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Double Minded

A double minded man is unstable in all his ways, James 1:8.

There is a movement in American life to simplify educational standards, and I am sure it has counterparts in many lands. Ivy league schools are considering dropping classical studies. Learning about Homer, or Cesar, or the Peloponnesian Wars is seen as dull and needless. It is even seen as harmful since modern educators can see little value in inculcating young minds with such outdated information. It considered too hard to learn for too little value to the student.

Also, in many educational circles subjects such as grammar, higher math, science and history are slowly being dumbed down to accommodate more students. Some of the principal opponents of that kind of educational dilution are Evangelical and Fundamental preachers and educators. From pulpits and in their journalistic endeavors they descry the downhill slouching of educational standards and the coddling of students that leaves the students less prepared to think and reason.

Then they switch gears when it comes to the bible. They take glee in simplifying it. The very fact that the King James Bible is written in a contemplative style in which each word has an exact meaning and is set forth with grammatical precision and often uses older classical words with older classical definitions becomes their rallying cry against it.

Recently a reader of this blog quoted her pastor who preferred the ESV in a particular passage because it was easier to understand. I replied thus:

Most American Evangelicals and Fundamentalists are opposed to the movement in education wherein math is made easier and non-essential, history is watered down, and science is taught on a cursory level. They grew up with an ethic that challenged the young to strive on a yearly basis to improve their basic knowledge and sharpen their reasoning skills and they seek to preserve that ethic. They go so far as to create separate schools and colleges to preserve those higher standards. Then they throw it all away by displacing the King James Bible which requires a disciplined mind and contemplative thought to understand it.

If your pastor were to argue that a child who was fed steak that had already been chewed by his mother and spoon fed to the child, the child would find his steak easier to assimilate and digest; I could not refute that. I would point out that the poor child was missing something essential to life. In the process of cutting that steak, learning how large a bite should be, chewing it as the flavor slowly flowed over his tongue and learning to judge how well it should be chewed before swallowing, the child was far healthier and a more well rounded person than the child who had his mother masticate his food. In fact, one of my sons pursued a study in which a dentist discovered that the reason so many young people today need to have their wisdom teeth removed is that our modern diets never exercise the jaws properly and as a result the jaw shrinks or does not expand to its full capacity. That dentist found indigenous people with natural diets who had fully formed jaws and their teeth fit perfectly.

There is an analogy here that demonstrates the mushy thinking capacities of modern America. As much as your pastor hates the trend in modern thought when it comes to the average person's ability to reason, he is a leader in the movement towards that decline. There is simply no other document in the English Language whereby so many people learned the skills of contemplative thought, reasoning, and logic. All evidence of our forefathers' abilities in those disciplines of thought show that they were well exercised therein. Most of them learned those skills through the King James Bible.

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