Join HOW
Local Groups
National Groups
Free E-Newsletter
Convention
Statewide
Contact HOW
Purpose Statement
Faith Statement
Membership
Free E-Newsletter
Getting Started & Legal Requirements
Legislative News
Parental Rights
Homeschool Legal Defense Association
Educational
Homeschoolers Of Wyoming (H.O.W.) Homeschoolers Of Wyoming (H.O.W.) Banner Ad
Homeschoolers Of Wyoming (H.O.W.)
From HOW eNews Issue 8, Volume 3

The One Indispensable Constituent of a Good Education
By Kevin Swanson, Keynote speaker, HOW 2012 convention

The right theory on education is pretty important. If you get it wrong, you will ruin the next generation. For parents this is important, because most parents do not want to see their children ruined. But which is the right theory of education? People really trust the theories of thinkers like Jean Jacques Rousseau, Fichte, Marx, Mann, Dewey, Hirsch, or Montessori and they follow them. Mostly they follow the revolutionary thinker of the 18th century, Jean Jacques Rousseau who postulated a K-12 education funded by the state that would "withdraw the child as much as possible from parents and relatives." (Durant: Rousseau and Revolution, 179). This was his recommendation for the modern world, upon abandoning five of his own babies on the steps of an orphanage, withdrawing them from parents and relatives and remanding them to the professionals.

But God's theory on education is quite different than the theories that men have come up with in the modern world. In a book called the Bible, you will find a unique form of education that develops out of passages like Deuteronomy 6:7, Ephesians 6:4, 1 Thessalonians 2:11, and the book of Proverbs, quite different from that which we have inherited from the modern humanists. The book of Proverbs is the primary source that lays out this theory in method and content.

Proverbs begins with an introduction of six verses explaining that the purpose of the book is to give wisdom, instruction, and knowledge to a son. This is God's book on education. Then, the seventh verse immediately introduces the most basic constituent of a good education for a child.

"The beginning of wisdom is the fear of God."

The idea of fearing God bothers some folks because it does not sound much like love. But it should make sense that a father be both respected and loved at the same time. In like manner, the heart perspectives of love and fear towards God are not contradictory but complementary. Moreover, there is no way that anyone will ever love God for the love that he demonstrated at the cross of Christ, unless he has first come face to face with the magnitude of his sins against God, which drove the nails into the hands and feet of God's only begotten Son. The atonement is meaningless to anybody who does not first fear the God who brings severe punishment upon those who violate his law. If one does not fear God first, he will never love God.

If the beginning of wisdom and knowledge is the fear of God, then one should never teach anything without this very basic foundational truth either clearly expressed or assumed.

What then would constitute a good science class, for example? Picture the instructor describing the order, the beauty, the complexity, the expanse, and the glory of the universe, the human body, and the animal kingdom. Then, he lifts his arms and says in a whisper to the class, Silence for a moment! All of you, stand in awe of him! Stand in awe of him! Let us worship the mighty Creator of heaven and earth. Anything short of this is not good science.

The history professor will discuss the bubonic plague that destroyed 1/3 of Europe in the latter half of the 15th century. But unless he turns around and tells his students to fear the God behind it all, the One who does his will in the whirlwind and in the storm (Nah. 1:3), he has failed to teach good history.

Occasionally I will run into folks who want to teach character in the public schools without the fear of God. What an incredible oversight that would be, especially when one realizes that it was the book of Proverbs that established the preeminent content of a good education as character! Even when the Bible is taught in modern public school classrooms as Bible as Literature, it is not taught in the fear of God. Or what about the sex education classes that encourage abstinence? They will tell young people not to avoid some sexual activity to prevent the incidence of sexually transmitted diseases. The message to teens is clear: Scientists are working on better ways to prevent STD's, but until that happens it would be better to abstain except with one life partner (or maybe two). If the beginning of wisdom and knowledge is the fear of God, then the first lesson in every sex education class should be a discussion on fearing God, because he is the one who first wrote the words, "Thou shalt not commit adultery. . ." And, "Be not deceived. God is not mocked. Whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap. . ." And, "The eyes of the Lord are in every place beholding the evil and the good."

What happens to children who have ingested an education over twenty years from pre-school through university training, complete with 1200 textbooks and 250,000 pages of science, history, and literature, none of which emphasized the fear of God, let alone assumed God as real? The inevitable result is that God is no longer much of a factor in our reality (metaphysic), truth, or ethics. God is a distant and far away reality from modern man. That is why articles like this one are so strange to average person.

I want my children to see God as an ever present reality in their lives. Last year our family was traveling through Wyoming on vacation, heading west on I-80 in the dead of winter. It was about 8:00 pm and my wife was driving on dry pavement at full speed. I drifted off for what seemed like a moment, when I woke to my wifes screaming, Help me Jesus! Apparently, she had hit a patch of ice formed by blowing snow on a high point in the road, and instantly I realized we were sliding sideways down the freeway. There was only one thing I could do. I joined in with my wife, yelling, Help us Lord. Help us now! Now! Please? It was a very charismatic moment, prayers going up to God in rather disorderly fashion.

In mere seconds, God took the vehicle and moved it onto the center divider where the vehicle plowed through 18 inches of snow for about one hundred feet. As we came to rest, we could not tell that we had stopped, for the snow had covered the entire vehicle like an igloo. Peering outside, I announced to everybody that we had come to a stop. We woke up the children. We trembled, and wept, and cried out to God, Thank you oh God for saving our lives today! And together we sang To God be the Glory. There was somebody else in the car with us. We knew that he was there. He was there!

But what happens to a civilization that neglects to root an education in the fear of God over successive generations? It will eventually destroy knowledge itself. Scientists would be unable to distinguish between the science that drops a ball 100 times, and notes that mass seems to attract other mass to itself by a gravitational pull (at a probability of 99%), and the science that takes a look at a rock and calls it 4,325,000,000 years old. With equal levels of dogmatism, they conclude that force equals mass times acceleration, and then look at 600 factors that might cause global warming, and insist that the world will come to an end as we know it in 100 years unless we replace our SUV's with mopeds. A science without the fear of God will produce a hubris that can only end in irrationality.

As one scientist told me recently, There is no essential difference between the science of Darwin and the science of Boyle, Newton, Pasteur and Pascal. What a breathtaking lapse in clear thinking! What exactly did Darwin give the modern world, but one lousy hypothesis concerning origins. Such blurring of science and pseudo-scientific guesswork began with Darwins hypothesis of species-evolution by a survival-of-the-fittest mechanism. While millions of scientists worldwide pursued this new pseudo-science with appropriate levels of hubris, thankfully there were men who feared God like Boyle, Newton, Pasteur, and Pascal who produced multiple advancements in the engineering and medical sciences as they took real dominion over Gods green earth with real observable, measurable, and reproducible science.

What happens to the minds of men who wander for 150 years without acknowledging their need for the Creator and His truth? Their scientists will busy themselves with worthless projects like extracting gold from lead, or acquiring clones from unfertilized parthenogenocized zygotes, or building towers that keep falling down. Science without the fear of God will in the end prove to be futile, and fatal in the brave new world without God.

This basic constituent of a good education represents the sharpest difference between the Greek Classical form of education and the Biblical form of education. In his 300-page tome on Rhetoric, Aristotle somehow forgot to mention meekness among his virtues of courage, justice, wealth, and beauty. Yet compare that to Peters three-line treatise on Rhetoric (1 Pet. 3:16,17), where he slams home the importance of engaging in rhetoric with meekness and fear - meekness before men and fear of God. These are radically different theories of education. Unfortunately, I see little emphasis on either of these in most rank-and-file, speech-debate programs among homeschooling groups. In vain I scan through the manuals in search of any real interest in what God has to say about rhetoric. I would hope to find a chapter or even a paragraph on meekness and fear. The consequences of knowledge without the fear of God and humility before men will be counter-productive to the interests of the kingdom of God. Everybody wants to make an impact, and Jesus promised that the meek will inherit the earth, but they have to be meek first!

What happens to a nation that doesn't teach the fear of God as the beginning of wisdom for five generations? What happens to a nation that will not build its house upon Jesus and his words? When the rains come and floods rise, that house will come down, and great will be the fall of it (Matt. 7:27)! That nation will find 37% of children born without fathers, up from 6% in 1960, and half of marriages ending in divorce. That nation will become the greatest debtor nation on earth and inherit the weakest families in the entire western world. Sound familiar?

 

Banner Ad

Site Map Contact Us Technical Difficulties? Webdesign by Classy Mouse Technologies