Friday, July 30, 2010

Teaching Dissonance

"Beware of the sound of one hand clapping." Most of our education is parallel monologue. Public education knows nothing of a Creator. Homeschooled children are never taught to wrestle with the real arguments of science. As a result, both cast aspersions on the other without really listening to what the other side says.
Ideas come together in a variety of ways. Some ideas naturally fit, some eventually resolve themselves. Some ideas are false and will always clash with the truth. Many church leaders and parents are afraid of the dissonance. This leaves the student to experience the clash in a college classroom when he is without support. I'd rather build dissonance into the curriculum so that the student learns to defend his faith against all comers without fear that the truth will one day let him down. Teach the dissonance, feel the sting, search for answers. Remember the admonition: "Beware the sound of one hand clapping."

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

"Well-Done Days"

Scripture teaches us that persevering in the good stewardship of our lives and resources now will result in an eternal commendation from Christ: "Well done, good and faithful servant!" I was reminded recently to examine each day at its end and ask myself in judgment, "Was this a well-done day?" A string of well-done days will issue in an eternal "Well done."

Monday, July 5, 2010

Views of God

Leigh Bortins made an interesting observation about contemporary evangelicals and their view of God. We see God as a "Nice God who does nice things for nice people."
I immediately remembered the testimony of R. C. Sproul. When he first became a believer and read through the Old Testament, he realized one thing clearly: "This is a God who plays for keeps."
Which view do you think is closer to the truth?

Saturday, July 3, 2010

Curriculum and Nature

Today's educational curriculum begins with utility because the authors are agnostic about nature. The value and worth of a thing is tied to its utility, they would say. This explains debates about abortion, end of life care, and sex education. Beginning with the nature of a thing brings about far different ends. Education before Dewey had character development and wisdom as its ends. After Dewey, education was pursued for utilitarian ends. I fear the day when a man's value is discussed only by his contribution to society and not by who He is as a human being.

Friday, July 2, 2010

The Contemplation of Nature

Classical Conversations introduced me to Andrew Kern's CD "The Contemplation of Nature." I'll have to listen to it a dozen times to grasp the implications of his lecture on education, but I did learn this. Public, and sadly Christian, schools begin with utility- a holdover from Dewey. To really understand something, you must begin with its nature. Everything that exists began as an idea in the mind of God.
To know anything, Kern says you must follow a three step process:
1. Understand its nature
2. Discern its purpose from its nature.
3. Grasp its propriety.
For example, as a leader, I must understand the nature of those under my care. A follower is made in the image of God, a sinner, a male or female, and one whose ultimate purpose is to glorify God and enjoy Him forever. Propriety tells me the moral and fitting ways for that nature to be fulfilled.