Monday, October 7, 2013

A Response to Albert Mohler Jr.

Just recently, Albert Mohler Jr. wrote a blog post on the question "should Christian parents send their children to public school?" As a Christian and a public school teacher I think there are issues with Dr. Mohler's post. 

Mohler's Analysis in sum 
Dr. Mohler provides a short history of education from the late 1800s to the 1980s. He says American education originated in "the village." Parents controlled most of the curriculum in their child's school. This began to change with the arrival of the industrial revolution. Cities grew and farm life shrunk. Yet, parents still had a major voice in public schools. 

Things changed. "Educational authorities... pushed for a 'progressive' understanding of education." People like John Dewey pushed for a "liberalism," forced through the separation of church and state, and taught secularism. This took a long time. Also, the Supreme Court handed down decisions that destroyed the local communities. The parent lost control over their children's education. Mohler calls this an "ideological revolution."

Everything from homosexuality, evolution, postmodern concept of truth, revisionism in history and naturalism are coming into the schools. If your school doesn't have it, it soon will. Yes, there are Christian educators, but that's not how things were. So, Christian parents are now saying no. 

Mohler's Answer 
Dr. Mohler doesn't give an answer to the question. I think he implies his answer with statements like"If these developments have not come to your local school, they almost surely will soon." He sounds more like a prophet then a theologian.  

What is wrong with this Analysis
The basic problem with Mohler's analysis is he is not doing theology. He reduces American educational history to this: American education was going really well until the big guys in Washington stepped in and messed it up. This is a philosophical and historical point.  He is giving a philosophical analysis of the state and history of education. He hasn't given a Biblical argument except that parent's have a Biblical responsibility for their children's education.  

I think this is a case where Dr. Mohler needs to be quiet. He is in higher education, not secondary or elementary. He is a theologian, not a historian or educator. He is not working in his role. Let those who are trained in this area do the historical analysis and philosophical work. 

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