In Plato's Republic children are separated from their parents, raised by the State, and given prescribed roles. Greece and Rome attempted that goal, but only the United States realized the dream, ashumanist educatorsmolded entire generations at whim in the mass-produced education factories called public schools.
Tom Eldredge knows the cure: the family. Only when fathers take responsibility and educate their children will the current trend be reversed. He claims to take his model from the Hebrews, who (he says) educated their children at home rather than sending them to schools. He also shows how Greek institutionalized learning crept into Hebrew culture, disrupting their God-ordained social structure so thoroughly that by Christ's time the religious leaders of Israel were basically secular nationalists.
The criticisms of Greco-Roman and American education are valid, but Eldredge fails to prove his statements concerning the Hebraic education model. He often references the World Book Encyclopedia (not the best source of factual information), and he relies on speculation and assumption presented as fact. Particularly, while Hellenization did bring the Greek model to Israel, he ignores considerable evidence of established Hebrew schools and that home education wasn't universal.
Some of Eldredge's conclusions are also suspect. He emphasizes family over church, suggesting the Christian family is the primary agent of God's will on earth, rather than the Body of Christ. Obviously the family is important, but making it preeminent is the result of unfocused perspective. Eldredge does affirm God is preeminent, but his uncertain path toward that conclusion severely handicaps an argument we could largely agree with.
Review by C. Hollis Crossman
C. Hollis Crossman used to be a child. Now he is a husband and father, teaches adult Sunday school in his Presbyterian congregation, and likes weird stuff. He might be a mythical creature, but he's definitely not a centaur. Read more of his reviews here.
Table of Contents:
Education and Relationships
Leaving Home: The Decline of the Family
Greek Education and the Gymnasium
The Decline of Hebrew Education
The Development of American Public School
Developing a Biblical Philosophy of Education
A Helping Hand Toward Home
Steps in Rebuilding
A Safe Course Lies Ahead
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