Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Public Schools and Epistemology

“Epistemology” is simply the combination of two Greek words meaning the study or science of knowledge.  Epistemology deals with the question “How do we know?”.

Everything that we know and think has an epistemological foundation. And because we act in accordance to what we believe, our actions also have an epistemological foundation.  Our entire life, therefore, has an epistemological foundation.  For this reason epistemology is an extremely important subject.

When all is said and done, we will find that there are two and only two possible different sources of knowledge in the universe: there is the interpretation of facts beginning with and proceeding from God, and there is the interpretation of facts beginning with and proceeding from His fallen creatures. There is the trustworthy omniscience of the Creator, or the darkened and foolish minds of fallen creation.  These are the only possible epistemological foundations upon which we build our lives and they are diametrically opposed!

There is no in-between!  One epistemology is God centered; the other creature centered.  The one is Christ centered; the other anti-Christ.  The one is true; the other a lie. One is the truth; one is the suppression of truth. One is reality; the other a departure from it (a form of insanity).  The one is derived from God’s mind in Scripture; the other from fallen, sinful minds.

The very first act of disobedience had an epistemological foundation.  Eve was told that in the day that she ate of the forbidden fruit she would die, Satan on the other hand had told her that she would be made wise. Here, at this early date in history, Eve was presented with the two epistemological options that we are still presented with today: the Revelation of God, or a Satanic lie. Eve chose the latter and built her actions upon a faulty foundation.  Having rejected the Word of God and starting with the wrong epistemology, Eve enticed her husband to sin and the world was plunged into death.  The former epistemological foundation would have led to obedience and life, while the latter led to the death and destruction that we are still reaping to this very day.

The epistemology that we start with has radical and far reaching consequences! If you begin with lies, where do expect to end up?  The unbeliever, beginning with a sinful epistemology, cannot properly understand anything.  He cannot properly understand the moon, the sun, mathematics, history, geography or anything  else. All these things were created to teach us about our Creator and to be used to glorify Him; but the epistemology of unbelief begins with a denial of the God who gives definition to all things, from this point it must necessarily go wrong.  Though they may end up understanding some small portions of some facts (the moon is a planet), they will always end up misinterpreting reality (it was formed by chance when a bunch of nothing exploded and now it just happens to exist).

True knowledge must start with the Lord, “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge….” (Proverbs 1:7).  The only knowledge that can legitimately be called knowledge must begin with the Lord.
Childhood is the time of setting and squaring our children’s lives to Christ, the true Cornerstone. (“For other foundation can no man lay than that is laid, which is Jesus Christ.” 1 Corinthians 3:11). Could there possibly be a worse time to let a group of strangers take your child away from your supervision and lay down the wrong cornerstone? Contrary to all common sense, many of today’s Christians seem to think that they can build a sturdy structure (godly children) upon a rotten foundation (the public school’s Anti-Christ epistemology).

What a bizarre and confusing spectacle we Christians must be to the unbelieving world: the Children of Light sending our children to the schools of darkness to learn. The Sons of Life sending our children to be educated according to the epistemology of death.  The people who know the truth sending our children to schools built on lies.  Spiritual schizophrenics  sadly trying to straddle the epistemological fence.

Is it any wonder that the world sees the Church as irrelevant?

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