Plug-and-Play Education


It's old news that classical Christian education in the US is rolling, but it's still welcome news, and relevant.  Over the past 35 years, significant momentum has developed, with solid national test results, low school crime rates, interested students, rigorous classes, and wide-ranging subjects.  And it's all time-tested.

At ACA, our students study hard.  They memorize, lots.  They recite Scripture, Church creeds, and the anatomy of insects. They study Latin, logic, phonics, mathematics, history, theology, and the rich stories of traditional children's literature.  They chant about respecting authority, respecting class time, and obeying teachers "right away without delay."  And they walk in lines.

Classical Christian education: saving our children's souls one day at a time.

Or does it?  One of the trickiest aspects of our sin nature to understand is  the simple fact of our sin.  It exists, and it gets into everything, including our educational ideas.  We see evil in the world, and we try to fix it -- autonomously.  We want to comfort, love, eliminate poverty, and create holy-and-Ivy-league-ready students, somehow thinking that if only we implement the right systems or run enough clinical trials, we'll eventually solve problems for good. But that's exactly where our human problem lies: we try to fix things with things, not with Christ.  We claim Christ, and then we put our trust in stuff, or systems, or school philosophies.  The problem is not our love and compassion for our children or our neighbor, which Christ inevitably uses for his glory; the problem is our compassion apart from Christ.  We want the efforts of our love to fix it, and for the problem to be done.

This is a trap all too easy to fall into with classical Christian education.  A neat-and-tidy education formula.  "The way to raise godly children is to find a godly school.  A classical school, ideally."  Plug-and-play education.  Problem solved.

True.  Maybe.

But Christ wants our hearts, not our systems.  The whole-truth way to raise and educate godly children is to know nothing but Christ and him crucified (1 Cor. 2:2) and to model that for our kids.  ACA won't do that.  Other classical Christian schools can't do that.  Only Christ can.  The beautiful and outrageously simple key to a rigorous Christian education is submission to Christ.  Only then does a classical Christian school come into the picture for Christ's glory -- and Christ will make it glorious.  Without him, all the chants in the world won't make our children see Christ's beauty.  Classical Christian education is a method -- and a very good method at that -- but Christ is the way.

Onward for excellence and the glory of God!

Grace and Peace, Nate Ahern