An American Christian Education
Years ago, when I had heard the term “an American Christian Education” I didn’t quite comprehend what it meant. However, I understand it now. And, it’s not what it’s often mistaken for.
What an American Christian Education is Not
To begin with, it is not an “elitist” mentality of “American Christians are better than other Christians.” Nor is it a mentality of “American Christians are better than other Americans.” To be sure, it is not ignoring missions work around the world and in America. And it definitely is not about forcing people to become Christians in America.
Defining the Vocabulary of our Subject
To begin with, we need to define the vocabulary of our subject. In fact, it’s a part of a Principle Approach® education to do this. In this way, we are able to master our subject. Additionally, it allows for the teacher and students to have an understanding for purposes of a discussion.
Firstly, Webster’s 1828 American Dictionary of the English Language defines American as:
“AMER’ICAN, adjective Pertaining to America.”
Secondly, Webster’s 1828 American Dictionary of the English Language defines Christian as:
“CHRISTIAN, noun 3. A real disciple of Christ; one who believes in the truth of the christian religion, and studies to follow the example, and obey the precepts, of Christ; a believer in Christ who is characterized by real piety.”
“CHRISTIAN, adjective [See the Noun.] 1. Pertaining to Christ, taught by him, or received from him; as the christian religion; christian doctrines.”
Thirdly, Webster’s 1828 American Dictionary of the English Language defines education is:
“EDUCA’TION, noun [Latin educatio.] The bringing up, as of a child, instruction; formation of manners. education comprehends all that series of instruction and discipline which is intended to enlighten the understanding, correct the temper, and form the manners and habits of youth, and fit them for usefulness in their future stations. To give children a good education in manners, arts and science, is important; to give them a religious education is indispensable; and an immense responsibility rests on parents and guardians who neglect these duties.”
Why Webster’s 1828 American Dictionary of the English Language?
Last but not least, we use Webster’s 1828 American Dictionary of the English Language because it’s the only Biblical worldview dictionary. Of note, it also defines words the way our Founding Era and their ancestors use words in our primary sources. This matters because it gives us the context of their thinking within the context of their setting.
The Conclusion of an American Christian Education
An American Christian Education is an education that Christians who happen to live in America teach with a Biblio-central education.
Individuals living in America are called American. An American Christian education pertains to America—her Biblical form of government, founding Biblical principles, and form of education used during her first two-hundred years. It really is that simple. Additionally, it pertains to America’s Christian heritage and history.
Details on How It Differs From Other Methods
Many traditional methods and curriculum talk about facts of American history. And, they may even go so far as to mention that God is behind the forming of our nation. Oh, you may even see a Bible verse sprinkled here or there. However, it’s so much more than that.
Of note, an American Christian education is teaching our history in the context of a Providential view. In this way, students are able to comprehend the purpose God has for America as a country of Law with Liberty. Sure, we see this to an extent with England’s history. However, as we learn we are able to see that it flourishes even more so in America.
Whenever we study individuals in history or literature, we look at the internal and external qualities of the individuals. Then, we look at the cause-to-effect of their internal qualities and the outworking of them.
Pursing this further, my dear friend Gina Harden of Liberty Grows states:
“American Christian Education is synonymous with the principle approach so it’s America’s historic method of reasoning from Biblical principles.”
And, “It’s a philosophy of education and Webster said it’s ‘[T]he only philosophy of Education that can keep a Christian Republic. American Christian Education teaches the rudiments of each subject through biblical reasoning to produce self governing children and citizens.'” ¹
Unquestionably, we see the effects of a different philosophy of education being taught to most students in America today. Therefore, we need to restore America’s Christian form of education in order to help restore our Republic.
In closing, the 4R Method of research, reason, relate, and record is applicable by students as they study. Of course, the 4R Method gives the students the ability to research and develop personal reasoning and reflections from Biblical principles and a Providential view. Assuredly, this leads to Biblical scholarship that is needed in Christian leaders—wherever God calls them to lead.
¹The Foundation for American Christian Education