Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Leigh's Thesis: Introduction (3)

Introduction (part 3)

Life is changing very quickly as we rocket out of the industrial era into the age of electronics and global technologies. The church has historically been a major support and resource for families disheveled by the loss of jobs in dying industries and the need to educate and prepare the next generation to love learning and living for Christ.

Unfortunately, during the twentieth century, Christendom has looked to the state, rather than to believers, to train up their children in the way they should go. The result has been a loss of Christian culture in America and the rise of many questions needing practical, biblical answers.

Christian leaders and educators grappling with church-based education in the context of 1) effective teaching methods, 2) emerging technology and globalism, and 3) equipping parents to model habitus through academics need concrete options that are practical to implement.

This paper proposes an inexpensive option for Christian churches and families trying to recover a biblical model for training and educating children. What is unique about this approach is that it recognizes that the church is the “family of families” and expects the parents to be highly involved in the academic education of their children.

The rise of home-centered education has shown that there are many parents who are eager to train their children in a Christian worldview through academics; however, they need training and accessible tools.

Instead of repeating the mantra “Parents are children’s best and first teachers” and then telling parents that only an expert can educate their children, Christian leaders should be providing educational options that support the biblical truth that parents can indeed be their children’s most effective teachers.

For most of U.S. history, teenagers taught children of all ages in one-room school houses, after the children’s parents had taught them to read, and raised the most literate culture ever seen on the face of the earth. They used very inexpensive and highly effective techniques.

The twenty-first century has its own issues, but good learning techniques never change. We should be able to recover our historical 90 percent literacy rate in this country using just a piece of chalk and a slate. Instead, all of our modern technologies have cost an enormous amount of money and have resulted in a less than 40 percent proficient literacy rate among adults in the U.S.

To recover a literate culture, Christian leaders need to give families the tools to teach an image-based culture to think about an abstract God.

This paper does not emphasize the poor state of education in the U.S., though it does give statistics that illustrate the current state of education. Rather than just defining the problem, it offers a concrete solution.

Consider that since the church relinquished education to the secularists, the quality of American education has declined.

We know that Satan wants our children to be unable to memorize Scripture, because when they hide God’s Word in their heart, they are able to resist sin (Ps 119:11). Is it any wonder that the state no longer teaches children to memorize in school?

Evil hopes we are without a defense for what we believe. Is it any wonder that logic or catechism is no longer taught in school?

The world rejects man as being made in God’s image. So, we let unbelievers neutralize math and science (the languages of creation) as markers of God’s glory.

The church knows that the Bible instructs parents to pass a Christian heritage to their children, yet we no longer equip parents with the academic tools to do so. This paper explains a classical model of rigorous, Christian academics that churches have been supporting since 2002.

Copyright © 2009 by Leigh A. Bortins. All Rights Reserved.


Just His Best said...

Leigh- This is wonderful!! I cannot wait to read more!

Classical Conversations said...

Thanks! Glad you're enjoying!