In recent months I've been seeing news articles about how the U.S. public school system is changing. Classic literature is being cut for technical manuals. Soon 70% of all books in our public school system will be non-fiction. The idea is to produce people ready for the workforce. Our children will soon be reading text like "Recommended Levels of Insulation" by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the "Invasive Plant Inventory" by California's Invasive Plant Council. A teacher is quoted in this article as saying, "I'm afraid we are taking out all imaginative reading and creativity in our English classes."
Of course our greatest moral and educational source, the Bible, isn't taught in school anymore. In Invitation to Classics, the authors write :
Once we recognize the classics' lyric beauty, their aching tragedy, their probing intellectual inquiry, their profound imagination, sympathy, and wisdom, we see that their capacity to restore is fundamental to our continuing liberty and vitality.
Without the Bible and great classic literature to teach us sympathy and wisdom, what is to become of the next generation? Are people lacking in these traits really going to be better workers?
I was struck also by something I read recently in the book Read the Bible for Life by George Guthrie. He provides a quote from The New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, in which E.D. Hirsch writes:
No one in the English-speaking world can be considered literate without a basic knowledge of the Bible.
Mr. Guthrie also brings up a survey I found fascinating:
In a 2005 survey 98% of high school English teachers suggested that students who are biblically literate have an edge academically over those who are not, and in 2006 English professors from the top universities in the United States agreed that "regardless of a person's faith, an educated person needs to know the Bible," saying that the Bible is "indispensable" and "absolutely crucial" for a person who wishes to be considered well educated.
In the Bible, Paul tells Timothy to keep studying scripture, which he had known since his childhood and had learned from his mother and grandmother (see 2 Timothy 1:5When I call to remembrance the unfeigned faith that is in thee, which dwelt first in thy grandmother Lois, and thy mother Eunice; and I am persuaded that in thee also. See All...).
But you must continue in the things which you have learned and been assured of, knowing from whom you have learned them, and that from childhood you have known the Holy Scriptures, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus. All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work. (2 Timothy 3:14-17 But continue thou in the things which thou hast learned and hast been assured of, knowing of whom thou hast learned them;  And that from a child thou hast known the holy scriptures, which are able to make thee wise unto salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus.  All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness:  That the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works.
Paul also tells the church at Thessalonica to "prove all things; hold fast that which is good" (1 Thessalonians 5:21Prove all things; hold fast that which is good. See All...). Do we know our Bible? Are we teaching our children the Bible?
As our schools (and our society) continue to grow further and further away from God and righteous behavior, we need to set the example of turning to the Bible as our moral compass. Do we blindly believe what our teachers and leaders say, or do we do as the Bereans (see Acts 17:11These were more noble than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness of mind, and searched the scriptures daily, whether those things were so. See All...) and search the scripture daily to educate ourselves in the truth?
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