Monday, July 26, 2010

Reformed School Curriculums

Dear friends,

It is hard for Reformed Christians to find an entire school curriculum that offers faithful books in line with the Reformation. Here are the two companies that offer Reformed curriculum for schooling at home or elsewhere, from kindergarten to twelfth grade. They would even be useful to supplement any current schooling methods.

1. Christian Liberty Academy and Press
   Although these are two different websites, they are operated by the same organization. This organization began with a Reformed church in the late 60s (and still associated with that church I believe). The first, the Academy, using the CLASS system, includes a full-curriculum (with alternative textbooks if desired) that is semi-flexible. The family registers with the group and they grade the tests. And includes a parent/teacher planner with scheduled testing and mile markers.

   The Press is not registration oriented. You grade your own tests. And it includes the same materials (such as Louis Berkhof's Manual of Christian Doctrine--a high school systematic theology).  It too includes the full curriculum and planner or you can buy individual books and custom make your approach.

2. Covenant Home also provides an auditing service if you so desire. It can operate as an "umbrella school" to issue diplomas as well. And it offers a flexible approach to different child learning levels. Grade ten includes Calvin's Institutes. Individual books or an entire curriculum per grade level are available. A day-by-day planner also exists. Covenant Home's distinctive approaches are here. It includes a diagonistic testing program to help tailor the curriculum.

You can request a catalog from either company. Prices vary from 150$ a grade/curriculum to 670$

Naturally, I have not read every book offered. Nor am I familiar with all of them. I do not know if the history and bible books include pictures of Christ. And, ironically, I did notice that there is no systematic catechizing in the lower grades. The Westminster Confession of Faith is not covered at all. Even so, these offers are a great start or finish for your family.

It will take some time to look into these, but I think it worth the effort.

yours in Christ,

PS. Feel free to pass this on to others.

Monday, July 19, 2010

Predicting the Future

“…a comprehensive and centralized system of national education, separated from religion…will prove the most appalling enginery for the propagation of anti-Christian and atheistic unbelief…which this sin-rent world has ever seen.”
A. A. Hodge, Princeton Professor, 1887

How was professor Hodge able to foresee such wretched consequences of godless, centralized education? Hodge’s ability to see one-hundred years into the future was based upon a solid Christian tradition arising from the Protestant Reformation. That tradition rooted itself into the soil of Scripture Alone.

Is there a question about who should educate children? The Bible has an answer for that.
Is there a question about what a child should learn? The Bible has an answer for that.

We need not feed at the trough of humanistic thinking to deal with the important questions of today. Rather, we should seek out the Words of Life, the Bible.
The hard part is understanding how to properly digest this heavenly Food. Professor Hodge was able to absorb the truth of it so well that he foresaw the doom of America. Again, how?

The fact of the Bible alone as the source of truth and practice also came with the tools of interpretation and application needed to dig into the Truth. The Puritans refined these tools (which are in the Bible itself) into eight simple rules; one of which states: “where a duty is commanded, the contrary sin is forbidden; and, where a sin is forbidden, the contrary duty is commanded.” Ephesians 4:28 offers a clear picture of this truth: “Let him that stole steal no more: but rather let him labor, working with his hands the thing which is good, that he may have to give to him that needs.”

When God states that murder is forbidden, it also means that preserving life is commanded. If we are not to lie, we are to tell the truth instead. And when He commands that God should be the center of our lives and children should be instructed in the fear of the Lord, He forbids education “separated from religion.”

If we wish to see one-hundred years into the future, Christians need to return to their spiritual roots in the Bible. And they need to learn how to once again feed upon the Word for the expansion of the Kingdom, just like professor Hodge.

Monday, July 12, 2010

A Talk About Female Leadership

As the Denver Christian Apologist writer at Examiner (here), I receive many comments. One article brought out a reader with the following civil exchange (this is slightly abbreviated):

[Responding to my comments about female pastors in another article]:


L- Galatians 3:28-29 "There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus. And if you are Christ's, then you are Abraham's seed, and heirs according to the promise."

[I replied that I would write an article on that set of verses, but it was not accepted...]:

L - What about Deborah? Judges 4:4-5 Deborah, a prophetess, the wife of Lappidoth, was leading Israel at that time. She held court under the Palm of Deborah between Ramah and Bethel in the hill country of Ephraim, and the Israelites came to her to have their disputes decided.

L - I'll also throw in Junia: Romans 16:7 Greet Andronicus and Junia, my fellow Jews who have been in prison with me. They are outstanding among the apostles, and they were in Christ before I was. And Phoebe: Romans 16:1 I commend to you our sister Phoebe, a deacon of the church in Cenchreae. And I'll add that Miriam, Moses' sister, was obviously a leader.


Denver Christian Apologist - Lori: In a proper exchange of ideas, it behooves both parties to acknowledge the facts. Please ask yourself (don't need to write it here) if I properly explained Galatians 3:28? As for my part, I never dealt (nor could w/ short articles) other passages or the broader issues involved. 1.Deborah was a prophetess--if there are prophetesses today then they can be leaders (but prophets and apostles ended when the Bible was finished). 2. Deborah actually chided Barak for letting a woman get the victory in battle: "So she said, "I will surely go with you; nevertheless there will be no glory for you in the journey you are taking, for the LORD will sell Sisera into the hand of a woman." 

Denver Christian Apologist - Lori: to continue: 3. Phil. 2:25 calls Epaphroditus a "messenger" (NKJV) wh/ in the greek is 'apostle' b/c apostle means 'messenger/one sent'. 4. Clearly there were only 12 Apostles at the beginning (Acts 1 records the election of another to replace Judas) and at the end (Revelation has the 12 Apostle names in Jerusalem). So, Epaphr. could not be another apostle in that specialized sense of the word. 5. Therefore, rom. 16:7 is not another Apostle (w/ capital A). 6. "Among" the apostles may mean with them not one of them. 7. Deacon means 'servant', so more than the word is needed to determine if the text means an office or simply a 'helper' (like all of us should be). thanks for asking.


Lori - 1. Why does God make an exception (according to you) for prophetesses if He doesn't allow women as leaders? And where does it say in the Bible that prophets and apostles are finished? 2. My reading is that Deborah was chiding his lack of faith. 3, 4, 5, and 6. I didn't read the text about Junia to mean she was 1 of the 12. Paul refers to himself as a apostle. I believe she was an apostle in the same sense...


Lori - To continue: I base some of my argument on what I have seen, felt and experienced through the powerful ministry and leadership of women in the church. “Of course, you also used emotionally loaded words "suppression" and "oppression", but these are not reasons either.” I used suppression and oppression based on women having the Spirit quenched by being denied the full use of their spiritual gifts. I remember hearing Beth Moore saying something like, “I teach women and those men who are humble enough to listen.” What a wonderful world it would be if more men were humble enough to listen to her. That’s how I feel.


Denver Christian Apologist - Lori: You stated: "If you don’t see my questions as relevant to your argument concerning Galatians, that’s how you see it. I see differently." That is part of the difficulty: what is considered a proper rationale. The other verses you pointed to were not relevant to Galatians. Books are written with their own context and my primary argument was within the book and chapter itself. None of your other passages bear *directly* on that text. Thus, Galatians cannot be used for your argument. And so I moved on to the other texts and explained them as well. This could go on ad infinitum unless you are willing to struggle with a single text and defend your position from that text (other texts are helpful but an argument must be based upon texts not general impressions).

Lori- To continue: I base some of my argument on what I have seen, felt and experienced through the powerful ministry and leadership of women in the church. “Of course, you also used emotionally loaded words "suppression" and "oppression", but these are not reasons either.” I used suppression and oppression based on women having the Spirit quenched by being denied the full use of their spiritual gifts. I remember hearing Beth Moore saying something like, “I teach women and those men who are humble enough to listen.” What a wonderful world it would be if more men were humble enough to listen to her. That’s how I feel.

Denver Christian Apologist - And yet Beth Moore is not humble enough to listen to me? Using language this way is not a defense of any position but poisons the well of the discussion with the insinuation that the opposing party is not 'humble'--that certainly has not been proven. Remember: the first thing offered as an argument was Galatians. I offered a cogent explanation that has not been answered beyond quoting other verses.

Lori - You seem determined that I reply to your posts in a manner you think appropriate, not in the manner I would naturally respond. I’m not sure why that is. It makes for an awkward conversation. Regardless, I don’t see the point of continuing as we aren’t going to agree. I don’t like straining at gnats and swallowing camels. Gives me indigestion.

Denver Christian Apologist - Dear Lori: I am hopeful that God does use this conversation for His glory so I do not think it needless. I think upon reflection you will see that I spent some time answering you point for point (not always) but did not receive like response. So, I could contend that you are forcing me to dialogue the way you want...but I won't do that. For your sake and the readers, I will take some of those point-by-point answers and flush them out for clarity in the next article. Either way, I hope you will continue to read and find more common ground in my other articles.
thanks

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Faith and Liberty 2010 Conference in Denver



This should be informative to say the least:

Two former Presidential candidates will sound off on the current economic and political climate at the Faith and Liberty 2010 Conference in Denver, Colorado on July 24, 2010. Former UN Ambassador Alan Keyes and Pastor Chuck Baldwin are keynote speakers for the Faith and Liberty 2010 Conference. Website here.

Monday, July 05, 2010

A Christian Fourth of July

As I sat listening to the fireworks, I wondered what modern Coloradans would think about the original celebration, about the original Christian society that birthed Independence Day.

What would many think about a Congress calling citizens to repent: [continued here]