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Mar
5

Classical Education: Is it a Good Idea?

Classical Education: Is it a Good Idea? This is a guest post by David & Shirley Quine (founders of Cornerstone Curriculum) on Classical Education: The Three Pillars of Classical Education Some time ago Shirley and I were in a conversation regarding Classical Education with a small group of Christian educators. We were told that this was the growing trend among Christian home school educators and that we should consider embracing it as well. Although we mostly listened, we asked a few questions in the discussion — especially, regarding the notion of Truth. We were shocked to be introduced to the three pillars of “truth” being embraced by Classical educators: Christianity – the Spiritual Pillar Greece – the Philosophical Pillar Rome – the Governmental Pillar We were told that the union of Greek and Roman thought with Christian truth is the basis of Classical Education and that it actually yields a much broader and more comprehensive understanding of truth. However, this wasn’t the Protestant Reformation idea of Truth Shirley and I had been taught by Dr. Francis Schaeffer in his writings and lectures. Rather, this was exactly the opposite. Dr Schaeffer wrote extensively that Protestant Christianity provides good and sufficient answers in all three spheres: Spiritual, Philosophical, and Governmental. He warned us of the dangers of mixing Greek and Roman ideas with Christian Truth. A person must ask “where does this mixing lead?” I continue seeking greater understanding of the goals and objectives of Classical Education. Just recently I found a graphic from a Catholic web site showing the three pillars of Classical Education which we were encouraged to embrace years before. I was shocked to see the close connection between Classical Education and Catholic teaching. Protestant Reformation teaching does not mix Greco-Roman thinking with Christian Truth. Paul, writing to Christians living in the city of Colossae which would have been under the influence of Greek and Roman thinking, states: Therefore as you have received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk in Him, having been firmly rooted and now being built up in Him and established in your faith, just as you were instructed, and overflowing with gratitude. See to it that no one takes you captive through philosophy and empty deception, according to the tradition of men, according to the elementary principles of the world, rather than according to Christ. Colossians 2:6-8 PS. Teaching involves both curriculum (content) and instruction (the delivery). My greatest concern is not over the Trivium per se (although I do not...
Sep
5

The Death of Truth (Understanding Postmodernism)

If you have been hearing about these terms, “Modern” and “Postmodern” but aren’t certain where to begin, The Death of Truth, (Dennis McCallum, General Editor),  is a great place to start. The topics are dealt with in a scholarly manner, but are explained in an easy enough manner for the common person to understand. One of the most helpful aspects of the book are the wonderful charts, that give a great visual aid to the comparison of these worldviews. This book contrasts the worldviews of Modernism against Postmodernism as they apply to: Health Care, Literature, Education, History, Psychotherapy, Law, Science, and Religion. If there is a downside to the book, it may be that some of the authors tend to defend Modernism a bit too much in their zeal to show the imbalance of its rebellious progeny: Postmodernism. This shows up the most in the chapters on education and health. In health, the author seems so opposed to any form on alternative medicine that I think he goes a bit far and throws the baby out with the bath water. Not all alternative medical approaches are “new age” or bogus superstition. In education, there is more credence given to the modern approach to education that is warranted. Modernist education wasn’t Biblical either. On a good note though, they do have a great explanation of the views of Multiculturalism and the real relatvisitic motives behind the facade. With those disclaimers aside, I really think this book is a very useful tool for anyone who wants to understand the culture in which we live. Ideas have origins and destinations. This book does a good job of filling in the gaps between the two. http://www.xenos.org/ministries/crossroads/dot.htm  Bethany House Copyright 1996 ISBN #1-5561-724-0 288 pages. On a scale of 1-5, I’d give this a 4...
Apr
2

Frank Peretti discusses Christian fiction with Israel Wayne

Israel Wayne: What does it mean to write fiction from a Christian worldview? Frank Peretti: When you write fiction from a Christian worldview, you are assuming that there is a personal, loving, redeeming God in charge of this universe and that His principles provide the ultimate answers for life and all of its difficulties. You are assuming that man is fallen and that his problems are the result of the fallenness of this world and his own inherent sinfulness. You are assuming that the true hero is the person who, despite hardships and challenges that would impress him to think and act otherwise, comes to rely on and act upon Truth as God has created it to formulate the solution to his problem. Israel Wayne: Is there a particular theme or over-arching message that spans your body of work? Frank Peretti:  Every novel I’ve written reflects what I was thinking, learning, and growing through at that particular point in my life, so I suppose an overarching message would be that God always has something new to teach us and that His path for our lives leads us from season to season, lesson to lesson, always for our good. Israel Wayne: If you could see anything change in the world of Christian fiction, what would it be? Frank Peretti: Not wanting to be a judge of others or their work, let me speak only for myself: I want to be an honest writer who writes from what God is working in his heart even though such a choice may push against the fleeting dictates of the popular culture.  I would like to be out front and leading by example, not following. Israel Wayne: 100 years from now, how do you want people to describe your work? Frank Peretti: I would like to be remembered as a significant cultural influence, equipping and edifying the body of Christ but also keeping the awareness of God and His ways before the eyes and minds of the people of my day. Historians may regard my work as a study in where the Christian evangelical mind was toward the end of the 20th century and through the first decades of the 21st. Israel Wayne: What advice would you give to upcoming fiction authors? Frank Peretti: Know what you’re doing. It’s not enough to want to write a book. You have to devote yourself to learning the writing craft, knowing all the nuts and bolts, rules and fundamentals of good...
Apr
29

The Kingdom of God is Within You – Leo Tolstoy (Review)

The Kingdom of God is Within You by Leo Tolstoy, was written in 1894 and published in Germany, where liberal theology or “Higher Criticism” had already taken a foothold. Since Tolstoy used much of this book to lambaste the Russian government, I’m sure the Germans were all too happy to help the manuscript discover the light of day. Tolstoy seems to very anti-institutional in his overall worldview. In this theological treatise, he rails against the Orthodox, the Catholics, the Protestants (specifically the Lutherans) and even the Salvation Army. The main gist of his argument seems to be that religious institutions prey on the masses for their own financial gain and political power. He is rather heterodox in some of his theological views, such as denying the infallibility of the Old Testament, being skeptical of miracles, opposing the church creeds on their key points, declaring that modern science and the Bible are not compatible and even claiming that man is the son of God with the same essence of God himself, and this is what makes love for other human animals possible. It is clear why this book has not become a household favorite of conservative Evangelicals. However, as with most people who are frustrated with religion as it is currently held, many of his rebukes of the church are well-founded. Tolstoy’s view of Christianity is that it is the moral teachings of Jesus (found in the Sermon on the Mount) that have value to all humans. Rather than believing in the miraculous or the historical claims of the Bible, Tolstoy feels that Christianity has much to give to world in terms of loving neighbors, loving God and avoiding war and retaliation for wrongs. Overall, if I didn’t know better, I would assume that I were reading Doug Paggit, Brian McLaren, Leonard Sweet, Rob Bell, Tony Jones, Donald Miller or some other Emergent Church author who is decrying Modernity and the Modern church. Perhaps Tolstoy was ahead of his time. Or perhaps it is true that there is nothing new under the...

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