Re: The Washington Post "Dissing Darwian"

From: Rich Blinne <>
Date: Sat Jun 04 2005 - 10:20:02 EDT

On 6/3/05, Terry M. Gray <> wrote:
> Keith,
> Why should schools be any different from church? I doubt that you
> think that church should be "public" (let's say "neutral" here) in
> order to enrich the experience. If education is as worldview-based as
> I suggest it is, then in our current model we have to decide which
> worldview is going to undergird the educational experience. To
> exclude religion from public education the way it is currently done
> is by no means neutral.
> Also, I don't think you're hearing me. I'm advocating "equal" public
> support (at least as equal as it is now) for these schools. I also
> would expect there to be some kind of reasonable minimal
> certification so that the interests of the "state" are preserved.
> These would look vastly different than they do today because not only
> do our public schools promote the basic interests of the state, but
> they attempt to accomplish what your first paragraph fully
> affirms--that public schools are the place where societal and
> cultural homogenization occurs. This is all fine and good when you
> find yourself in the mainstream. Not so good when you don't.
> I have personal experience in teaching and having my own children in
> public, private Christian, and home schools. I was public school
> educated all the way through graduate school. Not until I began
> seeing the full ramifications of a Christian worldview did I see the
> problems with my education. Christian schools and home schools
> (including my own) don't always get it right either--often they are
> motivated by insularity than by building a foundation for education
> on the belief that "Jesus is Lord". The worldview educational
> philosophy of Calvin College cemented that developing viewpoint and
> gave me 11 years to implement in the college classroom. Public
> education creates and promotes a secular/sacred dualism. It tells us
> all that, yes, science, literature, mathematics, history, etc. can
> and should be discussed in the absence of any religious
> considerations. Public education is an example of Gould's NOMA in the
> interest of it's "public" side. Here I am arm in arm with Phil
> Johnson and his cronies. (Wow, did I just say that?)

OK. I get what you saying. I would add that based on my personal observation
Terry lives out his personal philosophy quite well. For example, he taught
science (in addition to his day job) at a Christian school where my oldest
daughter attended. My interest here is not which form of schooling is best
for our children as I believe all can be appropriate in different
situations. Nor do I oppose funding alternative schooling to help parents of
humble means make the best decision for their children.

Rather given the reality that many children will attend public schools what
is the best form for that to have? I label my view the limited authority
(for the administration) and maximal expression (for the students) view.
This view does not buy into the false sacred/secular dichotomy. Rather it
respects the religious views of children and parents. When possible the
curriculum would be neutral. If that is not possible, then the curriculum is
descriptive rather than proscriptive. Adding released time for religious
instruction would be compatible with this. I had this as a child and in the
pre-culture wars days it worked just fine. Whether this will work in our
current politically charged atmosphere I don't know.

I'll close with a final question to ponder. Is is possible to have a
Christian worldview that when lived out causes those who do not share it to
rejoice in it? The Proverbs teach us when the righteous prosper the city
rejoices. Is that true in our lives?
Received on Sat Jun 4 10:22:03 2005

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