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Friday, January 25, 2013

Gone From The Public Square

Biblical wholism is the “breath of life” for academics, sports, arts, and autoshop. Without this soul, formal education has little meaning beyond "a gateway to a good-paying job." And that notion is fading! So rather than expound upon why dualism is bad, I’d like to focus on why wholism is good, and show how truly meaningful education is dependent upon Biblical wholism for its very lifeblood.  

As mentioned last week, the late Alan Bloom, a non-Christian University of Chicago professor, noted that the United States was once unified by a “vision for the order of the whole of things” which came from the “common culture” of the Bible. But this “vision for the order of the whole of things” is now gone from the public square, being confined to the four walls of certain churches, and private lives of certain individuals.

Why does this matter? Because we are all affected by its loss. People these days are shooting bystanders in shopping malls, strangers in movie theaters, and little kids in classrooms. Retirement savings have vanished because of toxic securities and shadowy dealings by graduates from Ivy League schools. On top of this, we live in a deeply divided nation. Could this possibly be related to the loss of a Biblical "vision for the order of the whole of things?”
There I go again, talking about the negative effects of dualism! But before I proceed with “why wholism is good," let me say a word about its spelling.  

Last week I received an e-mail from someone informing me that the word wholistic is not spelled with a “w.” In the past, I was informed of this by my computer spellchecker, too. But I fixed this pesky problem by adding wholistic to my computer’s dictionary. Now it is spelled with a “w.”
Blame for its coining goes to Darrow Miller and Bob Moffitt co-founders of Disciple Nations Alliance. In Miller’s book, LifeWork, he states: “Wholism speaks of the whole of God’s Word to the whole man in the whole world. We [Miller and Moffitt] recognize that wholism is a coined word. But we prefer it to the word more commonly used, holism, which has been co-opted by the New Age movement…”

I'm following suit. We'll continue next week with why wholism is good. 

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Friday, January 18, 2013

The Bane Of The Wane

When it comes to the debilitating effects of Dewey's "Common Faith" on young minds, I am not as concerned about atheism as I am about dualism, and the resultant normalization of the Sacred-Secular Divide [SSD] throughout society, including the Church.

To one degree or another we’ve all been infected by SSD. But whether a person realizes he or she has been infected is quite another matter, and this is what makes SSD so difficult to cure. Whereas atheism is easy to spot, dualism is more subtle, like an unrealized parasite in the gut. While atheism is viewed as an enemy, dualism is our bedfellow, as common as a twenty-dollar bill. Kids don’t just catch it in public schools. They catch it in church, and in unwatchful Christian schools.

Let me present my case, starting with the disappearance of wholism. I'm starting here because to understand the bane of dualism, we must understand the wane of wholism  
Allan Bloom, who was not a Christian, wrote a book in the ‘80s, titled, The Closing of the American Mind.  Bloom taught at Cornell University, the University of Toronto, Yale University, and the University of Chicago. In his book, Bloom observed the following:
"In the United States, practically speaking, the Bible was the only common culture, one that united the simple and the sophisticated, rich and poor, young and old, and—as the very model for a vision of the order of the whole of things, as well as the key to the rest of Western art, the greatest works of which were in one way or another responsive to the Bible—provided access to the seriousness of books. With its gradual and inevitable disappearance, the very idea of such a total book is disappearing. And fathers and mothers have lost the idea that the highest aspiration they might have for their children is for them to be wise—as priests, prophets or philosophers are wise. Specialized competence and success are all that they can imagine. Contrary to what is commonly thought, without the book even the idea of the whole is lost.”

I would be hard pressed to come up with one paragraph that explains the problem better than this one. We have lost the very idea of the whole of things. With the wane of the "total book," [the Bible] the idea of the whole is lost.
Dualism is the bane of the wane.

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Friday, January 11, 2013

Thirteen Year Dose

If we think American schools are religiously neutral, we must think again. Of course, if the public schools were overtly indoctrinating children in Buddhism, or Native American Animism, many parents would hit the ceiling. (Maybe.) But when it comes to the indoctrination of children in Dewey's "Common Faith," Christian parents are curiously passive. 

Apparently enough Christians think secularism is "neutral," and if kids can learn to read and write well enough to enter a university, they'll give secularized education a pass. Apparently enough feel that if teachers don't stand up in front of a class and say, "The Bible is a fairy tale," things are tolerable. Yet when teachers don't connect the Word of God seriously to a single academic subject over a period of thirteen to seventeen years, are those teachers really being "neutral?" [Consider last week's post.]

My biggest concern about young Christians being indoctrinated into secularism via education is not that they will become atheists. My biggest concern is that they will become dualists.  

A Christian dualist is one who reads the Bible, prays, goes to Church on Sunday, maybe teaches Sunday School, and yet doesn't make any substantive connections between God's Word and what goes on in the workplace for 40-60 hours Monday through Friday at Boeing, because he or she thinks "faith" is a personal matter, and the workplace is "public," and therefore "secular." The Christian dualist doesn't mix the Word with Boeing because he or she never mixed the Word with math, science or economics over thirteen to seventeen years in school, so why mix it now with Boeing? Building airplanes is a "secular" endeavor, isn't it?

Really? Where exactly is this "secular" world, anyway? [See Where Is The "Secular" World?]

In short: after a thirteen year dose of secularism (even via the best Christian teachers who would never speak badly of the Bible), a young Christian is most likely to come out the other end as a dyed-in-the-wool dualist, thinking the Bible is relevant to Church life and personal life, but not relevant to business, law, politics, medicine, or driving a bus, because it wasn't relevant to language arts, history, social studies or sports.

Many Christian parents who attended secularized schools themselves don't see a problem with their children attending them, because they "turned out OK." But my question is: Did they?

Did we?

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Friday, January 4, 2013

Which Faith Will Be Allowed To Mix?

Back to education...

The realization that Dewey’s “Common Faith” has taken prominence over the former Judeo-Christian consensus during the past eighty years in this country has given rise to no small sense of alarm. The church is [slowly] coming to the sober realization that America’s biblical foundations for law, civil government, and education have been replaced. Eighty years of public secularization through education has been enormously successful.  

The matter of not mixing faith with public schools needs to be carefully reexamined. The question is not whether faith will be allowed to mix with schools, but which faith will be allowed to mix? The fact is, faith is being mixed with public education daily. It’s just a different faith than the one previously mixed with schools for 200 years.
If it is not allowable to teach kids that the world was created by God, and yet it is allowable to teach them that the world came into being on its own, is it not equally a faith position to teach that God did not create the world as it is to teach that He did? If it is a faith statement to say, “God created the world,” is it not also a faith statement to say, in so many words or lack thereof,  “God did not create the world"? Are not both statements of faith?

To teach kids that God did not create the world can be done effectively without actually saying those specific words. A teacher does not have to stand in front of a class of students and tell them “the Bible is irrelevant to the discussion” in order to effectively communicate that it is.
If it is not allowable to teach kids that God has spoken to humanity through the Bible, and that His Word is the universal standard for morality, and yet it is allowable to teach that moral values are "clarified" by society, based on human notion and desire, then is it not an equally religious position to teach that God’s Word is not the standard as it is to teach that it is? Are not both positions faith positions? If it is a religious statement to say, “God's Word is the standard for morality,” is it not also a religious statement to say, in so many words or lack thereof, “God's Word is not the standard for morality?"

That's been the message for decades.

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