Episode # 13
The Urgency for an Educational Revolution | Bruce Friesen – Truth Talks with Dr. Ann
November 27, 2023

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Truth Talks with Dr. Ann
Truth Talks with Dr. Ann
The Urgency for an Educational Revolution | Bruce Friesen - Truth Talks with Dr. Ann
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Is there hope for the future of education?
In this episode of Truth Talks Dr. Ann and Bruce Friesen discuss his involvement in various organizations related to education and the importance of educating all nations. They also discuss the decline in literacy levels and academic skills in public education. Bruce suggests that there is hope if parents and the church will take responsibility for education and create prototypes for a new education system.

Bruce Friesen, founder of Children Arise Ministry, shapes nations through transformative education. He’s the visionary behind Life Tree Churches and the Global Transformation Collective, influencing all spheres with God’s word. Based in Victoria, BC, Bruce and his wife have three children and ten grandchildren.

Find more about Bruce’s work and resources here: http://www.childrenarise.org/ https://kingdomizeglobal.com/ https://thirdeducationrevolution.com/ https://intnigeria.org/ https://www.globalcouncilofnations.com/ https://www.globaltransformation-network.com/ https://www.imaginaleducation.com/ https://www.imaginaleducation.com/education/neuroscience.html https://www.imaginaleducation.com/education/imaginal-education.html https://masters.ab.ca/

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See Podcast Transcript

Dr. Ann Gillies (00:13):

Hello and welcome to Truth Talks. So we’re back again and we’re going to talk about education again. And this time I have my good friend Bruce Friesen with me. So we were talking just behind the scenes before I started and he was telling me, I was asking him about how to introduce him and I decided I wasn’t going to do that because he has to introduce himself. He is involved in so many things. He has his finger in way too many pies. It can’t makes my head spin. But anyways, I want you to welcome Bruce Friesen. Today we are going to talk about his experiences and also then we’re going to do a second segment on education specifically. So welcome Bruce. A thank you for joining me

Bruce Friesen (00:59):

And it is so good to be here with you this morning. I am just looking forward to our time together.

Dr. Ann Gillies (01:06):

It’s going to be a good talk. So you were just rhyming off some of the organizations that you are involved in right now. And I mean, I don’t know if you want to go back and talk a little bit about Child Arise first or do the organizations and the committees, the boards you’re on, you start where you want to start with the idea that we are talking about everything. Education.

Bruce Friesen (01:32):

All right. I will say that everything that I’m primarily engaged in is in education, but I’m engaged in recognizing that we need to be influencing all spheres of influence and seeing it holistically of what happens in the context of family or government or education, media, arts, entertainment. Because these are the spheres of influence. They’re the mind molders of the values and the beliefs that people have in the context of a culture. And so I’m engaged in all of those elements, but my main one is education. We started Children Arise in 2008. I’ll go into that story, how it began a little bit later, but now we have an organization called Kingdom Eyes Global that we’re working with Renaissance Canada. I’m on the board for the Institute for National Transformation, which is a nine countries in Africa. It’s also got a base in the US and the uk. I’m on the third Education Revolution, truth and Transformation Canada and Truth and Transformation Global, which we wrote a book collectively with 27 scholars called the Third Education Revolution. Nice short book, just only 748 pages.

Dr. Ann Gillies (02:47):

I have it, but I have not read every word in it yet. My goodness. What an amazing, that’s a whole other story. But yes, keep

Bruce Friesen (02:55):

Going. It is. It’s been a great project and maybe before I mentioned a few of the others, I just came back from Brazil. We opened up 153 acre university. That’s a Christian university that’s really teaching the word of God, making theology, really the mother of all the sciences once again and equipping people to be centered, the spheres of influence, whatever their degrees are going to be. In currently through third education revolution. We have 30,000 churches in Uganda that are becoming academic education centers with the development of an academic pastor because the vision for third education revolution is redeeming education from secularism, restore oriented to the church in an ecosystem of veritas and virtue. The only way that we see that we can disciple a nation is by discipling the next generation through the sphere of education. And I will say the other organizations I’m a part of is Global Transformation Network and the Global Council of Nations we’re really all working towards the same ends, which is seeing the kingdom of God coming into all the spheres of influence and them really be influenced by what God’s word teaches in every area.

Dr. Ann Gillies (04:19):

I mean, it’s so exciting. So one thing that you said there was Veritas and I thought we throw around words sometimes and I think for some of our listeners they may not be familiar with that. Will you explain what that means?

Bruce Friesen (04:36):

Well, Veritas is truth. It really was. The Harvard model is Veritas in virtue that’s what it was founded on. If you actually do the history study of the roots of education, you can see that all of our universities were based in their Christian theology and all of even our primary and secondary schools, it was the church that really launched education in particular from the 15 hundreds on. And we really saw the benefit of the transformation of societies, of cities, nations being built on God’s word because we were investing in the next generation by educating them. But theology was always the mother of the sciences or we could say the hub, which every spoke of science was connected to. And when we did that, we did. Well,

Dr. Ann Gillies (05:28):

This is exactly what I was talking with Dr. Masson about last week. Just this whole, the foundation, the real foundation and going back, I mean mean we’re going back centuries and looking at what worked and how did it work and why did it work well, because it was based on a very simple, not simplistic but simple truth of the gospel. And that doesn’t mean that everyone that’s involved or being educated or the teachers are even predominantly Christian. It’s just this Judeo-Christian ethic that really steered and governed education for centuries.

Bruce Friesen (06:17):

It really did. And you can look back all the way to the first education revolution, which was the Carolinian Renaissance. It started with Charlemagne and then a English scholar by the name of Al Coon. Charlemagne was forcing everybody to be baptized because he thought if they were baptized they were then Christian Koon came and straightened him out and said, no, it’s got to be a freewill decision. But what they started doing is they first of all started educating the noble men and then the clergy of the day. And that dramatically influenced the shaping of all of the society becoming much more civilized, much more peaceful and developing in so many different ways, whether in the areas of architecture in the arts. It really launched a renaissance. And the second reformation would’ve been under Martin Luther, which would’ve started in 1517. People know him for reforming the church, but I would say he did a greater work in reforming education than even what he did in the church because he recognized, he says, I’m much afraid that schools and universities in the future will serve to be the greatest gates of hell ever unless we diligently seek to engrave the word of God on the hearts of the next generation.

(07:40):

He said, I would advise no one send their child into an institution where the word of God does not reign as paramount because it’s become corrupt.

Dr. Ann Gillies (07:51):

Wow. I mean, thinking back all those years and to how prophetic he was, because look at what has happened. I mean, education has become so corrupt because basically God’s been taken out of the denomination, right? It’s no longer part. He’s no longer part of an educational experience in public education, at least anyways. Okay. Wow. So then the next reformation, the third Reformation,

Bruce Friesen (08:26):

And we are calling this one the Third Reformation, third education revolution, which we see as a reformation in education. We’re seeing an exodus from the universities and from the public school system around the world. This isn’t just within Canada or the US or other western countries, the us. I just read some research just recently in the last two years, it went from 1.5 million homeschoolers to now there’s 3.7 million homeschoolers in two years. Wow. There’s a,

Dr. Ann Gillies (09:03):

I’m thinking, sorry. I think the stats for Ontario right now are, it’s gone up 52%, so that sounds about the same, right? This is phenomenal.

Bruce Friesen (09:16):

So people are leaving the system and they’re leaving the education system because of the morality, the values that are not being taught. But if you even study it academically, we are on the greatest decline in Canada and the United States of our literacy levels, of our math skills and knowledge. And the system is just failing not only morally, not only in teaching ideologies that are in opposition to truth, whether we say the word of God or just science or the sexualization of our children through what’s being done through whether, so G 1 23, we have to be able to recognize even academically they are significantly failing. I sometimes wonder if the reason they want to remove the grading system, which they say is because of the competition they want to remove among the children, is because they don’t want to be able to have people aware that the system is failing, the teachers are failing, the system is failing. And academically this thing is going down quickly. I mean amount every year of the increase of illiteracy in our education system is crazy. It’s gone from I think 83% a decade ago to 59% now, and it’s continuing to

Dr. Ann Gillies (10:41):

Decline.

(10:43):

These stats are so important for parents to understand. And Bruce, I think one of, to me, the big wake up call is the whole equity. I remember 20 years ago in the education, public education and just some of the things that they were doing, then I’m thinking this isn’t going to end well. So I mean, the simplistic view of that is basically everybody gets the same mark no matter how well they perform, how much they studied, and this whole equity issue, not equality, but equity and this whole sense that it’s not about treating individuals in the sense that equal, I mean we have this as a Christian, this undying sense of dignity, but what we have in the public school system is this sense that we have to try and make everyone the same. And you can’t have anyone that it would suggest that they have a higher intellect or they’re better at sports or you have this carte blanche and it’s killing our kids emotionally. I believe

Bruce Friesen (12:09):

It is. There was an interesting experiment done at Texas a and m University where the teacher realized many of her students really were sort of socialist or communistic leaning. And so she got into a discussion and she said, what about what we do is we give the average of class grades are and everybody will get the same. And everybody said, oh, okay, that sounds good. And what they found is the students that were getting a’s what happens is they were getting frustrated because they were working hard and yet their grade level was going down to AC. But the longer they continued did the experiment, those that were attempting to excel before they lost their motivation. And those that had no motivation maybe or minimal, their motivation was even less and the grades continued to decline. We know in business you cannot grow or you cannot manage what you cannot measure. So we can’t grow something that’s not measurable. And so once we stop measuring it, we’re taking away the natural incentive that there is within the child to be able to motivate, to learn to excel.

Dr. Ann Gillies (13:31):

Well, as a parent, I had high expectations for my children. That didn’t mean they couldn’t fail, but I wanted to see them kind of live up to their true potential. Now, sometimes they got mad at me for that, but the reality is in the education system now, teachers aren’t really allowed to have an expectation of the children in the class. It’s almost like, no, let’s keep it like you said, this kind of level. Mediocrity is the expectation.

Bruce Friesen (14:10):

Yes. And I have a friend that runs kingdom schools in Brazil. The expectations are extremely high, and the gist of the material they’re given is fairly high, but the children are rising to it. I think what’s important is that our love and acceptance for our children is not based on their performance, but the expectation of them achieving their potential should be there so that they can see and experience the maximum maybe at some point, whether it’s tomorrow or whether it’s today. I think I’ve talked to with you about imaginal and profound learning before Master’s Academy. So Fraser Institute, who’s an independent research institute in Canada, studied the students within the school’s, private and public in Alberta, and they found the average test scores were 18 to 21% of the students achieving mastery of curriculum. Mastery of curriculum in Alberta is between 82 and 100%, but the master’s academy that does imaginal education, they studied their children from K to 12 and found out that 95.5% of the students are achieving mastery of the curriculum. So they’re experiencing their potential. So part of this is in education by the neuroscience, they’re learning many things of how the brain learns, and as a result of applying those, they’re experiencing by far greater results. So we actually call the public education system antiquated industrial age, and it’s completely ineffective for today. And so it’s capping the potential in our children and they’re not achieving their potential. So even the system itself has got to be changed, the methods, the system, it needs a whole complete overhaul.

Dr. Ann Gillies (16:18):

Well, and that’s what I was going to say. How do you change a system that has become so entrenched in our culture and so profoundly influencing the culture?

Bruce Friesen (16:33):

Well, this might seem a little bit radical. This is a Vadi Baum statement, a wonderful man of God and great author and writer. He says, when we continue to send our children to Caesar to be educated, why are we surprised when they come back as Roman citizens? And so I don’t think that we’re supposed to transform this corrupt institution from a biblical perspective. We can see in the Old Testament that the priests had the responsibility to teach the parents their responsibility in education, but then they were engaged as the children got older in the education as well. But they would choose a rabbi that had incredible character, great values. And what we’ve done is when we give it over to the government, I believe that God has given the responsibility, therefore the authority and the grace, which will be the wisdom, the revelation for the education system.

(17:38):

But when we’ve handed it over to the government, which started approximately in 1832 where churches started to had education over to government, it succeeded a period of time because it’s built on a foundation of truth. But the further they’re getting away from that, because when I went to school, we said the Lord’s Prayer, we have the tent commandments on the wall. We sang, God saved the Queen. We had Christmas pageants that were about the birth of Jesus. And I’m not saying that we need all of these outward elements, but the removal of those is really showing that we’ve been removing God from the education system. And as we do, it becomes more corrupt, but it also becomes more ineffective on so many different levels, not producing young people of character, of academic excellence, of virtues and values, morality. So we have to see that we can blame the education system, we can blame our government. But I’ll actually say that as Christians, Jesus said, all authority in heaven and earth has been given unto me. Therefore, go and educate says disciple means to educate all nations and teaching them to obey all I’ve commanded you. And so I don’t know that we’re supposed to transform the system from the inside. I think we need to create prototypes and the church and parents taking responsibility for education once again. And so I think that’s the only solution. I have no faith to transform the government public education system.

Dr. Ann Gillies (19:21):

So good to hear what you’re saying because I’ve heard many years, and actually I mistakenly told a school principal a Christian many years ago that I said, I think we need a revolution. And he was like, and I’m thinking, well, maybe I Overp spoke. I misspoke that maybe that’s not really what we needed. But I think actually it was God inspired because I think I was seeing what needed to happen, but I didn’t understand, really didn’t understand. And it’s taken me a decade really to come to the place of saying, wow, do we ever need a reformation? Right, reforming of education. But really it isn’t reforming because what you’re talking about is not a reforming, it’s going back to and actually utilizing what is already there. That seems to me what third education revolution is about as well. Am I right or wrong there?

Bruce Friesen (20:26):

No, you’re right in that. And we’d have to say that Jesus was a revolutionary if he was not, because he’s providing the kingdom of God, which is the government of heaven or the government of God as an alternative to the religious system as an alternative to the Roman governing system. So both systems were threatened by him and saw him as incredibly dangerous. He was a revolutionary because his ideas were undermining their power and their authority. And so there may be resistance. But I like to say that I believe that we are in a cultural war being fought with ideological weapons for the spheres of influence because they are the mind molders of the values and the beliefs of the people in the context of a culture. And whoever establishes a beachhead and family and education will win the war. So in Normandy, when they had D-Day, they established five beachhead.

(21:30):

All the allies knew the war was over. The Germans knew the war was over, but it took 11 months with many lost lives before we had D-Day. But everybody knew the war was over on D-Day. And so I think if we can establish beachheads and family and education, we’ll start to see the influence in other areas. Abe Lincoln, he said the philosophy in the classroom in one generation will be the philosophy of the government in the next, yes, it isn’t just government, it’s media, it’s arts, it’s entertainment. It’s every sphere of influence. Whatever was taught in one generation in the classroom is then reflected in the next generation in all spheres of influence. And unless if we don’t realize we have to start from the bottom up, just to have a new government, a leader in our country, and a new government system alone is not a sustainable long-term solution.

(22:31):

We have to recognize this has to start in family and education and families taking the responsibility. Just one of the most repeated things in the book of Deuteronomy, which is called the second giving of the law, written 40 days before they crossed the Jordan, is fix these words of mine on your hearts and on your minds, and put them around your hands and your foreheads. Write them on your doorposts and the gates of your dwellings and make sure that you impress them on the hearts of your children that they penetrate. And it’s this focus of do it when you wake up, when you go to sleep, when you’re having a walk, when you’re eating a meal, it’s really saying disciple them everywhere And all the time. And when Israel diligently did this as a nation, they thrived and they flourished in every sphere of influence, exactly every sector of society.

(23:32):

But when they forgot God, first of all, as families and as parents, and they forgot to teach their children, there was always a decline. I mean, part of my heart is I want to see Christians taking the responsibility of understanding. Yes, there’s problems within government and media, there’s problems within education, there’s problems everywhere. But it’s predominantly, I believe, because we have forgotten God and as forgetting God, these are all the various evidences and the fruits that we’re starting to see in the breakdown of our culture where we’re forgetting God and we’re experiencing what we are.

Dr. Ann Gillies (24:17):

What you’re saying is extremely profound, and I think for those watching, this is just a foundation for what we’re going to speak to next when Bruce comes on their next show, and we’re going to talk about imaginal learning. We’re going to talk about more specifically some of the components that go into a good education. So Bruce, I think if we finish up just the couple comments to finish up this session, this interview, and then we’re going to have you come back and talk about more specific issues in education. But I think this has been really good. Thank you so much. Final comments?

Bruce Friesen (25:02):

Well, it’s just good being with you, Anne, and to be able to be a part of communicating to the audience of people that you have that are following you because you’re speaking truth in so many different areas and you’re addressing some of the major issues, but not only identifying the problems, I think you’re continually coming up with solutions. And my heart as well is I don’t think there’s much benefit of continually talking about the problems unless we have solutions. And so I think there are multiple iterations of solutions that people can have, and even where they say financially we can’t afford it. I’ll say we are working with organizations that are coming up with financial solutions within different regions. A friend of mine by the name of Nicholas Ellis, who you may want to interview, he is part of Christian Halls, which is education all over the world that he’s a part of. But when people said that we can’t afford it, he helped them do the demographic research of their regions to be able to start businesses that are now funding the education of their children. And they’re working either in homeschooling or in a cooperative of families working together, but he has quite a few different stories for those that have had the concern of finances of what this is going to cost.

Dr. Ann Gillies (26:29):

Well, that is a huge issue. It’s huge for parents. So that’s really encouraging.

Bruce Friesen (26:36):

Yes, and I’ll maybe in the next one tell you about Virtues campuses, which is a great financial solution for college and university, but I just want to be able to say for those that are maybe also watching, whether it’s picking up a book called The Third Education Revolution, going to that website or the Canadian Christian Education Movement or looking up Christian Halls International, there’s so many quality resources that are out there and great research that the more knowledgeable that you are, the more that you’re going to be able to want to be a part of the solution. I want to have solutions for you, but I also want you to take the responsibility of being part of the solution and really seeing a change not only in education, but then in the future of whether it be government or other areas as well, that were transformed, that they’re really built on the truth of God’s word. So thank you for the time.

Dr. Ann Gillies (27:41):

You’re very welcome. Thank you for that ending. I think that was really encouraging, and it really does put the responsibility back in the home, and the parents are ultimately responsible for their children, but if we can help with the education, that is just going to take such pressure off them. Thanks again, Bruce. We’ll talk again.

Bruce Friesen (28:02):

Thank you, Al.

Dr. Ann Gillies (28:08):

Thank you for joining me again today, and thank you to Bruce Friesen. Wow, what an amazing amount of information. I think if you’re like me, you’re probably a little bit overwhelmed. Don’t worry about that. Just listen to it again. But at the same time, I want to make sure that you have the links, so you’ll see all the links here for Bruce’s material, his involvement, the things he’s involved in, and please continue to watch Truth Talks. We’re going to have Bruce back and we’re going to talk. We didn’t get to talking about the actual kind of breakdown of imaginal education. We are going to do that. We’re talked behind the scenes of how we’re going to do that. So that will be coming up. Thank you again. You can reach me through Restoring the Mosaic, and you can see my books here. So we will see you again next time.

Outro (29:07):

You’ve been listening to Truth Talks with Dr. R. Thank you so much for joining us today. You can find Anne’s books blog and sign up for the newsletter by going to restoring the mosaic.ca.

Restoring the Mosaic seeks to strengthen Canadian national unity by educating and informing policy-makers, legislators, and educational leaders with clinical research that will assist them to establish programs and policies that allow individuals with crises in identity to recover wholeness.

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