Whether as a component of a feast day or in preparation for the Winter Ball, training in formal dancing is an important facet of a Trinitas education. This is because “Education is not merely an intellectual affair, no matter how intellect-centered it must be, because human beings are not merely minds. As creatures made in God’s image, we are composite beings—unions of soul and body.” Thus Trinitas students are taught reading, writing, and dancing so that they can glorify God with their minds and also with their bodies by becoming socially graceful.
In a few short weeks, nearly 300 members of the extended Trinitas family including students, parents, grandparents, faculty, and alumni will take a break from normal educational routines at Trinitas and complete a full day of sponsored community service at over ten local non-profit organizations. In preparation for the 3rd Annual LoveThyNeighbor - Great Day of Giving event, a little background into how the event came to be is in order.
At a recent Annual Parent Meeting, Trinitas father and board member, Pastor Jon Mark Olesky, reminded us of the timely importance of Christian parents educating their children to engage their world. This is the third of three posts containing his comments.
The teaching needed is what is most often called, “wisdom” (Hb. khokmah). Many compromises will occur in Babylon without this wisdom. In the covenantal framework of Proverbs wisdom means skill in godly living. Proverbs, that often-neglected parenting book, the “father” repeatedly call his “son” to “find wisdom” (Prov 3:13), that is because children aren’t born possessing it, rather, “folly is bound up in the heart of a child” (and yes, “the rod of discipline” is needed to remove it!) (Prov 22:15). No, a foolish teenager doesn’t just “grow out of it,” wisdom must be given and received. Our children’s lives depend on it! “The teaching of the wise is a fountain of life, that one may turn away from the snares of death” (Prov 13:14). It’s the way a young man avoids “the forbidden woman” (Prov 5 and 7), and that is because “the fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom” (Prov 9:10).
At a recent Annual Parent Meeting, Trinitas father and board member, Pastor Jon Mark Olesky, reminded us of the timely importance of Christian parents educating their children to engage their world. This is the second of three posts containing his comments.
The context of preparation for Babylonian exile is significant. Providentially, these four youths entered Babylon in (605B.C), having been exiled out of Judah, after the Reforms of King Josiah, which he led until his death in (609 B.C). These young men were not trained under the long list of Apostate Kings of Israel “who did what was evil in the sight of the Lord” (2 Kings 8–17); but under King Josiah, who arguably surpassed David in Kingly righteousness since he had no public scandal (2 Samuel 11), and “before him, there was no king like him, who turned to the Lord with all his heart…according to all the Law of Moses, nor did any like him arise after him” (2 Kings 23:25).
At a recent Annual Parent Meeting, Trinitas father and board member, Pastor Jon Mark Olesky, reminded us of the timely importance of Christian parents educating their children to engage their world. This is the first of three posts containing his comments.
“I don’t want to bring kids into this evil culture” is something I have heard more than once. Well-meaning Christians have long questioned the wisdom of bringing children into a fallen world. And while this hesitation might seem prudent, God doesn’t hesitate to command husband and wife, “Be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth” (Gen 1:28; 9:1). The earth is, no longer a utopian Eden, but a post-Eden wilderness, what the New Testament calls “Babylon” (Rev 17:5, 1 Pet 5:13-14). This Babylonian context isn’t foreign to children raised in covenant homes. The historical nation of Babylon was where the Jewish exiles were sent. Of those exiles, the most notable were four Jewish “youths… Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah of the tribe of Judah” (or their Babylonian names) “Belteshazzar, Shadrach, Meshach, Abednego” (Dan 1:1-7).
As a father of five, I am greatly concerned with the cultivation of virtue in the hearts of my children. Frequent thought and active parenting has been invested in training my children in honesty, diligence, self-control, and respect. The lack of these virtues is tough to disguise. When children are disrespectful and lazy, succumbing to every desire of their flesh, they create what my mother would refer to as “a scene.” Yet behind the more common virtues, lies one that receives precious little airtime – Piety.
The pursuit of wisdom consists of basic things: reading boni libris, competing with a charitable heart on the field, turning in commonplace books, parsing Latin and Greek, working out complex Calculus problems, reciting poetry, memorizing Scripture, crafting essays, exercising your vocal cords in choir, and submitting your best art (even if you don’t think you’re much of an artist). Well, maybe it is better to say that these are the concrete ways you will pursue those lofty aims advocated by Aristotle, namely phronesis and techne. Both of them are arts aimed at the cultivation of the soul, phronesis meaning moral virtue, and techne meaning skilled virtue. Morals and skills. Or to use Paul’s language, “by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service. And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God” (Romans 12:1-2).
One hundred twenty-seven years ago, the United States Congress officially recognized the social and economic impact of American workers by, ironically, giving them a day off. Since that time, the first Monday in September has been a federal holiday often celebrated with parades, fireworks, and backyard barbecues. Acting as the unofficial end of summer, Labor Day might also represent the end of lazy summer living and the start of the demands of a new school year. Yet for the thoughtful Christian, even a secular holiday such as Labor Day should be cause for contemplation.