Saturday, May 15, 2021

Why Christian Homeschool Families Need a Free Online Christian Curriculum - by Gary North

Remnant Review

This week, at age 79, I produced the outlines for the first two video lectures for my two high school courses on Christian economics. The courses will be part of a free online Christian curriculum, grades 1 through 12.

Each course in the curriculum above grade 3 will have 144 25-minute video lessons, plus daily reading assignments. There will be one essay per week in each course in social science and the humanities (literature and history).

I plan to teach these courses: Christian worldview, social studies, economics 1–2, government, Western civilization 1–4, Western literature 1–4, American history 1–2. If I live long enough, I will produce a four-year course on the Bible – specifically, biblical economics. All of this will total 2,700 lessons.

This will take four years. But I may not have four years.

Why am I doing this so late in life? Because it needs to be done, and I do not know anyone else who can do it.

Why does it need to be done? Because you can’t beat something with nothing.

I now begin my life’s second calling. I define a person’s calling as follows: “The most important thing you can do in which you would be most difficult to replace.”

I completed my life’s first calling in January of this year. I posted the final volume, indexed, of my four-part series, Christian Economics. I had begun my research in the spring of 1960. I had publicly announced this as my life’s calling in September 1963. Completing it took longer than I had planned. Such is life.

In February, I went through the second round of radiation for my prostate cancer. It was successful. My PSA number has dropped from 13 to 6. Anything above 4 is too much, but the direction is good. Nevertheless, my digital clock is silently ticking. I have no time to waste.

I want to explain my motivation.


I begin with this observation by Protestant evangelical historian Mark Noll. “The scandal of the evangelical mind is that there is not much of an evangelical mind.” These are the opening words of Noll’s book, The Scandal of the Evangelical Mind (1993). It was published by Eerdmans, the main publishing house for academic Protestant evangelicals -- what I call the “Wheaton College-Westmont College-Christianity Today axis.” For my views on Christianity Today, see my 1976 essay, "Drifting Along with Christianity Today."

Was Noll exaggerating? Not at all. There really is not much of an evangelical mind.

The situation in fact is worse than what Noll revealed. What little evangelical mind there is, is deeply compromised with humanism.

For a favorable review of his book, click here. The reviewer got to the heart of the matter institutionally. Noll did not.

Some readers will feel that he errs by being too charitable toward the secular academic world. If George Marsden, Bradley Longfield, and other historians are right about the growing hegemony of secular assumptions in the modern research university, it may be difficult for orthodox voices of any kind to be heard since they are excluded from the conversation to begin with. Yet Noll seems not to think so, or at least he seems to think that evangelicals do well first to focus upon their own shortcomings rather than outsiders’ prejudices.

A more troubling question is whether any religious person can expect to gain a hearing in the surging diversity of the modern academy. The only way for evangelicals and Jews and Muslims and the mass of academics who do not care very much about any faith to get along is to agree on certain rules of exchange, and those rules usually mean not talking about the issues that lie deepest in their hearts. The plain fact is that the pluralism of modern university culture makes the language of strong commitment difficult to sustain on a day to day basis.

The reviewer got this wrong: the educational system is not pluralistic. It is systematically monopolistic. Tax-funded schools are America's only established churches, as R. J. Rushdoony argued for decades.

The educational system is rigged against evangelicals. In tax-funded schools, it is legally rigged against them. It is illegal to invoke the Bible as educationally authoritative in a tax-funded educational institution. The U.S. Supreme Court has made this clear in a series of cases, beginning in 1962: Engel v. Vitale.

But it is not just that the system is rigged against them. They in fact have little to say. The reviewer has this right.

Evangelicals’ anti-intellectualism is no laughing matter. “The scandal of the evangelical mind,” he laments, “is that there is not much of an evangelical mind.” Since the movement’s birth in the transatlantic revivals of the early eighteenth century, it has brought millions to deep and lasting Christian faith. Even today, polls tell us, a solid majority of the folk who regularly attend and participate in the life of local churches are evangelical in belief and behavior. But in the process, Noll argues, they have paid a terrible price, for they have “abandoned the universities, the arts, and other realms of ‘high’ culture.”

Noll is incorrect. Evangelicals have not abandoned these things. On the contrary, they have embraced them. They have enthusiastically sent their children into humanism's schools, from kindergarten through graduate school, for well over a century. They have pretended that there is no civilization-wide war going on. They have pretended that the cultural stakes are not really very high -- marginal, really. They do not think their children are at risk. "Not my Billy Bob. Not my Jenny Sue. They are devout Christians." They are in fact lambs headed for the ethical and epistemological slaughter. But their parents have adopted a form of intellectual schizophrenia in order to make these conclusions plausible to themselves. "All education is neutral, after all." No, it isn't.

The dilemma facing the handful of evangelical and fundamentalist Protestants who attempt to resist humanism is this: they are trying to challenge humanism without a consistent, humanism-free worldview of their own. They face the reality of an old phrase in American politics: “You can’t beat something with nothing.”

It is not sufficient to announce that the prevailing establishment world of scholarship, literature, and academic hierarchies is intellectually bankrupt, even when the accusation is true. You also have to be able to offer a consistent alternative. When you see that the ship you are on is sinking, you had better be able to provide a lifeboat.

Protestant evangelicalism offers no lifeboat. It does not even have blueprints for such a lifeboat. It distributes a series of untested life preservers. It’s every man for himself. The water is close to freezing. Death through hypothermia beckons.

Noll is part of an unofficial trio of respected evangelical American historians. The others are Nathan Hatch and George Marsden. In 1989, I took exception to their interpretation of the United States as not being a Christian nation. I devoted Chapter 5 of my book, Political Polytheism to refuting their thesis. I think the United States is a Christian nation. I just do not think it is politically a Christian nation. And, I must admit, it is not academically a Christian nation.

In this essay, I am discussing academic evangelicalism over the last six decades. My thesis is simple: academic evangelicalism is intellectually schizophrenic. It is an unstable mixture of bits and pieces of the New Testament plus slogans associated with intellectual fads that were discarded by humanists a decade or two earlier.

This mixture has been developed since 1960. The fundamentalist world has never had an academic intellectual tradition. The evangelicals, sometimes called neo-evangelicals, have no extensive body of books and journal literature. Christianity Today was started in 1956 with support from Billy Graham. The movement had not had time to develop a body of academic literature by 1960. Calvinists and Lutherans had a long tradition in the narrow fields of biblical studies and church history, but not in social theory or the natural sciences.


A college student in 1960 who went searching for Bible-based answers to the systematic humanism and leftism of his college courses faced an intellectual wasteland. This included students in ostensibly Christian colleges. It is only slightly better today, even if the student knows where to look, which is unlikely.

I recognized this fact early in my years as a Christian. I was converted to saving faith in the summer of 1959. This was in between my senior year in high school and my freshman year in college.

During that summer, I went to a local Christian bookstore. It was tiny. The bookstore had no books on Christianity applied to any academic discipline. It was filled with cheaply produced Bible commentaries written by fundamentalists. There were lots of Bibles for sale. I do not remember anything else of substance. In subsequent years, I realized that a lot of the money in those stores came from the sale of greeting cards. Year after year, I went into those stores looking for any kind of academic help on such disciplines as psychology, economics, politics, and sociology. I never found such a book.

These under-funded bookstores targeted middle-aged fundamentalist women, most of whom had not gone to college. If they had gone to college, they had long since forgotten anything about the academic material they were taught. They were not interested in intellectual things. There was no market for scholarly books on social issues. There was also no supply.

It became clear to me by my sophomore year in college I was not going to get help from anyone in the evangelical Christian community regarding the content of the academic disciplines I was studying in college.

In the late summer of 1959, I attended the annual College Briefing Conference. It was held in Southern California. About 600 college students attended for a week. This event had been made possible by one woman: Henrietta Mears. She had been the Sunday school teacher at Hollywood First Presbyterian Church. Out of her lessons came the still-famous Sunday School materials published by Gospel Light publications. Gospel Light began with her materials. She was the only visible Presbyterian conservative after the 1936 purge of J. Gresham Machen and nine other pastors out of the 10,000 pastors in the Northern Presbyterian Church. I wrote a 1,000-page book on this: Crossed Fingers: How the Liberals Captured the Presbyterian Church (1996). Download it here. Miss Mears taught dozens of neo-evangelical Presbyterian leaders, including two men who became chaplains of the U.S. Senate. Another was Donn Moomah, who became Reagan’s pastor at Bel Air Presbyterian Church in Southern California.

Attendees at the conference were evangelicals and fundamentalists. The program’s directors brought in lots of evangelical Christian speakers. But there was only one full-time professor among all of the speakers: Bernard Ramm. He was a theologian, not a social scientist or a teacher in the humanities. Here was a conference targeting college students, but there were only five lectures from an intellectual. He had publicly denied the universal flood in his book, The Christian View of Science and Scripture (Eerdmans, 1954). He had no training in geology or engineering. As a theolgian, he had publicly denied the biblical text in the name of science. Yet he was the only intellectual brought in to teach 600 college students every summer. This was the largest gathering in the West Coast of evangelical college students. I suspect that it was the largest such gathering in the country.

About 25 years later, Ramm switched sides. He became a defender of the Swiss theologian, Karl Barth, who denied the literal accuracy of the Bible. Van Til wrote a detailed critique of Barth in 1962: Christianity and Barthianism. He showed through detailed exegesis of Barth's writings that Barth was not remotely a Christian. He was a Kantian dualist: half rationalist, half mystic. Ramm had studied under Barth in 1957-58. It took him a quarter century to switch in public.

In short, evangelical Protestantism in 1959 was an intellectual wasteland. There was no academic help anywhere on earth for fundamentalists. The students were thrown enthusiastically by their parents into the snake pit of higher education. “We’re so proud. Our child got into college. We never did.” Most of these students had spent their lives in the public schools. It was a smooth transition. There was no awareness in the evangelical world that there was a need to train these students in anything except not smoking, not drinking, and not going to dances. They were recruited by humanist professors in the first two years of college.

The only way for college students to survive intellectually was for them to adopt intellectual schizophrenia. They had to assume that there was no connection between what they read in the Bible and what they were being taught in school. They accepted both systems. This could only be done by implicitly assuming the irrelevance of the Bible for everything they were being taught in college. That was how they had been taught to think in public high schools, and they continued to accept this schizophrenia in college. They accepted it after graduation.

The neo-evangelical movement had begun in the early 1950's. There was some vague commitment to the idea that there should be a relationship between intellectual pursuits and the Bible, but there was nothing self-conscious about starting with the Bible as the criterion for evaluating both the categories and content of humanistic thought, ancient and modern. There was no attempt to replace Immanuel Kant with the Bible. There was no awareness of the universality of Kantian thought.


One man could have provided guidance: Cornelius Van Til, who was professor of apologetics at Westminster Seminary. Apologetics is the intellectual defense of the faith. He had received a Ph.D. in philosophy from Princeton University in 1927. He had been writing for almost two decades in the late 1950's. He was a brilliant philosopher. But he was not a good writer. He was not systematic. He had brilliant insights, but they are scattered through dozens of books.

He recognized that the most influential modern philosopher was Immanuel Kant, yet he steadfastly refused to provide the necessary intellectual tool for readers: a detailed critique of Kant. He would write about Kant in many contexts, but he would never cite any writings by Kant. He spent his 50-year career citing what are now long-forgotten monographs written from a Kantian perspective by now-forgotten university professors of philosophy. This strategy gave little help to anybody who wanted to find out what Kant actually wrote. He never interacted with any major philosopher’s original writings. Yet he knew how. He had spent graduate school at Princeton translating Plato and Aristotle from the Greek in order to discuss these writings with two other graduate students. He knew exactly what had to be done intellectually speaking, but he never did it. He studiously avoided doing it. This was self-conscious on his part.

It is not that difficult to do what I have described here. I began writing Marx's Religion of Revolution a year after I finished Van Til's beginner course in apologetics. The book was published when I was 26. I wrote it part-time as a grad student. I did what Van Til should have done with Kant. I interacted with Marx's major writings. I quoted major commentators on Marx, pro and con, in order to prove that my interpretations of Marx were plausible. Anyone with the ability to read critically can understand most of my book. I showed from a biblical point of view why Marx was wrong. The only book that Van Til ever wrote in which he critically assessed primary source documents was Christianity and Barthianism (1962). That book would have been far more effective if he had first gone through Kant's writings with similar care. He could have referenced his other book to make his case against Barth more coherent and more persuasive.

Presbyterian and Reformed began publishing Rushdoony's books in 1959. The first was his book on Van Til, By What Standard? Books published by Presbyterian and Reformed were not found in struggling Bible bookstores. His book opposing tax-funded education, Intellectual Schizophrenia, was published in 1961. Providentially, I was loaned a copy in the spring of 1962 by fellow student who was a member of the Orthodox Presbyterian Church, Rushdoony's denomination. That book changed my life.

On page 14, there is a footnote to Ludwig von Mises’ book, Human Action. I had never seen a reference to Mises in any Christian book. That footnote turned out to be the most important footnote in my life. I wrote to him. He wrote back. That summer, I attended a two-week conference sponsored by the Intercollegiate Society of Individualists. There, Rushdoony delivered ten lectures on what became This Independent Republic (1964). That was how I at long last began to find a way out of the swamps of academic humanism. But that was in my senior year in college . . . late.


I decided in my senior year to go to seminary. Rushdoony persuaded me to attend Westminster Seminary to study with Van Til. I knew by the end of the first semester that I was not going to find what I was looking for at Westminster. The seminary did not teach the six-day creation. No seminary did. It was clear to me after reading The Genesis Flood (1961) that adherence to the literal text of Genesis 1 is crucial for a plausible defense of the Bible's text. Yet this approach to the text was not perceived as being relevant to any seminary at the time.

Van Til did talk about the centrality of one aspect of the doctrine of creation: the Creator/creature distinction. But he did not defend the six-day creation. Neither did his colleague, Hebrew professor Edward J. Young. Young defended a six-day sequence, but he said the text does not require belief in 24-hour days. Teaching at Westminster at that time was Meredith G. Kline, who was vocal in his opposition to the literal interpretation of Genesis 1, sequential or otherwise. I left after one academic year. I went to graduate school.

In 1960, the seminary's refusal to teach the six-day creation was a long-established Presbyterian tradition. George Marsden, a Westminster Seminary graduate in 1963, and a prominent American church historian, wrote the following in a 1993 article, “The Ambiguities of Academic Freedom,” which was published in Church History. He was writing of Ethelbert Warfield, the younger brother of Princeton Seminary’s B. B. Warfield. Ethelbert was president of Lafayette College.

Warfield, like other conservative Princetonians, had no objection to biological evolution being taught in science classes, since that could be reconciled as a mode of divine providence. He objected, however, to theories of social evolution of religion and particularly higher critical theories of the social evolution of Judaism and Christianity because they threatened the foundational claims of biblical Protestantism (p. 223).

In the late 19th century, Princeton Theological Seminary was the hardest core Bible-believing Protestant academic institution in the world. Yet all of its faculty members accepted old earth geology, including Charles Hodge, who affirmed it in his systematic theology. Hodge was opposed to Darwinian evolution, which he called atheism, but he was ready to accept the basis of Darwinian thought, namely, James Hutton’s uniformitarianism.

There was no six-day creation movement in 1959. It was at that time that the fluid dynamics engineer Henry Morris and the fundamentalist theologian John C. Whitcomb were trying to get their book, The Genesis Flood, accepted by Moody Press. Moody Press in 1951 had published a book by Morris, The Bible and Modern Science, and had reprinted it in 1956. But this time an editor balked. He told Morris that the book had to say positive things about the American Scientific Affiliation, which was dedicated to persuading Christians that old earth geology is consistent with the Bible. It was only when Rushdoony intervened to get the book published by Presbyterian and Reformed that the modern scientific creationist movement began. (Morris talks about this in his book, History of Modern Creationism [1984], p. 154.) The Genesis Flood was published in 1961. It became Presbyterian and Reformed's first best-seller.

The creation science movement has systematically avoided all discussions of social theory. There is never any discussion about the implications of the six-day creation outside of geology and biology. This is why my book on the need for such a connection, Is the World Running Down? Crisis in the Christian Worldview (ICE, 1988), was never reviewed by any of the outlets in the creation science movement. There was a blackout on the book. You can download it here.


On page 50 of Intellectual Schizophrenia, Rushdoony wrote this about tax-funded schools:

The public school is a substitute institution for the Holy Roman Empire and the Roman Catholic Church of the Middle Ages and is a thoroughly medieval concept. A single culture is demanded, and the public school must create it. Hence, every group believing in and seeking to control that new Leviathan and grand monolith seeks control of the public school. But a free and pluralistic society requires the abolition of the public school and the tax support of the school in favor of a pluralistic education. The competitive aspect will ensure the quality of education, and the cultural implications of various faiths, philosophies and opinions can be given freedom to develop and make their contribution. Our society today, despite its pretensions, is not pluralistic except with regard to religion, which it considers a matter of indifference. In all else, it is monolithic. The Orthodox Christian can face a pluralistic society in the confidence that his faith can, given such freedom, establish its power and superiority culturally and religiously. He must realize that today agnosticism has secured the status of an established church by means of the institution of the public school, and this new religion must be disestablished.

Rushdoony in this book and in virtually all of his subsequent publications over the next four decades made it clear that there is a war for the minds of men taking place throughout the world. It is a war between the Enlightenment and Christianity. He maintained that the major battlefield of this war is the public school system. He was convinced that by de-funding public education, Christianity would be able to compete effectively against all comers.

On page 106, he wrote this:

More could be said to indicate the important contributions of the Enlightenment and its cultural development, one of whose great monuments is the modern school. It has been a movement of tremendous power, sweeping across every continent in only a few centuries. Nevertheless, while in many respects a great liberating force, it has been also the source of the greatest actual and potential slavery history has yet known. By its agnostic secularism, it has become the fountainhead of tyranny. The vast dividing line between God’s absolute legislative authority and man’s delegated and ministerial power has been dissolved, and the secular state made steadily the source of an absolutism exceeding God’s own exercise of power.

Two years later, in his important book, The Messianic Character of American Education, Rushdoony summarized the thinking of two dozen of the major philosophers and academic leaders of progressive education, beginning with Horace Mann in the 1830's. He showed through detailed extracts from their writings that their concept of the tax-funded school was messianic. By means of these schools, they proposed to save mankind, to create a new humanity. They promised that there would be reduced crime rates, reduced conflict, and new meaning in life, once the state had educated the masses.

In 1961, he was vaguely optimistic that the public schools had seen their highwater mark. In Intellectual Schizophrenia, he wrote this:

Government figures indicate that in the middle and late 1940's the state schools and 90% of the pupil population, with 10% in “private schools” of all classes. By 1959, the figures stood at 84% in state schools, and 16% in “private” schools. According to R. L. Hunt, "You can no longer take the public schools for granted” and he cites eight trends militating against such schools.

Mr. Hunt was incorrect. In 2016, there were 47.3 million students enrolled in America's public schools, kindergarten through grade 12. There were another three million in charter schools, which are public schools and governed by the Supreme Court's ban on religion in the public schools. There were 5.8 million students in private schools. There were 1.7 million homeschooled. The statistics are here. This means that 7.5 million students out of 57.8 million were outside of public schools, or 13%. It is worse than in 1959.

Christian parents continue to send their children into public schools. Yet the Supreme Court in a series of decisions beginning in 1961 has declared that no religious instruction is legal in tax-funded schools. So, in order to persuade Christians to support schools that undermine Christianity, educators have offered the doctrine of neutral education. Rushdoony spent his career arguing that there is no such thing as religious neutrality, above all in education.

That is why I am working on a free Christian curriculum. This may not persuade Christian parents to pull their children out of the public schools, but it will at least cut off this excuse: “We just cannot afford private school tuition.”


The humanist world decided a long time ago that it can ignore modern evangelical scholarship. That is because there isn’t any. Noll was correct in 1993. Nothing significant has changed since 1993.

There is a reason for this: the systematic abandonment of the concept of biblical casuistry. This began over three centuries ago. Christian evangelicals went onto the sidelines of society, cheering for either the humanism of the Scottish Enlightenment or the humanism of the French Enlightenment. After 1800, they became retroactive supporters of either the American Revolution or the French Revolution. They have had nothing authoritative to say, and the world understood this. They have had nothing authoritative to say because they insisted that the Bible does not deal with issues outside of the soul, the family, and the institutional church.

Read a Protestant book on systematic theology, other than Rushdoony’s. It does not deal with issues of church and state. It does not deal with anything except the individual soul, the institutional church, and maybe the Christian family with respect to divorce. It is silent on everything else. Everything else is adiaphora: things indifferent to the faith. This is why Protestantism has become adiaphora in the eyes of the world. The process began no later than 1700.

The three most popular k-12 Christian curriculum programs are a mixture of the Scottish Enlightenment and fundamentalism. That is because they were produced by fundamentalists.

Students are never introduced to the details of how the Bible speaks authoritatively to every area of life. There is a lot of talk about teaching the Christian worldview, but the instructional materials don't describe the details of what this uniquely biblical worldview is, how to defend it intellectually, and how to extend it into the world around us. There is a reason for this silence. The curriculum materials were written by premillennial dispensationalists who do not believe that the Christian worldview can ever be extended into the world around us until Jesus comes back with His angels to impose a top-down international bureaucracy. They never talk about the world that Jesus will set up after what they call the Rapture: the millennial kingdom. They never discuss how Christians today should prepare to exercise authority in the world after the establishment of the millennial kingdom. They believe that there is a radical discontinuity between the world we live in today and the world that will be established after Christ returns with His angels after the Rapture.

This view of a discontinuous future kingdom is why premillennialists have not developed a Christian social theory. They reject historical continuity. They have no suggestions regarding how Christians should start today to reform the world's institutions in order to conform the world to the principles and laws revealed to us in the Bible, Old Testament and New Testament. They do not want to talk about this. They say that they hold to “sola Scriptura,” but they really do not. They import the worldview of the Scottish Enlightenment as if it were Christian. That Scottish worldview was both humanistic and evolutionist. Darwin adopted the principles of social evolution that had been taught by the Scottish Enlightenment’s thinkers. He applied this worldview to biological development. Economist F.A. Hayek put it this way in The Constitution of Liberty (University of Chicago Press, 1960): “. . . there can be little doubt that it was from the theories of social evolution that Darwin and his contemporaries derived the suggestion for their theories” (p. 59).

For over three centuries, evangelical Protestants have avoided presentations of explicitly Bible-based social theory. They have not presented a theory of worldwide institutional reform that is based on the New Testament alone. They would have to go back to the Ten Commandments, the case laws of Exodus (chapters 21–23), and the laws of Deuteronomy and Leviticus in order to say anything explicitly biblical about the affairs of man outside of the church and the family. They are self-conscious in their rejection of Old Testament law, and therefore they are self-conscious in their unwillingness to develop a worldview. They say that they want to. They even say that they have. They have not, and they will not. They will not because they would have to abandon the inherent antinomianism of their position. They will not abandon it. So, they import the outlook of one or another secular humanist group and baptize it in the name of Jesus. I have discussed this in my book, Millennialism and Social Theory (1990). It is here.


Until 1973, there was nothing systematically biblical with which to challenge humanism. There was the mixture of Aristotelianism and the Bible in Catholic theology. But by then, Vatican II (1958–63) had unleashed the whirlwinds of liberalism, and the church was impotent to control this. Aristotelianism was gone for all intents and purposes by 1973. It was in that year that Rushdoony’s Institutes of Biblical Law appeared.

From 1673 until 1973 there was no attempt by Protestant scholars to apply biblical categories to society. In 1673, Richard Baxter’s A Christian Directory appeared. That was the last serious attempt of a Protestant to develop a system of casuistry: applying biblical principles to social institutions. In any case, almost nobody had ever read the book. It was gigantic, highly detailed, and generally unreadable.

Rushdoony went to the Mosaic law as his principle of ethical interpretation. The book was a large exposition of the importance of biblical law, especially the Ten Commandments, in social theory. He had spent a decade and a half criticizing major institutions of modern life, especially the public school system. But he had no alternative to offer. Only beginning in 1968, with his weekly sermons on biblical law, did he begin to develop a systematic alternative to humanism’s worldview.

He was all alone. His book received almost no publicity. It received little support within the conservative Presbyterian community. It was ignored by fundamentalism, because fundamentalism and evangelicalism are inherently antinomian: opposed to biblical law. They are committed to intellectual schizophrenia in social thought, just as he had argued in 1961.

Rushdoony had warned in July 1970 that abortion was going to become a major issue. In January 1973, the United States Supreme Court handed down Roe v. Wade, which legalized abortion on demand. For at least five years, the Protestant evangelical community remained silent on this issue. Only Catholics opposed the legalization of abortion. Protestant evangelicals regarded abortion as a "Catholic issue."

We are in a moral and spiritual wasteland. That is why we are in an intellectual wasteland.


This is why there has to be a complete reconstruction of education, from first grade through graduate school. But this reconstruction will not be conducted by the existing leadership of the Protestant world. They do not believe in Bible-based casuistry. They do not believe in the authority of the Bible with respect to the affairs of men outside of the family and the institutional church. They do not have confidence in the Bible because they have rejected the Old Testament, especially the Mosaic law and Genesis 1.

The intellectual leadership of Protestantism has been in retreat for over 300 years. The leaders have feared saying anything specific about social theory, society in general, and the abandonment of Christian ethics. They complain about the obvious social debauchery of each generation, but they are stuck with this problem: they cannot beat something with nothing. They have nothing authoritative to say. They know this. This does not seem to bother them. It means that “sola Scriptura” is a slogan without ethical content. This also does not seem to bother them.

From top to bottom, Christian educators have lived in terror of James Hutton. They do not even know who James Hutton was. Almost nobody does. It was Hutton who developed uniformitarianism, the theory that rates of geological change today have always been the same. This theory is the basis of old earth chronology. It was this outlook that was promoted by Charles Lyell, the geologist, beginning in 1833. It was Charles Lyell’s book that converted Darwin to his position while he was sailing on the H.M.S. Beagle. Captain Fitzroy handed him a copy of the first volume of Lyell’s book when he came on board the ship. When Darwin came off the ship five years later, he was a Darwinist.

It could accurately be stated by the vast majority of Christian intellectuals that “we are all Huttontonians now.” Yet virtually none of them has ever heard of Hutton.

Here is my conclusion. Education must be reconstructed, beginning with the first grade. The reconstruction is not going to come from the top. It is not going to come from the seminaries, the graduate schools, and the accredited semi-universities that Christians donate to. It has to come from the bottom.

Until elementary school and middle school Christian teachers have the courage to do this on their own, thereby challenging the intellectual legacy of evangelical Protestant leaders over the last three centuries, another generation of Christians will remain on the sidelines of life, vainly crying out “Christian worldview, Christian worldview,” when they have no Christian worldview.


This is why I have begun working on my free Christian curriculum. I remember clearly that I had no academic help in 1959. I went off to college devoid of any Christian worldview.

Each year, millions of naïve Christian parents send their children into the same snake pit that I entered in 1959, and which Christian teenagers had been entering ever since the late nineteenth century at Harvard and Yale, and which all of them entered after World War I.

This has to stop sometime. Soon, I hope.

Here are the bibliographies for the courses I plan to teach:

Call for voluntteers for grades 1-8:

Printer-Friendly Format