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Millstones & Stumbling Blocks: Understanding Education in Post-Christian America Paperback – March 15, 2006

4.4 out of 5 stars 11 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

... Brad Heath understands the stakes and eloquently points the way. -- Bruce Shortt, Attorney, and author of The Harsh Truth about Public Schools

Christian parents with children in the government school system can’t receive Brad Heath’s hard, pointed, and piercing message often enough. -- Patch Blakey, Executive Director, The Association of Classical & Christian Schools

Heath’s analysis of the ... consequences of rejecting Christian education and embracing public schooling is among the best yet written. -- E. Ray Moore, Jr., Chaplain (Lt. Col.) USAR Ret., Founder and Director, Exodus Mandate

If you can handle a paradigm threat with a whiff of humor, read Brad Heath’s Millstones & Stumbling Blocks. -- Marshall Fritz, President, Alliance for the Separation of School & State
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 144 pages
  • Publisher: Fenestra Books (March 15, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1587365561
  • ISBN-13: 978-1587365560
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.3 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 4.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #875,754 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Cathy Duffy on March 6, 2006
Format: Paperback
Brad Heath challenges Christians to rethink their educational choices, but he does it with such beautiful and pithy prose that Millstones is a delight to read even as it opens gashes in your psyche.

Among the opening salvoes in the first chapter:

"Modern public schooling is the wall-mounted trophy head of a formerly lionhearted education. Its truncated and lifeless hulk provides a tamed likeness of the once vibrant and powerful creature whose pursuit exhilarated the hearts and minds of countless students. To be the prey of such learning was to be mauled by beauty, truth, and goodness; to stalk it to its lair was an expedition fraught with danger and delight. Sadly, the taxidermists of modernity have done their work well. Public schooling is a hollow shell, a stuffed charade, a glass-eyed cadaver of the once substantive education preceding it. Public schooling is a poor imitation of true education--an inert imposture that is rigid, posed, and dead" (p. 15).

Heath continues to make his case with plenty of stories and examples that make the book a pleasure to read. And he makes a case that should be convincing to Heath's intended audience of Bible believing Christians.

The last third of the book adds a secondary but critically related theme that faults modern evangelical Christianity for either abandoning education to the secular world or creating "Christian schools" that merely mimic government schools, adding a veneer of Christianity with a "Bible" class rather than providing an integrated, holistic Christian education rooted in both Scripture and history.
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Format: Paperback
Unlike other books advocating Christian education, Millstones confronts the practical and theological errors of the evangelical church in abdicating the education of children to the government schools. Families persuaded of the necessity of Christian education will find useful points of dialogue for helping others understand and commit to Christian schools or home education. Heath's analysis of the cultural and moral consequences of rejecting Christian education and embracing public schooling is among the best yet written. If the trumpet gives an uncertain sound who will prepare for battle? Heath sounds a clarion call for the evangelical church to commit to Christian education as part of their walk of faith and obedience.
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Brad Heath has entered the growing arena of authors justifiably condemning the government school system. Before you say, "Oh, no! Not another one!" remember that the apostle Paul wrote, "To write the same things to you, to me indeed is not grievous, but for you it is safe" (Phil 3:1). Christian parents with children in the government school system can't receive Brad Heath's hard, pointed, and piercing message often enough. Contrary to the firmly held but false beliefs of many Christian parents, the government school system is not a blessing from God, but rather, a millstone about the neck of our nation, and more specifically about the neck of the children that the Lord has entrusted to the diligent care of their believing parents. As Brad Heath aptly points out, "We did not know this" will not be a satisfactory response from parents when called to give an account for giving their children up to "Caesar."
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This book makes you think about what we should be thinking about, and not wishing for. The problems in the government schools have been ignored by Christians for far to long. This is not a book that targets people, but the system. I can't be reformed, because it was set up to get rid of Christianity in our society. Christian beliefs go directly against an "open anything goes" society.

Bureaucracies don't survive thinking societies, and the Elite don't like sharing power. Individuals are a threat to that kind of power. Weaken the family and their beliefs, and you can be in complete control. Turn families against each other, and you don't have solidarity among the masses.

This book is a must read for anyone sitting on the fence while thinking about homeschooling.
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Heath's overall message comes across clearly: education is enculturation, and public schools have done an effective job systematically teaching our kids to marginalize their faith and subordinate God to false idols. Like Nancy Pearcey or Harry Blamires, Heath sound the call for Christians to take seriously the role of the Christian mind as we train up our children to think and act in accord with Christian presuppositions.

All schools, says Heath, are in the disciple-making business; education is an atmosphere, a discipline, and a way of life. He gives answers to those typical rebuttals Christians provide regarding the appropriateness of public schools (e.g. salt and light, neutral education, etc.). Some Christians support the use of public schools by citing Daniel and Joseph, who were deeply involved in pagan institutions and used mightily by God. Says Heath, "We should never willingly sell our children into Egyptian slavery or purposefully exile them into Babylonian captivity. It is one thing to be forced into a pagan culture and atheistic education; it is quite another to embrace it through convenience, apathy, or neglect." Indeed, much of the problem is the anti-intellectual bent of many Christians; we'll talk about the Oprah topic of the day, but delving into the merits of ideas under the auspices of the Christian worldview is often a stretch.

Heath's emphasis on discipleship and enculturation hits hard. Despite many faithful Christians working in the public school system, government schools cannot teach Christ's Lordship in all of life. Schools do not simply teach subjects, provide knowldege, or prepare students for college. More importantly, they train students to be wise, virtuous, and honorable as they seek to love God in all they think and do. If and when Christian parents recognize this, enrolling their children in the public schools becomes an untenable option.
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