Gary North periodically takes a shot at classical Christian education. This would be fine, and no one in the CCE movement should object to it. Who does not want to warmly greet a hale and hearty interlocutor?
However, it does not follow from this but there’s nothing to object about this article. His most recent foray into this arena is entitled: “So, You’re Thinking About Classical Christian Education. Think Twice.”
That particular article begins with this sentence: “I believe in honesty in advertising,” and goes on to outline a purportedly honest promotional letter for classical Christian education. But the only part of this article that I really want to take issue with is found in the first four words, “I believe in honesty.” The simple reply to that is, no he doesn’t, at least not the intellectual kind. If he were visiting our home — which he would be most certainly welcome to do — I don’t believe we would have to count our spoons after he left. But if the actual positions of his adversaries on this issue of debate were our spoons, Gary North jangles when he walks.
1. If he believed in intellectual honesty then he would cite classical Christian educators, with footnoted references, who were arguing for the things that he says classical Christian Christian education is promoting. Let’s be honest – between us girls – we don’t promote such things. He really shouldn’t attack a movement with hundreds of schools, tens of thousands of students, and multiple publications without demonstrating that he has some kind of first hand awareness of our actual published agenda.
2. If he believed in intellectual honesty then he would not fail to cite the multiple references from classical Christian educators who routinely attack the very same things he is attacking about pagan culture. I know that such citations exist because I wrote many of them. I would even supply them if requested. Alas, I have never been requested.
3. If he believed in intellectual honesty then he would not employ the same tactics that he violently objected to back when he was publishing his recon books. When he used to be quoted out of context or clean contrary to his grammatical meaning, he would object to it. And rightly so. So perhaps we may modify that Bible verse: the measure ye use on your future adversaries 30 years from now will be used on you back in the 80s. Theonomic sanctions occur in history, but are grounded in a timeless eternity, so maybe this is an already/not yet sort of thing in microcosm. From my own perspective, I believe myself to have been remarkably evenhanded on this whole issue. I object to slovenly scholarship when it was done to North and I object to it when it is done by North.
So that’s me, not taking sides.