Take a Stand - Part II

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This post is for continued dialog. Read Part I and comments here.

So much good stuff, I decided that answering in a post made the most sense. That way it's easier to comment on my comments and makes my super long responses a little more accessible. ...at least, that's the hope. <smile>

First things first: Thanks for popping in here, everyone! I love reading your thoughts, ideas and insights.

For those requesting something other than Apologia, I've put in another word to Product Development that we need to be on the lookout for another science program. Thanks for the feedback!

Now I'm going to try to express myself better, Mrs. C. I knew I wasn't going to get away without miscommunicating something. Good thing it was with a good friend <smile>.

"So... people who believe the Bible is absolutely literally true and teach their children accordingly are out to INDOCTRINATE their children, not educate them?"

Not at all! Well... that's not what I was trying to say in this post. I'm sure there are some out there who do... just like some on the old earth or evolution side. My point is that Sonlight is dedicated to offering homeschool resources to help you tackle all subjects, including the sticky ones. Now, as I expressed in the post: I believe that a great way to not indoctrinate is to educate by going over both sides of an issue. Explain what you believe and why, and be willing to look at why others disagree with you. That's education. And that's great, no matter where you come down.

And, besides, Sonlight's materials still lean very heavily toward young earth. <smile>

As for the connection to the Pearls, Lynn pretty much nailed it. Sonlight does not carry any of the Pearl's materials--to my knowledge. But when the call came out, I felt I needed to respond. Obviously there was evil done, but how should an education company respond? By asking people to seek to learn and not just buy ideas hook, line and sinker. I know many people who have used their materials with, as far as I can tell, great success. That's because they take the good and reject the bad. And we should all do that with everything we encounter. But should Sonlight really take a stand on one side or another of this issue? I don't think so. Not because this isn't important. But rather that our role is to help you educate your kids, not dictate what or how you do that.

In an effort to educate as much as I could, I included many posts about the death of this little girl in my Other Posts of Note during that time. Since then, the topic has quieted down and I think very important things were discussed and expressed. So, I try to pass on material that educates. What you make of it, or do with it is up to you.

I'll also add: It goes without saying that you should not abuse children.

"If one doesn't present various viewpoints EQUALLY, one is indoctrinating? I don't buy that."

I don't buy that either. It has nothing to do with equality. Education is about learning, indoctrination is about enforcing/dismissing. As long as we maintain a humble attitude and seek to understand where others come from--and in so doing we can better express where we are coming from--we will be learning. It's a position, a style, an approach. This issue has very little to do with amount of time spent on one side or another. And, remember, I totally understand that we must all pick our battles. We simply don't have time to research and present all ideas equally well. Every time we teach something we take time from another opportunity. That's life. May we have the grace to walk in that and the wisdom to do so well.

And, Lynn, I love my job <smile>. I just wish I had more wisdom and grace in my writing.

TC, the Sonlight Forums have been... well.. fascinating and frustrating. We have spent a ton of time trying to make them helpful and inviting. Unfortunately, we get push-back from all sides. We strive to do the right thing, and we ask for grace when we have been unable to do that perfectly. I'm guessing you missed the most recent, er... event? We have started enforcing some policies and, far as I've heard, things are better there. <shrug> For what it's worth...

That is a good point, Diane. However, Sonlight is an education company, not a parenting company. And, as I noted above: Abuse of children is simply wrong. That is evident. What isn't so evident is where the Pearl's misguide people and why. Reading the dozens of posts around that time was fascinating and by no means conclusive. I've personally written about the things I find dangerous with some of the Pearl's teachings, but I doubt Sonlight will ever go there. Those issues are much more grounded in theology, philosophy and psychology and are best left to those who spent their efforts following those pursuits.

Hope Anne, I will gladly say it: Child abuse is wrong! Don't do it! Beating children to death--or nearly so--is wrong. Absolutely. If following the Pearl's teachings leads you to that, don't ever read any of their things again. It's not worth it.

Becky, you're right that many of these issues can become matters of salvation and undermine faith in Christ. There is much work still to be done by persons on all sides to determine how these data and interpretations influence what we believe and how we respond to it. Absolutely. But, just for fun, let's take the idea of death for a moment. I see at least two ways to think of death: 1. Physical demise, and 2. Damnation. I think the fact that things physically expired prior to the Fall is evident in Scripture: Genesis 2:16ff. Adam and Eve ate fruit. Fruit is part of a living organism. For the food to be nourishing to Adam and Eve, the living cells of the plant must have died and been broken down for their system to gain nutrients. In fact, it is entirely possible that had Adam and Eve stopped eating of the Tree of Life prior to the Fall they would have died then. So, in my mind, while it is clear that the Fall introduced spiritual death and separation from God, physical death--on at least a plant level--was already there. In other words: These are absolutely important issues with far-reaching ramifications. But the details are still fuzzy enough to warrant more education.

Which is incredibly fun! There's more to learn! There are more opportunities! We have not yet learned it all.

How cool is that? Pretty cool.

Thoughts?

 ~Luke Holzmann
Filmmaker, Writer, Empty Nester

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