counter create hit The Messianic Character of American Education - Download Free eBook
Ads Banner
Hot Best Seller

The Messianic Character of American Education

Availability: Ready to download

Rushdoony's study tells us an important part of American history: exactly what has public education been trying to accomplish? Before the 1830s and Horace Mann, no schools in the U.S. were state supported or state controlled. They were local, parent-teacher enterprises, supported without taxes, and taking care of all children. They were remarkably high in standard and were Rushdoony's study tells us an important part of American history: exactly what has public education been trying to accomplish? Before the 1830s and Horace Mann, no schools in the U.S. were state supported or state controlled. They were local, parent-teacher enterprises, supported without taxes, and taking care of all children. They were remarkably high in standard and were Christian. From Mann to the present, the state has used education to socialize the child. The school's basic purpose, according to its own philosophers, is not education in the traditional sense of the 3 R's. Instead, it is to promote 'democracy' and 'equality,' not in their legal or civic sense, but in terms of the engineering of a socialized citizenry. Public education became the means of creating a social order of the educator's design. Such men saw themselves and the school in messianic terms. This book was instrumental in launching the Christian school and homeschool movements.


Compare
Ads Banner

Rushdoony's study tells us an important part of American history: exactly what has public education been trying to accomplish? Before the 1830s and Horace Mann, no schools in the U.S. were state supported or state controlled. They were local, parent-teacher enterprises, supported without taxes, and taking care of all children. They were remarkably high in standard and were Rushdoony's study tells us an important part of American history: exactly what has public education been trying to accomplish? Before the 1830s and Horace Mann, no schools in the U.S. were state supported or state controlled. They were local, parent-teacher enterprises, supported without taxes, and taking care of all children. They were remarkably high in standard and were Christian. From Mann to the present, the state has used education to socialize the child. The school's basic purpose, according to its own philosophers, is not education in the traditional sense of the 3 R's. Instead, it is to promote 'democracy' and 'equality,' not in their legal or civic sense, but in terms of the engineering of a socialized citizenry. Public education became the means of creating a social order of the educator's design. Such men saw themselves and the school in messianic terms. This book was instrumental in launching the Christian school and homeschool movements.

30 review for The Messianic Character of American Education

  1. 5 out of 5

    Peter Bringe

    An insightful historical study of the philosophic foundations of American state education. One realizes that often the point behind the development of the public schools was not education, but a particular view of democracy that saw the state as the manifestation of the will of the people whose duty it was to conform its population to this will for the welfare of the state. By examining the teachings of various individuals, Rushdoony describes various aspects of this statist and secular worldvie An insightful historical study of the philosophic foundations of American state education. One realizes that often the point behind the development of the public schools was not education, but a particular view of democracy that saw the state as the manifestation of the will of the people whose duty it was to conform its population to this will for the welfare of the state. By examining the teachings of various individuals, Rushdoony describes various aspects of this statist and secular worldview. He is fair to point out when some of these men sometimes made good points and pushed back against the more radical positions of others, but he also shows how they usually shared much of the same basic conception of education and democracy as the others. In the end, the issue is whether the state/society is god and savior and the chief end of man and education, or whether God is the only one able to claim such exclusive and messianic claims, allowing for freedom and diversity in human society.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Brian Edwards

    Way ahead of its time.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Aaron Slack

    A fascinating book! A great source of information on the genesis of the public school and modern educational theory/practice. Highly recommended.

  4. 5 out of 5

    John

    On the one hand, one can’t help but be impressed by the amount of research RJR did in preparing this volume—he has actually read all these educational theorists! On the other hand … this may have been the most boring book I ever forced myself to keep reading. And I’m not sure, on top of it all, that RJR is actually representing the writers accurately. Sometimes he draws conclusions from what they’re saying that don’t seem to follow from the words he quotes. For instance, he quotes William James On the one hand, one can’t help but be impressed by the amount of research RJR did in preparing this volume—he has actually read all these educational theorists! On the other hand … this may have been the most boring book I ever forced myself to keep reading. And I’m not sure, on top of it all, that RJR is actually representing the writers accurately. Sometimes he draws conclusions from what they’re saying that don’t seem to follow from the words he quotes. For instance, he quotes William James on the centrality of habit and then says that for James it is not God who is central but habit. Well, maybe so. But that's not what James said in the passage Rushdoony quoted! Rushdoony does not present his own philosophy of education—that is, what he thinks is the Christian philosophy—here. That he has one is obvious: that's why he's opposed to these other educational philosophers. But what is that philosophy and what is the biblical basis for it? For instance, RJR seems negative toward some philosophers' emphasis on play and hands-on education. Presumably there's a reason for that negativity, but Rushdoony doesn't explain. He takes it for granted that his readers will recognize why these emphases are bad. In one case, Rushdoony does explain and yet his explanation doesn't seem persuasive to me. In fact, it seems very strange. He objects to those who say that man is a social animal, that we come into our full personality in interaction with others. Rushdoony rejects this view. Adam, he says, was alone and first had to develop his personality and discover his calling while he was all by himself. But that's hardly a satisfactory argument, given that God himself says "It is not good that man should be alone," and then sets about to make clear to Adam his aloneness and to remedy it by creating a woman. Surely the fact that God is one and three, one and many, would suggest that his human images are fully human as individuals and yet also designed for social interaction as part of a community.

  5. 5 out of 5

    John

    This is a difficult book to rate, as it is spot on and I agree whole-heartedly. The trouble with the book, is that the bulk of it is spent reviewing and critiquing humanist educational theorists and philosophers. As profound as Rushdoony is, he simply cannot redeem the tedium with which much of the book is concerned. The central concern of the book is the messianic aspirations of humanist education. Rushdoony labels humanistic education as messianic due to its salvific aspirations. He argues that This is a difficult book to rate, as it is spot on and I agree whole-heartedly. The trouble with the book, is that the bulk of it is spent reviewing and critiquing humanist educational theorists and philosophers. As profound as Rushdoony is, he simply cannot redeem the tedium with which much of the book is concerned. The central concern of the book is the messianic aspirations of humanist education. Rushdoony labels humanistic education as messianic due to its salvific aspirations. He argues that the messianic state has promised that statist education will "assume the responsibilities of all men and nations, keep world peace; save world civilization, and usher in paradise regained." (p. 337) Early on he writes, "The attitude of people towards education is that it is a god that has failed and yet a god who can perhaps still be whipped into fulfilling its mission. On all hands, there is a misconception as to the purpose, meaning and function of education in life and society." (p. 6) As early America moved from Christianity toward vague Unitarianism, the nation's understanding of education transformed from being under God, to being under state. This humanist transition meant that, "Instead of being accountable to God, parents, teachers, and society, the pupil can assert that God, parents, teachers, and society are responsible to him." (p. 23) This was a fundamental change in outlook and educational theorists began to shift methods and promises--all in the hopes of redeeming and saving the nation--all in statist terms. For if God is out of the picture, what is fundmantal and what gives cohesion and identity but the state? Naturally, Rushdoony starts by examining Horace Mann. He summarizes him, "Mann’s work was two-fold, first to secularize education, and, second, to make it the province of the state rather than the community and parents." (p. 27) We see in Mann the beginning of the Bible's dismissal from public schools. Mann, "strongly insisted on the need for more Bible in the schools than existed in his day," but not for "promoting godliness but rather social efficiency." (p. 31) The messianic promises of education were directly tied to the promises of democracy. He ties this together in his essay on John Swett. He writes, "If the schools are agencies of the state, they must inevitably serve the purpose of the state rather than God, man, the family, or any institution." (p. 88) But as Rushdoony shows so prophetically, democracy never stays democratic. When the state becomes the unifying institution, it becomes self-justifying and self-fulfilling and "gradually the leveling demands of democracy call for the surrender of liberties to democracy." And "As the state grows in power, society becomes less free and also less democratic." And finally, "Democracy now begins to give way to a more ‘realistic’ appraisal of society, whereby total control is necessary to further the welfare of the masses. Thus democracy is sacrificed to total control in the name of social or state welfare." (p. 88) It is clear that the humanist educators are working with Christian ideas and premises--but all in novel, unbiblical ways. They use the language of promise and fulfillment, of salvation, but they are all wholly heterdox--not even professing faith, but emptying it of Christian content and filling it with humanism. Without God, these educators must find unifying principles and institutions and they all end up with the State and community as the solution with statist education as the means to completing their purposes. He writes, "‘The true aim of education’ is social conformity and acceptability. ‘It is what we do that counts most in society. And every grade of society demands that its members conform to an accepted standard.’ Since society has taken the place of God, it is natural that society should be accorded the same allegiance once given to God." (p. 216) The book becomes much more readable and interesting once he concludes his analysis of educational theorists. But this leaves the book only four chapters, though they are brilliant. It is difficult to summarize the final chapters as they deal with the issue in broad terms, but his attack on statism and statist education is unrelenting. He places the blame squarely on the church. (p. 327-328) In one of the better quotes in the book, the attacks the logic of complaining of taxes on property when we've already surrendered our children. "The critical issue is being increasingly recognized: statist education is the socialization of the child. If the state can own and socialize our children, then it can most certainly own and socialize our property. We cannot legitimately surrender our children to the state and its schools and then claim the right to withhold our property. The major concession makes objection to the lesser absurd, and an instance of misplaced values." (p. 329) There are a couple great quotes from A.A. Hodge toward the end that show that discerning Christian thinkers were aware of what was at stake in the creation of statist public schools. (p. 335) We can't claim we didn't know better. This is a great and important book. It is, however, slow and difficult reading. It is not for everyone. The patient reader will be rewarded, as there are gems throughout. Don't miss his assertion as to how it was that parents surrendered their children to kindergarten. (p. 282-283) This isn't quite the book I'd hoped it would be, as it dealt more with what education is not, than what it has become and how. It is therefore a very critical work, rather than constructive. But he does encouragingly say, toward the end of the book, "free men do not wait for the future; they create it." (p. 332) Indeed. Let us create the future in faithful obedience to Christ.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Christopher Covey

    This explains the Intellectual Roots of Progressivism I've never read anything that explains the intellectual and utilitarian protestant roots of progressive education etter than this book. It is outstanding, unique, and worthy of the five star rating. I wish that Rushdoony was still around today. Someone with his vision and leadership would be welcome.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Nathan

    Nothing surprising in this book. Public education is statist and religious in nature. You probably already knew that if you know about Rushdoony. But this book shows you where all the early developers of public education didn’t keep that a secret. You know, because when you point that out to people who love their public schools now they look at you like you’re insane and making up conspiracy theories. This book can arm you with quotes and history. But of course, history is meaningless to these p Nothing surprising in this book. Public education is statist and religious in nature. You probably already knew that if you know about Rushdoony. But this book shows you where all the early developers of public education didn’t keep that a secret. You know, because when you point that out to people who love their public schools now they look at you like you’re insane and making up conspiracy theories. This book can arm you with quotes and history. But of course, history is meaningless to these people. The future is what matters. But at least you have an argument. Terrifying, but great book! Send your children to public school at their peril.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Secret Teacher Dad

    A historical surveys of American philosophies of education. Eye-opening for sure.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Natalie Weber

    An interest in education in general and American education in particular prompted me to travel through the pages of history contained in this eye-opening book. Rushdoony spends most of the book sketching out the lives of those people most responsible for the establishment and development of our government education system as we know it today. This approach was incredibly effective as it allowed the reader to dig deeper than a mere collection of historical facts to unearth the philosophies and me An interest in education in general and American education in particular prompted me to travel through the pages of history contained in this eye-opening book. Rushdoony spends most of the book sketching out the lives of those people most responsible for the establishment and development of our government education system as we know it today. This approach was incredibly effective as it allowed the reader to dig deeper than a mere collection of historical facts to unearth the philosophies and methods of these educational masterminds. Perhaps the thing that struck me the most was how much the motivation of those highlighted in this book parallels what I have heard for years from leaders in the homeschool movement. Here’s an example: “Education, in its enlarged sense, is the disciplining, cultivating, and furnishing of the man, as a man, and for the particular position which he is to hold.” (Henry Barnard) Or consider this description published in the NEA Journal in 1895, “The ideal school is an ideal community – an embryonic democracy. We should introduce into the school what we must have in the state, and this is democracy in its pure sense. The child is not in the school to learn, not in there for mere knowledge; but he is in there to live, to learn to live – not in preparation for life so much as real living. The pupil should in school learn to live. He should there learn to put himself into life. The teacher is the leader in this community life. Self-government is the only true government. A child should be taught to live for others. We are too apt to ignore the divinity of a child.” The school was thus made the center of life, the training ground to prepare children to be servants of the State. Education was promoted as the savior that would enable society to become essentially a utopia. Pioneers in the homeschool movement understood this under-girding philosophy and how diametrically opposed it is to a Christian worldview where the Lord Jesus Christ is the center of our lives. God designed the family to be the primary transmitter of true knowledge as parents train their children to “love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might.” Many home educators and government school educators have the same goal in mind – to train the whole child and be the primary influencer of his thoughts and behaviors. It’s obvious from Rushdoony’s extensive research and documentation that the latter are working intentionally and determinedly to accomplish their goal. It would behoove us, as Christians, to understand what’s really at stake and to work tirelessly to impart God’s ways to the next generation!

  10. 4 out of 5

    Jerry

    This book reads like a pile of mini biographies of influential people and their ideas in American education, lacking engaging narrative. Its strength is also its struggle. The chronicle is informative and referentially helpful if long. The sandy foundation of American public education is beach-wide.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Frank

    Excellent!!! A must read for Christians interested in the public education system or in homeschooling.

  12. 4 out of 5

    James Tessin

  13. 5 out of 5

    Stuart Elliott

  14. 4 out of 5

    Mr.soule

  15. 4 out of 5

    Jack

  16. 4 out of 5

    Ed Lang

  17. 5 out of 5

    Robtvoss

  18. 4 out of 5

    Elise Reich

  19. 5 out of 5

    Ed Lang

  20. 4 out of 5

    Jacob Furdui

  21. 5 out of 5

    Newelle

  22. 5 out of 5

    Thomas Achord

  23. 5 out of 5

    Mark

  24. 5 out of 5

    Jay D

    Good, aside from the Calvinism.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Josie

  26. 4 out of 5

    Tom

  27. 4 out of 5

    Dave/Maggie Bean

  28. 5 out of 5

    John

  29. 5 out of 5

    Logan

  30. 5 out of 5

    S

Add a review

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Loading...
We use cookies to give you the best online experience. By using our website you agree to our use of cookies in accordance with our cookie policy.