Education (part 50)
There is really only one antithesis—all the differences in educational theory are reducible to the one question of a personal God. Sometimes the best way to define what we are trying to do is to understand its opposite—i.e., the antithesis. If we say that education is adjustment of the growing child to its environment, such a definition is meaningless unless we also define what we mean by the "environment" to which the child is to be adjusted. It is apparent from the start that the non-Christian and the Christian views of environment stand opposed to one another: non-Christians: an impersonal universe; Christians: a personal God (As the apostle Paul tells us, "In Him we live and move and have our being" Acts 17). Every Christian parent and Christian educator must come to grips with this point as Dr. Cornelius Van Til observes:
And anyone who comes to grips with it at all will sense the impossibility of thinking of Christian education as being ninety or sixty or thirty or ten percent like other education, the only difference being that Christian education adds certain elements or emphasizes certain elements that secular education neglects. When viewed from this absolute standpoint Christian education is not even a fraction of one percent like public education. The different conceptions of God that underlie the two educational theories cover every point on the whole front and cover them before and behind, without and within.