Perhaps you’ve seen this video that has recently gone viral on Facebook.
A few thoughts…
1. Having interacted with several hundred Christian homeschooling families from all over the country over the past many years, I can testify that this is NOT an accurate representation of Christian homeschoolers. In the past year alone I’ve watched Christian homeschool students engage in serious academic research, write and present well-sourced papers, debate subjects like the Syrian Refugee Crisis, and listen thoughtfully and respectfully to the opinions of others in Socratic discussion. I’ve yet to encounter a single family like those presented here.
2. I don’t doubt that there are some Christian homeschooling families in our country marked by great ignorance. However, this is also true of many families who have chosen public or private school for their children. It would be very unfair to judge all public schooling by the poor thinking of a select few students.
3. Christian homeschooling families who are marked by ignorance are like this in spite of Christianity, not because of Christianity. The Bible makes bold claims about this world, and it is not afraid to engage the opinions and beliefs of others. The apostle Paul was the preeminent spokesman for the Christian faith in his day, and we find in his writings a familiarity with the ancient Graeco-Roman thinkers and philosophers. The apostle John was clearly very familiar with Philo and the ancient Greek discussions about the logos.
The worldview presented in the Bible encompasses every field of thought – mathematics, science, history, economics, philosophy – and equips believers with solid ground to view these subjects rightly. Christianity is about light, seeing things as they are – not darkness. Moreover, the Bible is thoroughly rational, using logical arguments and reason to instruct and persuade.
Christianity teaches its adherents to engage the world, confident that the biblical worldview is true, good, and beautiful, and can holds its own in the arena of ideas. Families who teach their children to ignore reason or science or the opinions of others are acting contrary to the example set for them in Scripture. It is an unChristian approach to Christian education.
4. For Christian homeschooling families, let this be a reminder to us that it is more important to teach our children how to think than what to think. Yes, we should instruct them in truth. But we must also equip them with the skills to think logically, calculate accurately, and speak eloquently. We must give them the intellectual tools to discern fact from fiction for themselves. We should not be afraid of independent thinking in our children, but should engage with them in asking important questions and walking with them in finding solid answers. Christianity is not a house of cards, but a mighty fortress – we do not need to fear it falling down. If we pray for our kids, give them the lost tools of learning, and lovingly speak truth to them, we can have good reason to believe that God will bless and their faith will be strong and reasonable.