Do Christian Parents Flirt with the Idol of Education?

| February 17, 2016

Several years ago I was talking with a ministry colleague about some options as I continued pursuing a master’s degree. In the course of conversation I mentioned my disinterest in transferring to one particular seminary, since its reputation wasn’t as strong as the others. “Is that important to you?” my friend casually asked. Puzzled by his lack of concern for academic prestige, I replied that of course it was important to me I attend the best school I could get into.

It wasn’t until I later reflected on that conversation that I recognized my snobbery regarding education. I’d attended an unranked public high school with a low percentage of college-bound students, then received my undergad degree at a highly ranked liberal arts university. So my educational experiences were quite varied. 

Somewhere along the way, though, I had bought the lie that my diplomas define me.

American Idol 

Meet the god of academic achievement. This beloved idol is subtle. Since it’s socially acceptable to pursue education at any cost, we’re not too bothered when the pursuit of academic achievement begins to rule our lives. We hardly notice when fellow Christians size up one another based on their alma mater—or even their children’s preschool. For high school students, this…

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