step 2: defining BPA, 7 principles and 4-R’ing

Step 2 of the 12 steps in Mr. Rose’s book involve reading a short overview of the seven principles of America’s Christian history and government and what it means to 4-R. I will go into the seven principles in much more detail as the  study goes on, so I will only list them in this post.

Biblical Principle Approach refers to:

  1. rediscovery and reinstatement of principles on which the character of our country was built.
  2. Christian method of reasoning from the Bible.

The same principles that make you a better citizen in America also make you a better citizen in God’s kingdom as well. We are to think governmentally (you hear this phrase A LOT in BPA circles), which means to think “who or what is controlling, restraining, directing or regulating?” This will determine our worldview and our philosphy of education.

The more internal restraint you have, the less external restraint you need. This speaks a lot of how little we are internally governed as a society. There are rediculous laws and ordinances of all kinds to govern those among us who cannot control themselves. Our humanity loves rules and the more the better. The more God’s laws are written on our hearts (love Him, love your neighbor as yourself), the less of man’s laws we will need. His Word will have pre-eminence in every sphere of life.

I tell my kids from time to time, “The world would not be such a bad place if grown-ups could keep their hands to themselves.” Isn’t that true? We would not steal, sleep around or kill. But the hands are not really the problem, are they? It’s the heart that’s the matter, especially when the grown-ups were just children and no one taught them to be internally controlled.

The 7 Principles of American Christian History and Government

  1. God’s Principle of Individuality
  2. The Christian Principle of Self- Government
  3. America’s Heritage of Christian Character
  4. Conscience is the Most Sacred of all Property
  5. Our Christian Form of Government
  6. How the Seed of Local Self-Government is Planted
  7. The Christian Principle of American Political Union

These 7 principles apply to all spheres of life and to all peoples around the world. When I spend a week on each principle I will explain that in more detail.

4-Ring

the four R’s is a simple yet profound way of learning that we all do, we just have never thought much about. It is a historical method in which the four steps are exercised simultaneously. (You can search my archives for more 4-R information.)

1. Research God’s Word to identify basic principles by searching scripture for vocabulary. Get out your Webster’s 1828 dictionary and look up words to define from the subject you are studying. Then look up those word in your concordance.

2. Reason from Biblical truths and identify them to the student through each subject, concluding from Scripture the Biblical significance and governmental importance of the subject. It builds upon thruth researched.

3. Relate to each student through the subject, applying it to character, conscience and stewardship. The subject is the vehicle to learn more about God, not just a bunch of facts to memorize. This creates lessons that are truly alive for teacher and student, because they come from God’s Word.

4. Record what you feel you need to save by both teacher and student. Each should have their own record, whatever form that takes. Some like to keep an electronic notebook, some more like a scrapbook, others a type of journal and still others a traditional notebook.

We should take care what materials we use, Mr. Rose advises. Materials that teach external as the focus will present confusion.

The child and the subject are extensions of Jesus, the Author and Governor. We connect them together and we develop a student who can reason biblically and take dominion over all subjects.

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