Monday, May 2, 2016

CCS Equips Students 
to Understand and Face our Changing Times  

Recently, CCS Assistant Principal Rick Maine and I were invited as guests to a conference in Nashville, TN, hosted by a well-known organization that promotes the integration of a clear Biblical worldview into all spheres of life and education.

We joined more than 150 Christian school administrators from 36 different states, to sit under the teaching of  Del Tacket (The Truth Project), Dr. Jeff MeyersCEO of Summit, and other experts in educational trends, including the Barna GroupAs you can imagine, it was an inspiring two-day program packed with data, discussion, philosophy, challenges, and practical strategies to better equip this generation to be informed, relevant, and compelling ambassadors for Christ to their world. Read sample Summit essays here. 
What do we mean by Biblical “worldview”?  I have touched on this subject in my booklet “Roots around Rock: Teaching toward Ideals in a Less-than Ideal World” (copies available at no charge in the Calvary Christian Schools office at 5873 Kendra Road).
In that booklet, I speak of a Biblical worldview as an understanding of our world and patterns of human behavior based on the narrative, truths, assumptions, and relationships outlined in scripture.   I refer to those standards as “ideals” and contrast them to the ever-changing “norms” of the world around us.

Ideals, like the biblical truths that support them, endure through time. It is the constant nature of biblical ideals that causes them to fall in and out of favor within cultures that thrive on change and resist the notion of accountability to God.
The world that rejects a biblical worldview prefers to live by self-determined norms. Norms are collective patterns of behavior and societal tolerances. They are shaped by trends and the shifting winds of politics, pop-culture and public opinion. Norms are not inherently good or bad, right or wrong, but they tend to abstain from absolutes and dissolve differences—to blend the black and white to gray. Norms seek an ever-broader way and embrace the exchange of “new for old” on the assumption that change itself is naturally toward what is good. This is not true from a biblical perspective, but society’s embrace of ever-changing norms (and the new normal) fails to meet the burden of proof incumbent upon change and fails to see the unintended consequences of abandoned social mores.
In a culture that assumes change is for the better, the rightness of a new normalis proven by its acceptance into normality. In this sense "rightness" does not mean righteous but alright. Something frowned upon a generation ago suddenly becomes alright, which is counterfeit to the word’s root meaning. Behaviors once considered “taboo” steadily slither into common practice under the mantra of “No one is saying ‘no’ so it must be alright,” and with no more rationale than that, norms change, and behavior that was considered disgraceful or illegal for centuries is suddenly on parade. Take a moment to watch this video, and you will better understand this generation's inability to say anything at all is "wrong."

If "anything goes" what stays? If truth is entirely subject to the collective courage it takes to refuse to get on the latest absurd bandwagon of society, it is no wonder that norms are changing faster than ever.

In this sense norms are like thermometers, accepting and reflecting external changes as the new reality. Ideals are quite the opposite; they function as a thermostat, pressing toward a mark in hopes of influencing reality toward what ought to be. 

Cultures shaped by norms rather than ideals tend to accommodate regrettable behavior rather than abstain from it. Man-centric worldviews produce man-centric norms as more and more tolerance is required to let “…everyone do what is right in their own eyes.

Ironically, the more tolerant society becomes to changing norms the less tolerant it is toward those who hold to changeless ideals. This rejection is rooted in the false premise that an “open mind” is superior to a firm belief.

Imagine a school setting where the opposite is true. A setting that purposefully integrates learning with life, science with conscience, facts with faith, theory with wonder, and wonder with belief.

Imagine an education in which the pressures of conformity to ever-changing norms are neutralized by the truth that we are in but not of this world.  Imagine a place where the norm, if you will, is a fully accredited academic setting fully aware of other worldviews but rooted in the truth of scripture and the shared ideals of home, church and school. Such a place becomes more than a school; it becomes a community that partners with the home in teaching young people not only how to make a living but also how to live for the glory of God. 

Click on this line to hear what folks at CCS have to say:

Partnering with parents 

to equip students 

toward personal excellence 

and the pursuit 

of God’s purpose 

for their lives.

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