Hope is a cardinal biblical virtue that empowers us to become all that God has created and called us to be.   All people need hope, and hope is one of the key elements of a Fortis education.  One of the byproducts of the Reformation was the widespread reading of God’s word that impregnated culture with hope, not just for the life to come, but for today.  It held forth the city of God to people in a manner that they began seeking a better world.  It redefined greatness as servanthood and proclaims that the greatest expression of love was Jesus’ death on the cross.  Mercy, grace, forgiveness and compassion are just a few of the virtues that became the definition of greatness as a result.  Through the Reformation, a biblical worldview and a commitment to the authority of God’s word (one could argue God’s word is Christ and that Jesus is Lord over all), became a unifying force for good in society.  The impact of the Reformation is part of the great tradition that a classical Christian education seeks to connect with.  Margaret Thatcher describes this Western heritage when she said:

“We are a nation whose ideals were founded on the Bible. Also it is quite impossible to understand our literature without grasping this fact. That is the strong practical case for ensuring that children at school are given adequate instruction in the part which the Judaeo-Christian tradition has played in moulding our laws, manners and institutions. How can you make sense of Shakespeare and Sir Walter Scott, or of the constitutional conflicts of the seventeenth century in both Scotland and England, without such fundamental knowledge? But I would go further than this. The truths of the Judaeo-Christian tradition are infinitely precious, not only, as I believe, because they are true, but also because they provide the moral impulse which alone can lead to that peace, in the true meaning of the word, for which we all long . . . there is little hope for democracy if the hearts of men and women in democratic societies cannot be touched by a call to something greater than themselves. Political structures, state institutions, collective ideals are not enough . . . [Democracy requires] the life of faith . . . as much to the temporal as to the spiritual welfare of the nation.”[1]

The great Western tradition is a tradition of hope.  Once the bible was translated into the vernacular, Western civilization began to flourish.  Heroes of faith died at the hand of unbiblical systems to give us the Bible.  The impact of the Bible in the hands of common people, especially through arts (literature, music, poetry, art and theater), worked biblical values into fabric of culture.  It was not a single great leader who made the world better, that honor only belongs to Jesus.  As common people began to dream about and seek Christ’s kingdom, they began brining something beautiful forth in the earth.  Every person fulfilled their vocation as an act of worship to Jesus, and in doing so, made the world a more beautiful place.  Perfect?  No.  But definitely better, and impregnated with hope.  The foundation of our worldview is the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. A Fortis education gives our children hope for their lives and for the world that is grounded in a biblical worldview.

[1] Vishal Mangalwadi, The Book That Made Your World: How the Bible Created the Soul of Western Civilization (Nashville: Thomas Nelson, 2012).

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