R. C. Sproul recounts in his book, The Consequences of Ideas, the story of attending a parent conference in a public school when his eldest child entered first grade back in the 1960s.** Sproul listened to the principal explain the school’s philosophy and program, describing specific activities that promote particular aspects of child development. Every activity had purpose.
Finally, Sproul asked the principal, “What kind of child are you trying to produce and why?” The principal answered, “I don’t know. Nobody has ever asked me that question.”
Sproul replied, “I deeply appreciate your candor. . . but frankly, your answer terrifies me.”
The school’s methods stemmed from a purely pragmatic philosophy — what works; what succeeds. But succeeds at what? Pragmatism can foster a child who can do: read, write, compute, relate and respond. But what of the soul of the child? The composition of the heart? The character? The life? For what purposes is the doing?
This applies to our doing, and in this post, to our reading. “What kind of person am I aiming to become through my reading and why?” Continue reading