General Review: Events viewed in the Light of God’s Word -- By: Herman A. Hoyt

Journal: Grace Journal
Volume: GJ 05:2 (Spring 1964)
Article: General Review: Events viewed in the Light of God’s Word
Author: Herman A. Hoyt


General Review:
Events viewed in the Light of God’s Word

Herman A. Hoyt

President, Grace Theological SeminarV

At last an educator of some note assesses the trend in modern public school education and pronounces anathemas upon it. Before the 68th Congress of American Industry, sponsored by the National Association of Manufacturers, Dr. Max Rafferty, Superintendent of Public Instruction in the State of California, delivered a notable address in New York City on December 6, 1963. U.S. News and World Report considered it sufficiently important to the American public to carry lengthy and revealing excerpts from this message.

Although the address may have covered a far wider area than is reported, the editors of U.S. News and World Report chose three points of emphasis in this message where present day educators are least likely to differ with current trends: the spiritual, the political, and the academic, in that order. Had it been a clergyman, a statesman, or an academician outside the field of professional education, this address might well have been in perspective. But the very fact that it is a professional educator weighing the worth of his own profession, and finding it wanting in important respects, should give pause to all who read it.

Heading the list are his remarks on the spiritual fortunes of present day public education. Here are some of his statements:

Public education, which was originally founded in our land to bulwark and interpret religion, is today forbidden to do anything of the sort.

…the use of the schools for sectarian religious purposes entered upon sharp and precipitate decline which has continued to this day, and which has brought us to the point where the singing of Christmas carols has come under attack, and graduation baccalaureate services have to be held off the high school campus.

The history of religion, the immeasurable cultural contribution to our heritage made by Judaeo-Christian tradition, the moral and ethical values of Western civilization, all these things can and should be taught to the children of America. They should be told, among other things, that this nation was first settled by persons with devoutly religious convictions, that our people were among the first to solve the age-old problem of permitting many differing religious groups to live peaceably side by side, and that no religious wars have ever sullied our American countryside.

From the viewpoint of one who is a student of the Scriptures, one might be inclined to differ with him on certain points, realizing that he confuses certain very vital issues; yet basically he is feeling after that quality which has been lost to public education in the exclusi...

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