Thursday, March 22, 2007

Why I and A few Others are Starting a Classical Christian School

We live in an unbelievably naïve and superficial age and it’s the last thing most people would think to say about it…What I mean by superficial is, something is superficial when the treatment of it involves everything you can say about it except the main things. Now as a scholar you can say many things intelligently about many things and if you leave out the main connections in reality, you are treating it superficially. Therefore, I conclude the communication media in America are all superficial. I conclude that the educational enterprises in our Universities are all superficial. I conclude that virtually all news reports are superficial. Virtually all history books are superficial. Virtually all public education is superficial. Virtually all editorial news commentary is superficial for one very simple reason that a child can understand. It’s because of the incredible, unspeakable, unimaginable disregard for God in it all. God is the main reality in the universe and is the main connection, purpose, ground and sustaining power of everything that is. And therefore anytime you treat anything without relation to God, you are superficial. And the fact that that sounds odd to us shows how infected all American evangelicals are with our God-neglecting, God-belittling and our increasingly God-despising age. If you watch enough TV you cannot help but forget God, he isn’t there. And the sheer absence of God is blasphemy…

I pray for my sons and my daughter. I have 5 kids and two of my boys are out of school now, one is in college and one is in high school and my little girl hasn’t started school yet. And I pray, “Oh God, in all of their learning grant that they would see God and that they would see you. May they see you in geometry. May they see you in history. May they see you in philosophy. May they see you in English. May they see you in physical education. May they see you in spelling.”


And I can hear the cynics, “right, a Christian spelling…there are Christian ways to spell words. Give me a break Pastor John.” Now that’s the way a cynic, a superficial 20th century saturated, God-neglecting cynic, responds to talking about God-centered spelling.

I’ve had two kinds of sons, academic and nonacademic. And they fit the pattern perfectly, son number 1, the scholar…son number two, the athlete - the jock, as soon as he could get out of high school he was done, he was gone. And he’s red hot for Jesus by the way. Well, I remember the day when this dyslexic non-speller said to me, “why should I care about spelling the way everybody else spells.” And he meant it because it hurt so bad. And I said, “Well ummm, you won’t be able to communicate as well if you don’t learn to spell the way everybody else spells.” “I don’t care about communicating well…why should I care about communicating well?”

Now here we are public school teachers, you got this kid in your class and he raises his hand after flunking his second spelling test. “Why should I care about communicating?” Now right here were about a millimeter beneath superficiality, not very far. And the ways are gonna divide right here teacher. What are you gonna tell him. Here’s one answer, this is the blasphemous answer, the standard answer, the 20th century answer, the public school answer. “Well, if you don’t learn how to spell or you don’t learn how to communicate you wont succeed in business and you wont make as much money and you wont advance in the community.” And here’s the real clincher, the bottom line gospel – “you wont have as high self-esteem. So get to work and work and we’ll help you.”

Godless. Godless answers all.

Here’s another answer, my answer to my son and to anybody who will listen. “Ben, you should want to communicate and care about communicating because you were created in the image of God and God is a great communicator. Your in his image son, your in his image. To be a human being is no small thing and he is a great communicator and you should want to communicate and not be indifferent to putting obstacles in the way.” Number two; “you got something infinitely important to communicate Ben. You got God to communicate. You got love to communicate. You got salvation to communicate. You got Jesus to communicate. You’ve got the gospel to communicate. You’ve got eternal life to communicate. You’ve got purpose to communicate. You can’t be indifferent son, to whether you communicate and put obstacles in the way of your communication.” Third, “Ben, God is love and his love is scorned when we treat as a matter of indifference whether or not we communicate good things for people they desperately need to hear from us.” And finally, “you need to communicate and care about communicating and not putting spelling stumbling blocks in the way of your communication because language is God’s idea from the beginning – “In the beginning was the word and the word was with god…” It’s God’s idea. He is not a God of chaos and confusion. He’s a God of beauty and of order. He’s not a god of anarchy, even spelling anarchy.”

And you know if you are sitting out there now and you don’t care about the supremacy of God in spelling then you wont get my plea…you just wont get it…

- John Piper, The Spremacy of God in Preaching

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