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Tri-City Christian Academy

150 West High Street
Somersworth, NH 03878

Phone:
(603) 692-2093

Website:

Philosophy & Approach

Day in the Life

General School Mission

"Education is inescapably a religious concept. Regardless of the educational environment (government school, Christian or secular private school, or home school), at root are stated or unstated religious presuppositions about God and man that justifies and advances the educational agenda. Religion, after all, is nothing more than an attempt by man to identify the ultimate source of Law; that is, what, or who, determines in an absolute sense what is morally right and what is wrong. Observes Christian theologian and philosopher Cornelius Van Til, "The question of knowledge is an ethical question at root. It is indeed possible to have a theoretical knowledge about God without loving God. The Devil illustrates this point. Yet what is meant by knowing God in Scripture is knowing and loving God: this is true knowledge of God: the other is false."1 Christians believe that Christianity is the only "true" way to know God because Christianity alone correctly identifies the source of all Law as the Triune God of the Bible. Christian education, therefore, seeks to understand the facts of the world, not as independent, unrelated, random events existing in a moral vacuum, but in terms of man's relationship to the one and only Creator of all the facts of the universe, the God of the Bible.

We say, then, that all education is inescapably religious, because all education points men toward or away from the ultimate source of Law. Humanist-Statist education points men away from God. Chris-tian education points men to God. Humanist-Statist education denies God. Christian education affirms Him. We say as well that there is no neutrality in education, just as there is no neutrality concerning one's religious convictions. What we know of the so-called "facts" of the universe are, at best, interpre-tations, and our interpretations of the facts must and will be based on the fundamental philosophic and religious presuppositions we bring to the investigative process. Having "filtered" and "adjusted" the facts to fit a preconceived idea of the way the world is, our conclusions can't help but be influenced by what we already believe to be true. But the Bible clearly says that there can be no neutrality, that we are not free to "adjust" the facts, that all men are either "with" God or "against" Him, and that all men are regarded by God as covenant-keepers or covenant-breakers. The role of Christian education is to ac-knowledge (presuppose) the existence of God, and allow the "facts" of the universe to follow, to His glory. There is no fact of the universe existing independent of God, just as there can be no true knowl-edge without first presupposing the existence of God. Every atom of the universe exists as the personal handicraft of God. If education is the imparting of facts we believe to be true, Christian education uniquely begins by acknowledging, and honoring, the all-powerful, all-knowing Triune God of the Bible. Because what we think we know we can only truly know by first knowing Him. "A state curriculum," writes theologian R.J. Rushdoony, "to be true to itself must teach statism. A Christian curriculum to be true to itself must in every respect be Christian."2


The Education Battlefield

We will attempt to identify the distinctives of a "Christian" curriculum directly. But first we must come to grips with the designs and purposes of so-called "public" education, as government schools have assumed a virtual monopolistic influence over the lives of the vast majority of American families with school-aged children. Samuel Blumenfeld, in his landmark exposé, Is Public Education Necessary?, be-gins by addressing a number of public education "myths". These myths include the belief that public education is "a great democratic institution fundamental to America's prosperity and well-being"; that public education is the great "equalizer" of American society; that public education is "ideologically neu-tral"; that public education provides the best education money can buy; that public education, embodied in its local schools, "belongs to the community"; and, finally, that society "cannot live without it." 3

Whether or not society can "live without it" is a question many of us, Christians and non-Christians alike, would like to put to the test, but the fact remains that public education as we know it today did not exist until the mid-19th century, and did not originate in America at all. The use of centralized, publicly-financed, government-owned schools was imported from authoritarian Prussia, and we "lived without it" throughout the formative years of our nation, somehow managing to produce generations of men unri-valed in their industry, independence, insight, and eloquence. But what began admirably enough in the Biblical commonwealth of New England's "common schools" (which recognized literacy as the principle means of maintaining Biblical orthodoxy), sunk with the ascendancy of Unitarian liberalism in its capture of Harvard University in 1805. Says Blumenfeld, "Once the significance of that event is understood, the intellectual history of America suddenly begins to make much more sense, for no event has had a greater long-range influence on American intellectual, cultural, and political life than this one." 4

The issues were monumental: the nature of God and the nature of man. The Unitarian liberals, con-vinced of the innate but environmentally repressed goodness of man, and the power of public education as a liberating force, rejected God the sovereign, law-making, predestinating King of the universe, and replaced Him with a hapless, helpless God, in need of man's assistance. From here it was but a small step to rejecting God all together, for no God is better than a feeble God. If God was unable, or unwill-ing, to improve the human condition, they reasoned, institutions of man's own making would. The cen-terpiece institution for implementing what amounts to a cultural coup de tat would be universal public education, controlled by the liberal, hard-core anti-Christian elites themselves. The kind of "education" they had in mind, however, was not simply the transmission of objective "facts," but rather a deliberate process of subtle, and often not-so subtle, behavior modification that would, over time, replace the na-tion's bedrock belief system of moral absolutes and Christian theism with the moral relativism of secular humanism. By the early 1900s, the education of our children, a duty regarded by Scripture as sacred and the sole responsibility of the child's parents, had been reduced to a grand psychological and sociological experiment in which the traditional belief systems of students would not only be systematically ignored, but viewed as disabilities. "Every child in America entering school at the age of five is insane," reflected Dr. Chester M. Pierce of Harvard University in a 1972 address to the Association for Childhood Educa-tion International, "because he comes to school with certain allegiances to our founding Fathers, toward his parents, toward a belief in a supernatural being, toward the sovereignty of this nation as a separate entity...It's up to you [psychologists and psychiatrists] to make all these sick children well..."5 The goal of "public education" has never been the education of children in the classical sense of mastering aca-demics; the goal of public education is - as it has always been - the "engineering" of a new kind of citizen. Their kind of citizen, parroting a socialistic, centralized, Statist, relativistic world-view. Once the true goal of public education is understood, it can hardly be portrayed as the "failure" many claim it to be. Evidenced by the millions of docile, entertainment-driven, dependency-oriented semi-illiterates produced every year, "public education" has succeeded far beyond its originator's wildest dreams.

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Excerpted from the preschool's website