Hi Hiram,

I just reread this post and this sentence jumped out at me:

"Education is not of primary importance in this scenario, but the method of education. Education is to be utilized as a tool for creating those who will reproduce the underlying ideology of both groups, not for training individuals in the basics of reading, writing, mathematics, logic, history, and so forth."

I began my research several years ago in order to figure out a curricular FRAMEWORK used in my son's Christian school called "Teaching for Transformation". It's not a curriculum, it's a way to teach that is "integrally and authentically Christian." It minimizes individual accomplishment and actual knowledge, borrowing its theory from postmodern philosophy professors James K. A Smith and Nicholas Wolterstorff

Here is a quote from the materials:

"Christ’s redemptive act touches all things, redirecting them to

their God-designated purposes. Someday, all things

will be fully restored, but the work of renewal begins

now, and we are privileged to be coworkers with God

in this process. That’s where Teaching for Transformation (TfT) comes in!

The TfT program, as developed by Prairie Centre for

Christian Education and partner schools, provides a

frame-work for the development of authentic and

integral Christian learning experiences that are

grounded in a transformational worldview with a

focus on seeing and living out God’s story. The TfT

program’s design practices and tools are being used

by over 50 schools worldwide (Canada, United

States, Africa, and Central America) to develop

powerful Christian school learning experiences.'

Further on, the TfT material quotes James Smith (who got his Ph.D. at Villanova under John D. Caputo, who specializes in postmodern christianity and Derrida. Smith is the Author of Who's Afraid of Postmodernism?: Taking Derrida, Lyotard, and Foucault to Church )

'James K. Smith writes in Desiring the Kingdom that

“Education is not primarily . . . concerned with providing

information; rather, education most fundamentally is a

matter of formation, a task of shaping and creating a certain kind of people. These people are distinct because of what they love and desire – the kingdom of God.”

"ducation is not primarily . . . concerned with providing


Here is the link to where these quotes can be found. https://pcce.ca/resources/Documents/PCCE-Educators-Documents/TfT/2017-18%20TFT%20Brochure.pdf

TfT was written at the Prairie Center for Christian Education (PCCE) housed at the King's University (TKU), Alberta, Canada. In the US, it is distributed by the Center for the Advancement of Christian Education (CACE) located at Dordt College (university) Sioux Center, Iowa.

It's all Kuyperian postmodernism, because that what has taken over the Christian Reformed Church (CRC) which is a Dutch denomination that places Christian education among its foundational beliefs.

Post WWII, this small, Dutch denomination incorporated 50,000 Dutch immigrants Canada, making the CRC bi-national. (United States and Canada). Sadly, most of those 50,000 were Kuyperian, and a power struggle for the control of the denomination began. Sadly, the Kuyperians have won.

Now they even have control of k-12 education, as you can see, TfT was written in Canada, but brought down to the US to be distributed. Edvance distributes it in Canads.

Here are some more links:

"Dordt launcehs TfT" https://cace.org/cace-launches-new-project-teaching-for-transformation/

Here, it says TfT is used in 100 schools worldwide: https://cace.org/teaching-for-transformation/

The brochure on the CACE website: file:///C:/Users/dlfre/Downloads/TfT-brochure.pdf

Here is a link to their pdf on "Deeper Learning" https://cace.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/12/Deeper-Learning-in-Christian-Schools-9418.pdf

which specifically says:

"Deeper learning in Christian schools recognizes that the

learner does not learn for advancement of self, but as a faithful response to co-create in

establishing the kingdom of heaven - here and now."

The "kingdom of heaven--here and now" sheesh

Here is an interesting article on the CRC's decline called "Burn the Wooden Shoes"


Swieringa's thesis for the decline of the CRC is this:

"The thesis of this paper is that the seeds of secession in the CRCNA were planted at least fifty years ago.[7] After the Second World War, this largely immigrant church experienced a generational change, both at the top, in the pulpits and denominational schools--Calvin College and Theological Seminary--and at the bottom, in the pews. The immediate cause was the return of the mililtary personnel. Thousands of second and third generation Hollanders served with the American military forces in the far corners of the world, and more than twenty ministers in the CRCNA served as chaplains."

But I believe he is wrong. I believe this sentence further on in the paper lists the real reason for the decline in CRC membership:

" In church assemblies the Canadians in the last fifteen years have moved into the "driver's seat" in both the conservative and progressive camps of the CRCNA."

The Canadians are in the driver's seat, and the Canadians are Kuyperian! The denomination has shrunk significantly, and their Christian schools were struggling--until school choice came along and gave them an infusion of tax money.

This is VERY alarming because the CRC is very influential in the theory of Christian education. IMO, it is a travesty what they are promoting as "Christian education."

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Abraham Kuyper's embrace of German philosophy (which he loved) can be explained by the ideas of Kuyper's friend and mentor, Guillaume Greon Van Prinsterer. Groen (Groen Van Prinsterer is a double last name) studied the "roots and driving force" (Harry Van Dyke) of the French Revolution for ten years. In 1845, Groens conclusions were delivered in twenty lectures to friends in his home. In 1847, they became a book, Unbeleif and Revolution, which has been translated into English by Harry Van Dyke.

Groen conclude that unbelief causes revolution, and Enlightenment thought causes unbeleif, therefore reject Enlightenment thought:

p. 3 of Unbeleif and Revolution, translated by Harry Van Dyke:

" In order to bring out the nature of this subject it is necessary to explain what I mean by Revolution and by Revolution ideas.

By Revolution I do not mean one of the many events whereby a government is overthrown. Nor do I just mean by it the storm of upheaval that has raged in France. Rather by Revolution I mean the whole inversion of the general spirit and mode of thinking that is now manifest in all Christendom.

By Revolution ideas I mean the basic maxims of liberty and equality, popular sovereignty, social contract, the artificial construction of society by common consent--notions which today are venerated as the cornerstones of constitutional law and the political order."

Groen established the Anti-Revoltionary Movement. When Groen died, he left leadership of the Anti-Revolutionary movement to Kuyper, who turned it into the Anti-Revolutionary Party--the Netherlands first national political party. Kuyper even served as prime minister under it's banner.

Groen's ideas were foundational to Kuyper (that is why Evan Runner called his club at Calvin College the Groen Van Prinsterer Society and not the Abraham Kuyper Society).

One of those foundational ideas is that Enlightenment thought causes unbelief. Enlightenment thought must be rejected. This meant rejecting French, British (Anglo-Saxon) and American philosophy. This just left German philosophy. Kuyper was trained in German philosophy and Romanticism and he loved it and he gladly turned to it and incorporated it into his system of Calvinism (neo-Calvinism) he used to fight liberalism (classical liberalism) and secularism. (His lectures on Calvinism are a good place to see his ideas laid out--small book).

People never seem to make the ironic connection between Kuyper and the rise of secularism in the Netherlands, which is now equal or worse than France. Who would have thought that abandoning reality and truth would destroy a religion founded on truth? (So his ideas came to America and have done the same thing to the CRC--see their yearbook for stats.)

At the ten year anniversary of the club, Runner recalls how it all started. After only one year at Calvin College, he was at risk of being fired and he was in a funk (he was never well liked by staff or American students). Some immigrant fathers came to his home one night during Christmas break begging for help. Here is what they said:

"When I was thus absorbed in my personal situation and my eyes were closed to the wider possibilities -- because God had just at this time wonderfully sent those first Canadian students, who were seeking the very articulation of the Christian religion God had been preparing me to make --, an unexpected knock at my door one evening in the Christmas vacation in 1952 suddenly completely changed the particular direction and the feeling-tone of my life. It turned my depression into the joy of faith.

When I opened the door I found three men standing on the porch who told me that they were [page 20] immigrants from the Netherlands to the United States and that they lived either in Grand Rapids or its immediate environs. Two of the three men are probably known to quite a few of you who are at this banquet tonight. Mr. Steven Harkema and Mr. Boonstra, the father of our Bert Boonstra, who is married to our Jane Horzelenberg and studying theology at the Free University.

What was there in the visit of those men that led to so complete a change in my life? One of the men present told a story of an immigrant boy he knew well who was studying at one of our Christian high schools. "Dr. Runner," this immigrant said, and he was obviously deeply moved, "this boy's father is sacrificing to send his son to this Christian school, but there is much in the attitude he comes home with which we of the older generation feel is not right. In particular, this boy comes home to his parents claiming that America became great because of the liberating democratic ideas of the 18th century." I wish you could have seen the man, as I see him yet, sitting forward in his chair, agitatedly telling me of his and his friends' concern for their children. "Dr. Runner," he concluded simply, "I had no higher formal education, but I went faithfully to Young Men's and Men's Society in a little Frisian city, and I know that those so-called liberated ideas of the 18th century were the corruptions on the part of unbelievers of ideas the Reformation had re-discovered. But if we tell our boys that, they laugh and say, Dad, you never went to one of these big American schools.""

" this boy comes home to his parents claiming that America became great because of the liberating democratic ideas of the 18th century." . . . I had no higher formal education, but I went faithfully to Young Men's and Men's Society in a little Frisian city, and I know that those so-called liberated ideas of the 18th century were the corruptions on the part of unbelievers of ideas the Reformation had re-discovered."

Read the whole thing here: https://www.plantinga.ca/m/MCS.HTM#

The Reformed rejection of the Enlightenment and hatred of the West runs deep.

So Runner ran his club for Dutch Cahadian immigrants. He sent his best students for their Ph.D's in order to become the next generation of professors. And they are. And now "christian" education in the CRC is postmodern. it has suffered it's own long-march through the institutions.

Runner didn't publish much at all besides his Ph.D. thesis. but his students passed on some of what he said. Summer lectures that he gave in Ontario are contained in two books, The Relation of the Bible to learning which you can buy as a book, or read this downloaded copy file:///C:/Users/dlfre/Downloads/the-relation-of-the-bible-to-learning.pdf

and in Scriptural Religion and Political Task, also available as a book or downloadable pdf here: file:///C:/Users/dlfre/Downloads/scriptural-religion-and-political-task.pdf

Poor Runner, he created a monster. As his students moved away from Biblical Christianity, he moved toward it. He became estranged from them, joined a conservative CRC church that eventually became URC. But according to his grandson (who lives in my town, he never gave up on Reformational Philosophy)

Here are a couple of links to articles that his club members wrote (all of these are linked on Plantinga's blog, I beleive). Also, click over to his Myodicy blog



That's it for now.

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Hi. I just subscribed. I really appreciate your writing as it confirms the conclusions at which I’ve arrived on my own, and helped me understand things better (especially the philosophical aspects)

I’ve traced the infiltration of Kuyper’s thought into N. America via post-WWII Dutch immigrants to Canada (of which 50,000 were incorporated into the Christian Reformed Church).

The children of those immigrants began to show up at the flagship college of the CRC: Calvin College. There, philosophy professors H. Evan Runner started a club (which ran for twenty years)—the Groen Van Prinsterer Society— which almost exclusively appealed to the Canadian students and kept them immersed in Kuyperian ideas and their philosophical development in Herman Dooyweerd.

They came to call themselves The Reformational Movement based on the “Reformational” philosophy.

Here is a link to a very helpful blog by the late Theodore Plantinga, who was a member of the movement but maintained some skepticism. There are four parts to the blog and links to lots of interesting and informative info. It’s called, “The Reformational Movement: Does it need a History?”


I don’t mean to be arrogant, but I’ve made myself somewhat of an expert on this bizarre, postmodern movement now sweeping Christian K-12 education via Teaching for Transformation https://cace.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/10/SCCS-TfT-Overview.pdf

I will share all research with you if you are interested

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I live in a Midwest town founded by the Dutch, so I am surrounded by the “Reformed” though not Reformed myself. For the last five years, I have been studying the Reformed church and the rise of postmodernism within it and it’s schools; very alarming. See “Teaching for Transformation” distributed by CACE at Dordt College in Iowa.

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Thanks for the info!

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