Darrow Miller and Friends

Dualism: The Hidden Effect of Secular Education on Christian Children

Dualism often the effect of public education on Christian childrenDualism, not atheism, may be the bigger threat to Christian students in the public school classroom.

Many people seem to think that, while instruction based in any organized religion is unacceptable indoctrination, the precepts of materialist atheism (the worldview of choice in most public-school classrooms) are evenhanded, clinical, non-partisan facts.

And yet, as our friend, Christian Overman, points out, the worst part of this assumption is maybe not what you imagine. As he puts its, “the outcome of a steady dose of secularism from Kindergarten through 12th grade may not be what you think.”

The point is, many Christian parents at least have the capacity and will to steer their children away from an outright embrace of atheistic religion. But, as Dr. Overman says,

My biggest concern about young Christians being indoctrinated into secularism via education is not that they will become atheists. My biggest concern is that they will become dualists

… after a thirteen year dose of secularism (even via the best Christian teachers who would never speak badly of the Bible), a young Christian is most likely to come out the other end as a dyed-in-the-wool dualist, thinking the Bible is relevant to Church life and personal life, but not relevant to business, law, politics, medicine, or driving a bus, because it wasn’t relevant to language arts, history, social studies or sports.

Go here to read Christian’s insights.

– Gary Brumbelow


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Gary is the Disciple Nations Alliance editorial manager. He manages Darrow Miller and Friends and serves as editor and co-writer on various book projects. For eight years Gary served as a cross-cultural church planting missionary among First Nations people of Canada. His career also includes 14 years as executive director of InterAct Ministries, an Oregon-based church-planting organization in Canada, Alaska, and Siberia. Gary is a graduate of Grace University, earned an MA from Wheaton College and a Graduate Studies Diploma from Western Seminary. He lives near Portland, Oregon with his wife, Valerie. They have two married sons and twelve grandchildren. In addition to his work with the DNA, Gary serves as the pastor of Troutdale Community Church.


  1. John Henry

    March 16, 2013 - 7:44 am


    I share your concern. Only my concern is also for the Christian Education many students are getting. Too often Christian schools are also producing dualists, those who separate themselves from a concern for this world, or engage their global neighbors only for the purpose of rescue from the world.

    We may need to change the language of Evangelicalism. Rather than speak of “abiding in Christ” as a personal and private spiritual activity, I have been encouraging Christian students and professors to abide in the Creator, the Artist, the Gardener, the Architect and Builder, the Teacher, the Law Giver and Just Judge, the Shepherd, and the Father of all families.


    • admin

      March 18, 2013 - 9:01 am

      Well said, John.

      However, we do have Jesus’ imperative “abide in Me.” Maybe it’s BOTH AND rather than EITHER OR?

      Gary Brumbelow

  2. Jon Davis Jr.

    March 16, 2013 - 2:46 pm

    That article at Worldview Matters is a very nice, simple, straight forward explanation of the dangers of popular school systems.

    It isn’t alarmist. It doesn’t claim the teachers have an evil agenda. It simply points out the consequences of 13 years of learning that some things are secular and others are spiritual.

    • admin

      March 18, 2013 - 8:59 am

      Well said, Jon. Thanks for your reading and response!

      Gary Brumbelow