We are seeking, in a fractured society, to show the world around us, as well as the church in this city, how Christians can come together – from different churches, different traditions, different parts of town, even different parts of our country, different educational, professional, and socio-economic backgrounds, and learn to love each other, to love each other’s children and to love learning all those things, of which we were robbed.
The following was presented at the CCA Open House on February 21, 2019, by school founder and current Chair Emeritus, Herb Melton:
Why are you here tonight? Hopefully, to learn something that will allow you to become a more faithful, and more fruitful disciple – both as an individual, and as a parent, responsible to God for the choices you make about your children’s education. In that spirit, my goal is to expand our understanding of two things - the nature of, and the desperate need for, an educational regimen that helps form and nurture a genuinely biblical worldview.
Nearly everyone in the evangelical world, especially educators, talks worldview, but how many actually know what it is, or why it matters? Doug Wilson, one of the strongest voices in Christian and classical education, says, in the end, worldview is what comes out of your fingertips; or said another way, it is how we answer Dr. Francis Schaeffer’s old question - “How should we then live?” That being so, genuinely biblical education is not merely informational, but more importantly, formational; that is, not just WHAT our students learn, but HOW they are shaped to think and live.
We live in a prodigal culture that has not only forgotten its roots, but has squandered its spiritual, intellectual, and cultural capital. It appears hell bent on the deliberate obliteration of actual remembrance of our past, and of every suggestion of value in our heritage. Ps. 88:12 asks, rhetorically, “Will Your wonders be made known in the darkness, and Your righteousness in the land of forgetfulness?” Recent legislative actions regarding abortion, make it quite clear that we live in a land of darkness, and ongoing attempts by our cultural leaders to institutionalize forgetfulness, make this question as relevant in our day, as it was for the psalmist. What’s worse, far too often the culture is transforming the church in this regard, rather than the church transforming it, leaving us as guilty as the larger culture.
Abraham Kuyper, “A nation, which does not remember what it was yesterday, does not know what it is today, nor what it is trying to do. We are trying to do a futile thing if we do not know where we came from or what we have been about. Ours is a rich legacy. Rich but lost.”
John H.Y. Briggs, “Just as loss of memory is an individual is a psychiatric defect calling for medical treatment, so too, any community which has no social memory is suffering from an illness.”
One of God’s most repeated commands to His people is “Remember!” Never has heeding His command been more critical than today. No small part of God’s expectation of how we, His people, should live is that we should be actively, systematically, and I’ll use one of those hot evangelical buzz words – intentionally, remembering, and telling our children of His mighty acts, and teaching them to do so, as well.
Ex. 10:1-2 Then YHWH said to Moses, “Go to Pharaoh, for I have hardened his heart and the heart of his servants, that I may perform these signs of Mine among them, and that you may tell in the hearing of your son, and of your grandson, how I made a mockery of the Egyptians and how I performed My signs among them, that you may know that I am YHWH.”
Joshua 24:21-24 “When your children ask their fathers in time to come, saying, ‘What are these stones?’ then you shall inform your children, saying, ‘Israel crossed this Jordan on dry ground.’ For YHWH your God dried up the waters of the Jordan before you until you had crossed, just as YHWH your God had done to the Red Sea, which He dried up before us until we had crossed; that all the peoples of the earth may know that the hand of YHWH is mighty, so that you may fear YHWH your God forever.”
Dt. 4:9 “Only take care, and keep your soul diligently, lest you forget the things that your eyes have seen, and lest they depart from your heart all the days of your life. Make them known to your children and your children's children.”
PS. 78:1-7 “Listen, O my people, to my instruction; Incline your ears to the words of my mouth. I will open my mouth in a parable; I will utter dark sayings of old which we have heard and known, and our fathers have told us. We will not conceal them from their children, but tell to the generation to come the praises of YHWH, and His strength and His wondrous works that He has done.
For He established a testimony in Jacob, and appointed a law in Israel, which He commanded our fathers that they should teach them to their children, that the generation to come might know, even the children yet to be born, That they may arise and tell them to their children, that they should put their confidence in God and not forget the works of God, but keep His commandments...”
First, all you fathers in the audience, I would be remiss, if I fail to remind you that these commands presuppose that yours is the primary responsibility. Of course, you need the insights of your wife, in the making of a solid biblically faithful choice, but you are the one ultimately responsible before God for the decision you are making. I encourage you to take the lead role, if you haven’t already, in exploring and evaluating your schooling options. Should God bring you here, I challenge you to immerse yourself in understanding what we are doing, so that, in time, you may help us do an even better job.
Second, there is an inescapable theme – we are to insure that successive generations (PS. 78 mentions at least four) know and remember the mighty acts of God, including His works of creation, redemption, and providence – i.e. His ordering of the history and geography of His world (including geo-political events, and natural disasters), for the purpose of calling a people for Himself, and the for advancement of His kingdom.
Unfortunately, far too many evangelicals are functionally illiterate, when it comes to knowing and understanding the whole scope of the Scriptures. Frankly, they cannot properly teach the story (and it is a story) of all God’s mighty acts, because they themselves don’t know it. Thus, a part of our mission is to support parents who desire that their children would truly know the full scope of God’s plans for His people, and His mighty acts in His world. Our board and our staff are either past, current, or Lord willing, future parents of students. We have joined together to be faithful to our own calling, and to assist one another, in doing the same. We invite you to join us in this joyous work.
Finally, these passages make it clear that the purpose of this remembering, and telling, is so successive generations of God’s covenant children may come to know the triune God, who made heaven and earth, and who has redeemed a people unto himself, so they may learn to love Him, with heart, soul, mind, and strength, put their confidence in Him, fear and obey Him, until that day when He returns to consummate His kingdom, however long that may be.
But these things aren’t limited to those blessed to be raised in covenant territory. The quote from Joshua says that when children ask what these stones mean, part of the answer is “that all the peoples of the earth may know that the hand of YHWH is mighty.” Sounds amazingly like the great commission to me! How ‘bout you? That, taken together, brothers and sisters, is a biblical worldview!
So, what do we make of this, thousands of years after these words were written, on a cold winter night in Louisville, KY? Well, first, let’s admit that this task is enormous.
Part of the problem is that we parents, those tasked with this overwhelming responsibility, were robbed – robbed of our cultural and spiritual heritage. We are all victims - of either a well intentioned, but truncated education, or perhaps even intentional mis-education. Many of us did not have the blessing of growing up in a solid, biblically literate Christian family, where these things are as natural as the air we breathe. We may not have the blessing of being part of a church, where the entire Bible - Genesis to Revelation is carefully, consistently, and thoroughly taught to both young and old.
That means that we, individually, are inadequate for the task and calling before us, We must learn and seek to recover our heritage, even as we try to teach our children. One beauty of our banding together, here at CCA, is that we can encourage, challenge, and teach one another, working together to shore up the weak places; mutually benefiting from what God has blessed each teacher, board member, and parent with.
We are also learning to carry one another’s burdens, as a unique expression of God’s family. We are seeking, in a fractured society, to show the world around us, as well as the church in this city, how Christians can come together – from different churches, different traditions, different parts of town, even different parts of our country, different educational, professional, and socio-economic backgrounds, and learn to love each other, to love each other’s children and to love learning all those things, of which we were robbed.
Yes, there are other legitimate ways to fulfill God’s calling regarding the training of your children, such as home schooling or cottage schools. Yes, there are other Christian schools, even other classical schools, and all of them are bigger; they have more bells and whistles. They probably have more resources, more staff with impressive degrees, more of most everything. You must evaluate the importance of those things for your situation.
In raising our three children, the youngest of whom is a CCA graduate, Barb and I had to evaluate and choose between the available options. As a result, while our two older ones were matriculating at another Christian school, we helped start CCA, because there was so much missing in Christian education in this city, and there was nothing like this. And there still isn’t!
In closing, please, please hear me. As a thirty five year veteran of, and consumer of Christian education, here’s what I submit really matters. There is not a group of men and women, to whom I would more confidently trust my children five days a week. There is not a curriculum that is crafted with more thought, care, and love, nor with a greater desire to build a genuinely biblical worldview. There is no core community more committed to taking mutual responsibility for serving one another’s families. There is no school with a greater desire to provide an environment where God’s children learn how to live together, with all of the inevitable bumps and bruises, both physical and emotional, that come from day to day life together. No place that is more committed to teaching that ‘the arm of our God is mighty, and that we are to fear Him forever.” I hope that will become clear to you, and that you choose to join us in this merry task!