Lost Purpose Exposed In Education

Lost Purpose Exposed In Education

To The Reader’s Forum:

The late great thinker and outstanding Bible teacher Dr. RC Sproul in his series “The Consequences of Ideas” noted how profoundly ideas shape culture. Though the ideas may appear obscure, they’re very much present in framing the minds of the young and impressionable. It used to be that education was buttressed with the worldview of the Bible. Just consider the original universities in America, like Harvard and Yale established to train pastors. In place of rigorous and sound theological training , those universities today incorporate rinky-dink gender studies into their religion degrees. Historic educators like Benjamin Rush, Noah Webster and Williams Holmes McGuffey thought it unimaginable that American education would ever forsake the Bible.

The times have flipped. We are living in that unimaginable time. Men like John Dewey saw fit to remove the influence of the Bible and replace it with the philosophy of pragmatism: just do whatever works.

Spinnng off of pragmatism, philosophies of positivism, pluralism and relativism became entrenched in government-run schools. These nutty philosophies, Sproul noted, basically say that there are truths, but no truth; there are values, but no value and there are purposes but no purpose.

When Sproul’s daughter was enrolled in a Massachusetts public kindergarten, the principal of the school met with a roomful of parents to explain why the students were being so meticulously and methodically taught. Every activity had a purpose. Everything in the day was designed with a purpose in mind. Complimenting the principal’s well-delivered explanation, Dr. Sproul then asked him a point blank question: “What’s the ultimate purpose of it all? In other words, what are you shaping my daughter into and why?” Instantly blushing then turning pale white, the principal remarked, “I don’t know.” Dr. Sproul thanked the principal for his honesty, but added, “Your answer terrifies me.”

A nagging purposelessness gnaws at the soul of an aimless society. Why the drug crisis and the suicide epidemic? Pragmatism and other hollow philosophies reap what they sow. They offer no ultimate purpose, yet the education philosophy in classrooms today remains entrenched in them. Unlike the dominant vain philosophies permeating all forms of government-run education, an overarching transcendent meaning , purpose, value and truth pulsates from the Bible. What’s the purpose of man, according to the Westminster Catechism? Answer: to glorify God and enjoy him forever. Stealthy fatuous philosophies shut students off from the fountain of ultimate purpose, value and truth springing forth abundantly in the Word of God. It’s time to recover the lost purpose in education and life.

The Rev. Mel McGinnis



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