Irritations

Here is my thing against the notion of Christian schools. We have that notion here, and it seems to be based on a whole lot of Van Til (not a fan, me). The rationale seems to be that since all things belong to God, unbelievers have no knowledge, learning or understanding at all. The result is that they are despised and what they teach is considered tainted, inferior, common, worthless.

I told a person here that my problem with this Van Til worldview stuff (he holds) is not what it affirms but what it denies (the allusion to Theological Modernism was lost on said person, though he is the nicest fellow in the world). It is manifestly untrue to say that the unbeliever knows nothing, not even a leaf. It is just ideology to assert that because in Christ is all wisdom and knowledge, outside of Christ there is nothing but folly.

Because there is nothing outside of Christ in the sense in which we are speaking of these things.

So how are the unbelievers despised? Well, you have the straight out contempt you can find by reading Van Til. You can find stupid books by dull wits dismissing, misrepresenting, and generally behaving unworthily–you can tell by the cover and you don’t have to read them. Or you can go to a school in which the main criterion for a teacher is not excellence in the discipline taught, but that they be Christians.

Even if those teachers are worse?

What if the criteria, I say, were simply excellent Math teachers for that, Language teachers for that, and so on? I realize that is too bare for any real life hiring process, but does that defeat the point? Surely being a good math teacher involves something of the person’s character, but does it necessarily mean that person is going to be a Christian? I don’t think so, and if you have been to a decent university of little or no religious affiliation and gotten good training from good teachers, my guess is you don’t either.

The problem with despising learning, true learning, of any sort and despising it in any way, is that you have cut yourself off from it to some degree. You cannot learn well and at the same time be contemptuous of learning and of what is truly learned. At least, you can’t learn as much as if you were to love learning and insight and wisdom for its own sake wherever you were to find it.

Isn’t it a lack of humility when a Christian believes he knows more than for example Socrates on the rather dubious notion that his worldview is better, when said worldview is scantily informed by his not entirely profound understanding of some information acquired from the Bible . . . and all the unexamined else?

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One thought on “Irritations

  1. My acquaintance with nearby university profs (minor as that acquaintance may be) is that they are excellent in and serious about their subject and life in general. And of varying character. My experience with Christian teachers (which is much more vast) is that they are at varying levels of competence and seriousness in both their subject and Christianity. And of varying character. I’m beginning to doubt Christian schools (other than seminaries) serve any positive function at all.

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