Sola Familia

family

I am not altogether sure why I keep finding myself flipping through the pages of Iron Ink. One explanation is that I am a glutton for punishment. Another is that it must be like the proverbial train wreck, I just can’t help looking. Plus, we all have guilty pleasures, right? (Right?)

Today, the sultan of swat has decided to pick on public education, one of his favorite scapegoats for what aileth the world. And recalling my daughter’s recent inservice resisting bullies in her government , I mean, public school, a few thoughts passed. Quoth he:

“Weymouth Child Development Center”

 

My first instinct was to think, “Wow, I’m amazed that they are being so honest about it.”


Here we have a setting where parents will drop their children off for the day and while they are at work they can have the satisfaction of knowing that a bunch of strangers are developing their children for them. How will their children be developed? The parents won’t know. What will they teach the little children? The parents don’t know. But what they do know is that their children are being developed and they know that they get to pay those people good money for the privilege of having those strangers develop their children for them.


As I thought about it I thought the new sign said it all. All schools, whether schools that happen in the home, or private schools or state schools should be thought of as “child development centers.” Children, who are not yet shaped in their thinking, enter into these locales and are shaped and massaged in their thinking and character in a particular direction. 

Amongst the plethora of assumptions, to be a modernist is to accept the premise that something other than the family makes human beings. So when the secular-modernist speaks as if his efforts do make (or “develop”) human beings the religio-modernist agrees in order to be able to rail about how the neighborhood preschool is cranking out the devil’s minions.

But what is interesting is that secular educationalists have long since abandoned the over-realized and deeply transformationalist notion that they actually make human beings and have un-carefully just hung on to the outward language, as it were. Whatever else is going on there, nobody at Weymouth is making or developing anyone. To boot, if Weymouth is anything like the secular educational institutions with which I am intimately familiar, I’d wager they’d all quite agree. Theocrats like McAtee are really just swinging at shadows, fighting an old modernist battle that his perceived enemies have really given up on. What adds humiliation to embarrassment is that our fellow religionists give no signal that they might have even the slightest clue that the greater balance of secular educators consider the home the final authority. (This is where most interlocutors will surface with horror stories, for example, of school districts forcing students to be indoctrinated with sexual orientation sensitivity training or some other such project shot through with highly sensitive values. But this proves nothing except that sometimes institutions do really dumb things for which they ought to be corrected.)

Indeed, as McAtee ably demonstrates, the modernity stubbornly nurtured within still holds fast to the premise that another institution apart from the family has any hand in making human beings. We should be clear here: making isn’t the same as influencing. In contrast, older expressions of Christianity (and other religions) teach that the family alone is ordained to make human beings, for better or worse. Whatever else this implies, it also means Jesus-hating pagans and Jesus-loving believers have an equal shot at making good human beings.

Christian Americaism usually goes hand-in-hand with a supposed high view of the family, as in the Virtuecrat lingo of family-values. But the brutal irony here is how there is actually more a merely high opinion of the family than high view. In much the same way the Roman church, whatever lip service might be afforded it, raises the church above Scripture (liberalism reason and evangelicalism experience), here the day school is raised above the family. In softer expressions it may be said that the school is an extension of the family. But it seems to me that a better two-kingdom outlook, situated in a Kuyperian notion of sphere sovereignty, understands that institutions overlap one another instead of one extending another. Once we begin to think in terms of the latter it seems there is no way to maintain the premise that there really is no redemptive version of any creational enterprise. So while plenty of institutions and factors certainly can and do influence human beings, when it comes to the project of making them, the family alone is ordained for such work.

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38 Responses to Sola Familia

  1. Bob says:

    Well put. My home schooling friends spend a lot of time bemoaning the moral condition of public schools. When I tell them that the education their children are getting in home school as opposed to public school is the real benefit, they look at me like I’m an alien from outer space.

    Bob

  2. Zrim says:

    “Mork calling Orson, come in, Orson! Mork calling Orson, come in, Orson! Nanu nanu.”

  3. RubeRad says:

    Wow — McAtee gets his own category?

    I’m sure McAtee would agree with you that “the family alone is ordained for such work” (isn’t that the presupposition of the homeschool legalists?) but he would certainly not take your word that “secular educationalists have long since abandoned the over-realized and deeply transformationalist notion that they actually make human beings.”

    Also, I don’t see the value of the distinction between “plenty of institutions can and do influence human beings,” vs family-making. Isn’t the point precisely that Christian families are making their children, and concerned about the influence of public schools?

  4. Zrim says:

    Rube,

    If McAtee agrees with my suggestion of sola familia, his modernity gets in the way of it. It’s like how theonomists agree that Jesus fulfilled the law but their theonomy gets in the way of their good confession.

    The distinction, it seems to me, between “making” and “influencing” is as crucial here as “believing the gospel” versus “living it” the law-gospel consideration. In both venues, some will think of these distinctions as tortured or unnecessary. Or take the vital distinctions made between sola ecclesia, sola scriptura and sola persona, same thing. But here I stand, I can do none other.

  5. Ron Smith says:

    Wow, Rube stole my thunder! I was going to say that McAtee’s argument need only be modified to use “influence humans” rather than “make humans” and it seems to me you would have to agree with him, Zrim.

    If “Jesus-hating pagans” in the government school system “can and do influence human beings”, and if the most influential of human beings are our children, I can see no good reason to send them to the “Jesus-hating pagans” to be influenced. Read Dabney, bro. Even when all the government schools were basically Christian and run by Christians, he prophetically saw that in time, the government would move from teaching children about the world, to “perverting children to serve an ideological faction”. This has clearly happened in more fascists states than ours. I don’t think even you would deny this. It is arguably happening now in government schools. My children start each day with the Word and prayer. The government school kids start their day pledging allegiance to the most murderous State in world history.

  6. Zrim says:

    Ron,

    McAtee’s argument depends on “make” and not “influence.” Speaking of thunder, to modify it to mere influence takes his all away.

    I think I’m pretty clear here that I accept the argument that a school influences children. You seem to think this corners me, but I don’t see how. Lots of things–friends, family members, community leaders, TV–influence children. So what? Should we keep our kids from pagan friends, uncles and cops? Isn’t societal withdrawal more Anabaptist than Protestant?

    Also, on this notion that children are the most impressionable creatures, I understand kids are impressionable. But when it comes to being spiritual, I don’t accept that there is no one-to-one correspondance between spiritual formation and creational age. Or do you imagine that there is really something spiritual about age 18 (or 22), such that we no longer care about influences after graduation takes place? Also, the idea that kids are somehow vulnerable seems to presuppose that there is something of a class system in the ranks, where kids are by default spiritually “weak,” second class believers and adults first class. But I take the view that one is either spiritual or he isn’t.

  7. Ron Smith says:

    Should we keep our kids from pagan friends…?

    Yes we should, lest they stumble into the paths of the wicked.

    Readying your children to engage society before allowing them to do so isn’t “societal withdrawal”. It’s guarding their soul. When the day comes for my children to begin their regular interaction with pagan culture, it is *they* who will be doing the influencing, not vice versa. And I am sure you would agree that the government schools are a much heavier influence than police and uncles.

    And finally, yes. An 18-22 year old who has been given a good Christian education (including regular exposure to the ordinary means of grace) is much more mature than a kindergartener, though the age at which one becomes ready to take on the pagans is of course different in each person. Your view of “either or” spirituality is presumptive, and isn’t reformed or even close to biblical. This view denies that God uses external means, not only to bring His elect to Himself, but also to keep them.

  8. Zrim says:

    And I am sure you would agree that the government schools are a much heavier influence than police and uncles.

    “Influence” is not “make.” That’s our fundamental disagreement here. It’s similar to the difference between an “opinion” and a “view.” A high opinion of the WCF is not the same as a high view. Evangelicals can have very high opinions of confessional formulations (e.g. helpful, good for guiding), but they stop well short of a high view (i.e. binding, authoritative, etc.) Views include opinions, and make includes influence. But the latter don’t include the former.

    So, whatever agent is more influential than another (e.g. school over a friend or vice versa) it still doesn’t “make” children. Only the home makes children. This is not at all to suggest that the home ought not take any care to guard children with regard to the myriad potential influences, for that would be quite absurd; part of the inherent function of the making agent is to govern influences.

    When the day comes for my children to begin their regular interaction with pagan culture, it is *they* who will be doing the influencing, not vice versa.

    Yes, I am quite familiar with the wildly over-realized sense of the sanctified self, but, to your mind, what does “be in the world but not of it” mean for your children? And, presuming this odd idea that they are somehow not a part of the world, how does one all of a sudden successfully navigate “regular interaction with the pagan culture” when one has spent so much time conditioned against it? Isn’t that like being raised to think Christianity and its adherents are untrustworthy, then expected at some point to join a church?

    “Should we keep our kids from pagan friends…?”

    Yes we should, lest they stumble into the paths of the wicked.

    It’s true, then. Theonomy really is the Reformed version of world-flight fundamentalism.

  9. Ron Smith says:

    “Influence” is not “make.” That’s our fundamental disagreement here.

    You are really good at this red herring business.

    In my first comment on this thread, I replaced “make” with “influence” in McAtee’s argument, and yet you still had a contention. Thus, the distinction between “influence” and “make” is not our fundamental disagreement.

    what does “be in the world but not of it” mean for your children?

    Not much, yet. I could ask what it means to you since the 2k kingdom of men is really no different than the kingdom “of the world”.

    how does one all of a sudden successfully navigate “regular interaction with the pagan culture” when one has spent so much time conditioned against it?

    Easy reductio: So ministers should not condition their sheep against sin so they can successfully navigate regular interaction with sin?

    It’s true, then. Theonomy really is the Reformed version of world-flight fundamentalism.

    No. Try to remember. It is only a couple paragraphs up. The day will come when my children begin their regular interaction with pagan culture. But they must be adequately trained for the conflict first. And it must necessarily be an interaction of conflict. That is our fundamental disagreement.

  10. Zrim says:

    Ron,

    In my first comment on this thread, I replaced “make” with “influence” in McAtee’s argument, and yet you still had a contention. Thus, the distinction between “influence” and “make” is not our fundamental disagreement.

    Right, my contention was that one cannot conflate “influence” and “make” and make the same point McAtee is. He’s saying that Weymouth is “making” human beings, and I’m saying they’re “influencing” them.

    Not much, yet. I could ask what it means to you [“be in the world but not of it”] since the 2k kingdom of men is really no different than the kingdom “of the world”.

    It simply means there is no way to escape the world, no matter how many or what kinds of fortresses one builds, but while we’re in the world we’re not to be of it (or is distinguishing between “in” and “of” a red herring the way that distinguishing between “make” and “influence” is? Somebody should’ve probably told Paul). In 1 Cor 5:9 Paul says to not associate with the immoral. But he qualifies it: “…not at all meaning the people of this world who are immoral, or the greedy and swindlers, or idolaters. In that case you would have to leave this world.” In other words, the world is the Lord’s and all that is within it; get up, Peter, kill and eat, do not call anything impure that God has made clean.

    (Me to you): “How does one all of a sudden successfully navigate “regular interaction with the pagan culture” when one has spent so much time conditioned against it?”

    (You to me): Easy reductio: So ministers should not condition their sheep against sin so they can successfully navigate regular interaction with sin?

    Your premise here is that the way to avoid sin is to avoid the unbelieving world, which has the premise that sin is “out there” but not within. But wherever you find human beings, believing or not, you will find sin. Are you sure you’re a Calvinist with a high view of total depravity and human sin?

    (Me to you): “It’s true, then. Theonomy really is the Reformed version of world-flight fundamentalism.”

    (You to me): No. Try to remember. It is only a couple paragraphs up. The day will come when my children begin their regular interaction with pagan culture. But they must be adequately trained for the conflict first. And it must necessarily be an interaction of conflict. That is our fundamental disagreement.

    I guess I still don’t understand why there should come a day when your children should have to interact with the pagan world since from K-12 the message is “do everything you can not to.” But even more than that, I don’t understand how it is that you actually believe they don’t already. Do they ever go to places of business, museums, sporting events, ever take a tour of Washington D.C.? My hunch is that they do. So, your theory doesn’t actually align very well with your practice. In theory you’re world-flight Anabaptist, but in practice it’s probably more world-affirming Protestant.

  11. Ron Smith says:

    Last try.

    You give me yet another easy reductio. By your logic, I should let my kindergartener drive a car now, or he will never be able to successfully manage it. But he is not mature enough to drive a car yet. Neither is he mature enough for repeated and extended interaction with Jesus-haters. For the sake of his soul, I protect him (for now) from driving a car, using power tools, going to the government school down the street, climbing up on the roof, etc.

  12. RubeRad says:

    Do they ever go to places of business, museums, sporting events, ever take a tour of Washington D.C.?

    Actually, my guess is they don’t. Ron, with all the work it takes to get that many kids bundled in & out of the van, have they ever been anywhere other than home and church? Well, they’ve been to my house, so I guess I should add homes of families from church and relatives?

  13. Zrim says:

    That’s closer to absurdum than reductio.

    But instead my kids driving cars, by your logic, forget power tools and cars, you shouldn’t let yours out of the blessed house to get the mail. And when he’s in the house, he shouldn’t get the remote for you. (After all, Jesus hating pagans invented the U.S. Postal Service and TV.) Boy, I’d almost love to be your kids, I’d have no chores.

  14. Ron Smith says:

    That’s closer to absurdum than reductio.

    It’s called a “reductio ad absurdum”. I was using “reductio” as shorthand. Maybe you all could add it here :). My apologies for the miscommunication.

    Rube. We go places a plenty. We eat out (remember we went to Denny’s with y’all? Kid’s eat free Tuesdays!), we go to the park, and the zoo (we went like 5 times this summer). I took the older boys to a few ball games at Petco Park last season. Let’s see, Peter Piper Pizza and a movie – we love that. It’s expensive, so we usually restrict that outing to birthdays. I take one to a few kids with me when I run mundane errands like going to the post office. They love just riding in my car with the music up and the roof open rather than in the old van.

    I’m not saying it’s easy or that we couldn’t do more. It is a lot of work, but we’ve gotten used to it. The work has lessened as our older children have become more physically independent and able to help with the younger siblings. I wouldn’t trade it for anything. I have never spoken to anyone who said they wish they hadn’t had so many children. But I have spoken to numerous people who wished they’d had more…

  15. Ron Smith says:

    Discussing this with my wife just now, she brought up one more crucial point that I’ll add. Then I am done for real.

    As I said, we go to the zoo frequently as we have received passes as Christmas gifts from wealthy in-laws. As you can imagine, we frequently come into contact with unbelieving thought concerning the age of the earth, Uncle George the Curious, etc. But my wife and I are there to give our children the truth so they won’t be confused and made to doubt the scriptures. We are there to tell them that in an effort to avoid God, man has devised a scheme called evolution, whereby (supposedly) everything just slowly came into being over billions of years without the Word of His power. They wouldn’t have that at a government school. And when they came home, they may or may not be able to tell us exactly what lies they consumed or what sorts of immorality they were exposed to by peers (and sometimes even teachers!), leaving us guessing as to how best to effectively inoculate them. The teachers may or may not be completely forthcoming about what they are teaching. (Teacher’s Union conventions rarely cover the 3 r’s (readin’, ritin’, rithmatic). They are mostly political. Why?) So conscientious parents of government school children are left to wonder what exactly their children are being subjected to.

  16. Paul says:

    It’s of course okay to teach your kids things about the world that you think are true. That’s loving them. Knowing true things is an end in itself. An intrinsic good. As Alvin Plantinga once said, we have a book that gives us certain facts about the world, so why should we limit ourselves from a set of truths?

    However, the problem I see in the above is the problem of helping with apostatsy. Some people’s faith is constructed of an intricate web of beliefs on all sorts of things, and of one comes untangled the whole thing falls apart. Fundies raised kids who couldn’t take a challenege. Christianity rises or falls with the age of the earth, for example. So, if one does become convinced, via good arguments, that the earth is older than 6,000 years, one also trades in his Christianity. Back when I thought Christianity was Arminianism, I droped the faith at 10 because I didn’t think libertarian freedom could be reconciled with omniscience. And I was taught, by my parents, that libertarian freedom was essential to Christianity. Those God-hating scientists and autonomy-loving Greeks were determinists. Determinism just didn’t fit within a Christian worldview and its effects had to be thwarted and the children protected from deterministic teachings.

    There’s false expectations put on the kids. False expectations are hazardous to your faith. And false expectations are fostered by theological mistakes. As my friend once put it: “Sometimes the very people who are the most dogmatic are also the most vulnerable. Because their belief-system is so unsophisticated and ill-prepared, they’re right on the brink of apostasy without knowing it. It only takes one little nudge to push them over the edge. They’re absolutely sure of themselves until a last minute crisis, at which point they suddenly jettison their former convictions and embrace the very thing they used to denounce.”

    My kids’ faith won’t be destroyed if they become convinced that the earth is older than 6,000 years. My kids’ faith can allow them to believe many different views of man’s constitution. Bahnsen would have us believe that anything other than substantival monism is just as “unChristian” as an ‘old earth’ is. Sorry, that’s just too sure and too radical for me. And besides, Bahnsen now knows he’s wrong. 😉

    Anyway, all that to say, sometimes this rigid and unbending worldview indoctrination may backfire like a dud firecracker. When someone believes that there just cannot be such thing as the paranormal, no one has psi abilities, and Christianity just is (among other things) hard-core TAG, YEC, theonomy, and postmillennialism; and they teach this to their kids, then when their kids come across the rather strong arguments against (or for in the cased of psi) these things, they drop their faith like a heavy rock from the Appalachian mountains.

  17. Ron Smith says:

    But Paul,
    You were all those things (except maybe postmil), and look. Did you drop your faith?

    I can only teach my children what I perceive to be the truth. As they mature, they will come into contact with many contrary views, both within the Christian world and without. They already come into contact with some, like old earth at the zoo. But what will keep them in the Church are the ordinary means God has provided to do so. Their faith is built, like mine, on the person of Jesus Christ, not TAG, YEC, etc. I do think, though, that teaching old earth to children confuses them and causes them to doubt the validity of the scriptures.

  18. Zrim says:

    Paul,

    I (skeptically) converted and (happily) married into fundamentalism, and I can say without reservation that you’ve nailed just what’s wrong with the rationalism and absolute certainty of the whole project. When someone left the faith for the “bright lights and big cities of sin” it was because that was the only alternative to certain legitimate doubts. The other option was Catholicism, which is just high-church fundamentalism.

    (Speaking of aliens: what does E.T. stand for? Because he can’t sit down.)

    Ron, your fundamentalism is getting in the way of your good confession.

  19. Paul says:

    Ron,

    If you haven’t been made aware, let me be the first to let you in on it: A simple mind reads generalizations as if they were absolutizations. Since you are not a simpleton, then I know you aren’t treating my generalization as an absolutization.

    But I thought you were done, “for realz.” Anyway, I dropped my equating Christianity with my belief that if you didn’t believe x, y, z, then you were beholden to anti-Christian myths, before I droped TAG &c. But I do remember quite a lot of people (maybe you include, Brisby was one, but he’s since come around) who, upon learning of my defection from the strong modal TAG, said they were “worried about me” and “hoped I didn’t apostatize.” Shoot, over at Butler’s blog, one of McAtee’s friends told me that I rejected SMTAG because of a love of sin and not for intellectual reasons. He said I was in love with my autonomy.

    So, you tell me. In fact, you made my point. If to doubt YEC is to doubt the validity of the Scriptures, and your kids do doubt the former, but still believe you about the latter, then we would have confirmation of what I said. Or take you, your faith hangs by a thread. For if you do someday understand that you are a scientific ignoramous (like me), and an exegetical one (like me), then you might say, “Well, the old earth math sure looks good, I just don’t see how I could rationally doubt it, and so since I do I must now doubt the Scriptures.” You couldn’t take that kind of blow.

    So, ironically, you came here and backed me up. I guess thanks are in order. Keep it up, next thing you know these guys will make you an OH Saint! 😉

  20. Todd says:

    Paul

    “Word” to all you have said. Also, theonomists tend to think that preparing their kids for the world is preparing them for warfare. It is preparing them to know their theology, economics, history, science so well that they can challenge the unbeliever they come into contact with, not being taken in by the lies of the enemy. In other words, preparation for dominion.

    But we non-theonomists tend to want to integrate our children in the world for different reasons. We want to teach them it is okay to eat and drink with sinners like our Lord exemplified, to befriend them, to understand their world and what drives them, to learn to get along with all kinds of people, to learn to sevr eht eneeds of unbelievers, to learn to say no to temptation from a young age, etc…

    My kids would never be allowed to call unbelievers “Jesus-haters” because they are taught to respect all people. So we each approach the issue of early intregration from completely different perspectives. And I am one of those who actually think the public schools are doing a pretty good job, all things considered.

  21. RubeRad says:

    Teacher’s Union conventions rarely cover the 3 r’s (readin’, ritin’, rithmatic). They are mostly political. Why?

    Because it’s not a Teacher’s Guild, it’s a Teacher’s Union. It’s primary purpose for existence is (like any other union) has nothing to do with jobcraft, but everything to do with job security.

  22. RubeRad says:

    My kids’ faith won’t be destroyed if they become convinced that the earth is older than 6,000 years.

    Mine either

  23. John Yeazel says:

    D.G. Hart in his book A Secular Faith gives the example of Daniel as a model we should follow in integrating our faith in the world. He shows how pietistic evangelicals miscontrued the book of Daniel with the song sung in many evangelical church’s Dare to be a Daniel, dare to stand alone (I remember singing this song during my years in evangelical church’s and it was always moving to me). Unfortunately, what the pietistic and world escaping theologians failed to take into consideration was the amount of time Daniel spent in the pagan educational establishment. He was more learned in the pagan thought structures and pagan ways and means than all his peers. What Daniel would not compromise was how he worshipped the God of Israel. This is what got him thrown in the Lions Den. That is why he would not eat certain pagan foods because these foods were involved in how they worshipped their gods. Daniel gained the favor of the worldly established order back then because he integrated his faith with his surroundings. He learned what he could from them and respected the established order -he did not seek to escape, overthrow and flee from it.

  24. John Yeazel says:

    Basically, it could be argued that Calvin and Luther did the same thing that Daniel did. They sought to bring the Church back to the proper worship of the God of Israel and then integrated the faith into the culture they found themselves in. They also argued that the Catholic faith during that time had corrupted the true worship of God with the sacramental, soteriological and liturgical practices which were commonplace in all the medieval church’s. Hence, we can still dare to be Daniels but it is much more involved and different then the evangelistic pietists or reconstructionists would make us believe.

  25. Ron Smith says:

    Zrim,
    Your liberalism is getting in the way of your good confession.

  26. Renee says:

    Do you guys have an opinion on the protest of the President ‘s up coming address to school children?

    I think fear and paranoia is taking over this country.

    http://www.swamppolitics.com/news/politics/blog/2009/09/obamas_backtoschool_socialist.html?obref=obinsite

    http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/local/chi-obama-backlash-04-sep04,0,3877121.story

  27. Ron Smith says:

    Paul,

    I meant I was done discussing the issue with Zrim since he isn’t addressing anything I’ve said, just making wildish assertions. My last comment was in the spirit of “what’s good for the goose…”

    But as for your last comment, I really don’t understand. My children neither doubt YEC nor the validity of the scriptures. Further, you are jumping to many conclusions about me and my faith.

    As for your generalization, I re-read it and see your point (I at first did think you were aiming it at me). If the “gospel” is taught *merely* as TAG, YEC, theonomy, and postmillennialism, then of course, that could screw some kids up. But I preach to my children a gospel of forgiveness of sins more than anything about theonomy, postmillennialism, etc. With 8 children now in the home, there are plenty of opportunities for all of us, parents included, to throw ourselves on the mercy of God in Christ.

  28. Ron Smith says:

    Todd,

    1. Pleased to meet you.

    2. I was just using the term Jesus-haters because Zrim used it as caricature of me. Of course I don’t teach my children to call people Jesus-haters and I teach them to respect adults.

    3. I am indeed preparing my children for war. (Eph 6:12) All parents are. The only question is which side they will grow up to fight on.

    4. Jesus ate with sinners to wage war against the devil and plunder his house. (Matt 12:29) So a disciple of Christ having a meal with a non-believer is warfare. Your dilemma between warfare and eating with sinners is a false one.

  29. Ron Smith says:

    John,

    1. Pleased to meet you.

    2. Daniel wasn’t a grade school boy when he went to be educated by the pagans. He had already been well schooled before he went to Babylon University (Dan 4:1).

    3. My children will study the works of pagans and I have no doubt they will be better schooled in pagan thought than the average government school grad. But they will study them from a Christian perspective so they can better identify, categorize and analyze whatever they come into contact with. Learning from the pagans is like learning formal fallacies. One should indeed learn formal fallacies, not so they can get good at committing them, but so they can get good at identifying them.

    4. I think I have aptly set to rest, in this as well as the preceding comments, any notion that the upbringing of my children can be characterized as “world flight fundamentalism”.

  30. Todd says:

    “Todd,
    “Pleased to meet you.”

    Ron, likewise.

    “I was just using the term Jesus-haters because Zrim used it as caricature of me. Of course I don’t teach my children to call people Jesus-haters and I teach them to respect adults.”

    Nice to hear

    “I am indeed preparing my children for war. (Eph 6:12) All parents are. The only question is which side they will grow up to fight on.”

    Our warfare is not against flesh and blood. Unbelievers are not the enemy. And being smarter than unbelievers on economics, science, etc… wins no wars.

    “Jesus ate with sinners to wage war against the devil and plunder his house. (Matt 12:29)”

    But many of those he ate with did not believe, yet he still befriended them. He was a friend of sinners partly because he simply loved people.

    “So a disciple of Christ having a meal with a non-believer is warfare. Your dilemma between warfare and eating with sinners is a false one.”

    The idea of befriending unbelievers as warfare – I cannot find that idea in the Bible. Where?

  31. Wayne says:

    Down By the Riverside

    Gonna lay down my sword and shield
    Down by the riverside
    Down by the riverside
    Down by the riverside
    Gonna lay down my sword and shield
    Down by the riverside
    Ain’t gonna study war no more.

    refrain

    I ain’t gonna study war no more,
    I ain’t gonna study war no more,
    Study war no more.
    I ain’t gonna study war no more,
    I ain’t gonna study war no more,
    Study war no more.

    Gonna stick my sword in the golden sand;
    Down By the riverside
    Down by the riverside
    Down by the riverside
    Gonna stick my sword in the golden sand
    Down by the riverside
    Gonna study war no more.

    refrain

    Gonna put on my long white robe;
    Down By the riverside
    Down by the riverside
    Down by the riverside
    Gonna put on my long white robe; Down by the riverside
    Gonna study war no more.

    refrain

    Gonna put on my starry crown; Down By the riverside
    Down by the riverside
    Down by the riverside
    Gonna put on my starry crown;
    Down by the riverside
    Gonna study war no more.

    I couldn’t resist. But to echo Todd’s point our warfare is a spiritual one that concerns itself with the state of men’s souls and not as much with being # 1 in the public arena.

  32. Zrim says:

    John Y.,

    Re Daniel, bingo. I wonder if 2Kers who suspend the rules when it comes to education have paid much attention to Hart’s point about Daniel.

    Ron,

    Re the “Jesus-hating” stuff, believe it or not, I was not doing caricature of you. This is my own language. It goes back to my point about whether one is spiritual or not (which I believe you called “presumptive, not Reformed and unbiblical”). One either loves Jesus or he hates Jesus, there is no middle ground. My beef with you, actually, is that you seem to think that Jesus haters are totally untrustworthy when it comes to the things of earth. They are, in point of fact, actually superior and highly trustworthy in these things. What they suck at are the things of heaven.

    Re Daniel at BU, there is no evidence that he went to “influence the pagans” or “do warfare” when he was in attendance or so he could revolutionize Babylon once he was graduated. Indeed, he went to work for the state and did so honorably and with respect. He drew his bright line at his worship because, as a stellar 2Ker, he knew the difference between obeying Caesar and worshipping him.

    Renee,

    Re the Obama school address brouhaha, there is nothing new under the sun. I guarantee you the work-a-day, evil pagan secular educators just want to teach kids the three Rs and couldn’t care any less about it either way. That’s about my outlook.

  33. Mike K. says:

    Zrim, have you read the latest issue of Evangelium from WSC? (RSC advertised it on the Heidelblog.) Most of the authors (iirc) except DVD affirm explicitly Christian education, specifically in the areas of common grace, including Michael Horton. The magazine isn’t the WCF, but it also isn’t adding stalls to this side of the Outhouse.

    Further, in Dever’s interview of DGH, Dr. Hart states that in spite of his authoring the ISI student’s guide to studying religion as an undergraduate in a normal college setting, he would generally recommend against it. The interview didn’t offer much time for elaboration, but if there is a wisdom in foregoing such attempts at education, and the public schools* are less than vigorous in their restraint from intruding on other spheres, it’s an understandable concern for Christian parents deciding to whom their children submit as instructors.

    *I realize that the public school teachers are often apathetic to transformationalist agendas of whatever stripe, but the administration and curricula can make up for that.

  34. Todd says:

    I hear in public schools that they eat Christian children also. It was on the Internet.

  35. RubeRad says:

    I have the Evangelium sitting right in front of me; I was planning to post a few quotes relevant to this discussion. Maybe tomorrow.

  36. Zrim says:

    Mike K.,

    I have consumed both the current Evangelium from WSC (mostly) and the Hart interview.

    I am inclined to think that education simply is the last frontier of a more consistent two-kingdom theology. I’m nothing if not realistic. There are just certain realities when it comes to a Reformed seminary and the questions of education/day schooling. I happened to think the Evangelium from WSC was quite charitable, even if the two-kingdom thelogy behind it wasn’t very consistent.

    Re the Hart remark, yes it was brief. But, given what I know and have read of Hart, my hunch is that what may have been meant was that the suggestion against may have revolved around the quality of education in a typical secular setting anymore, not that a particularly Christian setting makes up for anything.

    Which gives me opportunity to elaborate a little on my own views. The dirty little secret about education is that, like any other creation endeavor, it can be done well in any setting no matter what sort of theological pedagogy. The only question is, Is it being done well? Even as a rabid 2Ker, if our situation demanded it I would have no problem, for example, sending my kids to a local Christian school, even with its transformational theology, nor a Catholic school, with its theological idolatry. They both do education quite well. But all things being equal, we see the communiative and two-knigdom value in a public setting so it is our first choice. In fact, we opted for a charter school for our daughter’s first year (the local PS around the corner was unacceptable and we just weren’t convinced of the city’s flagship Christian school right across the street–as the charter was a distance away, we gave up convenience for principle). Three quarters through her first year, we moved to a section of town we’d always desired, and perhaps the leading reason was the excellent public schools. I know, “being a suburb of Grand Rapids, they are excellent because of the Christian influence.” Sigh.

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