What is Classical Christian Education?

Last week I was asked to speak to the parents involved in our homeschooling co-op, Coram Deo, about what Classical Education is. Below is the text of my brief explanation. Certainly more can be said about the value and distinctiveness of Classical Ed, but this was my 5-minute pitch.

. . . .

Nelson Mandela has rightly said that education is the most powerful weapon with which you can use to change the world. As homeschooling parents we not only have the opportunity to directly influence what our children learn, we also have the opportunity to mold them into young men and women who will be equipped to change the world. We want their education to be the absolute best it can be.

I want to briefly talk tonight about how Coram Deo fits into that. I speak tonight not just as a board member of Coram Deo, and not just as a teacher, but as a parent.

Coram Deo believes the best way to educate our children is to use a model of Classical Education, tapping into the rich tradition of education we’ve inherited as Christians in our western culture.

We need to ask: What is Classical Education? This is important for all of us, all Coram Deo parents, to understand because this is what Coram Deo is all about: providing homeschool enrichment using a classical education model. Continue reading

Why I Baptized My Babies (Summary)

Thanks to everyone who has been reading my series on infant baptism. I’ve tried to outline the reasons why my opinion shifted from a creedobaptist to a paedobaptist position.

Below you’ll see a listing of all the posts in this series.

Part 1 – Covenant Kids

What started my journey was the nagging question: Just how does God see my kids? As part of the church? Totally lost? His people? Pagans? I started out completely closed to the idea of infant baptism. But I wanted to know who my children were in the eyes of God. This opened the door to my exploration.

Part 2 – All in the Family

My first stop along this journey was when I started to embrace a more biblical view of the family. While I didn’t find paedobaptist arguments convincing yet, I found myself more and more drawn to their understanding of God’s covenant community and covenant family.

Part 3 – My Objections

I had some serious objections to infant baptism. This post outlines 4 critical ones.

Part 4 Circumcision: A Seal of the Promise

If it’s true that infants in the church should be baptized like those in the old covenant were circumcised, this would mean that circumcision held profound spiritual significance. But as someone from a baptistic background, I believed circumcision was merely a mark of Jewish ethnic identity. I needed to have this notion overturned.

Part 5 God’s Generational Faithfulness

One of the reasons I rejected the idea of infant baptism was because I believed an advantage of the new covenant was that only professing believers would be considered a part of God’s people. Therefore only believers should be given the mark of membership. The old covenant was too inclusive, I thought, embracing members by virtue of their parentage and not their faith. In order to buy into infant baptism, this assumption needed to be dismantled.

Part 6 – From Circumcision to Baptism

In order to believe in infant baptism, I needed to believe baptism somehow replaced circumcision, but there are no statements in the Bible to this effect. Why do paedobaptists believe baptism is the New Testament counterpart to circumcision?

Part 7 – Baptized Born Again Believers

My biggest objection to infant baptism was my belief that baptism is always linked to a personal profession of faith and a believer’s personal union with Christ. How could an infant be united to Christ? How could we baptize someone who is unable to profess faith? If paedobaptists couldn’t explain this one, there was no way they would win me to their side.

Part 8 – The Household Connection

With my objections answered, I searched for some sign from the New Testament that baptism was for more than just professing believers. I originally believed the absence of infant baptisms in the Bible was a clear indication that it was wrong: I later came to see this silence as one of the greatest arguments for it.

Part 9 – The Difference It Makes

Since my children have been baptized, how has this new theological position changed the way I think about baptism? About God? About my kids?

Panda Boy: Challenge Accepted (Review)

If you are in the mood for an old-school 2D platform game and didn’t get enough of the London Olympics, then Panda Boy: Challenge Accepted might be for you. It is pretty much Sonic the Hedgehog meets Alex Kidd.

A little boy dressed in a panda costume is running from China to London carrying an eternal flame to restore the recently extinguished Olympic flame. He needs to jump over a bunch of obstacles using colorful rings (strategically placed by you, the player) to swing over these obstacles.

My kids like it; that much I can say. On the iPad the controls are extremely easy to use: just tap the screen where you want the ring to appear, and if you time it right, Panda Boy will hurtle himself higher and higher over bottomless pits of doom. When he reaches the end of each level, Panda Boy lands on a poll and slides down (Mario-style) to the bottom. Ring. Rinse. Repeat. Over and over and over.

Did I like Panda Boy? Not really, but then I believe my patience for these sorts of games has sort of run out for me. My 11-year-old alter ego liked it, but he doesn’t come out to play much these days.

I received one or more of the products mentioned above for free using Tomoson.com. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers.

Why I Baptized My Babies (Part 9)

In these last 8 posts I’ve been telling the story of my move from the Baptist to the paedobaptist position. While I’ve attempted to give a reasoned defense of this position, my posts are as much biographical as they are theological. I’ve only outlined specific aspects of this debate with which I personally wrestled, certainly not every possible angle or every relevant Bible passage.

For this final post, I want to share what difference this change has made in my life.

How I understand baptism

I used to believe baptism was first and foremost saying something about me: I am united with Christ; I am forgiven; I am born again. But now I see baptism as first something about Christ.

Credobaptists and paedobaptists alike agree that the act of baptism symbolizes or demonstrates spiritual realities. But historically there has been a great divergence of opinion over what exactly it symbolized in baptism. Continue reading

Child Training Bible: Winner of our Giveaway

We had more than 80 entries for the Child Training Bible kit (a $9 value). Today’s winner will be getting the Child Training Bible Key, three Scripture Tabbing Charts, and assembly instructions.

We placed all the names in a list randomizer. Then I called my mother-in-law and asked her to choose a number at random.

And the winner is…

Tami Lewis!

Enjoy your Child Training Bible! For everyone else, please go to ChildTrainingBible.com and check out their products!

Sexting: 7 Facts You Need to Know

My work at Covenant Eyes exposes me to a lot of depressing statistics. In the last year or two there’s been a lot of information about the prevalence of “sexting” (electronically sending or posting nude or partially nude photos of yourself).

The most accurate studies tell us that while most teens do not send sexts, it is a very visible problem among teens (13-17 years old) today. Also, sexting is more common among young adults than among teens. Continue reading

“What’s in the Bible?” DVDs for Kids – $25 Off Complete Old Testament Set

Our kids loved the first DVD of What’s in the Bible? (See our review.) I’ve been looking forward to seeing the rest of them.

They have recently finished the 9th installment in the series, completing their survey of the Old Testament. Click on the coupon to get all 9 DVDs for $25 off the regular price.

  • DVD 1 “In the Beginning” (Genesis)
  • DVD 2 “Let My People Go” (Exodus)
  • DVD 3 “Wanderin’ in the Desert” (Leviticus, Numbers, & Deuteronomy)
  • DVD 4 “Battle for the Promised Land” (Joshua, Judges,  & Ruth)
  • DVD 5 “Israel Gets a King!” (1 & 2 Samuel)
  • DVD 6 “A Nation Divided” (Kings & Chronicles)
  • DVD 7 “Exile and Return” (Ezra, Nehemiah, & Esther)
  • DVD 8 “Words to Make Us Wise” (Psalms, Proverbs, & The Writings)
  • DVD 9 “God Speaks!” (The Prophets)

If you are looking for a great curriculum for a kids’ Sunday School class, or if you are looking for a great collection for your own family, you’ll want to take a look at these DVDs.

Winner of the Art Class DVD

Hello all! We’re announcing the winner of the Art Class DVD. We had over 90 entries for this giveaway!

As we’ve done in the past, I entered all the names in the list randomizer on Random.org and had my lovely wife pick the first number that came into her mind.

And today’s winner is…(drum roll, please)…

Erika

Congratulations!

Remember to visit SeeTheLightShine.com to learn all about the Art Class series for homeschoolers!