A book for supporters of Christian schools

As a new school year begins, it is good to meditate on the reason for Christian education. We make sacrifices to support Christian schools, but why?

Reformed Education lays out the “why”—God’s covenant of grace with believers and their children. This book also reminds us what Christian instruction looks like: lessons based on scripture and the creeds, and a biblical perspective on culture in every subject. Other topics include the qualifications and calling of the Christian school teacher and the goal of education.

You will be encouraged if this is your first time reading this book or if you are picking it up again to re-read. The sacrifices we make for our children’s education have priceless benefits.


Mrs. Zajac Isn’t Coming Back

Mrs. Zajac wasn’t born yesterday. She knows you didn’t do your best work on this paper, Clarence. Don’t you remember Mrs. Zajac saying that if you didn’t do your best, she’d make you do it over? As for you, Claude, [hopefully] you should [n]ever need brain surgery. But Mrs. Zajac hopes that if you do, the doctor won’t open up your head and walk off saying he’s almost done, as you just said when Mrs. Zajac asked you for your penmanship, which, by the way, looks like you did it and ran. Felipe, the reason you have hiccups is, your mouth is always open and the wind rushes in. You’re in fifth grade now. So, Felipe, put a lock on it. Zip it up. Then go get a drink of water. Mrs. Zajac means business, Robert. The sooner you realize she never said everybody in the room has to do the work except for Robert, the sooner you’ll get along with her. And… Clarence. Mrs. Zajac knows you didn’t try. You don’t just hand in junk to Mrs. Zajac. She’s been teaching an awful lot of years. She didn’t fall off the turnip cart yesterday. She told you she was an old-lady teacher.[1]

Mrs. Zajac was only thirty-four years old, but she liked to call herself an “old-lady teacher.” Her hands were always in a flurry of busyness as she accentuated her words in front of the class. When they temporarily stopped and rested on her hips, her hands looked as if they were in holsters. She was a tough teacher, but her students knew she loved them.

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Today's Friday Deal is Reformed Education.

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Reformed Education

The Christian School as Demand of the Covenant

by David J. Engelsma

Reformed Education is an explanation for the people of God of the fundamentals of Christian day-school education. The book demonstrates that the basis of the Christian school is God's covenant of grace with believers and their children. Treating such vital subjects as the place of Scripture and the creeds in the school, the biblical view of culture, the qualifications and calling of the Christian schoolteacher, and the goal of education, the author contends that the covenant of God controls and shapes all aspects of the Christian school.

In the course of this explanation, the book defends Christian schools against serious 
challenges—challenges as old as the claim that the state schools are adequate and challenges as new as the home-schooling movement.
This is the book to put in the hands of all believing parents. It will encourage those committed to Christian education. It will educate those who are doubtful. Christian schoolteachers will benefit from the book's description of their work: a divine calling to help in the rearing of the covenant child. Indeed, if the author is right in saying that all members of the church, whether parents or not, should support the Christian education of the children of believers as the church's own children, all can read the book with profit.

112 pages  |  paperback  | Retail $8.95



*NOTE: Book Club members can get the ebook version for $2.99.


    Christian Education and the Reformed Baptism Form (5): Meditation at the beginning of a new school year

    What is a world view? It is an overall guide for life. However, a world view is particularly interested in our life on earth before the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. That is, our view of the creation. Prof. David J. Engelsma picks up on this point when he writes, "By world view, I understand a comprehensive, unified view of the whole of creation and its history, including the creation's origin, meaning, and goal and including my own life, in light of the triune, true, living God" (Standard Bearer, Vol. 74, no. 16).

    As another school year is upon us, we pause in our treatment of the baptism form as an occasion to contemplate the Christian schools where our students are instructed in the "aforesaid doctrine" of salvation, that is, where they are taught the Reformed Christian world view. The need to instruct our covenant children gives the Christian school the right to existence. As the form says, we want our children to "eternally praise and magnify" our Lord. One of the most important places in which children praise and magnify the Lord is the Christian school where they are instructed in the Reformed Christian world view. There they are taught of the infallibility of scripture, the origins of creation, and the relationship between God and his redeemed, covenant people.

    With that in mind, I would like to consider Engelsma’s definition of world view as taught in the Christian school. We teach our children that God is the only triune and living God. We teach them that he has revealed himself to us in his Son, the word. And because Christ reveals himself in his infallible and inspired word, we are to view all of creation through the scriptures. The world in which we live mocks and scoffs that the Bible is our only guide, especially regarding our belief of the creation of the world and man 6,000 years ago. The scriptures are the only guide and rule for our lives; they reveal the truth of God in every aspect of the creation.

    We teach our children that God created man out of the dust of the ground and woman out of the rib of the man. God breathed into their nostrils the breath of life. That is, man is made up of body, soul, and spirit. This is an incomprehensible wonder of God. Moreover, we believe that God created man good and placed him in fellowship with himself. And as a rational and moral creature, man was created not only with the ability to fellowship, but also with the desire to fellowship with God. Man was created in the image of God, for he had true righteousness, holiness, and knowledge. In thanksgiving and service to God, man ought to serve him as prophet, priest, and king in his creation. Man’s chief end is to glorify God and enjoy him forever. However, man, by the instigation of the devil and his own willful disobedience, fell from his original state.  

    The elect of God receive again the image of God in the new man in Christ (Col. 3:10). The reprobate bear the image of the devil, as Jesus told the Pharisees in John 8:44.

    Let us teachers, parents, board members, and followers of Christian education resolve to instruct our covenant children in the truth of the Reformed world view. While a public school teaches only with this earth in mind, a Christian school must teach with both earth and heaven in mind. Our Christian schools must continue to equip our students to do battle against false doctrines like evolutionism. May we be given grace to train them up in this aforesaid doctrine.


    This post was written by Mike Feenstraa member of the Protestant Reformed Church in Crete, Illinois. Mike also teaches fifth grade at a Christian school in Indiana. 



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