Wisdom from Charlotte Mason on Helping our Children Integrate Science and Faith

This year, my wife began homeschooling our two boys. One of the authors that writes about educating children whom she really appreciates is Charlotte Mason. Mason advocated a holistic approach to education, which placed a strong emphasis on creating the kind of learning environment that fosters both intellectual and character formation. She strove to create an atmosphere that cultivated a love for learning as a basic disposition of one’s character and as a way of engaging all of life. One motto that summarizes her approach well is: “Education is an atmosphere, a discipline, a life.”

The other day my wife came across a blog post in which the author, Karen Glass, reflects on Mason’s approach to evolution in light of her Christian faith and her philosophy of education. I really enjoyed reading it and found her approach to be exemplary. It is instructive for Christians not only as they engage the “evolution” issue, but also as they engage the “faith and science” discussion more broadly (regardless of where one stands on evolution).

I recommend Glass’s post to you, which you can find by clicking the link below. Thanks, Elena, for bringing it to my attention!

Click this link to read the article.

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4 Responses to Wisdom from Charlotte Mason on Helping our Children Integrate Science and Faith

  1. Candace Hamm says:

    I love this quote from Charlotte Mason from the accompanying article….”the teaching of to-day may be the error of to-morrow because new light may lead to new conclusions even from the facts already known.”
    It has never quite made sense to me how we seem to think that we have to reconcile the Bible with every new development in that which we think we know. I’d prefer to reserve judgement for a few hundred years and see if anything we know still stands then…! I fear that by working to make the Bible relevant as opposed to letting us fall in line with the Bible, we are in great danger of projecting our own errors onto it. This cannot lead to good. Anyways… I enjoy reading your work, and sometimes I can hear snippets of what you folks must be working on running through my conversations with the boys in lessons!

    • Thanks Candace. This certainly is a tension that must be held carefully. We need to be careful about reading the Bible through our own ideology. My concern is that we (conservative evangelicals) have been guilty of doing just that (i.e., linking our reading of the Bible with views it was not designed to teach, such as YEC creationism), so much of the present work is actually about going back to the ancient contexts of texts such as Gen. 1-3 and interpreting in light of those contexts (and not through modern debates and ideologies). This has opened space to ask new questions about how we understand creation, in light of current science. That’s important, because both the spiritual and the physical are domains of truth. Both the Bible and the World together make up God’s “2 Books.” We ignore either to our detriment.

      I too worry about the pressures to make the Bible ‘relevant’ (whatever that means!). But am concerned for truth and for honesty, as we study both science and the Bible. I blogged briefly about why the conversation between faith and science is so important here: https://patrickfranklin.wordpress.com/2013/10/15/why-dialogue-between-science-and-faith-is-crucial-for-christian-theology/


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