Monthly Archives: April 2012
ACE frequently distorts the truth about science for its students. To make this possible, obviously the students can’t have a proper understanding of the scientific method. Sure enough, if we look at what they’re told, we see that students are misled about how science works.
First of all, the basis for inquiry – logical reasoning – is thrown out:
Man should never trust his own reasoning – his reasoning may be incorrect because man’s reasoning is not God’s reasoning.
OK, so if we can’t get to the right answer through reason, how can we get there? Well, luckily God has told us the right answers. Read the rest of this entry
One of my aims for this blog is to promote understanding of what Christian fundamentalists believe. There is very little knowledge in the UK of this type of belief, either in terms of what it entails, or how many people hold these views.
Communication between fundamentalists and society at large is very difficult, because there are irreconcilible differences in their respective uses of language. For example, let’s look at two adjectives: “liberal,” and “secular.”
Many moderate advocates of a tolerant, pluralist society use these terms. “Liberal,” to these people, means broad-minded, free from bigotry, avoiding dogma, and willing to consider all ideas.
My Accelerated Christian Education schoolbook, on the other hand, said that liberals are those who “reject God’s absolutes.” Every time the word was used in an ACE text, it was to denote the opposite of godliness, and I inferred from context that liberal equated to evil.
In this article I am going to argue that Christian fundamentalism is not a faith position. The former Bishop of Edinburgh, Richard Holloway, declared, “the opposite of faith is not doubt, it is certainty.” As their language and actions show, fundamentalists are absolutely certain.
We have a risen Christ, unquestionable proofs, and, as if we needed it, God has thrown in a host of unarguable evidences all around us!
(Accelerated Christian Education Science 1096, p. 31)
I often hear Richard Dawkins criticised for attacking fundamentalists. They say that hardly any Christians hold the extreme views he assaults. I disagree with Dawkins in many ways, but his critics are wrong to claim he is attacking a strawman. Even in Britain, creationism, and fundamentalism in general, are not the fringe movements you might think.
In his book Bad Science, Ben Goldacre does not discuss creationism because, he says, it is only “a marginal issue in British schools.” Perhaps, but I was educated in a Creationist school, and to me it was anything but marginal. If we are going to claim that every child matters, we have to care about the children of fundamentalists, however many or few they are.
Fundamentalists are much more numerous in the UK than people realise, although it’s extremely difficult to get a precise number, because fundamentalism is not a denomination, and they describe themselves in different ways.
The word fundamentalist gets thrown around a lot in reference to certain types Christianity. Most of the Christians who are called fundamentalists by the media would never refer to themselves as such. Now the word has gained such pejorative connotations, I doubt many people would claim it for themselves.
I am happy to use it here because when I was a Christian, I called myself a fundamentalist. Even then, it was not in common usage among the Christians I knew. I don’t recall seeing the term in any Accelerated Christian Education texts. I first saw it in Frank Peretti’s novel This Present Darkness, where the hero is approvingly described as a fundamentalist pastor. Since I agreed with the important points of that book, I guessed I was one too; I was about 11 when I read it.
This blog exists, in part, to expose the activities of Accelerated Christian Education (ACE) in the UK. Since you have probably never heard of it, here’s an introduction.
Accelerated Christian Eduction is a fundamentalist curriculum from Texas, distributed in the UK by Christian Education Europe (CEE). There are approximately 2,000 students of ACE in the UK, including homeschoolers. ACE students work in silence in “offices” that Ofsted describes as “rather like a modern version of a monk’s cell in a medieval monastery.” Students are not allowed to turn around, talk, or move without permission, which they gain by raising a flag to get a supervisor’s attention. ACE students complete PACEs (Packets of Accelerated Christian Education), a prescribed series of workbooks.
Official ACE literature says “students are taught to see life from God’s point of view.” Religious instruction is not a separate subject: “Biblical principles and concepts are interwoven into all aspects of the curriculum [citation].” In English, for example, students are given examples of interrogative sentences [source]: “Do you know Jesus as your personal Saviour? Can you ever praise Him enough?” and asked to underline the correct verb in a sentence like “Jesus (is, are) good.”