Nearly twenty-five years ago a handful of Christian parents decided they wanted a better education for their children than what was available to them. Trinitas Christian School was born out of the initiative they took to solve that problem. All these years later, parents are still making Trinitas what it is. As we wind down a busy spring semester, filled with events led and staffed by volunteer parents, and head into the summer, it is good to pause here and thank our parents who make Trinitas possible.
A quality that is disappearing from the world is the ability to see and understand what lies beneath the surface of an issue. People seem increasingly content to swallow headlines hook, line, and sinker as if the story could be no deeper than the tallest letters in bold print. This sort of naivety is the very thing that makes a people easily manipulated or even oppressed.
Christians are people of the Resurrection. Without it, Paul says, “We are of all people most to be pitied” (1 Cor. 15:19). We can be confident that we are eternal beings, that Christ has conquered death and the grave, and that to be absent from the body is to be present with the Lord. We will at our deaths be present with our Lord and Savior because we are people of the Resurrection. But what now? How should we live in light of this truth? To put it plainly, the Resurrection should change the way we approach all of life!
The conversation at Parent Traditio this month centered on twenty-one resolutions penned by the early American Congregational minister Cotton Mather entitled "A Father's Resolutions." Each resolution contains practical guidance for Christian parents who aspire to - with God's grace - raise their children in the paideia or nurture and admonition of the Lord.
G.K. Chesterton is responsible for one of my favorite quotes about education. He wrote,
“Education is not a subject and does not deal in subjects. It is instead a transfer of a way of life.” What we are trying to do at Trinitas is transfer a way of life to our students, a paideia, a way of being distinctly Christian in a world that seems increasingly hostile to that."
(This essay was written by Trinitas senior Claire McNeill and published recently in Classis: The Journal of Classical Christian Education.)
What do we picture when we think of a wise man? The image we typically conjure up is a man who is reputable, well-respected in his community, and sought by all for his sagacity. He is a man of considerable rank and influence. In most of our imaginings, he is surrounded by wealth, like Solomon or the Magi. In contrast, what do we picture when we think of a fool? One who is laughed at, scorned; when he is not ignored, he is either despised or held as ridiculous. These associations are firmly fixed in the minds of men; folly and wisdom are the difference between a child and a man, a jester and a king.
With very few exceptions parents of students in classical Christian schools are not classically educated. Many of us, probably most of us, attended and then graduated from government schools or traditional Christian schools. By God’s grace, though, we have found a better path for our children.
One of the best things about classical education is the idea that parents can be educated alongside their children.
The book of Deuteronomy is basically a reminder, or a refresher course, given to the nation of Israel by Moses before they enter into the land God promised them. In chapter five, Moses recapitulates the Ten Commandments. In chapter six, he reminds Israel to “love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might” (Deut. 6:5). He goes on to say that all the words he is teaching them, they should also teach their children; in fact, he tells them they must teach their children “diligently” all the things that he teaches the adults (Deut. 6:7). He gives fair warning of the consequence if they should fail to teach their children God’s ways: when times get good, they will forget God (Deut. 6:10-12).