The Purpose of Christian Education

In preparing for homeschool this semester, Heather and I are reading through R. J. Rushdoony‘s excellent book The Philosophy of Christian Curriculum.  In the following quote, he makes a great point about the purpose of Christian education, tying it in with the rejection of the secular-sacred distinction, the state of the modern church, and the ultimate goal of dominion over the earth.  Well worth the read.

[A] Christian liberal arts curriculum should enable the student to exercise dominion over the world.  The purpose of the Christian school should be to prepare generation after generation to dominate every area of life and thought.  A monastic education is not Christian.  It is not the legitimate purpose of the Christian school to prepare the child or student for a retreat from the world.  Too often, however, this is the case with “evangelical” churches and schools.  The student is summoned to withdraw from the world into a cloistered area in which the person is insulated from the problems of the world.  Usually, the evangelical student groups at many colleges and universities are the most difficult of all groups to speak to.  Some of the students have drifted into a compromising neutralism.  Others accept the faith of the world, and they attempt to combine, for example, creationism and evolution, and are unwilling to hear an uncompromising statement of Christian faith, or they have retreated into a sterile pietism which substitutes prayers and the singing of childish choruses for systematic theological thinking.  Not surprisingly, many “evangelical” conference grounds are now being called, or their sessions are called, retreats; the term has been borrowed from monastic life, and it means that Protestantism has surrendered all too extensively its militancy for pietistic retreat.

R. J. Rushdoony,  The Philosophy of Christian Curriculum, Kindle Locations 589-598 (Chalcedon Foundation, Kindle Edition, 2013) (emphasis added) (Sorry for the quote from the Kindle edition with the locations, but that is all I have of this one!)