Having children in college has increased the number of road trips I enjoy each month. Between move-ins, family weekends, birthday visits and of course home football games, my wife and I have made numerous trips this fall to Lee University (Cleveland, Tenn.) and Clemson University (Clemson, S.C.). I am pleased and proud to report that both of my college kids are doing well and feel that they were well-prepared by Charlotte Christian for college life - academically, socially, and spiritually.
As we have logged many hours on I-85, I have discovered the wonders of QT or QuickTrip. These large gas stations have an expansive store with a myriad of food items, and importantly clean bathrooms. One item that QT carries is Dr. Pepper Twizzlers. Yes, you read that correctly - Dr. Pepper Twizzlers – a combination of a great soft drink and an already amazing candy. Sometimes things come together that are unexpected, and the result can be tremendous.
In the early development of Christian education in our country, many people unfortunately believed that faith and reason were exclusive of one another. Like Dr. Pepper and Twizzlers, many wrongly believed that faith and reason could not be combined or even co-exist. For far too long, Christian education suffered from this false premise and created below average schools when it came to academic measurements. Christian schools were great at evangelizing and mentoring students, but we did not prepare them for the next level of education or more importantly for the culture’s intellectual arena.
Charlotte Christian believes that faith and reason do co-exist, and we strive to model this on a daily basis. We believe that anything God calls us to, including education, should be done with excellence. We want our students to wrestle with God’s word both through the lenses of faith and reason.
In Isaiah chapter 1, verse 18 we read, “’Come now, let us reason together,’ says the Lord. ‘Though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they are red as crimson, they shall be like wool. If you are willing and obedient, you will eat the best from the land; but if you resist and rebel you will be devoured by the sword.’” The prophet Isaiah is speaking to his fellow Israelites during a difficult time in their country’s history. He speaks on behalf of the Lord and asks them to reason together or in today’s vernacular - stop and think about it. This is the gospel message succinctly stated in one verse, consider God’s plan for us past, present, and future. Notice it is the Lord that calls on us to think. He does not say follow blindly but rather use the mind that He has blessed you with.
In the Gospels, Jesus never gives His followers a simple list of do’s and don’ts. Sometimes, like me, I assume you wish that Jesus did that very thing - just tell me what to do and how to do it. Rather, Jesus told stories and utilized the parables to force the disciples, and now us, to think. Jesus wants us to draw conclusions after pondering the meaning of His message while placing His words into context with the Old Testament as well as the culture that surrounds us. Jesus consistently asked rhetorical questions to those around Him in order to force them to deal with His teachings on an intellectual plane.
Christian education should borrow from both the example in Isaiah and Jesus’ earthly ministry. We must wrestle through the Truth. I want our faculty member to follow the example of Jesus and ask our students rhetorical questions that force them to consider all angles of a particular topic or dilemma. The risk is that things can become messy. Look at the disciples, they were often wrong or misguided. The reward is the blessings of God’s plan. The disciples worked through their faith, and God used them in a mighty way.
At Charlotte Christian, I want our school to be one that takes on the risk of mixing faith and reason, and then watch God reward us in ways that are currently unimaginable.
Head of School
on Monday November 10, 2014 at 07:26AM