Greg Sheridan in God is Good for You- a defence of Christianity in troubled times, (everyone should read it) says some provocative things about Christian schools. After exploring things churches are doing to impact society, he says, “a bigger challenge for all Christian churches is to use Christian schools more effectively to teach the content of their religion.”
And adds, “Once Christian schools were dry and scholastic … in their religious instruction. … Now they are hip and groovy and driven by the exploration of situation ethics, comparative religion, topic-focused individual modules of study and activism, social justice, environmentalism and other fashions. What they are not doing is providing any systematic knowledge of the content of Christian belief.”
This is serious. State schools and universities refuse to teach the foundations of western civilisation, but Christian schools must not. Basic to that foundation is a knowledge of, and respect for the very content of the Christian faith! And that means teaching students theology.
As a result says Sheridan, “Most Christian schools … do not produce graduates who practise their faith into adulthood or even now in any serious way the content ... of their faith.”
I know of families whose children have been taught real content for what they believe. If asked ‘What is God’ they have a ready answer. Ask them “what is man’s chief end?” Again they have the answer. They have been taught answers from the great Shorter Catechism, learning its 107 Q&A’s by rote. Rote learning is generally given short shrift today. But cognitive psychologist David Ausubel teaches the need for the mind to know definite content in order to make life meaningful. He advises that the mind needs structure or advance organisation to help the mind to understand further material.This is where the benefits of catechetical teaching really shine.
So how Christian are Christian schools? And how effective in passing on the faith?
David Hall, To Glorify and Enjoy God, BOTT 1994
About this blog
Welcome to my blog where you can read about books, bods and battles for the truth. Your comments are invited.
Minister, pastor, evangelist, convention speaker, college lecturer, private pilot, invitee to minister in India, Singapore, Indonesia, Kenya, Cyprus USA and China, CEO of a Sydney church Retirement Village and author of four biographies - these are some areas in which I have served Christ for more than 60 years. Called to preach at age 16 I have served mainline and independent churches in all States save the NT. Decades of ministry, have led me to conclude that "judgment has begun at the church of God". Where will this end?