Friday, August 8, 2008

Two Plus Two Equals Five. Or At Least They Think So.

Aristotle said man is body and soul, and he was right, but not altogether right. He was missing one major part of the person—the spirit. A missing part, after all, can be a big deal. The person with ears and nose, but no eyes, is hardly the person one wants to drive him on his next outing. The blind person may be good at a great many things, but the loss of sight is an impairment. Physical wholeness is taken for granted by so many of us. Yet, wholeness in education is too-often overlooked. It is as if philosophical blindness is just what we have come to expect at schools; we accept it as the norm. Worse, we often don’t even notice the if we are blind ourselves. Secular education is misguided because of its incompleteness: it has gone askew because it is blind.

G.K. Chesterton noted, “Falsehood is never so false as when it is very nearly true.” Two plus two isn’t actually five, but it is close. The danger in Godless education is not that the secularists teach algebra and astronomy; it is that their overarching philosophy—godlessness—is a kind of defiling thing. It is a blend of fact and fiction, myth and reality. A false equation only has to be missing the tiniest detail to be wrong, but secularism misses the biggest part. Replace manure for chocolate in a batch of brownies and see how edible they are. The one foul ingredient defiles all the rest. It is like committing adultery with a prostitute while declaring fidelity to one’s wife; Light and darkness are incompatible.

Secular education cannot include God, because belief in Him would contradict its teachings. Thus, the truth is suppressed in unrighteousness. God is subtracted from the equation and replaced with the ideology of humanism. Christian education, on the other hand, can include subjects like science and astronomy, because these teachings do not contradict the existence of God.

Monday, August 4, 2008

Cosmos or Chaos?

When one begins to explain an apparently simple object, such as an egg or a mushroom—anything to do with life—one finds the task to be more complex than it would seem. To say that an egg is oval is to describe the surface of the thing; to say it contains trillions of protons, neutrons and electrons and everything needful to sustain life (molecules, atoms and DNA) is to go a bit deeper. To explain something as simple as a beam of light could seem easy enough, but even Einstein spent most of his life pondering this simple yet complicated element of nature.

In a similar way, it would prove deficient to classify everything into categories of good and bad, or even good and evil, for the matter goes much deeper than it would seem. God’s division between life and death, the clean and the unclean, is not an easy equation for the human mind to grasp on its own. It is no wonder that mystics and pagan philosophers do not see the whole. Without the all-encompassing perspective of Christ, everything is but a jumbled mess of fragments and shards.

The word “philosophy” means the love of wisdom. To the Christian, philosophy is the love of Christ, for He is Wisdom. His Light alone rightly enlightens. “Let there be light” (Genesis 1:3) was the first command. God brought order to the chaos by speaking; it was the Holy Spirit brooding over the surface of the deep Who brought God’s commands to fruition.

Later, God spoke to Adam and Eve; He forbade them to eat from the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil…because He was protecting them from chaos, darkness and death. The man and woman, sadly, refused God’s instruction. They listened to the serpent’s lie and became the first students of knowledge without God. Secular education is nothing new.