of being a perpetual new order.  Tin sages who taught that God was dead and man had come of age now hear rumours to the contrary as they watch themselves aging beyond maturity into oblivion.  This is the time for Christians to speak the truth, for some have been afraid to speak.  Indeed, there must be educational reforms to redress this capitulation.

Public Schools:

Consider our public schools, which have become citadels of defense. They put God out, and totally neglected His teachings, resulting in a change in their main concern, it is no longer the 3 Rís - now it is the 3 Sís, Security, Surveillance, Safety.  A public school in Dallas, Texas, is nicknamed "Little Fort Apache" because of its 3 Sís.10  There are many popular motion pictures that tell the story of American high schools which have become virtual dens of everything except learning.  To this day, the sociologists and politicians and educators of the last generation, whose theories encouraged that schoolís degeneration, are still not indicted for their social delinquency.  With whatever flawed methods, only that schoolís principal had the courage to try to invoke some kind of institutional reform based on character reform.  Here is an interesting point:  The schools shown in films, riddled with drugs and patrolled by security guards were not that way twenty years ago.  In one generation that happened.  Not because of poverty, not because of crime, not because of social change, but because of a loss of moral vision.  And until that is repaired, as only obedience to Scripture can repair it, more barbarians will smash more gates.  Demagogues and vulgarians are chanting on the campuses of America, "Hey, hey, ho, ho, Western cultureís got to go".  The time has come for the heirs of the Truth to cry with a recovered voice:  "The teaching that taught you that must go."

As a response, untutored neo-conservatism is no more valid than modernism, nor will the Yuppie redeem the Yippie.  The truth which secures the health of souls and bodies in the year 1999 will be the truth which secures it in the year 2089, and secured it when Anselm11 proclaimed it against Rufus in 1089, and when Augustine12 prayed it on the sands of Tagaste in 389, and when John the Apostle thundered it beneath Asian skies in 89A.D.  What sense would any of them have made of the term "academic freedom".  Most likely each would have said:  any freedom in the academy is a form of obedience to the laws of the academy, and that the academy is not an academy at all whose laws are not true to God, Who is the Truth.

Solution:

Public Schools will not choose to teach biblical morality or creationism, but we can choose our Christian schools.  Maybe we have learned why Augustine became happy when he rested in God.  We must learn what to do with the restless intellect, and the restless emotions, and the restless will.  For we are in a world which does not know what to do with these articles of the soul, as those ancient Egyptians did not know what to do with the brain.  When the soul finds its proper rest in God our Creator, we do not have a mummy, we have a born again saint of God, who knows Truth.  It is the means by which we may go out now and live a godly life.  We do not need a degree to live it., but we do need a body and soul surrendered to Jesus Christ.  We have both, soul and body. Dear reader it is for you to decide,   what will you do with them?

Keith W. Rose
KWR-Ministries

1 National Geographic Society  Ancient Egypt  1978 p. 195

2 Duke of Wellington Title of Arthur Wellesley. Known as " the Iron Duke. " 1769-1852 1. British general and politician. Commander of British troops during the Peninsular War (1808-1814), he defeated Napoleon at Waterloo (1815), thus ending the Napoleonic Wars. As prime minister (1828-1830) he passed the Catholic Emancipation Act (1829).

3 Rousseau , Jean Jacques . 1712-1778  French philosopher and writer who held that humanity is essentially good but corrupted by society. His written works include The Social Contract  and the novel Émile  (both 1762).

4 Kant  Immanuel . 1724-1804 German idealist philosopher who argued that reason is the means by which the phenomena of experience are translated into understanding. His classic works include Critique of Pure Reason  (1781) and Critique of Practical Reason  (1788), in which he put forward his system of ethics based on the categorical imperative.

5 David Hume was an 18th-century Scottish empiricist philosopher, historian, economist, and essayist, who conceived of philosophy as the inductive, experimental science of human nature. Taking the scientific method of the English physicist Sir Isaac Newton as his model and building on the epistemology of the English philosopher John Locke, Hume tried to describe how the mind works in acquiring what is called knowledge. He concluded that no theory of reality is possible; there can be no knowledge of anything beyond experience. Despite the enduring impact of his theory of knowledge, Hume seems to have considered himself chiefly as a moralist. In 1762 James Boswell, the biographer of Samuel Johnson, called Hume "the greatest writer in Britain," and the Roman Catholic Church, in 1761, paid him the attention of putting all his writings on the Index, its list of forbidden books. Copyright 1994-1998 Encyclopaedia Britannica CD 98

6 Locke , John . 1632-1704 1. English philosopher. In An Essay Concerning Human Understanding  (1690) he set out the principles of empiricism, and his Two Treatises on Government  (1690) influenced the Declaration of Independence.

7 Berke·ley, George . 1685-1753 1. Irish prelate and philosopher whose basic theory, directed against the materialism of Thomas Hobbes, is that to be is to perceive or to be perceived. His works include Treatise Concerning the Principles of Human Knowledge  (1710).

8 Copyright 1994-1998 Encyclopaedia Britannica CD 98 Philosophical anthropology and theology

9 American Heritage Dictionary

10. CBS Evening News, June 14, 1999
 

11 (Anselm, Saint 1033-1109 Italian-born English prelate, philosopher, and theologian who founded Scholasticism and is best known for his ontological argument for the existence of God.),

12 (Augustine, Saint A.D.  354-430  Early Christian church father and philosopher who served (396-430) as the bishop of Hippo (in present-day Algeria). He wrote the autobiographical Confessions  (397) and the voluminous
City of God  (413-426)

KWR-Ministries

keithrose@uninets.net