Do you remember where you were on 9/11? It was as though time stopped that morning. It took our collective breath away. It was terrible in the extreme.
Do you remember where you were the first time you understood – really understood – what classical Christian education is? As a homeschool mom in 1993, it took my breath away. Time stopped as I saw my once-impressive Christian curriculum dwarfing in comparison before my eyes. It was wonderful in the extreme. Could such a thing exist for my children?
Surprisingly, the overwhelming realization of how much our family’s lives would change didn’t make us shrink back; rather we picked up speed and jumped right into the deep water. That is, after all, where all the fun is.
If it was like this for you, it was not the word “rigor” that got you. It wasn’t even the Latin or Logic or catchy little memory ditties. It was the idea that in everything children learn to see Christ’s hand in every subject.
Before this epiphany, we thought a school was Christian if most of the grammar sentences involved either Paul or Moses; and little children who were often asked, “Who made this?” answered in unison with a loud and confident, “GOD made it!” Throw in a chapel and prayer each morning and that was a Christian school to me.
However, after reading Recovering the Lost Tools of Learning by Doug Wilson and Repairing the Ruins from Canon Press, my husband and I realized we had been looking for a Christian school, but longing to give our children a Christian education.
The word, “education” comes from the Latin root, ducere, which means to lead, as in leading someone out of darkness or ignorance into light. “School” comes from the Greek, skhole, which could be translated as philosophy or a place where lectures are given. See the difference?
By the middle of the 20th century, Christians would never admit it out loud, but they were faced with a choice between a modern public school and a mediocre Christian school. How did that happen?
To oversimplify a complex answer, 20th century Christians were lured away from their roots like Pinocchio to the Island of Lost Boys – with the same outcome. The industrial and modern eras spawned an idea that children could be run through grades K-12 like cars on an assembly line. Screw these bolts to the chassis in first grade, weld these nuts onto the drive shaft in second grade, etc., and at the end of the line of assembled facts, one gets a shiny Model T ready to drive away from Squaresville and experience the world! It was an easy sell to parents in a rapidly-changing world enticed by the newest new thing.
But, God is good. Like dry bones that rise again, He has called a remnant of Christians who understand that the same Christ who was the Word in the beginning of Genesis 1:1 is the Word who became flesh and dwelt among us in John 1:14. In Him is light and His light is the light of men.
Over the past three decades this remnant has sacrificed money, careers, and time to begin schools that classically educate the next generation of the Church. So it is at GCCA where students are being led out of darkness to see Christ as the One who always has and always will hold all things together in the palm of His hand and who does all things excellently. Our prayer is that these children will become like Jesus as the Holy Spirit works through the ministry of wise Christian parents, skillful Christian teachers, and the teaching of sound doctrine from faithful pastors.
And we all, with unveiled face, beholding the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from one degree of glory to another. For this comes from the Lord who is the Spirit. 2 Corinthians 3:18
Let’s pick up speed and jump into the deep water together, rejoicing because this is where the fun truly is!
Jeanette Faulkner teaches 7th grade at Grace Classical Christian Academy.