The Characteristics of American Christian Education
When teaching is distressful for the instructor how much more distressful does it then become for the learner? How unjust is this outcome for the poor individual who is a novice at the feet of someone supposedly learned but driven to demonstrate his competence by demanding that his learners perform an arbitrarily determined degree of competence within arbitrarily determined constraints of time?
If the teacher is driven to teach, then does he not become a virtual taskmaster of his students; and they become burdened with heavy, unreasonable loads to bear? The injustice is so much the greater offense when the novice is but a child.
Biblical education by definition is easy and light. Scripture tells us how children are taught: “For precept must be upon precept, precept upon precept; line upon line, line upon line; here a little, and there a little.” Isaiah 28:10. When one is taught the principles by which to reason in a given subject, and then consistently exercised in reasoning from principles, then he becomes free from, and independent of, rote learning.
American Christian education affords the training of individual reasoning in which one may come to his own correct conclusions in any given subject. Below are what may be identifiable characteristics of American Christian education:
1. Liberty for the individual to reflect, believe, and follow principles — as opposed to enslavement to the strict letter of imposed, formulated, standardized answers.
2. Lessons are suited to ones capacity; given an easy yoke to bear; one is not being given more than he can bear — as opposed to straining under a heavy burden of unreasonable compliance to an arbitrarily standardized load of work.
3. Simple, uncomplicated principles and ideas to master — as opposed to having to master by rote an overwhelming amount of minute facts and information.