“As iron sharpens iron, So a man sharpens the countenance of his friend.” (Proverbs 27:17, NKJV)
As we have been reading through “Total Truth” by Nancy Pearcey at our Fortis worldview small group (which you are welcome to join), I have been deeply moved by the fact that great Christian thinkers who have wisdom and eloquence are able to impact generations to come. Nancy was a disciple of Francis Schaeffer, and his dream of a comprehensive Christian worldview and the legacy of his ministry lives on in Nancy and other disciples. Her wisdom and eloquence is like a sharp sword that was sharpened by her mentor.
One of the men that I never had the privilege to meet personally, but has powerfully impacted my life is Leonard Ravenhill. His book “Revival Tarries” changed my whole prayer life, as well as the prayer life of many others. Imagine my surprise when I found out that he was friends with Fancis Schaeffer. I then began looking at the lives of some of the people who have deeply impacted me as a Christian, whose ministries are still influencing culture today, and I noticed that there always seems to be a core group of friends who sharpened each other with their faith and values.
It is obvious to all who know Amanda May that she has been powerfully influenced by the legacy of Dorothy Sayers, and indeed the whole classical Christian education movement has been influenced by her as well. One day when Amanda and I were talking, we began researching Dorothy Sayers and discovered that she was part of a Socratic discussion group at Oxford that included C.S. Lewis, J.R.R. Tolkien and C.K. Chesterton. America is deeply indebted to another group that met at Oxford, who got the derogatory name “methodists” because of the method by which they conducted their lives. This group of men included John Wesley, Charles Wesley and George Whitefield. Their devotion to Jesus and their dream of His kingdom played such a major role in the formation of our nation that when the revolution broke out, men went into Whitefield’s sepulcher, cut pieces off of his robe and proclaimed, “Father, we are finishing the work which you began.”
One of our goals at Fortis Academy is to create a Christian culture among our students that will develop them into fruitful disciples. Our prayer is that our children will become passionate followers of Jesus that live a truly satisfied life while powerfully transforming culture. We believe that this is the natural byproduct of an authentic classical Christian education that includes dialectic learning in the classroom. Some have spoken to me about the wisdom of the Board’s decision to maintain the requirement of Christian faith and character among the families we admit. Their thinking is that a school like Fortis could be a great missionary opportunity to our community. Others have subtly voiced their concern that maintaining such standards is isolationist and that it does not allow children to experience the temptation in the world. Yet, I personally agree with the foundation that the board has laid at Fortis. I believe we have the unique opportunity to create a Christian culture that will ultimately raise up Christians who will have the wisdom and eloquence to transform culture and to impact generations to come. Rather than being isolationist, the Christian education at Fortis is designed to raise up our sons and daughters not only to hold on to their faith in an antagonistic culture, but to send them forth boldly as missionaries fully equipped to fulfill the biblical cultural mandate.