Rod Dreher, in his current best seller “The Benedict Option,” points out in Chapter 7 the positive benefits of classical Christian education in response to our culture’s rapid moral demise. While some of his thoughts may not match up to our faith practices completely, I appreciate some of the “thick” concepts he addresses which include the preparation of the next generation to understand the historical Christian faith and live it out in genuine Christian community.
I recently listened to Al Mohler, President of Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, interview Dreher on his book and some alarming national trends centered around this material. Presently, you can find the interview at www.abertmohler.com. You can read the transcript in its entirety or listen to the hour-long podcast at: http://www.albertmohler.com/2017/02/13/benedict-option-conversation-rod-dreher/. If you can’t read the book, this interview is certainly worthwhile.
I was introduced to Dr. Mohler when he provided keynote addresses at the Association for Classical Christian Schools conference which many of our faculty attended in Dallas a few summers ago. He is constantly addressing various current events from a Biblical Worldview perspective through his daily podcast entitled, “The Briefing.” I am encouraged and enjoy his daily Reformed perspectives.
Dreher, a professing Christian, has obviously been influenced by his changing theological views over his lifetime, but is now calling for Christians to be prepared in strengthening their faith through study of God’s Word and prayer. His recurring monastic theme may leave some considering his views to be isolationist, but a thorough reading expands this notion to an emphasis on solid preparation in faith!
As I think about how we want to prepare our students, in the midst of a perverse generation, I prefer to turn to Scripture directly. If our students can be prepared over time to graduate with a sense of spiritual maturity similar to that which Paul calls for among the Colossians, we can be comforted that our next generation will be in good hands.
Colossians 4:2-6 “Devote yourselves to prayer, keeping alert in it with an attitude of thanksgiving; praying at the same time for us as well, that God will open up to us a door for the word, so that we may speak forth the mystery of Christ, for which I have also been imprisoned; that I may make it clear in the way I ought to speak. Conduct yourselves with wisdom toward outsiders, making the most of the opportunity. Let your speech always be with grace, as though seasoned with salt, so that you will know how you should respond to each person.”
I once found these four words associated with the properties of salt. I pray that our graduates will always season their speech in these ways:
Piquant – May our speech be tasty to the listener, especially when addressing the Gospel of Christ.
Pure – May our speech be pure in the truth of Christ as it was originally intended in Scripture.
Preserving – May our speech preserve us and those who hear it in the ways of the Lord.
Penetrating – May our speech be pointed and cut to the chase when it comes to spiritual correction.
We are living in a challenging generation where spiritual truths are being treated as trite and bothersome! May the staff, parents and students of ECA take God’s Word seriously, while drinking it up like the life-giving stream it is! And, then, speaking forth this Word with salt!