Monthly Archives: July 2011

Freedom and Classical Christian Education, Part 1

The Bible has a lot to say about and to slaves. We read, for example, in God’s Law in Leviticus 25:44 that God told Israel, “From the nations that are around you, from them you may buy male and female slaves.” The New Testament gives a number of commands that relate to slavery. We read in Ephesians 6:5, “Slaves, be obedient to those who are your masters according to the flesh, with fear and trembling.” And in Colossians 3:22 we read, “Bondservants, obey in all things your masters according to the flesh.” We also read in Colossians 4:1, “Masters, provide your slaves with what is right and fair, because you know that you also have a Master in heaven.”

What do these verses about slaves and slavery and bondservants have to do with students at a classical Christian schools? Are these verses a description of the work of teachers? What do these passages on slavery have to do with our school and the hard work that goes on in it?

This year students will come to school every day and work very hard. They will toil and struggle and labor at the command of their teachers. They are required to obey them in all things with all their heart and to do what they ask without hesitation.

So I ask again, what do these passages from the Bible on slavery have to do with students at a classical Christian schools?

The answer: absolutely nothing.

Busy Subduing

What does it mean to acknowledge God in the classroom?

Perhaps it means showing that there is a Bible verse about everything we teach our students.  For example, when we teach them multiplication, we can read the narrative of the loaves and fishes to demonstrate that God Himself multiplied, so we should also learn to multiply.  Perhaps.  But what do we do with the same students in math class six years later when they are learning trigonometry or calculus?  Is there a Bible verse about imaginary numbers?  Strong doesn’t mention it in his concordance if there is.  So our approach to Christian education must be more comprehensive.  We have to show that, yes, God does have something to say about everything we learn, even if there isn’t a specific verse.  For example, God tells Adam to “Be fruitful and multiply; fill the earth and subdue it; have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over every living thing that moves on earth” (Gen. 1:28).  So if we are to fill the earth and subdue it, if we are to cultivate this garden that God has given us in raw form into a shining city, we must know the earth’s properties.  We must know how to manipulate imaginary numbers so that we are able to build bridges and conduct electricity and store data.  These are things we do, not because “thou shalt store data,” but because we are to be busy subduing.

Welcoming Mrs. LaWanna Smith

After four years of faithful service to Regents Academy Mrs. Sharon Freeland has stepped down from teaching kindergarten. Mrs. Freeland is a gifted and committed kindergarten teacher who will be missed!

However, God has provided a new teacher to step into kindergarten — Mrs. LaWanna Smith. Mrs. Smith comes to us after more than 20 years teaching kindergarten, first grade, and second grade in the Dallas area. A native of Nacogdoches, LaWanna and her husband David have three children and two grandchildren.

We are so glad Mrs. Smith is on board!

To Truly Know the World

Christians have special knowledge about this world.  We know the One who created all the things that make up this world, who ordered all of their interactions, and who sustains their existence by the power of His Word.  “For by [the Son] all things were created that are in heaven and that are on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or principalities or powers.  All things were created through Him and for Him” (Col. 1:16).  If there is anything that exists, whether visible or invisible, He created it.  In this passage Paul drives home his point by pronouncing that even thrones, dominions, principalities, and powers are the work of God’s creative hand.  His point is that if these abstractions like dominions and powers are God’s creation, then certainly all the tangible world belongs to him by virtue of creation as well.  In order to truly know the world in which we live, we must know the One by whom it was created—Jesus Christ.

The Truth About the World

As we strive to pass on to our posterity the knowledge and skills they need not just to survive but to carry on the great task of culture-building that we have inherited from our forefathers, isn’t it true that we are simply communicating the truth about the world?  Aren’t we just telling them what we know about what has happened and what happens in the world?  Consider a course in science.  The purpose is for students to learn how one part of the created order maintains existence and interacts with other parts of nature.  In art we teach them the effect of placing one value alongside another or when one color is added to its complement.  Everything students learn can be summed up in this:  something that occurred, is occurring, or will occur in the world.

From the Same Source

Our task in education becomes teaching our students to do all things whether they eat or drink or whatever they do to the glory of God.  We do this by showing our students that everything they learn is a part of an integrated whole.  Math is related to literature because they both come from God.  They both express truth about the same unified being.  Think about the sun.  If we were somehow able to isolate rays of the sun, we could look at each one as something different and separate from the others.  But we would know they are essentially unified because they radiate from the same source.  We can follow each one back to its beginning and arrive at the same person.  So here we see Christ as the center of the curriculum, and each subject has its own inherent legitimacy which it derives from its origin—Christ.

Teaching Our Students to See Him

Many educators who are Christians attempt to offer a Christian education by pouring a Christian glaze over each subject.  What they are really doing is submitting to the secularists who say that each subject is independent of God.  Therefore they sense the need to Christianize by adding Christian flavor to the literature lesson.  If we have this dinner-table approach to Christian education, we are essentially denying God.  We are acknowledging that history and music exist apart from God and we have to pour God over it to Christianize it.  May it never be!  History and music exist because God exists.  Without him they would not be.  We don’t have to pour God over our subjects like gravy over turkey.  He is there.  It is our task to teach our students to see Him.

Daily Sentinel: Class of 2011

In May 2011 Regents ran an ad in the Daily Sentinel congratulating our 5 then-future graduates. They have since graduated and begun to move on to greater endeavors. To see this ad, which really is a small credit to their accomplishment, click here (SeniorsAd2011).

(This week the Regents Academy blog is featuring coverage of various school events from the Daily Sentinel during the last school year. If you click the link above, a PDF file will open.)