How We Lost It

Here's my "nutshell" version of how Christian's lost broad cultural authority…
Response to “What’s Coming Down the Aisle?" In Focus on the Family's Citizen magazine, June/July 2015

Dear Editor,

I am so glad Citizen is so directly discussing the cultural battles we are facing as a Church and a nation. It is valuable to talk about what is happening, what might happen, and what we should do to respond - forewarned is truly to be forearmed.  However, few people talk about how we got here!  

To summarize over a decade of my own study, we got here through losing cultural authority, which came through giving over educational authority to the secular state.  Christians of the nineteenth century didn’t see it coming, but this educational surrender led to the social transfer of cultural authority from a religious base to a secular scientific base.  As the secular paradigm of truth and value took over both the higher and lower education of our nation’s children, it produced leaders in all fields (many who were religious), who had spent virtually no time reflecting on the impact of faith upon their profession and society. 

Dr. James Dobson was a rare voice who recovered a Christian perspective of Child Development from his secularized doctoral studies, and look at the impact he has had! How different would our nation be today if the authorities who taught our national leaders the rudiments and the expertise associated with art, entertainment, law, government, history, business, science, and the other influential fields of society had presented a Christian view of the subject matter?  

Evangelicals do well at “passing on their faith,” but they have failed to pass on the culture shaping authority that is closely tied to the educational philosophy of our nation’s schools.  Our faith has a deep educational component that we have neglected for over a century, and sadly, we are now reaping the consequences. Though it may be too late to stop the advance of the current radical sexual agenda of our cultural leaders, I do not believe it is too late to recapture the field of education by re-educating ourselves, advancing school choice, and insuring that our children receive a truly Christian education - one built upon a loving pursuit of God, scriptural truths, a sense of professional calling, and a vision to serve others. It is a long term vision, but in case the Lord tarries, let us be found faithful!

Craig S. Engelhardt, Ph.D.
Society for the Advancement of Christian Education (SACE)

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