Once, at a conference, a fellow Christian school administrator told me - somewhat jokingly - of this little exchange he had with a prospective parent.
“What about science?” the parent had asked him, as they rooted for how the school handles controversial topics.
“We can explain that away too,” the Head of School happily announced in response.
Sadly, too often, this is sort of antipathy that exists between science and Christian education communities. In some ways, this fearful reaction makes a lot of sense. A lot of modern science, being based on the assumption of Naturalism (think Carl Sagan saying “The Universe is all there is; all there has been; all there ever will be.”) has been in opposition to all religion and to Bible-believing Christianity in particular. It makes sense for Christians to be skittish about some science.
That’s what makes choosing a science book so hard for a Christian school. I remember wrestling with this at one point in our school’s history. While I really wanted to choose a Christian publisher, I also wanted our students to really learn about science, and learn it well. That was more of a challenge that I thought perhaps it should be! Many Christian publishers made science books that really ended up being more like apologetics books about science.
I kept thinking, “But when are they actually going to learn science?”
The Bible affirms both that God created all things and that He sent His spirit to move the writers of Scripture to pen truth. This means that God is the Author of the Book of Scripture and the Book of Nature. We should be exploring both and we should be learning about Him as we do.
Classical Christian schools have to wrestle with quandaries like this, because we are committed to exploring both of those Books and we are committed to teaching our students how to read the Bible and how to explore the world using the scientific method.
When asked, “Which do you want: science or the Bible?” Classical Christian schools happily answer, “Yes, we will take those. Both please.” This is because we believe that if rightly interpreted, Scripture and Nature will be consistent and will point to the same Author.
At least that is what I hoped we were doing.
The Good Soil Report was so encouraging on this point. It includes data that made me do a double take, and it was so powerful that I wanted to share it with you. Classical Christian school graduates trust the Bible AND scientists (this is where the double take happened). It is exactly what I wanted to see from my students. They trust God, but they have their critical faculties honed by our faculty to know both the limits of and the usefulness of science and induction. Here are three graphs that prove the point.
When asked if they trusted scientists, classical Christian school graduates were in a dead heat with public and private prep school graduates (at 20%, 20%, and 19%). However, when asked if science and religion are mostly compatible, the stark difference can be seen.
- ACCS (Classical Christian): 73%
- Public: 42%
- Private Prep: 44%
When asked if there are science and history errors in the Bible, the difference is again palpable.
- ACCS: 21%
- Public: 50%
- Private Prep: 41%
- Catholic School (gasp!): 50%
- Evangelical School: 30%
- Homeschool: 34%
My second daughter loves Chemistry. She really loves Chemistry. I know that many students do. I want them to be prepared for callings that take them into the highest levels of responsibility in the scientific world…and want them to go there with their faith intact and informing all that they do. That is why I was so blessed by these numbers. Classical Christian students learn to love and trust science, but they trust it in a way that enables them to continue trusting Christ and His Word.
If you want your child to answer the question, “Which do you want: science or the Bible?” with the answer, “Yes, I will take both, please,” then you should consider a Classical Christian school.
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