The Importance of a Biblical Foundation in Classical Education
Contributing Author: Mr. Greg Lane, Multi-discipline Teacher
As my wife and I have now moved into our eighth decade on this earth, we have been given the opportunity to build a new house. I kept telling her, “I think I have another house in me,” she would then give me a look of skepticism and just nod her head. And yet, here we are. God has blessed us with the gift of building a new home next to our daughter and her beautiful family. We are so very grateful.
That said, as the foundation of the house began to take shape, I was reminded just how important it is for the concrete to be square, level and plumb. If that does not happen, constructing the remainder of the building becomes challenging. The archaic term for square, level and plumb is TRUE.
If the foundation is true, the building process can progress in an orderly and systematic way, brick upon brick, board upon board until you have a complete structure that is sound. Square, level and plumb are objective characteristics as measured against an unchanging standard. Subjectively square is not square, it is not true.
In classical education we are attempting to find goodness, truth and beauty in the subjects we study. This extends to math, science, literature and history as well as art, music and even physical education. This aim requires that we identify objective standards for goodness, truth and beauty. While these elements may be found in nature, works of art and literature, our relativistic culture seeks to make the determination of what is good, what is true, and what is beautiful a subjective exercise. This relativism is not new. The Israelite nation dealt with the same issue in Judges 17:6, “...every man did what was right in his own eyes.” They failed to adhere to the Word of God, the very Word that provides the foundation for truth.
Classical education without a biblical foundation may teach students to think, but it leaves them without the basis for a well rounded life. Intellectual elitism is the natural result with no justification for moral values. It produces what C.S. Lewis in The Abolition of Man, calls “Men without chests.” The principles found in the Scriptures provide the necessary foundation for students to develop not only academically but also emotionally and spiritually. Proverbs 22:6 tells us to “Train up a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not depart from it.” Our understanding of the importance of a firm biblical foundation is reflected in Trinity’s mission statement. “Trinity partners with parents to provide Christ-centered, biblically based, classical education that nurtures the whole child.” The Bible gives us the assurance that our children’s foundation is TRUE.