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The Necessity of Biblical Christianity in Every School Subject

By Eugene C. Newman
April 30, 1999

©by Eugene C. Newman, 1996, 1997, 1999

The premise of this short Guide is radical enough: There can be no “real” education without presupposing at every point. Biblical truth and especially the reality of God the Son, Jesus Christ, in his mediatorial work. To have been the Mediator of our salvation before God the Father is not the whole of Christ's significance. He mediates, in fact and by necessity, every relationship between Man and Creation, in terms of grace or judgment. In other words, we can't see the true meaning of anything, unless God's law-word is brought to bear upon it, in faith. While the unbeliever can have real “technical” knowledge, he cannot see the true meaning or relationships which are before him, because in his trespasses and sins, he is spiritually (and intellectually) dead, his mind is constantly in enmity with God and with God's truth as revealed in the created realm (Romans 8:7). This provides the basis not only for the necessity of evangelism, but the restoration of all of education, rightly so-called, to its true foundation. Our prayer is that this guide will assist you in developing a consistent Biblical view of school subjects and also pedagogy, or the nature of teaching and of teaching methods. The terms “biblical” and “secular” are not meant to be exhaustively defined; many variations exist within each category.

Subject

Biblical View

Secular View

The nature of the teacher

Guides the process whereby the student learns and discovers revealed, objective truth in the Bible and it's expression in God's creation

Facilitates the process self-realization, where the student discovers “facts”, and determines for himself, their use and meaning, apart from any objective (God-given) standard

The nature of the student

Warped in his entire being, mind, body and spirit, by sin; needing the love and chastisement of the teacher (conversion), to develop the character necessary for true learning and personal growth by (God's) grace

Innocent and plastic in personality and being, subject to the influence/conditioning of his environment (e.g. heredity, family, religion, school, society) “naturally” able to learn and grow, given the above       

The goal of education

To bring every thought captive to the obedience of Jesus Christ, wherein God is glorified through our faith and obedience to His calling on us.

To discover one's self, one's values, one's potentialities and to be equipped therein, in a subjective, relativistic world of experience

The nature of knowledge

All facts are God-created and subject to the purposes of God; meaning is objective, to be revealed, and understood within a unified, created realm; truth and error in terms of God's Word.

“Brute factuality”, facts are independent, uninterpreted, abstract, man's rationality and experience only, constitute the basis of validity; truth and error subject to pragmatic tests

Curriculum

Core subjects which do not vary, supplemented by topical, relevant materials; develops the inherent gifts and the calling of the student

Developing processes of learning based on changing knowledge & environmental inputs; no core content, evolutionary standards of truth

Pedagogy (teaching methods)

Overcome sin, mental sloth; create orderliness in work, demonstrate cause and effect; leads to the love of God and His gracious work in the world; promotes the idea of Christian self-government as the foundation of personal character

Driven by student needs in terms of interests, learning styles, intellectual quotients; leads to personal validation only, and consensus (group) morality

Civics, Government & the Constitution        

The civil authority is under God and must rule in terms of God's law or forfeit its authority; civil government is very limited, primarily a ministry of justice, not the provider of health, education & welfare; constitution subject to original intent; taxes on land and inheritance unbiblical; tax rate should not exceed God's tithe (about 10%)

After Hegel, “the state is God walking on earth” “the voice of the people, is the voice of God” society's highest aspirations find their focus in the life of the State; the State mediates all law and relationships between citizens and entities in terms of equalitarianism; provides for/directs Society's health, security and economics

Mathematics        

Numbers reflect invariant causality and truth; memorization of basic tables is fundamental; in God's universe, everything is accounted for and everything balances; man's sin obscures this

Numbers reflect relationships between things; relationships seem constant, but are subjective, given to evolutionary development; skills are utilitarian only; “proof of moral and ethical neutrality of science

Composition & Grammar

Words have intrinsic meaning; Christ as Logos; thinking is a verbal and written skill; meaning of words dependent on keeping of grammatical rules

“Deconstruction” of language, composition and grammar basic to man's right to reorder reality and to reinterpret it in terms of himself alone

Reading

Systematic phonics is the only method in which an alpha phonetic language system can be learned; 44 basic sounds, combined to form words; learning of language rules and exceptions is basic

“whole language,” “look-say language” or learning to read by combining pictures, contextual clues and letter sounds causes reading disabilities and some suggest, forms of mental illness (neurological dysfunction)

History v. Social Science

History is the recording of God's providential works by man and seeing His purpose behind all events; politics, science, war, the arts, economics, geography, etc. are all areas in which man learns of God's grace or judgment

Social Science is to see man, in an atheistic world, reacting and shaping his environment through politics, science, war, and geography; history is meaningless because it's evolutionary premises can't reliably predict the future

Science

In the beginning God created, and what is called science is the knowledge of how God established orderly laws and relationships between all things; and how the created realm is a unified field of knowledge, facts and purpose

Evolution determines what is and is not accepted as “scientific fact”; posits a world where meaning must constantly be destroyed to make room for new and future meanings; results in intellectual and scientific relativism

Music & the Arts

All art reflects the mathematical orderliness of God's created realm and is subject to objective and unchangeable rules of aesthetics or composition; is used to express the glory (and beauty) of God's creation in all its forms; man's response either in rebellion or in discovery of truth; or of new (fresh) modes of its expression

Art is what the artist calls it; totally subjective in meaning; aesthetic rules either enhance the artist's purposes, or in their breaking, expresses the on-going need for intellectual and societal revolution-against form, beauty, structure, and the needs of the audience, or to pursue their radical transformation in evolutionary stages

Economics

The earth is the Lords and the fullness thereof; God's prior ownership gives Him the right to determine all material value and utility, and man's necessity to subject his knowledge and use of the material realm in terms of God's law; money is a fixed commodity, like gold or silver; finitude not scarcity (self-determined) is basic

The State is the owner and ruler of the material realm in order to insure societal goals and equalitarian relationships between man and the earth; all resources, being scarce, must be subject to the state's central planning, development and redistribution; money is a measure of value (and power), can be fixed or fluid       

That your way may be known on earth (Ps 67:2) Make known his deeds among the nations (Isa 12:4,5)

May all peoples know that the Lord is God (1 Kings 8:60) The earth will be full of the knowledge of the Lord (Isa. 11:9)

In God are hid all the treasures of knowledge (Col 2:3) Knowledge puffs up, but charity [love] edifies (1 Cor. 8:1)

Hosea 4:6b My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge...


Topics: Biblical Law, Dominion, Education

Eugene C. Newman

Gene Newman, a Jewish Christian since 1981, has been married to Robin (Armenian father) for 37 years, and has ten children and nine grandchildren. He’s a Ruling Elder in his EPC church, and has taught the Reformed and Reconstructionist faith for 25 years. He and Robin have been homeschooling for 19 years, and Gene is the former president of Christian Home Educators of Michigan (1993 to 1999). He is currently vice president for a company in the wholesale pharmaceutical industry (15 years). Email:[email protected]

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