Archive for the Case for CCE

Aug
11

The Case for CCE, chapter 7

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In The Case for CCE chapter 7 Douglas Wilson asks “What Is Education?” A deceptively simple question. But a question of vast importance.

To answer it Wilson quotes Southern Presbyterian theologian R.L. Dabney: “Education is the nurture and development of the whole man for his proper end. That end must be conceived rightly in order to understand the process, and even man’s earthly end is predominately moral.” Wilson is quick to point out that Dabney’s use of the world “moral” does not mean “moralistic,” somehow implying that education means “being given a list of do’s and don’ts.” Instead, man’s true end is related to God’s glory, and whether or not he will be blessed is determined by that moral relationship. This is to suggest, writes Wilson, that “Obedience in education is the process of learning the implications of that moral relation as it relates to every aspect of our lives.”

Every aspect of our lives.” This is the real point that Wilson is making in this chapter. Education inherently involves religious claims, and religious claims are always all-encompassing, always total. Education that is faithful to God must be seen as “something that involves the whole person in the context of the whole universe, a universe created by the triune God.” As children are given a distinctively Christian education, they grow in their understanding of who they are, who God is, and what the world God created really means. Thus, they are prepared to live for the glory of God.

So a boy or girl sitting in a classroom has not reached the highest goal for a human being. Everything finds its integration point in Christ. Every subject does so in the classroom – biology, Latin, history, math, science, literature – but Christ is also the integration point between what the student learns in the classroom and how the student lives for the rest of life. All things cohere in Christ, and Christian education, as it is founded on Scripture (the Word of Christ), prepares the student to live all of life to the glory of the God who made her and who is her Judge and Redeemer.

One last quote from Wilson that captures his point:

The fact that the Scriptures are at the center of all Christian education does not mean that the students and teacher walk around the classroom two inches above the floor with a strange luminosity surrounding their heads. It means that the students are learning how to present their bodies, brains and all, math puzzles in them and everything, as living sacrifices, holy and acceptable to God. Such as approach to education is surprisingly earthy, and yet the earthiness is not pointless, as it is in a secularist context. Van Til says, “Christian teachers know that not a single ‘fact’ can really be known and therefore really be taught unless placed under the light of the revelation of God.”

Aug
02

The Case for CCE, chapter 6

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In chapter 6 of The Case for Classical Christian Education, Douglas Wilson takes up a theme that seems missing in many treatments of the philosophy of education: “the Centrality of Worship.”

Several years ago I read a book that purported to be a statement of the Christian worldview. But there was something about this book that separated it from others I had read. The author asserted there was a glaring blind spot in most Christian books about worldview — they glossed over the Trinity, or they at least treated the Trinity as a tertiary truth. The author’s point was that the Trinity is the most essential truth about God and therefore about reality, yet this essential truth got only sideways treatment in many books about worldview. He was attempting to orient his whole statement of the Christian worldview around the Trinity. It was something of a paradigm-changer for me.

Wilson’s treatment on the centrality of worship in education is a paradigm-changer also.

Is not a human essentially a worshiping creature? Are we not created for worship, so that we are bent either toward idolatry or, by God’s grace, toward worship of the true God? We cannot ignore this truth when we begin talking about education, as if education is a tightly sealed, airtight compartment that concerns rational, intellectual, or vocational matters only. Children are worshipers, not just empty containers into whom we pour multiplication tables, principles of grammar, Latin vocabulary, and history facts. Their education leads them toward worship.

In other words, “worship is central to life; therefore, it is central to education for that life.” Wilson makes several salient points.

  • Worship is incarnational. “We have to learn how to worship. And then, having worshiped, we are sent out into the world to study it, subdue it, replenish it. But education and learning follow worship and proceed from it.” In other words, “sitting in neat rows in a classroom, doing push-ups with the brain” is not enough — students must learn how to worship in a local church in order to be complete, and in order for their education to cohere into a complete life.
  • Worship is centered on Christ. “Jesus Christ is the arche, the One in whom all things hold together (Col 1:18). But Christ is not a mere word we use; Jesus Christ is the Son of God, seated at the right hand of the Father. There is no Christian worldview where He is not present.” And He has promised to be present among the people who worship Him and Him alone. Education in His presence, worshiping Him as Lord, is the only true education. Therefore, “education that does not begin and end in heaven is not true education.”
  • Finally, “a classical Christian school will not succeed in its mission unless it has the strong support of a worshiping community.” And let me say at this point how thankful I am for the support Regents Academy receives from the churches of the Nacogdoches community. Our school cannot succeed if it is not linked up with local churches who recognize a common goal of exalting and worshiping the Lord Jesus Christ and who are partnering with parents to train up children in the way they should go.
  • One final quote: “The major reason why worship is central concerns the children. Worship is the point of integration for all Christian living, including the living that goes on at the school. When children who are members of the race homo adorans worship God rightly, everything comes together in their lives. When they do not, everything is out of joint.”
Jul
10

The Case for CCE, chapter 5

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Chapter 5 of The Case for CCE is called “The Case Against Government Schools.” Wilson states his bottom line clearly: “Given what we have seen to this point, there is no good reason for Christian parents to entrust their children to the government school system.”

We need to remember that Wilson’s purpose here is to tear down — but not to tear down in the sense of spreading wanton destruction, confusion, and division. Rather, he means to tear down in order to build up in its place. Wilson wants to do what good teachers do — discover existing erroneous assumptions and eat away at those so that sound assumptions can be inserted in their place.

For example, when I teach about Medieval Europe, in order to show that this period was an era of remarkable wisdom and light, the first thing I attempt to do is to tear down the assumption that this period was a thousand-year experiment in darkness, ignorance, and bigotry. There exist powerful assumptions saying that the Medieval millennium was a “Dark Age” (light came only after we got over Christianity) or the “Middle Ages” (coming between something good before and even better after). Where did these ideas come from? Are they accurate? Do they lead to a proper understanding? Assumptions are powerful, and in order to have a right understanding of something, we often have to have our assumptions challenged. Teachers who know their stuff know this.

So Wilson is challenging assumptions in The Case of CCE. One of the most powerful assumptions among American Christians is that their children ought to be educated in the local school system. Wilson is attacking this assumption and asserting instead the assumption that “Christian education is not a luxury or an option. It is part of Christian discipleship for those who have been blessed with children.”

He is also challenging the assumption that the government school system is “neutral ground” for Christians. If education is an inherently religious activity, then schools have inescapable objects of worship. Christians are called to worship only one Lord. A unified life under the Lordship of Christ, according to Wilson, cannot include multiple lords.

Government education was birthed in a revolutionary rejection of the historic Christian faith, and the progressive claims for the saving power of education were breathtaking. . . . But many Christians still think of local government schools as being somehow “our” schools. Because local government was significant at the founding of our nation, and because many of the forms of local government have been kept intact, many Christians still think this is the case.

Thus, many Christians argue for the reform of the schools by restoring school prayer or the teaching of creation or making schools safer. But “Why prayer in an officially agnostic institution? Why the teaching of creation in an officially pluralistic institution? Why do we think it is a victory when the pagans admit our Lord, as an option just for some, to their pantheon of gods many and lords many?”

Further, Wilson argues that merely reacting to the ills of the schools — things like danger, academic incompetence, and immorality — “is not good enough. Believing parents must come to see Christian education as a demand of the covenant.” “God requires that covenant children be brought up in covenant truths.” Biblical passages like Deuteronomy 6:4-9 and Psalm 78:5-8 make this clear.

Wilson takes up corollary issues: the “salt and light” argument for leaving children in public schools so that they can be an influence for good, and the issue of Christian teachers in public schools. But his central point is clear: Christian parents are to give their children a Christian education, and this simply cannot be accomplished in the local school system.

One last quote that begins to point in the direction of a positive argument for classical and Christian education:

Educated under the wrong kind of fear, our children will become servile in their thinking. Educated under no fear at all, they will become arrogant. . . .  God demands that we teach our children (His children) in accordance with their station. They are royalty and should receive a royal education. The mark of such an education is confident humility.

Amen.

Jul
07

The Case for CCE, chapter 4

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In chapter 4 of The Case for Classical Christian Education Douglas Wilson takes up the topic of “The Nature of Man.”

There are some quotes in this chapter that are, frankly, shocking. But they are not by Wilson. More on that later.

It is impossible to understand or practice education well apart from understanding philosophy. Methods, statistics, budgets, procedures, techniques, and formulas have their place. But if a biblical worldview teaches us anything, it is that there is such a thing as worldview. Big philosophical questions matter, questions like

  • What is real?
  • How do we know what we know?
  • What is good?
  • What is the meaning of history?
  • What is the world and where did it come from?
  • What is man?

A biblical worldview teaches us that these questions are relevant to everything; they are foundational. And further, without the Triune God, His Word, and His wisdom, we can neither make sense of the world nor live truly meaningful and unified lives. So classroom management and educational statistics and curricular procedures and pedagogical methods have their place. But first principles are first. And this is why Wilson is beginning with a question that would undoubtedly appear to many educational technicians to be utterly irrelevant.

I am speaking of the last of the questions listed above: What is man?

Here is Wilson’s point: “Every builder should have a blueprint. He should not build in a random or haphazard manner. It is the same with educators. They should have a blueprint. Where are we going with this? . . . In order to teach a child rightly, his parents must know both who and what they are, and they must know on the authority of God’s Word.” They must know that mankind has fallen away from his original task; he has been corrupted in his mind, body and soul; and he has had the image of God in him defaced and deformed. Jesus Christ has come to re-establish man in his Edenic work, to redeem him from his corruptions, and renovate the image of God in him by conforming him to Himself.

Without that storyline, education cannot have its proper place or goals, and our service to our children falls apart.

But now the shocking (perhaps I shouldn’t be shocked anymore) quote:

Again I would say, that, whenever a human soul is born into the world, God stands over it, and pronounces the same sublime fiat, ‘Let there be light;’ and may the time soon come when all human governments shall cooperate with the divine government in carrying this benediction and baptism into fulfillment!

These words, spoken  by educational innovator and father of American government education Horace Mann, demonstrate his belief that when we finally “[supply] free, universal education — the fulfillment of inherent human goodness will be at hand.”

Here is one species of the basic humanistic answer to the question, What is man? Man is a basically good creature whose flaw is ignorance, and education serves the purpose of dispelling that ignorance and therefore lifting him up to where he belongs and fulfilling him.

How does the humanistic approach solve a child’s problem of ignorance? One answer is “to fill the student’s head with facts . . . presto, the ignorance is gone.” The other more subtle answer is to “help the rational side of the student learn to suppress the passionate side.” However, “both approaches exhibit a deep commitment to reason — to reason as a savior.” There is an inherent tendency toward idolatry here.

Central to the task of education, then, is a biblical answer to the question, What is man? And when we allow the Bible to answer that question, we find that the image of God in man and the recovery of that image in Jesus Christ is central to our understanding of who we are. If we do not look to the Savior for knowledge and freedom, we will be enslaved to any number of harsh masters who convince us that they are saviors.

Jul
05

The Case for CCE, chapter 3

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In chapter 3 of The Case for CCE author Douglas Wilson catalogs and analyzes various attempts at reforming the current educational system under the chapter title “Healing the Wound Lightly.”

And I need to make an observation at the outset. Much of what Wilson has to say is offensive to many people. It is seen as the equivalent of walking up and poking a stick in someone’s eye. No civil person does that sort of thing. But consider for a moment the value of being told the truth.

If you and your son were going mountain climbing, and I told you your knots were all wrong and would surely unravel, imagine how you might respond. “How dare you criticize my knots? These knots are the same knots that have been used in our community for generations. They are approved by a panel of experts and funded by the official mountain climbing association. And furthermore, I am insulted that you would suggest that my knots are faulty. These are ‘our’ knots. How dare you!”

Is that a measured and rational response? What if you just went and took a close look at your ropes and knots and considered that maybe there really is a problem rather than finding insult at the suggestion that there might be danger? It seems to me that falling off a mountain is a great enough peril to justify humbling yourself and seeing if everything is safe.

It’s a bit of an inelegant comparison perhaps, but I think the point holds. Rather than being offended by the suggestion that a long and fatal fall might be coming, maybe Christians should consider the point being made. And that in turn might lead to repentance. That would require humility and desire for the truth. But if our faithfulness to the Lord God and the safety and well-being of our children are at stake, shouldn’t we just listen to the one telling us the knots won’t hold?

That said, Wilson is telling us that the various educational knots we have tied won’t hold us. And it’s a tall mountain we’re climbing.

Wilson points to two basic groups who want to reform the schools: those who would reform from within and from without. What both have in common is a fundamental commitment to some form of tax-supported school system. “As unquestioned assumptions go, this one ranks near the top.” He quotes Mortimer Adler again, who sees government-sponsored schools to be as essential as a government-sponsored police force. So the question is not whether there should be government-supported education but “how our ‘public schools’ should be managed.” Wilson obviously is challenging the very legitimacy of a government-sponsored educational system.

Reformers from within want to re-institute prayer in schools or eliminate textbooks or raise standards or make the schools safer. Christians can support any effort to make society safer, even the hallways of the local schools, but what about the way Christians, “as participants in this vast democracy . . . want to use their presence to influence events in a particular direction”? The problem here is that the Christian faith is not well-suited as “a condiment to be used to flavor the neutral substance of secular knowledge.” The Scriptures call us to take every thought captive to the obedience of Christ (2 Cor 10:4-5), Christ tells us that whoever does not gather with Him scatters (Matt 12:30), and Christ called us to disciple the nations so that if we see anything out of line with His Word, we are to call it to obedience (Matt 28:18-20). In other words, “the Christian faith does very poorly as decorative material.”

Take prayer in school for instance. Let’s say we have prayer in school. To whom will it be offered? To the God of Abraham, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ? But if prayer is being offered to some other god, then why are Christians pushing for it? In fact, “the ‘god’ being addressed in all such prayers is the generic god of American civil religion. Christians assume that this is not idolatrous prayer because the word god serves as a holding tank in which members of different faiths can put the content of their individual theologies.” But the god of American civil religion is a being “who has been defined in multiple court cases as non-triune — he is not the God of the Scriptures. Therefore, Christians have a moral responsibility not to offer incense on that altar and still less to try to get others to do so.”

Hmph. That knot won’t hold. I had better check my gear.

Reforms from without include experiments such as vouchers and charter schools; these are attempts “to use private sector pressure to make the government schools straighten and fly right.” Wilson criticizes these programs as movements toward fascism. Currently our educational system is socialistic — “the government owns and controls the means of educational production.” If this were done with a commodity such as steel, we would surely call it socialism. But fascism “as an economic system occurs when the government does not ‘own’ the means of production but to a large measure controls them. Private ownership is still allowed but in this case does not mean what it used to mean.” So vouchers and charter schools are the first steps toward fascism in education. And Wilson (and the Association of Classical and Christian Schools) encourages schools to have nothing to do with vouchers because “he who takes the king’s coin becomes the king’s man.”

Parents may view charter schools as “hybrids” that give benefits of both public and private schooling but “such avowed hybridization should arouse more than a few suspicions.” The only way to make the system work philosophically is to affirm the myth of neutrality, which is impossible for a consistent Christian.

The last issue that Wilson addresses is the matter of accreditation. There are reformers who are not interested in the money but want to maintain contact with the state because “they are insecure about their ability to produce an outstanding education on their own.” So schools do not detach completely from the current system because they fear they will be scorned “for their lack of educational expertise, certification, or accreditation.” Parents have a deep sense that accreditation ought to mean something. Yet they are interested in private schools because “they are thoroughly unhappy with the school they are leaving, which has been accredited for a hundred years.”

The point is that “excellence is not guaranteed by a piece of paper. Excellence in education is the result of vision, hard work, parental love, and a clear sense of mission. It does not depend on bureaucratic accreditation.”

The course for us is to be radical — in the sense of the Latin root radix, meaning “root” — we need to go to the root of the problem, not just heal the wound lightly.

Jul
03

The Case for CCE, chapter 2

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Chapter 2 of The Case for CCE is titled “The Rise and Fall of Secular Education in America.” Wilson tells a disturbing story — a story of the transformation of education in America from a distinctly religious activity under the Lordship of Christ and open to all to a distinctly secular activity that is the right of all and sufficient because of man alone. Wilson traces the devolution of education from Mann to Dewey to Adler around the central principle of education’s secularization: its tie to democracy.

Democracy is a treasured word in the American lexicon, but it has gained a stature our founders never intended it to have. If you have qualms with that sentence, I encourage you to read Wilson lest I misstate him. However, it is pretty clear that the democratization of education — not to speak of America as a whole — has had massively deleterious effects.

While Wilson has great esteem for Mortimer Adler (especially his push for high standards in American education), he nonetheless critiques him heavily.

Adler’s approach to education was democratic because of where his faith was placed. A Christian desires to bring education to all, but not because every person is inherently good and deserves to be educated. Rather, all people are sinners, but the grace of God has been revealed to us, and we should want to teach all people so that they might come to salvation and grow in their gratitude for His grace. But the democrat places his faith in man, and the provision of education is a matter of justice, not a matter of kindness and grace.

Wilson notes the educrats’ and reformers’ inveterate hostility to orthodox Christianity, and the fruit of that hostility: the establishment of secular education. R.L. Dabney, the 19th-century Southern Presbyterian theologian, saw it coming with remarkable prescience. “Make [education] godless, and [the child’s] life is made godless.” Christians would want Christian fruit to grow from the now-secular tree, which is impossible. Behind this new educational methodology was the myth of neutrality. “There were many areas of life that could be studied apart from any reference to the authority of Scripture.” The pluralistic nature of American life came to be accepted not as a reality requiring missionary work but “rather as an authoritative voice, requiring every practitioner of every religion to submit and fit in.”

And this is why even today we hear “pluralism” as a code word requiring Christians to shut up. Of course, we are a pluralistic country. And ancient Rome was a pluralistic empire, but Jesus still told His disciples to preach the Gospel there.

Pluralism is simply polytheism in another guise. But “Christian education cannot be sustained apart from the exclusive worship of the Triune God. And such worship cannot be offered to Him and to demos” — the god of democracy.

This is pretty strong medicine, medicine that not all are willing to gulp down. But if Wilson is right, and if the story he tells is a true story, then the Christian church as some serious repenting to do. Thankfully, there are many families who see the situation, at least some part of it, for what it is and have formed Christian schools dedicated to the Lordship of Christ. In any case, faithfulness to the Triune God of the Bible is the answer to what ails us.

Wilson is telling a story that most have not heard. With strong words and pointed statements, he is  building his case. I hope you will continue to hear him out.

Jul
02

The Case for CCE, chapter 1

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Pink Floyd’s 1979 song “The Wall” expresses the anti-authority angst of a generation. I can hear the British children singing moodily as I read the words:

We don’t need no education
We don’t need no thought control
No dark sarcasm in the classroom
Teachers leave them kids alone
Hey! Teachers! Leave them kids alone!

What does the numbing, dehumanizing effect of modern schooling — at least according to Roger Waters — reduce people to?

All in all you’re just another brick in the wall.

Douglas Wilson evokes this cynical, barren, suspicious ethos with the first section title of The Case for Classical Christian Education: “Another Brick in the Wall.” Thus Wilson begins his case for a classical and Christian model of education by first diagnosing the state of education in our contemporary context.

What is the condition of education today? How did we get here?

Chapter 1 is titled “A Mess That Just Won’t Quit.” And what a mess the government-sponsored education system is. Many parents who send their children to a private Christian school are running away from something. They see the public schools as a source of harm for their children. There is something profoundly right about this, for sure. I have heard homeschooling parents or parents who send their children to a private school accused of sheltering their kids. Guilty. They clothed them and fed them also. Parents ought to shelter their children (from physical, spiritual, and relational dangers), and so there is a rising tide of parents who are saying, “Not with my kids, you don’t!”

In the end, running away from something is not enough. You need to run toward something. Merely running away will not foster the vision and fortitude it takes to make Christian education last. Nonetheless, parents who are embracing CCE are repenting and rejecting government schooling. Wilson makes this departure his beginning point, and he intends to move on then and make a positive case for CCE, urging us to commit ourselves to it as a vision for our family trees.

Wilson gives abundant evidence that the government schools are in crisis. He illustrates the case with a number of statistics and pointed questions.

  • In 1998 12-18 year old students were victims of more than 2.7 million crimes at school, including about 253,000 serious crimes such as rape, sexual assault, robbery and aggravated assault. Teachers were the targets of about 80,000 serious violent crimes from 1994 to 1998.

Are guns to blame for shooting sprees? Wilson looks deeper and sees “a breakdown in civil order among our children” as coming from somewhere — and we need to get to the root of the matter. The civil disintegration of our schools comes from two principal sources: children are under-disciplined and over-medicated. In the 18th century, as a socialistic model of education increasingly encouraged parents to relinquish control of their children to the schools, people then began looking for alternative ways to control the undisciplined children who resulted. A technocratic society looked to chemicals and found medications that would alter their personalities and assuage the behavior problems. “As a whole, the government school system has said yes to drugs.” Unfortunately, horrific consequences accompanied the alterations as school shootings have ravaged student bodies. The guns were there before, but the doped kids, convinced by an all-too-effective ideology that they are just blobs of fizzing protoplasm, came to school and shot other blobs of protoplasm. “The kids who turn violent are called ‘monsters’ by the school system that made them what they are. Instead of shrinking back from the logic of the conclusion, schools should give these kids honorary diplomas.”

Wilson suggests three actions: first, parents should pull their children from the government school system; second, we should “talk at every opportunity about the spiritual and cultural malaise that pervades the culture our young people are growing up in and how the entrenched education establishment is trying to hide this rapidly escalating problem by inducing brain fog in any children who act up”; and third, build an alternative educational subculture, which means planting and building schools of our own.

  • Statistics show that 1 in 5 children in grades K-12 are subject to this “chemical discipline” through the use of mind-altering drugs. That’s 20% of all school kids who are on Prozac, Ritalin, etc.

Wow. “Suppose for a moment that some prophet had come out of the wilderness in 1958 and predicted that within a generation one-fifth of the children enrolled in our schools would be doped into docility. The prophet would, of course, have been laughed back to his cave. Yet the spiritual nature of our disease is such that when these things to do come to pass, precisely because they have come to pass, it is impossible to see them. Before they happen, we cannot see them because they have not yet happened. After they happen, we cannot see then because we let them happen, and seeing would now require repentance.” Thus Wilson takes us beyond fruits to roots. Wilson is suggesting that our real problem is spiritual, and thus our real solution is spiritual — we need the gospel and the grace of God, repentance and righteousness.

  • In 2000, according to “The Nation’s Report Card” only about one-third of fourth graders were proficient readers — the place where fourth graders should be academically . Wilson offers this stat not as an anomaly but as an indicator of the dismal academic state of the public school system.

Wilson points out a key issue at this point. “What may arguably tie these statistics together is the apparently missing factor everywhere — parents.” Competent educators, pastors, and wise Christians have long known that the most crucial factor in a child’s education is parents. But without altering the whole system of education in America, “the problem of parental abdication” remains and will persist unabated. “When test scores are poor, there is still an expectation that the schools must fix the problem — instead of demanding that the schools get out of the way so the parents and their true servants in private schools can fix it.” Wilson concludes, “So none of this should be a great surprise. If parents leave their kids standing alone on a street corner long enough, it is simply a matter of time before someone offers them a condom. Or a lousy education.”

  • If you had to guess, how much would you say that, on average, school systems spend per pupil? In public elementary and secondary schools in 1999-2000, it was $7,086. In 1961-2 in constant dollars it was $2,360.

Can we just throw money at this problem and hope it goes away? “Our problem in the schools is by no means the result of a lack of funds. The government school system has enormous amounts of money, and it is doing extraordinarily foolish things with it.” Let’s fast-forward to today, beyond Wilson’s 2003 publish date. Compare that $7,000 per-pupil amount from 1999-2000 with 2006-7. According to the Department of Education, in 2006-7 spending per pupil rose to $9,683. Is there any end in sight? Will we reach the ceiling at some point?

One thing this means is that at Regents Academy parents are paying, at the most, less than half of what is being expended in the public sector.

Wilson points to hopeful signs among American parents, who, statistics show, are abandoning the government school system for private schools and homeschools. But the figures show a wave, not a tidal wave. Wilson wants to call for “continued reformation in our country.”

Because “education is fundamentally religious,” it is not a question of whether religious questions will be asked and answered in a school, but rather which ones. Wilson sees the problem — and the solution — as theological. We need the rest for our souls that only the gospel and the grace of God provide. We need the salvation that is given as a gift by the Lord Jesus Christ. So we need to get the gospel straight so that we can receive the rest He gives, and then rest in His promises.

“Contrary to the opinions of our adversaries, education is not a savior. But it can be saved.”

Jul
01

The Case for CCE blogged

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Dorothy Sayers started this whole thing, but Douglas Wilson has helped it along as much as anyone.

It was Mrs. Sayers’ 1947 Oxford lecture and then essay “The Lost Tools of Learning” that prompted Douglas Wilson to help found the Logos School in Moscow, Idaho, and then to write Recovering the Lost Tools of Learning. The results of Pastor Wilson and others like him have been remarkable. A bona fide movement, by God’s good pleasure, has resulted, and so here is Regents Academy, a classical Christian school in Nacogdoches, Texas, having a huge impact on thousands.

Pastor Wilson wrote a follow-up to Recovering the Lost Tools called The Case for Classical Christian Education in 2003. The latter is in many ways, in my humble estimation, better than the former. I first read it when it came out, but I have picked it back up of late, and I decided to blog my way through it this summer and thus share it with you. I would certainly encourage you to read it for yourself and perhaps follow along, but if you are like me your bedside table stack is already pretty high. So getting the good stuff from a very informative book delivered in a compact format is really helpful for me. I hope it is for you also.

For now, here is a quote from the preface of The Case of Classical Christian Education (henceforth The Case for CCE) that succinctly states Wilson’s purpose for writing:

When we come to the end of our lives and we consider the work that God gave us to do, it is my hope that the education of our children and grandchildren will occupy a central place in our prayers of gratitude. This book is offered with that end in view.

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