In a thought-provoking new e-book, Christian Overman addresses the important issue of The Lost Purpose for Learning. He begin with a 19th century quote from Princeton theologian A.A. Hodge: “It is self-evident that on this scheme, if it is consistently and persistently carried out in all parts of the country, the United States system of natural popular education will be the most efficient and wide instrument for the propagation of Atheism which the world has ever seen.”
This statement by Hodge certainly turned out to be prophetic. Christian Overman points out that before the federal government took over the schools, education was primarily a Christian endeavor. That isn’t to say that all teachers were Christian. But it means that there were certain foundational ideas about God and the world that were part of education in America.
When we turn to the topic of Christian education, we find that sometimes it hasn’t done much better. The reason is the acceptance by so many Christians of a sacred-secular dualism (what he calls the SD infection). They put spiritual things in the sacred realm and things related to the physical world in the secular realm.
You end up with Christian education where the class begins with prayer, but the teaching is essentially no different from secular education. The academic material is similar to what is provided in the public schools and only have a little bit of Christianity sprinkled on the top.
Christian Overman is pleading for a holistic Christian education. Here is how he would evaluate a Christian school. He says he would ask the headmaster: “What specific training have your teachers received for designing lesson plans that will help my children see God’s purpose and intentions for what it is your teachers are teaching?” Most headmasters could not give a good answer to that question.
You need to get a copy of this e-book because it not only identifies the problem but offers specific solutions.