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God’s Choice

The Total World of a Fundamentalist Christian School

Is Bethany Baptist Academy God’s choice? Ask the fundamentalist Christians who teach there or whose children attend the academy, and their answer will be a yes as unequivocal as their claim that the Bible is God’s inerrant, absolute word. Is this truth or arrogance?

In God’s Choice, Alan Peshkin offers readers the opportunity to consider this question in depth. Given the outsider’s rare chance to observe such a school firsthand, Peshkin spent eighteen months studying Bethany’s high school—interviewing students, parents, and educators, living in the home of Bethany Baptist Church members, and participating fully in the church’s activities. From this intimate research he has fashioned a rich account of Christian schooling and an informed analysis of a clear alternative to public education.

Table of Contents

1. Introduction
The Setting, the Author, the Times
2. "Blessed Assurance"
The Dictates of Doctrine
3. The King’s Witnesses
Called to Teach
4. The Structure of Control
Until the Love of Christ Constraineth
5. Bethany’s Didactic Milieu
A Match for the Devil’s Darts
6. Bethany’s Deviance
Schooling for Sprituality
7. By Their Fruits
The Impact of Orthodoxy
8. By Their Fruits
Four Student Portraits
9. In Satan’s Clutches
Bethany’s Scorners
10. Bethany’s Total Institution
Truth’s Organizational Structure
11. God’s Choice
Costs and Benefits
A. Course Offerings, 1979-80
B. American Association of Christian Schools Statement of Faith
C. The Academy Hymn
D. Grass-Roots Christian Political Action
E. Parent’s Pledge
F. Employee Contractual Agreement
G. "Our Standard of Christian Leadership"
H. Teacher Duties
I. Student Pledge
J. Hall Rules
K. Leadership Pledge
L. End-of-the-Year Letter Sent to Each BBA Parent

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