A seminary president and recently announced candidate for president of the Southern Baptist Convention says in a new book that Christians should have an exit strategy from public schools.

Albert Mohler, president of Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, says in Culture Shift: Engaging Current Issues With Timeless Truth that Christian parents increasingly view public schools as “prime battlegrounds for cultural conflict.”

Given recent developments, Mohler predicts schools “will soon become even more hostile to the convictions of many Christian families.”

“I am convinced that the time has come for Christians to develop an exit strategy from the public schools,” Mohler writes. “Some parents made this decision long ago.”

A Dallas pastor recently announced plans to nominate Mohler for SBC president when the convention meets June 10-11 in Indianapolis. As president of the denomination’s mother seminary, Mohler is already the highest-profile Southern Baptist advocating a mass exodus from public schools and creation of a competing system of Christian and home schools.

“The strategy would also affirm the responsibility of churches to equip parents, support families and offer alternatives,” he writes. “At the same time, this strategy must acknowledge that Christian churches, families and parents do not yet see the same realities, the same threats and the same challenges in every context. Sadly, this is almost certainly just a matter of time.”

Mohler faults public education for undermining parental rights, promoting secular humanism and control by special interests. “Those who doubt the radical commitment of groups such as the National Education Association should simply look at the organization’s public statements, policy positions and initiatives,” he writes.

He says the state of public schools “has prompted some to reconsider the very idea of public education.”

“Some now argue that Christian parents cannot send their children to public schools without committing the sin of handing their children over to a pagan and ungodly system,” Mohler writes. “Fueled by a secularist agenda and influenced by an elite of radial educational bureaucrats and theorists, government schools now serve as engines for secularizing and radicalizing children.”

Mohler has called for an exit strategy before in a 2005 column and on his call-in radio show, but this week the idea hit bookstores in a 176-page book by Multnomah, a division of Random House. The book’s description introduces the author as “one of today’s leading Christian thinkers and spokespersons” and the book as “trustworthy help for developing a comprehensive Christian worldview.”

Education is just one of several “crucial moral questions of our day” that Mohler addresses in the book. Other topics include the Christian faith and politics, abortion and “the truth about terrorism.”

“The religion of Islam is at war with the Cross of Christ,” Mohler contends.

“The attacks of 9/11 were made in the name of Islam–not in the name of secularism,” he says. “Muslim and non-Muslim alike argued whether Islam is at war with America or if the terrorists were acting in violation of the Koran.”

Whatever the merits of those arguments, he says: “Islam rejects Christ as the incarnate Son of God and the Cross as the atonement for our salvation. There ultimately can be no reconciliation between the claims of Christianity and the claims of Islam. The enemies of the Cross know this too well.”

In 2006 the Southern Baptist Convention passed a resolution harshly critical of public schools but called for engaging the system by running for school boards and exerting “godly influence” on public schools.

The Baptist Center for Ethics took the lead in countering negative statements from the religious community about public schools through worship resources, fostering relationships between clergy and educators and a pastoral letter calling on Baptists to “speak positively about public education and to take proactive initiatives that advance a constructive future for America’s public school system.”

Bob Allen is managing editor of EthicsDaily.com.

Also see:

Mohler Repeats Call for ‘Exit Strategy’ From Schools

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