The Philosophy of Discipline

By Andrea G. Schwartz
September 06, 2010

 This is the fourth iThe Philosophy of the Christian Curriculumn a series of posts about formulating a biblical mindset when establishing a Christian curriculum. 

The following excerpt from (pp 121-123) of RJ Rushdoony's book The Philosophy of the Christian Curriculumoutlines a philosophy of discipline. Discipline is a necessary component in education and a very necessary part of sanctification. The more one grows in terms of that discipline, the more useful he becomes to His Lord .

Before we can discuss the meaning of discipline, it is very necessary to make clear that it must not be confused with chastisement. Both words need careful definition. Chastise comes from the Latin castus, pure chaste, and is related to chastity, Chastisement is not the same as punishment, which is a matter of retribution. Chastisement is corrective and merciful in purpose. Its meaning is very clear in Hebrews 12:5-11. Chastening is there set forth as evidence of the Father's love and concern for His sons and His correction of them.
 The word discipline is close to the word disciple. It means to make a disciple of someone, to drill and educate them, and to bring them into effective obedience to someone or something.
 Chastisement without discipline is ineffective. Too many parents think that, by beating their children or scolding them endlessly, they will thereby discipline them effectively. Unless someone is first of all disciplined, chastisement accomplishes nothing. All the remains for that person is punishment and judgment...
 [With Christian discipline] the child is systematically trained in the faith, in knowledge of the Bible and its requirements, in every necessary area of study, and so thoroughly imbued with all of this that it is a part of his nature. He acts and reacts in terms of this...
 [D]iscipline is ... into life under God.... [I]ts purpose is "to educate the child in order to fit him to be a servant of God...[T]he purpose of discipline should be... discipleship in prepare the child for the highest competency in life in the discharge of his calling under God. 

Topics: Biblical Law, Education, Family & Marriage

Andrea G. Schwartz

Andrea Schwartz is Chalcedon’s family and Christian education advocate, and the author of eight books including: A House for God: Building a Kingdom-Driven Family, The Biblical Trustee Family: Understanding God’s Purpose for Your Household, Empowered: Developing Strong Women for Kingdom Service, Woman of the House: A Mother’s Role in Building a Christian Culture, and The Homeschool Life: Discovering God’s Way to Family-Based Education. She’s also the co-host of the Out of the Question podcast, and Homeschooling Helps (weekly live Facebook event). She can be reached at [email protected]

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