Friday, May 3, 2013

In Review: 3 Again

These three books were vastly different, yet brought much pleasure to read.  The first was the most laborious, the second, a borrowed book that was a page turner, and the third, a gift from a friend and very informative.  I enjoy reading any chance I can get and I'm pleased that I've been able to consume 3 times as many books as I anticipated this month.

The Harsh Truth About Public Schools by Bruce Shortt

I think the title of this book accurately sums up what the contents inside hold.  I read a few reviews on it and one lady was quite put off by his harshness.  Um, did you even read the title, lady?  He is unapologetic about his findings, his views, and presents a plethora of research, studies, and statistics just to drive home his point on {almost} every single page.  About 90 pages at the end of the book are just endnotes to source his facts and findings.  You could not ask for a better reference guide to how awful the government schools are doing in every area for some ammunition against the defenders of a sinking ship.

"Research from the Nehemiah Institute shows that children from Christian homes who attend government schools are five times more likely to adopt such anti-christian dogmas as moral relativism than those who attend Christian schools." pp. 13

"The fact is that government schools are killing our children spiritually, morally, and intellectually.  But most of us don't even see the problem;" pp. 14

And it's true.  On these three grounds the government funded education is failing your children by a Christian standard.  It's no hidden fact that children raised in Christian homes and who attended church are leaving the faith of their parents behind.  This is the fundamental reason: parents don't think it is their responsibility to educate their children!-academically or spiritually.  It's the highly trained professional teachers who are responsible for making sure my child gets a good education; it's the Sunday school teachers and youth pastors who are responsible for teaching my children about God.  He doesn't go into the latter, but definitely the former.

Each chapter is fascinating and a bit horrifying to read.  I think chapter two was the hardest to read because it was so explicit in the perversion and morally bankrupt culture in the schools.  It’s true, I never attended a public school, but most of my church friends did, and I was invited to go to school events including homecomings.  It was through that small window I can attest to the grotesque nature of the schools, so it doesn’t shock me to hear what Mr. Shortt says in his book, though it does make me sick.

In this book you get an understanding of the history behind education in America, how the schools were started and how they ended up where they are today.  You get a sense of the political agenda and driving force behind modern education as well as see the painful reality of the failing academic side of the failure.  He doesn’t leave out the disciplinary failures as well as complete lack of any standard for morality.  And yes, he even points his finger at you [the parent] who says, Yeah, well my kid’s school is different.  Above all, I appreciated his research about the very early education in this country and those of reformed protestants influence in education for everyone.  At the end of his book he offers a chapter of helpful information for parents who are looking for either a private Christian school to send their children, or the resources to learn about home education.

So what is his point?  “A Christian education must impart a Christian worldview in which the sovereignty of God and the central role of Jesus Christ in human history and affairs are understood by every Christian child.” Pp. 315-316.  But clearly, this is not the case for public schools.

This gets a 4 Star. 4) being, a really great book, useful to instruct, thought provoking/good entertainment, very challenging, growth as a reader, way more good than bad, would recommend. Worth reading again.  With the caveat that not every Christian parents needs to read this, but every Christian parent with children in the public schools, or planning to put their children IN the public schools needs to read this.

The Last Sacrifice by Hank HaneGraaff & Sigmund Brouwer
This is the second book in this series, fictionally set in the persecution early believers might have endured during the tribulation set in Revelation.  I think it’s fascinating that they included the disciple John in this fictional series.  The previous book was more about him, but his character is more prominent in this second book.  They have a cast of characters all interwoven, including zealous Jews, Jewish Christians, and a myriad of Romans.  Some of the perversions in this book are hinted at, but not as explicit as the last book, in my opinion.  So in that sense I liked it better.

Again, I think this is way better than the left behind series.  The history in it fascinates me.  The Christian culture is much more vivid, vibrant, and full of life than in the LB series.  Plus, this is an eschatology of hope, as opposed to the bleak and hopeless one of LB.

This gets a 4 ½ Stars. 4) being, a really great book, useful to instruct, thought provoking/good entertainment, very challenging, growth as a reader, way more good than bad, would recommend. Worth reading again.

Beautiful Babies by Kristen Michaelis
This is the book given to me by a friend from church.  What an excellent book!  This is not just for those women pregnant or wanting to be pregnant. This is an excellent resource for traditional nutrition in general. As well as a great navigational tool to wade the waters of "food" in our modern culture. What is good to eat and why. I appreciated her being a Christian, though I differed with her on a few points. Overall, a great book I would recommend to anyone wanting a great introduction, refresher, or more information on healthy, whole, and real foods.

She includes recipes in the back of the book, some great charts and lists for navigating the waters of GMO’s, MSG, oils, and tips on how to manage your kitchen, even on a budget.  A very practical book for starting changes in your diet.  Yes, it has some wonderful information on breastfeeding, what foods young children should eat, and what to avoid, as well as things to eat for fertility, and things to eat while pregnant.  But, it is in general, a great health foods book.  The Foreword was written by Joel Salatin!  All in all, I am glad I read this, and I use it as a reference guide now.  I would highly recommend this to any woman married, with children, or no children but want children.  In fact, it may even be a gift choice. (:  I appreciate the friend who gave this to me as a gift!

This gets a 4 Star. 4) being, a really great book, useful to instruct, thought provoking/good entertainment, very challenging, growth as a reader, way more good than bad, would recommend. Worth reading again.

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