Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Edify the Spirit

Been busy, busy, busy!  Life happens, blogging suffers.  ;-)

Anyway, I was listening to the Christian radio in California one day and a gentleman came on for a brief monologue about schooling.  He was oh-so-briefly covering the options; public, private, home-school, tutors, etc.  In the end, he was happy that he had decided to home-school his children, enlisting the help of some tutors.  Personally I think home-schooling can be done right, so I don't hold a generic prejudice against it, and in turn I could not judge this man for that decision or for encouraging others to do so.  Had he left it at that, it would have been no harm, no foul.  But he didn't.

This guy's closing comment of the commentary was:
"Remember, it is better to edify the spirit than to educate the mind."  
Now that I do have a prejudice against.  The trouble is that what he said is the logical conclusion of the Christian faith, and other faiths as well.  With eternity at stake, is it more important to teach your children Algebra and Biology or to develop an enduring love for God/Jesus within them?  And so, at their offspring's and our nation's peril, ill-equipped children are released into the world cloaked in a stupor of religion.  Is that really "good?"

Personally, I don't see why this is an either/or proposition.  If your faith is real, wouldn't you want to both edify the spirits and educate the minds of your children, so that when they come into the real world they can defend themselves and their beliefs rationally?  I wouldn't accept an either/or choice.



  1. It seems to me that if we are to love the Lord our God with all our hearts and all our strength and all our mind, then educating our children to think clearly and deeply is a prerequisite.

    As a Christian I think have less excuse because I am supposed to believe that I can trust my all-knowing Lord when things don't fit my preconceptions. If I choose to trust He can teach me what I would otherwise never learn.

    Edification implies instruction of the mind. Training and the development of right patterns of behavior (habits) is instruction of the spirit IMO. Training and the development of right patterns of the body is what athletes do.

  2. Hello dsholland:
    I'm going to have to make several assumptions here, so please bear with me if I have missed the mark. ;-)

    Edification is a training of the mind in a sense, but I think it could also be considered "training and developments of right patterns of behavior." One definition (Wiktionary) is "To instruct or improve morally or intellectually," and I think that "improve morally" could overlap with what you call instruction of the spirit.

    Please correct me if I am wrong, but I think you are agreeing that you could both educate the mind and edify the spirit, and that you are saying that there should be nothing to fear in education in secular (not inherently religious) topics (algebra, sociology, history, science, etc.) as long as you trust in God's wisdom. Is that right?

  3. It's rare that I agree with you 100%, but that's the case here. I knew it would happen eventually! ;-)

  4. Awesome! :-) We can be friends after all. :-)