Throughout the ages Christian monks have cloistered to free themselves from the ungodly influence of the outside world. The seclusion and the freedom from the day-to-day rat race provided them increased opportunity for study and prayer that was not otherwise available. That tradition gave us some fine scholarly work in areas as diverse as Christian doctrine and agriculture. Indeed, Western Christian thought and heritage was preserved by such cloistering. In our age of mega schools and assembly line secular education, I want to suggest that Christian children can benefit from the cloister-like atmosphere at a small classical Christian school.
One of the mantras of classical Christian education is “repair the ruins.” The line comes from John Milton, that seventeenth century English poet and intellectual who wrote the classic, Paradise Lost. Milton wrote on a host of other topics, including education, and once wrote,
“The end then of learning is to repair the ruins of our first parents by regaining to know God aright, and out of that knowledge to love him, to imitate him, to be like him.”
The classical educator sees himself as a servant in this labor, a guide to his students. But repairing the ruins and redeeming truth, goodness, and beauty which has been lost by our culture is not confined to the classroom.
Being in the Christian education business, one of the things I hear often from Christian parents is, We send our children to non-Christian schools so they can be salt and light to the lost children and teachers. Yikes! I want to suggest to those parents that they’re asking something nearly impossible of their young ones. In fact, if your Christian children are in a secular school, here are three reasons to get them out of there before they lose their faith.
Happy New Year! The older I get, the faster the years seem to come and go. It is as if we began 2018 just yesterday, but 2019 is now upon us and already a week old. Many of us like to begin each new year by making resolutions—new year, new start. This year I am encouraging Christian parents to make three resolutions for raising Christian children: correct our children according to God’s word, eat at least one meal together as a family every day, and engage in family worship or devotions daily. If we pursue these resolutions diligently and pray continually for guidance and help from the Holy Spirit, 2019 can be a year of great spiritual growth for our families.
In spite of Christmas displays in the stores in October and continuous Christmas music on the radio since the day after Thanksgiving, it isn’t Christmastime yet. According to the historical calendar of the Christian Church, we are currently in the season of Advent. Taken from the Latin, adventus, meaning coming or arrival, Advent is the season leading up to Christmas that is symbolic of the world’s longing and waiting for the promised Messiah of God who would take away the sins of the world. Though it is often unobserved in Evangelical circles today, I want to offer just three reasons why we should consider observing Advent with our children.
My wife and I have attended an unusual number of weddings over the past few months. Far from being a burden, I consider our attendance at these glorious events a blessing. After the most recent wedding, I remarked to my family that every wedding like that one strikes a blow for the kingdom of God. Whatever do I mean by that? And what does this have to do with classical Christian education or Trinitas Christian School?
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!
In our weekly email to parents last Friday, we embedded a video of Dr. George Grant telling the story of replacing the oak beams in the dining hall of Saint Mary’s College, Oxford. That story was part of the first talk I ever heard Grant give some fifteen or so years ago. It is a powerful example of the kind of foresight Christian people should exercise all the time in all facets of life.