A Warning About Calvinistic Home Schooling Materials

June 3, 2009 (David Cloud, Fundamental Baptist Information Service, P.O. Box 610368, Port Huron, MI 48061, 866-295-4143, fbns@wayoflife.org; for instructions about subscribing and unsubscribing or changing addresses, see the information paragraph at the end of the article) -

Home schooling is an important movement in North America, and we commend the Christian parents that take the God-given responsibility to train their children seriously. We are thankful for parents that refuse to support the godless, anti-christ, morally-filthy, Darwinistic, humanistic, socialistic, psychologized, paganized, homosexualized public school system. Well does the Word of God warn, “Be not deceived: evil communications corrupt good manners” (1 Corinthians 15:33).

But we must be careful about the influence of unsound literature on young minds. Home schooling curriculums are one of the ways that Reformed Calvinist theology is spreading through independent Baptist circles. Consider some examples. The following three organizations hold to TULIP theology and reject the literal interpretation of prophecy and the pretribulational return of Jesus Christ. They hold to a replacement position which sees the church as the fulfillment of God’s promises to Israel.

CHRISTIAN LIBERTY PRESS is a ministry of the Church of Christian Liberty in Arlington Heights, Illinois, which subscribes to the Presbyterian Westminster Confession of Faith. They believe in the five points of TULIP theology, including “the sovereign unconditional election of God, the particular redemption wrought by the death of Jesus Christ, and the irresistible grace of God.” Christian Liberty supports the Greenville Presbyterian Theological Seminary and the Middle East Reformed Fellowship. They also promote the writings of Reconstructionists/Dominionists Gary North and Gary DeMar. One reader wrote, “When we started homeschooling we used Christian Liberty Press. They have some good material, but they also come from a Reformed perspective. Ironically they use the Jesuit motto ‘Ad maiorem Dei gloriam’ on their books.”

VERITAS PRESS holds the Reformed Calvinist position. They heavily promote the writings of Douglas Wilson and R.C. Sproul. One lady wrote to me recently and said, “My husband has a cousin who now believes in infant baptism because they are using a curriculum [Veritas] based on classical education including Latin and Reform theology/doctrine that leans on the ‘early church fathers.’”

VISION FORUM, which has a worthy goal of building godly families and exhorting fathers to take the headship of their homes, is dedicated to Reformed Calvinistic theology. Its statement of faith includes the following: “All who were chosen in Christ from eternity past are born again by the Holy Spirit, respond from their new hearts with repentance and faith in Jesus, are justified on the basis of the shed blood of Christ, become children of God, and are indwelt, sanctified, and sealed by the Holy Spirit until they are glorified at Christ’s return.” Vision Forum’s books include the following: John Calvin: Man of the Millennium, The Story of the English Puritans, The World’s Greatest Reformation History Library, The Geneva Bible Calvin Legacy Edition, Children’s Stories of the Reformation, Stories of the Covenanters in Scotland, Reformation Heroes, Famous Women of the Reformed Church, Puritan Fathers Classics Library, and Gill’s Body of Doctrinal Divinity (hyper, hyper Calvinism). They even sell a statue of John Calvin.

We want to mention one more home school curriculum provider in this warning, and that is
SONLIGHT, though the problem here is not so much the promotion of Calvinism. The founders of Sonlight, John and Sarita Holzmann, have a background in Presbyterianism (John has an M.Div. from Westminster Theological Seminary in Philadelphia), but they are currently members of a Foursquare Pentecostal church. Sonlight believes that children should be exposed to contrasting and contradictory views in order to develop critical thinking skills. For example, their curriculum includes materials that are written from an “old-earth perspective,” meaning the perspective that the world was not created in six days as Genesis says. For this reason, Sonlight has been banned by the Christian Home Educators of Colorado. One reader wrote, “We used Sonlight for several years, but have quit using their curriculum for numerous reasons, the biggest being that they think you need to expose your children to the world's perspective (material that would be found in public schools).”

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