"Great are the works of the LORD; they are pondered by all who delight in them." Psalms 111:2
Wisdom in schools
We can easily identify the failure of godless schools: their aim has been to produce an educated society, but school leavers plainly have a weaker foundation of knowledge and skill than previous generations; they have aimed to produce an enlightened society of peace, but the most schooled generation in this nation’s history is its most violent and divided.
The only solution offered is to increase the school leaving age - force children to take more of the failed cure-all of a godless education! When the poisonous medicine of schooling without Christ fails, they want to increase the dosage and lengthen the treatment. This is why God describes the wisdom of men as foolishness.
But the wisdom of God brings life. Where schools make Christ their centre, a curriculum of true wisdom enlightens minds and equips children with skill for vital and faithful life in adulthood.
Wisdom and knowledge begin in the fear of the Lord and stand in Christ. This changes everything studied in school.
Schools that love wisdom - schools in which Christ is central - will bring the Bible’s light to bear on every aspect of schooling. Children will be taught in consistency with the Christian faith so that instead of being taken captive by “hollow and deceptive philosophies” they will daily “take captive every thought” for Christ.
Everything that can be studied comes under the heading of what God is and does. All his nature and his works, so far as mere men may know them, are to be pondered and are to become motivation for delighting in God. The school that loves wisdom will shape its entire curriculum within this framework.
Here, briefly, are some examples of the difference God’s wisdom makes.
God speaks: language is not man’s invention but an attribute of God. He has chosen to reveal himself by spoken and written word, even calling his most perfect revelation “The Word”. God speaks with perfection, and man in God’s image must strive for that perfection.
English therefore is primarily God-centred. Children in an English speaking culture must master its richness and be fluent in all its forms for it is by English God approaches us and we him. Communication with others also demands precision and skill.
The Bible, and non-fiction literature that exemplifies the focus of the Christian mind (whatever is pure, true, of good report ...) will be more important than the ungodly tendency to use literature for escapism. Where true wisdom prevails, children will be taught the God-given structures of phonics and grammar, and the importance of accuracy in spelling and vocabulary.
God has given his creation a diversity and order that he holds together moment by moment. Mathematics is one aspect of created order. He enables man to explore, describe and manage the wonders of creation.
The Greeks taught that mathematics would bring order and understanding to what they saw as the irrational spiritual world shaping their lives. This religion still motivates the mathematical attempt to make everything rational. Instead of increasing understanding it confuses and makes mathematics so abstract that children give up, unable to see any practical use for it.
But the Bible explains the unseen spiritual reality - mathematics studies God’s handiwork. Study need not be limited to mere utilitarianism: it delights in all of God’s wonderful creativity. The foundational teaching of maths’ basics opens a delight in God who maintains numbers, space and order just as he promised after the flood.
Destroy history and the Bible is irrelevant. Godless schools replace history in junior classes with studies of people in the past resolving human problems. In secondary classes, history is viewed through philosophies such as Marxism - everything is reduced to economic or naturalistic cause without ultimate purpose. Children are taught not to judge by God’s law because it is “culturally inappropriate”.
Christians know that history is the study of God’s rule in time. As men respond in faith or rebellion, God brings grace or judgement according to his will, intervening in the affairs of men supernaturally. What happens is never the result of nature alone - Christ rules. History has purpose and direction, centred on the crucifixion and culminating in the return of Christ. The guiding light of God’s law can be applied to all that happens so that this generation can serve him uprightly.
In godless schools art is used as a medium to escape rational meaning and heighten experience. Skill becomes less important than emotion, and beauty is defined without God.
True wisdom shapes an art curriculum that delights in beauty as God defines it. It uses skill, passed from one generation to the next, so that the hope and purpose of life and creation are displayed with God- centred delight: the focus is not our experience but the glory of God.
Life, and the universe of order and diversity can never make sense unless they “declare the glory of God.” Godless schools emphasise method in place of knowledge in science lessons because man without God cannot use knowledge as a source of meaning. If evolution is true, concepts of constancy and reliability in creation are meaningless. So science is used to train children to seek experiences that will give meaning to life.
Christians value detailed and comprehensive knowledge of the universe, knowing that it is a finite and terminal setting in which to serve God. Children in Christ-centred schools are taught knowledge and skill for a life of service, and encouraged to marvel at the complexity and consistency of God’s revelation in creation.