We commend the works of the Lord to another generation
Psalm 145:4 reads, “One generation shall commend your works to another, and shall declare your mighty acts.”
To “commend” is to praise. At ECS, we intentionally praise the works of God first to the students, with the hope that they will do the same thing, in time, and in turn.
with the tools of classical education,
We don’t just commend the works of the Lord to another generation with our words, but with “the tools of classical education.” Now this is a big point, saying a lot because classically, education was used to help prepare students to advance culture, equipping them well to do so. As students learned how to work hard, how to reason, how to organize thought, how the world works and how to present ideas, they were learning how to advance their culture.
So in order for us to do this, we take a long, hard look at history and great books. We want for our students to know how we got to this point in our culture’s history. Where did our ideas come from? What assumptions are behind our laws and customs? Why do we hold the door open for ladies, and why do we love stories where the hero dies for the ones he cares about? What does it look like when men try to save themselves? What’s it look like when men try to make sense of the world we live in without looking first to the Bible? What happens when people abandon sound reason or call evil things “good?”
An education aimed at advancing culture must include these sorts of discussions.
Sadly, much of modern education is aimed at separating students from their culture. In particular, our culture tries to educate young people without examining the Bible that has influenced so many of our fathers’ decisions. Many multiculturalists (maybe you’ve heard that word) want the current generation to feel badly for the blessings they enjoy. Said multiculturalists won’t be happy until we are willing to say that every other culture in the world is as great as ours.
We want our students to love their culture so that they’ll be grateful for how God has worked to bring them where them are, and so be excited to actually make the culture better! And we believe that this is the key to properly loving other cultures! Just because we love ours doesn’t mean we have to hate others; may it never be! Loving our culture is an important part of appreciating others’ cultures.
So when we talk about classical education, we’re talking about cultural advancement, which we’ll come to again later in the Statement.
We talk about this a lot, but our motto is not about silly happy laughter, this is a laughter that comes from our souls. It’s a laughter of confidence and gratefulness, and it cannot be squelched by cruddy circumstances or the devil.
Whether we realize it or not, we are in a cultural war. It may not involve a bunch of bullets and grenades, but all around us there wages a war of ideas, religious agendas, and moral redefinitions. And the leaders of the earth try to promote themselves and make a name for themselves…and Jesus laughs at them in derision.
We want to love our enemies, and laugh in the face of adversity. And that is sometimes really hard. But laughter is a lot easier when we remember that God is sovereign, He is good, and we’re on the winning side of a war where the outcome has already been determined.
Imagine we were in a war and we happened to stumble into the war room of our enemies. We see them gathered around a table looking over our battle plans…and they were confidently laughing. Wouldn’t we be bothered, at least a little bit? What if they were watching video footage of battles that hadn’t happened yet, battles where they were victorious and we were crushed. And they were cheering and laughing with merry fists in the air.
This is not a frivolous, silly, amused laughter, but rather the confident and cheering laughter of the winning side…but before the battles are over.
and sacrificial labors
One of the many evidences that the gospel is not from the mind of man is that our labors are effectual. What that means is that we can know with absolute certainty that – even though we don’t see the results right away – God will use the sacrificial labors of His people to bring about His will. He does this all the time.
This is encouraging, because we want immediate and visible results, but discipleship is a long road. Educatio takes a while.
God sees our labors even when others do not, but the sacrifices of parents and the sacrifices of teachers are actually tools that we are using to commend the Lord’s works. And our desire is for our students to do the same thing for the generation to come.
There is a point to this all, and here we get to it.
they will carry and advance Christ-honoring culture.
We want for all our students to be equipped and eager to advance Christ-honoring culture when they leave ECS. We want desperately for them all to take the baton of culture and run with it! May they run fast and far and laugh heartily along the way!
So once more…
We commend the works of the Lord to another generation with the tools of classical education, weaponized laughter, and sacrificial labors so that they will carry and advance Christ-honoring culture.