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Education and Truth

April 16, 2019
By John Morrison, Former GCS Head of School

Now that I have fully transitioned out of my former role as head of GCS, I have been able to step back a bit in gaining perspective in “looking back” and evaluating Christ-centered education as it is practiced at Grace.

One of the interesting dynamics on which I have reflected pertains to the issue of why parents choose GCS and similar schools for their children.  According to Independent School Management, a private school think tank, parents engage with private education for one or more of the following five reasons: safety of their child, loving and affirming faculty, character education, faculty expertise, and academic rigor.  As a parent whose four children have graduated from GCS, I am certainly in agreement that these are important reasons to be involved with GCS.

However, I believe there is an even more compelling reason, which is to soak our young people in the radical truth that is grounded in Christ and the biblical worldview. Paul was quite clear about this priority in stating to the Colossian believers: “See to it that no one takes you captive through philosophy and empty deception, according to the tradition of men, according to the elementary principles of the world, rather than according to Christ” (Col 2:8).  How seriously do we take this and similar biblical admonitions? Isn’t this a fundamental principle which should undergird the nature of our children’s education?

This and related biblical exhortations are one reason the folks at GCS have worked so hard to take Christ-centered education far beyond merely tacking on Bible verses and Bible class to the “regular” curriculum.  Staff have invested many hours in learning what it means to integrate biblical presuppositions about truth, as grounded in scripture, into all subject areas.  Indeed, in our opinion, such integration is an essential dynamic in genuine Christ-centered education and is consistent with Paul’s admonition from Colossians 2:8 as stated above.

The five reasons stated above for enrolling in a school like GCS are important.  As a parent, I wanted my four daughters to benefit from each of those reasons. And we worked hard to ensure that our children were not deprived of a well-rounded education and extra-curricular opportunities as a result of attending a small school with limited resources.  I believe the GCS track record over thirty-nine years speaks for itself when it comes to these important issues.

But more importantly, we must ask ourselves as parents and educators: “Have we radically grounded our children in the biblical worldview?”  Frankly, if we are Christians who subscribe to biblical principle, an education permeated with biblical worldview assumptions and truth must be the primary criteria for our children’s education.  If we as parents, or if we as GCS staff, are not given to this first priority, I fear that we have drifted away from a truly Christ-centered understanding of the kind of education we are commanded by Christ to give our children.

May God help our roots grow deeper in thinking clearly about this priority as we are rapidly entering times where orthodox Christianity is being caricaturized by the popular culture as bigoted, prejudiced, intolerant, and out of step with “the world.”  Christians had better be prepared for what is upon us in terms of our being marginalized by mainstream culture. And nowhere is this more apparent than in how we educate our children in a society increasingly antagonistic to Christianity.

The notion that education can be religiously neutral is a myth.  At no time has the need to be fully given to ensuring that our children are receiving an education where Christ is at the very center been any more important, lest, as Paul states, their “minds are led astray from the simplicity and purity of devotion to Christ” (2 Cor. 11:3).

PS.  A friend recently sent me this clip from the Dr. James Kennedy Ministries of an interview with Dr. Everett Piper, president of Oklahoma Wesleyan University, concerning the priority of Christian education.  Dr. Piper minces no words and steps on more than a few toes. Listen to his interview from about the 14:15 to 19:00 minute marks.

https://www.djameskennedy.org/video-detail/1913ttt-discerning-good-and-evil

If you would like to respond to this blog, please email grace@gcswarriors.org.