June 18, 2010

Regents Daily News:
June 18, 2010

Consequences Have Ideas (And Vice Versa)

Economist Richard Weaver wrote a book titled: Ideas Have Consequences. We might consider this the “practical” side of philosophy. It matters what we think. Every idea produces a particular kind of fruit. Every culture is the product of ideas. We can look at this from the other side: consequences also have ideas. When we see a culture and its fruit, which is what we often see first, we must ask, “What ideas produced this?” Many times the ideas have not been thought about in a systematic way. We either do not evaluate the culture at all (it just is), or else the ideas seem to be random and unconnected.

This is true for us individually as well as corporately. We all do philosophy, but we don’t all do philosophy well. Our philosophies are often haphazard and inconsistent. As a result, the fruit of our philosophy is also haphazard and inconsistent. Since we are inevitably philosophers (i.e., we have ideas), we must strive to be consistently Christian in our philosophy. In our context we need a distinctively Christian philosophy of education. Remember, each of us already has a philosophy of education; the question is whether it is distinctively Christian. It’s not enough to be a Christian teacher or to have a school full of Christian teachers (i.e., those who are personally going to heaven when they die). A school building full of Christians still might not be a Christian school.

In order for us to be a “Christian” school, we must have a school founded on and practicing a distinctively Christian philosophy of education. We must be epistemologically self-conscious Christians. We must know what to do and why we are doing it: what are the children being taught? (content), and why are they being taught that way? (philosophy).

Pastor Randy Booth (from his blog Feast of Booths)

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