Review: The Trojan Horse in Christian Education

The Trojan Horse in Christian Education: A Survey of Contributing Thought Trends by Mike and Carolyn Riggs;

This book surveys the major influences on Western civilization through a Biblical worldview and how those influences have affected the modern Christian church and its teachings, especially in regards to children.

The authors start with an explanation of their presuppositions:

1. Scripture is authoritative and infallible.

2. God is sovereign and exists in three persons.

3. Fleshy man, who was once good, is now cursed by sin because of Adam but has a chance at redemption by faith in Jesus.

4. God's judgment in the after-life will result in each of us having an eternal life in hell or heaven.

They explain why those presuppositions are important and how having the opposite presuppositions will lead to much hopelessness and depraved thinking and living.

Next is a brief overview of the major periods of history, from Creation to the 1900s. They highlight major events and influential people who have shaped modern-day Western civilization. Then they show how secular and humanistic thinking has crept in and shaped the modern church and its teachings, especially in the children's Sunday school.

In the second part of the book, the authors discuss practical ways to avoid humanistic philosophy as we endeavor to teach our children as well as how to teach them the WHOLE truth about God, sin, the plan of salvation, etc.

This book is easy to read and to follow. It has a good list of endnotes, a glossary, and an extensive index. And it's reasonably priced. My only concern is that the book looks so big and thick that people will not want to read it. However, I finished the book in seven days, and I am a slow reader. Some might not like that it is spiral bound, though I did not find it bothersome. (Perfect binding is now available as well as an abridged version without the chapter questions.)

I love this book! It does a great job in showing how our schools became the way they are now and how the Christian church has followed. It shows how Christian publishers have dumbed down the Christian teachings in their children's Sunday school materials. For example, the vast majority of Sunday school curriculums for preschoolers teach the simplistic "God is Love." But God is so much more than love, and a child needs to know that as soon as possible. Secular thinking says that children are too young to learn the other attributes of God, so don't teach them. What does God say? He says to teach the law to your children, train up your child, and teach your children in the fear and admonition of the Lord. By these standards, we ought to be teaching the whole truth about God as early as possible. The authors point out the dangers of neglecting the proper teaching of our children: "Humanistic society is ready, willing, and eager to fill the gap left by a theologian's, a teacher's, or a parent's neglect or compromise" (p. 152).

After reading this book and a book by John Taylor Gatto, The Underground History of American Education, I felt my eyes were finally opened. I had always felt that something was wrong with public education, modern-day thinking, and the typical Sunday school but didn't know why. Now I know why. The authors did a good job of taking a complicated issue and breaking it down into understandable components.

I cannot recommend this book enough! All pastors, Sunday school teachers, and homeschoolers need to read it!

-Product review by Carissa Ruiz, The Old Schoolhouse Magazine, LLC, January, 2008 ©2009 TheHomeschoolMagazine.com is a division of The Old Schoolhouse® Magazine, LLC. All rights reserved. No content may be removed or used without permission from TheHomeschoolMagazine.com.