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In this brief book, Doug Wilson argues from Scripture, history, pedagogy and the current state of secular public schools to put forward a strong case for, and defense of, the obligation of Christian parents to ensure their children receive a thorough and holistic, biblically faithful Christian education. In so doing, Wilson smashes much of the fuzzy thinking on this emotional topic. Readers will likely either love or hate this book and this is largely due to Wilsons straight forward and unapologetic presentation of his views. Regardless, it ought to be read for its content and sound reasoning whether or not the style offends some peoples sensitivities. There are a number of aspects of the public vs. Christian education debate addressed in this book albeit in a summary fashion. Wilsons approach is refreshingly broader and more foundational than the many attempts to merely suggest reforms to the public system. Wilson argues that the state system has been wrong from the start and therefore there never was an idyllic past that we should be aiming to recapture. Parents are forbidden by Scripture to abdicate their responsibility to educate and disciple their children in the Lord to another party or authority. This book addresses the false belief that an education that doesnt refer to God is a neutral education. There is no such thing as value neutral education. If a school system leaves God out, it is not neutral; it is by definition anti-God. Teachers and curriculum may not ever come out and assert that there is no God but by excluding any mention of him, students learn by default that God is irrelevant to any field they are studying. Wilson also clearly shows that state-run education was birthed out of a world-view which embraced the thinking that man could perfect himself through education. This same world-view denied the biblical Christian doctrine of the fall and inherent sinful nature of humanity. If built on these foundational assumptions, the edifice of public education by definition must directly contradict the biblical understanding of humanitys need to repent and renew relationship with God before any learning process can truly be considered gaining wisdom and understanding. The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom. Wilson points out that our relativistic culture has made truth, beauty and goodness relative. Even the public schools cant practically function this way, however, so contrary to Gods standards, they adopt standards that serve the interests of the state as a competing authoritative deity rather than holding to biblical standards of truth, beauty and goodness. If parents are called to teach their children to take every thought captive to make it obedient to Christ and if all authority in heaven and on earth has been given to Christ, and if Christian parents are to teach their children all day, during all activities, at home and away (Deut. 6:1-9), than Christian education cannot be relegated to Sunday school, Bible studies or family devotions. There is a Christian way to think about all things, math, history, science and language included, because God is Lord of those things too. The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom and knowledge, so if a person does not fear and honor God, any facts they might learn cannot even start them down the road to the destination that knowledge is supposed to arrive at. The section on answering objections to Christian education is very helpful and at least somewhat sympathetic to the good intentions of those who put forward such arguments. Wilsons conclusion: Christians are told to render unto Caesar that which bears his image but unto God that which bears his. As our tax dollars bear the image of the state, we must regrettably continue to fund public education but since our children are made in the image of God, we are forbidden by he in whose image they are made to render them to anyone but God. Therefore, a Christian education is the only option for Christian parents concerned with obedience. For more indepth explorations of this subject, see Recovering the Lost Tools of Learning: An Approach to Distinctively Christian Education, The Case for Classical Christian Education, Repairing the Ruins: The Classical and Christian Challenge to Modern Education, Wisdom and Eloquence: A Christian Paradigm for Classical Learning.

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