A short review of “When You Rise Up”

July 27, 2006

I finished reading whenriseup short little treatise on homeschooling and found it to be engaging in its’ conversation and elucidation of various points. Primarily the book offers a philospohy of Christian education which rests on the biblical mandate found in the Shema (Deut. 6.4-9). Throughout, Sproul Jr. returns to this text again and again as he shapes out a simple methodology for raising children “in the nurture and admonition of the Lord”. First discussed are basic questions of education; who should teach our children? What should they be taught? What is the goal of education? Then the discussion moves to the command and calling of parents to educating their child. Sproul Jr.’s drawing out of what he calls ‘the three Gs’ is based from the same passage in Deuteronomy and means that primarily we are to teach our children who God is, what God has done, and what God requires of us. Throughout his treatment of these ideas Sproul Jr. calls to question some basic assumptions about education that one may have adopted from the state sytem or another human philosophy. He also seeks to have one’s view of and approach to homeschooling taken within the context of the greater battle of the seed of the woman and the serpent. It is the antithesis between the world, flesh, and the devil and the life of those in covenant with God through which he draws out the importance of rethinking assumptions, exposing fallacies in differing purposes of education. The only real criticism I have of his treatment would be the approach that is taken toward differences between boys and girls and the things that they should be taught. This area of his discussion seems to be oversimplified and leaves something to be desired when explaining that Sally needs to know all the domestic arts while Johnny needs to know how to shoot a gun. While he is careful to say that girls and boys need to know many of the same things in their education, he is not convincing in his argument for about what they need to know concerning their differing roles. Overall, the book is at once enjoyable and easy to read, and I found his comment about living “simple, deliberate, and separate lives”, to be most thought-provoking in terms of my own living out my faith. With this idea he speaks of the cultural norm of and our own view toward personal peace and affluence and calls to question the whole idea of what worldliness really means…not merely certain flagrant sins, but moreso a lack of faith and ‘friendship’ with God.

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