Educational Research Analysts  May 2006 Newsletter  
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Christian High School U.S. History Textbooks Reviewed
Our first time ever
A Beka and BJUP
are works in progress
Are Christian school text­books better than public school text­books for Christian schools?  As a test case, we reviewed the Teach­er's Editions of the two most popular Christian high school U.S. History textbooks, A Beka's United States History in Christian Per­spec­tive: Heritage of Free­dom, and United States History for Christian Schools by Bob Jones University Press (BJUP).  As always we judg­ed subject-matter content, not teaching aids.  Stan­dard re­view criteria were the same as for public school U.S. His­tory texts, though in addition we expected these Chris­tian books to explain underlying Biblical prin­ciples as well.  Page 5 of this newsletter tallies those books' superior­ities to public school U.S. History texts and their deficiencies on Biblical principles.

Page 5 of this newsletter tallies their pluses and minuses.

 Unlike some public school U.S. History texts, these Christian books have no pattern of pejor­atives stigma­tizing con­ser­va­tives and super­la­tives idealizing liberals, no moral equi­va­lence between the West and Com­mun­ism in the Cold War, no anti-family innu­endo, no dis­pro­por­tion­ate subject-matter cov­erage pandering to trendy special inter­ests.  Instead they relate antichristian philo­soph­ies to America's late-20th century moral and spiritual decline.  The A Beka book even defies political correct­ness by explain­ing that nature-worship, animism, and superstition kept the Indians from taming the wild­er­ness like the Euro­peans did, and by debunking the racist myth that Indian wars meant Indians fighting only whites, not each other.
So why do some Christian schools not use Christian books? Often, they say, because public school texts teach superior critical think­ing skills.  Yet about 75% of public school Teach­er's Edition answers to "critical thinking" student text ques­tions are verbatim quotes from the student text narra­tive.  This is rote memo­rization by another name.  The great Amer­i­can public school text­book critical think­ing hoax is just market­ing hype.  Still, these Christian pub­lishers will never match public school text­books at multi­plying teach­ing aids.  They must rout them in Chris­tian education by the rightness of their Biblical U.S. History trans­for­ma­tion.  They are not there yet.  A Beka and BJUP high school U.S. Histo­ry books are better at some things … but wanting in this.

God's Word beckons them to Biblical U.S. History transformation.

These Christian U.S. History books must stress tri­ni­tarian shared sov­ereignty in gov­ernment, must cite Biblical prin­ciples which restrain man's sov­ereign­ty there.  More im­por­tant than Amer­ican leaders pray­ing or in­voking God's name is, Did they govern by Biblical prin­ciples?  Time for Christian Social Studies texts to own the Bible as a po­li­ti­cal and economic guide as well as a moral and spiritual rule. God's Word beck­ons them to wholly cease from secular con­cept­uali­za­tions, to artic­ulate Biblical prin­ci­ples, to vaunt their Chris­to­cen­trism, to pro­foundly re­inter­pret U.S. His­tory, to shame Christian schools that shun them.  Trini­tar­ian­ism is the best in­ter­pre­tive key to U.S. History – its most co­her­ent or­ganizer – because Jesus Christ is Lord.
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