CONNECTING THE DOTS: I remember the first time I was given a book full of dots. I turned from page to page. I am sure I had a puzzled look on my face. There were so many dots and they seemed so random. What did they mean? It was all so confusing to me. I set the book to the side. It must have seemed to my parents that I was not interested. Then my brother picked up the book. I watched him. A pattern began to unfold as he started connecting the dots. Then I realized that the dots were not just some random collection. There was a pattern.
As I was growing up this is the way education seemed to me. Everything seemed like a random collection of dots: information - information - information! Isolated and unrelated! That is how I perceived my education.
What did it mean? How did it fit together? Or did it?
It wasn't until after college that I realized why my education was the way it was. Education in Europe and then America was being manipulated during the 1900's. Before the 1900's the information presented in schools fit into a pattern revealing the influence of the Judeo-Christian view of the world. In other words, the lines connecting the dots pictured the assumptions of Christianity and the impact Christianity had in shaping Western Civilization in all areas of study.
With the emergence of the Progressive Movement in the 1900's, the lines connecting the dots were being slowly erased. The arrangements of the information in schools were intentionally isolated and unrelated! The Judeo-Christian world view was being blurred. This was necessary in order to insert new dots and new connections in the schools. What would emerge? A new picture - a picture based upon secular humanism.
The dots and corresponding lines connecting the dots revealing the Christian world view were being systematically replaced by new sets of dots and lines! This was amazing! The transformation of a culture was taking place. A transformation in a new way of thinking.
The Apostle Paul warns of the possibility of being taken 'captive through hollow and deceptive philosophy, which depends on human tradition and the basic principles of this world" (Colossians 2: 8).
CORNERSTONE CURRICULUM: In 1984 Shirley and I started Cornerstone Curriculum to help parents in the preparation of the next generation. Because we now live in a secular culture, we must be consciously preparing the next generation - our children -
in such a way that they will not be taken captive by these thoughts. We must be establishing their lives upon the Biblical world view. They must be "rooted and built up in him" writes Paul.
In 1996 I introduced World Views of the Western World - a comprehensive high school curriculum equipping students to build their lives upon a Biblical world view and to expose the false ideas of our culture with the truth - in every area life. Students read original documents to see where current thoughts originated. For example, they read in Plato's Republic of the "Noble Lie" where politicians are told that they must lie to the public because the public doesn't know what is best for them. They read the Federalist and Anti-Federalist Papers to better understand the issues of their day and ours! They will compare the teaching of Marx and Keynes with those of von Misses and Hazlitt in order to see which ideas produce an abundance for a society.
These are just a couple of examples where students see that ideas have consequences. When students connect the dots, two major patterns result: one of progressive ideas deeply rooted in Greek and Roman thinking and the other demonstrating a Judeo-Christian heritage. In the political arena, who we elect to office is critical. In the education arena, what we teach our children is critical.