Combating Theological Indifference

I remember one particular Sunday morning at a church I no longer attend.  I was asked to fill in as the teacher in a senior adult class whose teacher was not able to be there that day.  There was 12-15 people in the class and I knew them all.  Most had been faithful member of the church for many years (some as long as 30 or 40 years).  I don’t remember what the text was that day but I do remember that the subject of the passage was spiritual gifts.  About 1/2 through the lesson I noticed that the people seemed lost.  When that happens the cause is usually either that I have done a very poor job of teaching that day or it was a topic the people were not familiar with.  At one point I stopped the lesson and asked how many of them had heard of spiritual gifts or knew what they were.  The answer:  blank stares.  The response still stuns me.  I don’t say that to disparage or condemn anyone present in the class that day.  It is however an indictment of the church (in general).  Many churches are guilty of not teaching theology or worse, teaching that theology doesn’t matter.  My point here is not limited to the topic of spiritual gifts.  I think there are many theological topics which would have elicited the same response by a large portion of the church going population.  It was an indication of the theological indifference we see among believers today.

This theological indifference is a result of many complex issues all working together.  My purpose today is to offer one suggestion that will help to alleviate this problem.  My suggestion is not a quick fix or an immediate answer.  It is however very likely to work…given enough time.  So what is my suggestion?  I suggest that churches begin to teach systematic theology, in age appropriate ways, to children at the earliest possible opportunity.  There are curriculums available to help with this or the church can develop its own way of doing it.  How (method, material) it is done is less important than why it is done.  The purpose of teaching theology to kids is 1) to glorify God, 2) help them to develop a biblical worldview, and 3) help God be real to them as they learn more about Him.  A side benefit to this is that as the kids learn theology so will the adults.

So, basically I am saying that the children are our future (I could not resist that) and we should follow the biblical teaching to train up a child in the way he should go and when he is old he will not depart from it.  I have not suggested anything new or profound here.  I am only getting back to the biblical model.  Do you agree of disagree?  Have I left something out that you think should be added?  Leave a comment and we will discuss it.



Homeschooling Report

We are completing our first week of the school year so I thought it would be a good time to give a quick report.  The early indication is that we are going to have a good year.  The kids are excited and enjoying the curriculum we chose.  We are using Switched-On Schoolhouse by Alpha Omega Publications.  This is a computer based curriculum.  Both girls have laptops (used laptops) with headphones so they can change where they do their lessons if they choose.  The curriculum seems to be easy to use.  So far the material covered in each of the modules (Bible, Math, Language Arts, History & Geography, Science) seems to be pretty good.  There is a teacher module which allows us to log in and review all their lessons (completed as well as future).  It allows us to see how they did on the lessons so we can see where they may need some additional work.  It also prepared for us a lesson plan and allows us to modify it if we need to.  It also helps to track our days of attendance.  So far I am impressed with Switched-On Schoolhouse.

We still have a long way to go so it remains to be seen whether or not the school year will continue to go smoothly but I am hopeful.  If you have started yet, how is your year going so far?

To Homeschool or Not?

My wife and I have been discussing whether or not to homeschool next year.  We have homeschooled our daughters in the past but not the last couple years.  Next year we have decided to homeshool again, unless something unforeseen happens between now and then. They will be entering the 6th and 3rd grades.

We have been looking at curriculum again.  We really like the Bob Jones homeschool curriculum (that is what we used before) but the video formats didn’t work well with my daughters.  We have been considering the Switched On Schoolhouse curriculum.  The computer based curriculum should work well with our daughters.  We are also looking at some electives for them.  We will probably use Spanish as one elective (they have many friends who are Mexican immigrants – the kids speak English and Spanish but most of the parents don’t know much English).

Do you homeschool?  If so, what curriculum do you use?  What are its strengths and weaknesses?  Would you recommend it to others?