LAMBERT J. FLOKSTRA
PROFESSOR OF EDUCATION
Grand Rapids, Michigan
Get this document as a PDF file
This document has been reproduced for the world wide web by the Calvin College Education Department in July 2000 thanks to a grant from Calvin College. If you have any questions about this document or others in the Calvin College Monograph Series please contact Dr. Robert Keeley at email@example.com.
CHRISTIAN EDUCATION -- TRADITION OR CONVICTION?
For the Christian Reformed Church the Centennial year just past has been one of self-examination. Though our Christian school system is not institutionally a part of the denomination (our schools are not parochial schools), yet our program of Christian education is so intimately bound up with that of our Church that we view the two as organically related. It is well, therefore, that as we enter this second century of the Christian Reformed Church we attempt to make an evaluation of our educational enterprise. I welcome the opportunity to address myself to this problem.
In reviewing the history of our Christian schools, we can, speaking broadly, discern three stages of development. The first is that of humble beginnings and struggle. We might call this the period of infancy and childhood. The impetus which gave rise to our first schools was the teaching and preaching ministry of the church. Inspired by the Calvinistic Renaissance in the Netherlands, finding its expression in such movements as the Afscheiding and later on the Doleantie, the ministers in our pulpits were essentially proclaiming, be it imperfectly, a full-orbed gospel of the Kingdom, a gospel that in the best of the Christian tradition was cosmic, rather than narrowly soteriological, in scope. Fortified by creed, theology and a sense of history, our church called upon its members to live and act responsibly in all of life's relationships as citizens of the Kingdom of God. It was inevitable that under such preaching the Christian community should sense the need for a positive program of education for its youth, a program having as its goal the development of intelligent and responsible citizens of the Kingdom.
It is apparent that this view of Christian education is quite different from the one controlling the recent establishment of Christian schools by evangelical and fundamentalist groups in our land. Schools of the latter type represent, on the one hand, a negative protest against the growing secularism and anti-Christian spirit prevailing in many of our public schools and on the other an admission that the church and the home have failed to do their duty. These schools view as their primary task the need of leading youth, first of all, to personal commitment to Christ. Though we rejoice in the growth of such schools, we should not be blind to the essential difference between the two systems. We assume that the children in our schools are, by virtue of the covenant and baptism, citizens of the Kingdom and as such need Christian nurture. This assumption (it need scarcely be added) does not exclude the need for personal surrender to Christ but makes it an integral part of the total educative process. Our basic goal is not that of commitment; it is rather that of teaching the child who has been dedicated to Christ the meaning of this dedication for citizenship in the Kingdom.
During the first stage of development our schools had a slow growth. Not all of our membership, not even all of our clergy at the outset had caught the vision of the program of the Kingdom. Our constituency was a small struggling immigrant group. Lacking cultural sensitivity in general, let alone that of a Christian view of culture, and faced with economic struggle and necessity, many were slow to respond. Gradually, however, one Christian community after another established schools. By the time of the first World War our school system extended from coast to coast, from New Jersey to Washington.
By that time it had emerged from its period of infancy and childhood and entered upon its second stage which we can designate as that of adolescence. One of the characteristics of adolescence is that of growth and expansion. I do not merely refer to the spurt of physical growth during that period. More significantly I have in mind such psychological phenomena as widened interests, broadened sympathies, and extended horizons. These expanded outlooks indicate the urge of the adolescent to gain recognition, to achieve status and to attain the freedom and independence of adulthood.
Our Christian schools during the second stage of their development reflect both of these aspects of growth. Not only did the enrollments and the teaching staffs in the existing schools show a rapid increase but many new schools were established. Accompanying this physical growth there was an eager desire to obtain respect and recognition in the American educational world. Our schools were no longer Dutch and isolated; to a considerable extent they had become Americanized. Efforts were expended on all fronts to raise the academic standards in the schools and to elevate the professional status of the teachers. The leaders in the movement were determined that in regard to such matters our schools were not to be one whit inferior to American schools generally. Our teachers were encouraged to further their education in the colleges and universities of the land and many of them, not satisfied merely with a college education, carried on graduate work toward advanced degrees. Real progress was made; in many respects we were becoming "up-to-date."
There is, however, one aspect of this development that should not be overlooked. The prevailing philosophies in the colleges and universities, especially in the schools of education, are naturalistic and pragmatic in their emphasis. Our teachers were exposed to a type of mind that was antithetical to the Christian mind. This situation demanded that, in their studies, they adopt not an attitude of uncritical acceptance and appropriation but rather one of intelligent discrimination, disciplined by their Christian commitment. To exercise such discernment, however, was not an easy task. One may seriously question whether we have escaped the danger of incorporating in our educational theory and practice viewpoints and emphases prevalent in the American educational world, that are essentially inconsistent with our Christian outlook.
Gradually, however, our schools emerged from the age of adolescence and entered upon that of adulthood and maturity. In the last decade or two our school system has become of age. In several of our churches more than 95% of the children attend the Christian school. Our system is now also fairly well established as an integral part of the American educational scene. Many of our schools have been fully accredited by state departments of education and regional accrediting associations and their graduates are making a creditable showing in institutions of higher learning.
One of the dangers of adulthood is that of complacency. Having achieved a measure of success and distinction, many an adult manifests a comfortable conformity to the existing state of affairs. One can detect this sense of complacency among many supporters of our Christian schools. A sizable proportion of our constituency send their children to our schools because it is the accepted and proper thing to do in our circles; not to do so would be tantamount to non-conformity with the mores of the group. A smaller number among our membership view the Christian school as a private school in which there is a relatively homogeneous group of "nice" children from the middle class homes and in which at least a minimum level of academic standards is maintained. In both cases there seems to be a lack of positive conviction as to the necessity of Christian education.
Another characteristic of adulthood and a more favorable is that of reflection and appraisal. Adults possessing this trait reflect upon past successes and failures, scrutinize the present status and strive to discern future trends. In the many articles, addresses, and reports on Christian education that have appeared in our circles in recent years, this wholesome self-evaluation is also evident. However, not all of those attempting such appraisal agree in their conclusions; on the contrary there is much disagreement. Some view our schools as being too much concerned with culture; others detect anti-cultural tendencies. Some consider the emphasis in the schools as being too intellectual; others see the anti-intellectualism characterizing much of American education today also infecting our schools. Some are in favor of extending vocational training; others resist the creeping vocationalism in Christian education.
There are also those, a small minority to be sure, who are calling into question the separate existence of our Christian schools. To promote the sense of community in our democracy, they would urge us to join our fellow Americans in promoting the public school as the school for all American youth. Are not our public schools legally committed to neutrality in their teaching? Is it fair to the pupil to indoctrinate him at the outset as to his religious commitment and would it not be better to acquaint him with all of human culture so that at the end of his formal education he can make an intelligent choice as to his religious preference? And has not the public school served admirably as the American melting pot in which children from homes of diverse racial and national backgrounds have learned the meaning and values of citizenship in our democracy?
Those who reason in this vein share the sentiments of many influential religious and educational leaders in our land who view private and parochial schools as "divisive forces" in our democratic way of life and would welcome their abolition. The fact that the U.S. Supreme Court in the well-known Oregon case has declared legislation compelling all children of school age to attend the public schools as being unconstitutional should not give us a false sense of security. There are many educators in strategic centers of learning who are using their influence to undermine the rights of minorities to maintain their own private schools. One of these is Dr. John L. Childs of Teachers College, Columbia University. In the chapter on "The Morality of Community" in his book Education and Morals, he writes:
"Today, the American public school system encounters certain difficulties as it seeks to nurture the youth of our country in a common way of living together. One of these difficulties grows out of the fact that the members of a number of religious and economic groups are not willing to have their own children attend the community school, and they increasingly seek to provide for their education in private schools of one sort or another… Since the supporters of these private schools are becoming more militant and, in some cases, are demanding that these schools share in public educational funds, it is apparent that the American people will have to reassess the importance of maintaining a system of common schools in our democratic way of life. In the development of a public policy on this basic educational issue, the value of freedom for private groups, and the needs of the whole democratic community will have to be weighed in relation to each other. The right to differ is a basic democratic right, but it cannot be turned into an exclusive and absolute right if we are to maintain the community which makes all of these particular freedoms possible" (pp. 242-243).
"Clearly in this sphere of education, the rights of the church and the rights of the whole democratic community must be viewed in relation to one another. Should experience show that the consequence of having children for their entire school period under the educational direction of the church was beginning to breed an undesirable sense of difference and was tending to foster cleavages which were a threat to the spiritual unity of the American people, the community would have every right and duty to re-examine the arrangement."
The charge that our schools are un-American and provincial betrays a lack of a sense of history. Almost from the beginning of the Christian era the western world acted upon the belief that religion, culture, and education belong together. The first state school law in America, adopted by the General Court of the Puritan commonwealth of the Massachusetts Bay colony in 1647, established a Christian school system with the avowed purpose of combatting the influence of the Old Deluder Satan. Our first state schools were Christian schools. The spirit of secularism, which places religion in a little compartment by itself and separates it from the other areas of life, is of recent date. It is only within the last two centuries that it has taken on significant proportions. While we share with fellow Americans the principle of separation of church and state, we unflinchingly oppose the prevailing interpretation of the principle which insists upon the separation of religion from other spheres of human life. In this conflict the weight of both the American and the Christian tradition is on our side.
In view of what I have already said it is well for us to take another look unto the rock whence we were hewn. Just what do we mean by Christian education? What is the Christian school? In what respects does education in the Christian school resemble education in the non-Christian school? How do the two differ?
There are certain features that are common to all schools. All education, non-Christian as well as Christian, in a formal sense can be defined as the process of forming and maturing man according to the pattern of reality. In this process it, among other things, seeks to penetrate and understand the world of nature. The term nature, as I use it here, refers to all of created reality; it includes the totality of the created world as given to man. All of the facts of nature, and its processes, forces and laws, including the biological and psychological constitution of man, in brief, the world with all that it contains is at man's disposal for the development and enrichment of his life.
It is this realm of nature that constitutes the raw material, the givens, for a second concern of education, viz., that of culture. When God said, "Let us make man in our image after our likeness and let them have dominion," He created a being with an irresistible urge and will to culture. Created in the image of God as a self-conscious rational being, man inevitably seeks to modify and to exploit nature so that he may achieve a richer and more satisfying life. Aware of system and form, he is always remaking or moulding the gifts of nature, rearranging the elements present in creation into new patterns. All such modification of nature by man is cultural activity and gives rise to cultural products. These may be tangible or intangible. The cultivation of the soil, the building of skyscrapers and cities, the development of transportation and communication, the industrial and agricultural revolutions - all of these produce cultural objects that are perceptible. But more important still are the invisible cultural products such as language, literature, mathematics, science, government, social and economic institutions, mores and moral codes, laws of logic, and aesthetic norms. The totality of all these products, visible and invisible, constitute our cultural heritage and like nature constitute a given in the educational process. Inescapably man is caught up in the cultural process and is influenced and formed by it.
There is a third respect in which all views of education, both Christian and non-Christian, to the extent that they are truly reflective, are alike. All education concerns itself with such questions as "How can man's ceaseless cultural activity be justified and vindicated? What is its significance, its goal, its purpose? By what higher standards outside of itself shall it be evaluated and judged?" It should be noted that these questions relate to the religious-moral nature of man. Created in the image of God, man is ineradicably religious. He must worship at some shrine. He chooses to surrender himself with his whole being in all of his life and cultural activity to some law, principle, ideal, or spirit above and beyond himself. The questions raised a moment ago cannot be evaded; answers to them must be forthcoming.
In brief, education involves the issues of nature, culture, and religious commitment or dogma, and it is the third of these which pervade the other two.
It is one's religious faith which gives meaning and a sense of direction to all of natural existence and cultural activity. It is one's dogma which provides the fixed point of reference, the unifying principle, for the interpretation of all of the phenomena of life. Without it, reality, as represented by nature, culture, and history, is meaningless, confusing, and full of contradictions. In his religious choice man chooses freely and responsibly; he gives expression to his moral and spiritual dignity. The antithesis between Christian and non-Christian education acquires meaning and significance on this level of religious decision.
The problem under discussion may be approached from a different point of view. As a religious moral being, every man in his cultural activity lives as a citizen of one or another religious commonwealth or kingdom. Each of such kingdoms is pervaded by an all-encompassing and unifying law, principle, ideal, or being.
It is to this that we refer when we speak of the pagan classical mind, the Renaissance mind, the Christian mind. Man inevitably chooses to be a citizen of one or another of the alternative kingdoms. In this choice he expresses his religious decision; he surrenders himself and pledges allegiance to the law of the realm of his choice. On the one hand, his loyalty to the kingdom is reflected in all of cultural activity; on the other, the kingdom through its educational agencies using all of culture, forms and matures the individual so that his citizenship will become more meaningful and intelligent.
In choosing his citizenship, an individual expresses the kind of man he is and increasingly wishes to become. In ancient Greece, Plato and his followers chose for a commonwealth committed to the impersonal universal ideals of goodness, truth, and beauty. All of the cultural activity and education in this commonwealth are directed toward fashioning its citizens to become identified with these eternal perfections. This view of the nature of reality and of man is, of course, not limited to the ancient world; it is inherent in the classical idealist tradition ever since that time.
The Renaissance ushered in a new kingdom, viz., that of the modern mind. It has dominated in the main most of life and culture in the modern period and has succeeded in securing the allegiance of modern man in the aggregate. The law of this realm is that of freedom from material commitments, of formal objective reason, of suspended judgment, of scientific method. In the name of objectivity any prior value judgment, presupposition, or dogma must be excluded. For the modern mind, the nature of man is defined as his capacity for being formed by objective rational system. Religious commitment should not come at the beginning but rather at the end of the educative process. Accordingly, education, using all of nature and culture, disciplines the citizen through rigorous scientific analysis so that in the process he becomes sufficiently mature to make a free rational decision between the various religious choices. This attitude of scientific detachment constitutes the basic principle implicit in so-called neutrality in education. However, this vaunted neutrality is not neutral and this fact the modern mind simply does not see. Obsessed with a devotion to the law of formal objective reason, it is blinded to the fact that already at the outset it is of necessity committed to an absolute all-inclusive norm, viz., the principle that the positive scientific method represents the only way by which man can interpret reality as presented in nature and culture and become identified with it. Freely choosing for this commitment, modern man makes his religious surrender; through his choice, he in effect, becomes a worshipper in the temple of reason and science.
In limiting my discussion to a delineation of the nature of the pagan-idealist and the Renaissance-modern kingdoms as religious commonwealth, I do not intend to suggest that these two are the only alternatives to the Christian commitment. Neither should we have the impression that the citizens within each of the two respective kingdoms are agreed on all points. On the contrary, there are significant tensions and disagreements among groups within each. But such tensions are, shall we say, in the nature of family quarrels. Concerning the constitution or basic law of the kingdom in each case, there is no disagreement.
In essence both of the commonwealths are anti-Christian. It is within the created cosmos that both seek the ultimate principle of unity. Hence both worship the creature rather than the Creator and therefore are intrinsically idolatrous.
Antithetical to all others is the Christian kingdom, the kingdom of God, in which Christ is king and His gospel is the constitutive law of the realm. A prerequisite for citizenship is a surrender to Jesus Christ as Savior; to acknowledge citizenship is to honor Christ as Lord and implies a willingness to be moulded and patterned by the mind of Christ, i.e. the Christian mind. Education in this realm aims to make the choice for Christ and his kingdom meaningful and intelligent.
At this point there arises a problem that must be faced. In education we are dealing with children and youth who are unformed and immature. How can we at the outset speak of choice and decision? Is it not precisely the task of education to prepare the child for intelligent choice and commitment? In answer to this question I wish to emphasize the fact that all education worthy of the name presupposes an aim which gives purpose and direction to the entire educative process; in the phrase of the contemporary educationalist, all education is "goal-directed." In the choice of goal or aim the pupil plays no part; society, the school, the educator determines what the aim shall be. Education for citizenship in any of the alternative kingdoms assumes that the choice is not made by the child but rather that the choice is made for him. And what is true of education in general is doubly true of education for citizenship in the Kingdom of God. Therein lies the significance of the doctrine of the covenant for Christian education. The youthful citizens of the Kingdom have been "sanctified in Christ" and therefore must be subjected to Christian nurture. The youth of the Kingdom are divinely chosen for citizenship. It is within this framework that personal faith, conversion, repentance and covenant responsibility have an organic place.
Christian education then aims to develop young people to become mature and responsible citizens of the kingdom of God. Accepting God's special revelation, as interpreted by theology and the historic creeds, as a guide, it uses all of nature (God's revelation in nature) and all of culture (God's revelation in the cultural and historical process) as a medium in making meaningful to the student the nature of citizenship.
Christian education is, therefore, not a question of plusses or minuses. It is not neutral education in the secular subjects plus pious exhortations, prayer, and Bible study. Such a solution based on additions would simply be another form of dualism. Neither is it education minus much of nature and culture. Since sin has brought about confusion and disorganization in man's view of nature, there is always the temptation in Christian thought to set up an opposition between the natural and the super-natural and to emphasize the latter at the expense of the former. Because the fall of man has tremendously complicated the cultural problem there is the further danger of becoming anti-cultural in our educational endeavors. But any concept of Christian education which neglects the world of nature as an educational medium must of necessity lead to asceticism and any view of Christian education which drives a wedge between religion and culture and which refuses to use the totality of culture in the educative process can no longer truly be called education.
A proper conception of Christian education does full justice to nature by placing it in its proper perspective. In the light of Scripture, the totality of nature is studied as a created whole reflecting the Divine perfections.
Nor does Christian education set up an antithesis between religion and culture, neither is it satisfied with a fragmented or partial culture. Like all education, Christian education uses all of culture for the maturing of its citizens. Guided by special revelation it recognizes that cultural activity is inescapably a reflection of the very nature of man, that in the cultural process in history, God is progressively revealing Himself, and that culture has cosmic significance. Do we not read in Revelation 21 that the kings of the earth shall bring the glory and honor of the nations into the new Jerusalem?
There is one more aspect to be considered in a proper view of Christian education, viz., that of the need of understanding the alternative kingdoms. To discern the pagan-idealist mind and the modern mind in their justification of culture we must study them from within. To become informed as to how the alternative commonwealths use culture to define the nature of God, man, and reality, it is necessary to study at first hand the great books or classics that express or reflect the alternative minds. Through such critical study the student learns to discriminate intelligently between the various options and to grow in the assurance of the superiority of the Christian mind.
In brief, Christian education insists that the pupil committed a priori to the Christian perspective be introduced to nature, to the essentials of the total field of culture, and to the various alternative kingdoms so that in this process he will be disciplined and matured in the conviction that the Christian interpretation is the correct one.
Implicit in this view of Christian education are certain principles that should guide us in our thinking concerning the further development of our Christian school system. In the time allowed me, I can only comment briefly on a few of these.
First of all, Christian education aims primarily at the development of the individual as a person. By a person I do not refer to the biological and psychological nature of man, nor to that which differentiates an individual human being from all others, nor to technological or sociological man but rather to man as connoted by his intellectual and spiritual qualities -- the essentially human by which man is defined in the Christian sense and which differentiates him from other creatures. The other aspects alluded to should always occupy a subordinate place in our thinking. A critical study of the nature of man is of central significance.
In the second place Christian education is liberal education in that it seeks through the medium of a patterned and unified program of liberal arts to develop in the student a cultivated intelligence. Practicality and vocational training are not its immediate aims. However, in developing such a cultivated intelligence, the school instills within the student those mental qualities needed for effective judgment, whatever his vocational objective. The Christian view of the spiritual dignity of man demands that these subjects that discipline the intellectual and moral virtues retain the dominant place in the curriculum. No, I am not pleading for a cold, barren, abstract intellectualism. It is because the development of citizens of the Kingdom of God to become prophets, priests, and kings demands disciplined intelligence of the highest order, that Christian education unflinchingly resists the growing anti-intellectualism in contemporary education.
A third and closely related principle stems from the fact that man is moulded and matured according to the pattern of reality. Child-centered education would make the crude, natural, impulsive interests of the child the starting point in education. It is these that must be pampered or refined and organized. Christian education, on the other hand, beginning with the Christian view of reality as disclosed by tradition, culture and history, emphasizes disciplined interests. Recognizing that reality is normative it insists on rigorous exactness. It is only through such thoroughness of discipline that man can asroom occupies a pivotal position in the program of Christian education. As is the teacher, so is the school. Buildings, equipment, gymnasium, and even Christian textbooks are all accessory and subordinate concerns. What goes on in the classrooms from day to day determines the Christian quality of the education. Hence the need for teachers who are first of all liberally educated in the Christian sense of the term.
Such, as I see it, is the task of Christian education. It is convictions such as these I have briefly sketched that motivated the founders of our schools and that will assure the continuance of our separate Christian school system. Admittedly collectively they represent an ideal. Toward the attainment of this ideal all of our praying, thinking, and striving should be directed.
Any trend in the direction of lesser loyalties threatens the distinctive character of our schools. Such disturbing trends are already discernible, if I correctly observe.
One of the dangers is that of tradition. Christian training is first of all a responsibility of the parents and of the Christian home, one that cannot be shifted to the school. Though the Christian school is a valuable and indispensable adjunct to the Christian home, the former is not a substitute for the latter. Christian nurture in the home is primary; it is the foundation upon which education in the school must build. And it cannot be denied that in many a Christian home this nurture leaves much to be desired. There are parents who send their children to the Christian school because tradition and the pressure of the church and the Christian community demand it, and in so doing believe that they have discharged their parental responsibility. Now I am well aware of the multitudinous pressures in our complex technological society that militate against Christian training in the home. Yet, in spite of the difficulties, it is the task of the parents in the home, by precept and example, to stress Christian idealism, to manifest a dynamic interest in the Christian quality of school instruction and to show a due regard for the dignity of the teaching profession even to the extent of urging their children with the proper potential to become Christian school teachers. Unless the home does its duty, the future of our schools is not bright.
Another threat to the distinctive character of our schools is their rapid expansion in recent years, coupled with the attendant critical teacher shortage. I need not cite statistics beyond stating the fact that in the decade 1944-1954 the number of pupils in the Christian schools affiliated with the National Union more than doubled. At this point some will raise an objection. Why speak of this accelerated growth as a threat to Christian education? Should we not rather thank God that the conviction of the need of Christian schools is increasingly being felt in more of our communities? To the extent that this growth reflects an intelligent and deep-felt conviction as to the dynamic principles underlying Christian education we can be grateful. However, we should not overlook the fact that the schools must be staffed with competent Christian teachers. Since the supply of such teachers scarcely begins to meet the demand we employ would-be teachers with inferior and substandard preparation who know little about education and still less about distinctive Christian education. A Christian school staffed with such teachers is one which is neither truly scholastic nor distinctively Christian. Christian piety on the part of the teacher is not a substitute for Christian intelligence. Where such a situation obtains, one may well raise the question whether the pervading spirit in the school is not that of separatism and of conformity to tradition. Though in many of our schools we have a strong nucleus of consecrated and intelligent Christian teachers, we should be concerned about the fact that almost half of our teachers have less than the four years of college required for standard certificates.
There is one other danger besetting our schools to which I can allude but briefly. Our Christian school movement has developed in the milieu of the American cultural and social order. Inescapably we are, in various ways, for better or for worse, influenced by our cultural contacts with American life. For our schools this cultural attrition is simply a fact. And as we have seen, our contemporary American culture is patterned by the religious faith of the Renaissance-modern mind. And I might add that Evangelical Protestantism in America as represented by Fundamentalism, though militantly opposing the modern mind in the fundamental doctrines of the Christian faith, has unconsciously yielded to it in lesser matters in that it accepts a dualism between religion and culture with the result that religion increasingly becomes a matter of private subjective opinion instead of a comprehensive all-pervading system of Christian truth. In the field of pedagogy and education, the modern mind manifests itself in such matters as lack of disciplined learning, lowering of academic standards, disparagement of drill and memory work, automatic promotions, a lack of a proper appreciation of the humanistic and classical tradition, a raising of the scientific method to the level of a dogma, an undue concern with social adjustment and personality development, an increasing emphasis on vocationalism, and many others.
Some of these views and trends are already infiltrating our Christian school system. When I see that some of our school boards because of financial considerations appoint students with but two years of college in preference to available four-year graduates, I become disturbed.
Let us consider another matter. In a recent booklet appraising the work of our Christian schools in one of our communities, I read the following:
"In the minds of nearly all of our board members, factual knowledge and discipline seem to be the major aims of the school. But it seems to me it is high time that we as Christian school people give more thought to the growth and development of the whole child in his personal and social relationships as he grows to maturity in the home, the church, and the school. This should be our major educational objective...."
"Most of our pastors (like board members) think schooling is merely a process of accumulating knowledge and learning and how to think. Many still seem to labor under the impression that head knowledge is the gateway to heart commitment."
Such statements seem to me to blur and confuse the issue under discussion. They suggest either a parallelism or an opposition between personality development and moral, social, and spiritual values on the one hand, and disciplined thinking through book learning on the other. One of the main thrusts of the preceding discussion is that the Christian school in aiming at the development of the whole man does so through disciplined study directed toward the cultivation of Christian intelligence (a concept not to be equated with intellect in the restricted sense).
Though more could be said, I must close. I have attempted to delineate the basic principles underlying our conviction of the need of Christian education. These must be kept in the focus of our thinking about the problems of our schools. Now that the Christian school movement has become of age, a mere restatement of our convictions, though necessary, is not sufficient. The task remaining before us is to translate these principles into working policies in regard to such matters among others as curriculum, administration, methodology, pupil appraisal and promotion, student counseling and guidance, textbooks, and teacher education. Since in these areas we have only begun to explicate and apply our convictions, much hard work and vigorous energy will have to be expended. If, because of fear and timidity or because of pressures of immediate practicality, we shirk our duty and, as a result, become increasingly dominated by the modern mind, our Christian school system will gradually disintegrate within a few decades. However, addressing ourselves to this task on all fronts, looking to Christ our king for wisdom and strength, the future of our schools, under God, is assured.