“Is Christian Education really that important?
Is it that necessary?
Have you had similar thoughts to mine? How would you respond to those questions?
Although I attended a wonderful Christian school for Kindergarten through 12th grade and chose a Christian college to study education, I was open to teaching in any kind of school after graduation. I applied to many public schools but only one Christian School and prayed that God would open the right door. God made the answer clear as only one door opened – to teach in a Christian School in Fredericksburg, Virginia.
Although I was happy and supportive of my school, I was not sold on Christian Education at first. However, in the last 20 years, I have changed from viewing Christian Education as “a nice choice for some” to the focus of my professional career.
Yet I still frequently pause to ask myself, “Is this really worth giving so much of my time, energy, and money? Why?”
On Tuesday night Ken Ham, prominent creationist (CEO of Answers in Genesis and the Creation Museum), engaged in public debate with Bill Nye (of “Bill Nye the Science Guy” fame) on the topic of the validity of creationism as an explanation for the origin of the universe. There were not many surprises in the debate– Bill Nye did not “convert” to a belief in creationism, nor did Ken Ham capitulate on his strong stance against evolution.
But really, public debates of this nature are not for the purpose of changing the mindset of the debaters. Rather, debates offer the public the opportunity to listen to two (or more) thoughtful individuals engage in a disciplined, well-reasoned dialogue about an important issue. Observers should come away with a greater understanding of the overall issue and of the opposing viewpoints. Unfortunately, the vast majority of people think of debates only in terms of the angry exchanges on talk radio and television news shows. These spectacles are not true debates. By contrast, last night’s debate was a thoughtful public discourse, and we can applaud both Nye and Ham for being respectful (for the most part) and being willing to debate in the first place.
To look for a winner is to miss the point of such a debate (and if we are honest, most people’s opinions on who “won” will most likely be derived from their starting view of evolution versus creation).
So what was the point of the debate, especially if we cannot objectively and decisively declare a winner?