Monday, July 27, 2009

Leigh's Thesis: Chapter 3 (2)


Formative Thoughts (cont'd)

As a Christian, I am prejudiced toward the church equipping parents to teach children to memorize God’s word and to be always ready with a defense for our faith. Being able to defend my faith implies being comfortable with core knowledge for each subject as promoted by E.D. Hirsch and studious enough to pursue rigorous academics as espoused by C.S. Lewis, Dorothy Leigh Sayers, and William Tyndale.

Because I am interested in excellence in academics for families, I am required to look at the successes of the only place and period of time where all families read well. So, I read Neil Postman, who described that defining era in early American history as the Age of Typography. Washington, Jefferson, and Adams all wrote about that period of education.

I also read Douglas Wilson with his practical advice on building classical, Christian academies. My collection of nineteenth-century American textbooks confirms the specific content children recited in that century in order to be promoted.

I am trying to determine how to help the church recover its mandate to educate, so I have read a range of authors who are interested in the same question. Augustine, Aquinas, and Tyndale offer many ideas as do more modern writers like Wilhoit, Farley Burgess, Ward, and Holmes.

And I cannot forget the secularists. Bennett, Hirsh, Adler (even after his conversion), and Damon all cry out for state schools to return to the classics and a classical education. Most researchers and writers, Christian and otherwise, promoting educational models and even educational excellence, forget that anything built on sinking sand will not prevail. In order to build an educational system that will last, we must build it on the rock of Christ and His church.

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

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