Words are used to communicate ideas, and the same word can be used to describe completely different ideas. This was brought home to me this week when I saw a video of a Christian educator describing how “Christian worldview” can be used. One might say that the very term itself can be used to describe almost polar opposite realities. She explained how there are some who use “worldview” education to compare and contrast everything with scripture in a manner that emphasizes where everything is wrong. In the process, students lose a sense of wonder and admiration for beauty in the world because they are trained to find fault and maybe even to be afraid of the corrupting power of the world. This highlights two different views of reality prevalent in the church today. One whose foundation is fear and the other whose foundation is hope. In scripture, especially in the Old Testament, the imagery of leaven was primarily used to represent the corrupting power of sin. In the New Testament, the imagery of leaven is primarily used to represent the pervasive power of the gospel of Jesus Christ to transform everything. Each of these represent different worldveiws which, when adopted, will produce radically different expressions of life.
At Fortis Academy, we seek to promote a Christian worldview grounded in hope. That hope is a bold confidence in the power of Jesus Christ to transform lives. We have the conviction with St. Augustine that “all truth is God’s truth” (a very popular quote in classical Christian circles that faithfully expresses the idea in Confessions of plundering the gold of the Egyptians and not an actual quote from Augustine), and with Justin Martyr that traces of Christian truth can be found everywhere because of the logos spermatikos (seed-bearing word). The same classical tradition can be seen in the works of C.S. Lewis when he describes Christianity as the “true myth” (a myth was understood by Lewis as the stories that shape our values rather than a story that is not true). The true myth is the true story that every other great story is but a shadow of. Lewis talked about the eucatastrophe (a term coined by Tolkien) as example of this. A eucatastrophe is story where it seems evil will triumph over good and suddenly good triumphs over evil in a surprising way. Such stories resonate with the heart of man because they are an echo of the redemption story. All things that are good, true and beautiful in the world are seed-bearing words through which we see the beauty of our Creator and Redeemer. They are also our connecting point to gather the lost to Christ.
Our worldview of hope is grounded in our commitment to classical Christian education through a University Model School. A commitment to a high-quality education should not be seen as something that is opposed to Christian faith, but rather, a faithful expression of the true responsibilities of discipleship. We have the conviction that God has created us in His image and that we have incredible creative abilities (ability to create, including but not limited to the artistic). Man has been given dominion over the earth to cultivate it (create a culture). Our worldview determines what we cultivate in our lives, our families and in our world. A classical education gives student the skills and the power to cultivate the earth. A Christian education grounds that power to cultivate in Christian faith and morality. In other words, it puts our children’s God given skills and talents to use in a responsible way. Finally, a University model is the best context for a classical Christian education because it restores the value of family (giving parents time and connection with their children), leverages the very best of homeschooling and university, and has the potential to create a robust educational environment through the partnership of home and campus.