humanSM

The Condition

Everyone must consider the human condition. Do we start as a clean slate and wait for the world to place its stamp on us? Are we born into a specific nature? And, is that nature basically good or tainted somehow?
How we answer those questions certainly affects how we view everything else. It affects right and wrong. It affects whether human understanding is fundamentally flawed. This lens of a worldview is significant. It will impact any answer to any big question we ask. And, it is important one. It determines whether we fundamentally believe whether we need a savior or whether we can do this on our own.
Imago Dei
Fundamental to the Christian general worldview is the belief that the first humans were created in the image of God (imago Dei); thus, every subsequent human bears this image. Genesis 1:26-27, which declares:
Then God said, “Let us make man in our image, in our likeness, and let them rule over the fish of the sea and the birds of the air, over the livestock, over all the earth, and over all the creatures that move along the ground. So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them (NIV).
At the Christian school we go beyond that fundamental biblical truth. We help our students determine what does means to be created in the image of God. Again, in the Christian worldview we understand and teach that this gives humans great dignity and honor.  (Funk, 2001)
God observed his creation and proclaimed it good. But, what happened? The problem humans have, is that this image has been corrupted by sin. No longer do we reflect the perfect and good God, He is.
Genesis 1:31 “God saw all that he had made, and it was very good. And there was evening, and there was morning–the sixth day. (NIV)”
Corruption of Sin
The proper Christian school teaches that humans and all of creation have been corrupted by the original sin.  No longer was a human innocent. Adam and Eve directly defied God and ignored the singular command to them. They immediately knew that their disobedience had brought negative results, which endure to this day. Because of this, pain and death became part of the human experience. The human soul was irreparably harmed by this defiance against God.  Now each and every one of us has been and will be born with minds, bodies, and souls that have been irreparably damaged. We are born with an inherently sinful nature because of this original sin.
Psalm 51:5 “Surely I was sinful at birth, sinful from the time my mother conceived me. (NIV)”
The Solution
Humans are not just left without a solution to this nature. God, in his infinite wisdom and loving nature gave us a way to atone for this sinful nature. In fact, it isn’t anything we can do for ourselves. Rather, it is something that was done for us. This is why Jesus Christ died and conquered death, so that we may be free from the bondage of our human nature.   He covered the sin that separates us from God so we can know him more.
I John 5:5 “Who is it that overcomes the world? Only the one who believes that Jesus is the Son of God. (NIV)”
Of course there are many more things that comprise human nature. But, to the Christian, this is everything that matters. The rest is superfluous. We know and declare that Jesus came so that we can have a full life that our corruption and the corrupter wants to deny us from having (John 10:10).
Simply put- THE GOSPEL CHANGES EVERYTHING

Reference

Funk, K. (2001, March 21). What is a worldview? Retrieved April 12, 2016, from http://web.engr.oregonstate.edu/~funkk/Personal/worldview.html. Essay Series

What’s The Difference? -Head of School Blog

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A drawing of Michelangelo's The Creation of Man from the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel at the Vatican, Rome, Italy, from a Victorian book dated 1879 that is no longer in copyright

Who’s in Charge

In the fifth installment of this Worldview Series, I would like to discuss the next aspect or lens, if you will.  It is Theology. Most of us are familiar with the term. But, perhaps, less familiar with it in terms of worldview discussion.
As is with any lens, this one, Theology, answers Big Life Question(s):
Is there a God, gods, or nothing?
If so, what is the nature of God?
You can imagine that how someone answers these questions will affect how they answer almost any other Big Life Question.
This year, at Salem Christian School we are focusing on knowing God. Previously, a few years ago we read Knowing God by J.I. Packer together. It was a great read. I would highly suggest it. This year we are reading through biblical passages that give us a better picture of who God is. Granted, the entire Bible reveals God. But, the faculty is reading through passages that illuminate God’s characteristics. By doing this, we hope, as a faculty and staff, that if we know God better, then we will be able to help our students know Him better.
So, every Monday we read a passage and discuss what we learn about God and His nature. And we ask, “How does this impact us as a school or as an instructor?” We know that it is essential to know God in order to live this life to its fullest.
We believe Him when He says In John chapter 10 verse 10, “The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.(NIV).”
We are convinced that it is difficult to have a full education no matter the dynamics of a program if it does not have Him to fill it up to an overflowing fullness.
This is why we develop students who love God with all their minds, bodies, and souls. We do this because from Him due to His Omnipotence, Omniscience, and Omnipresence all things derive. We are thoroughly and utterly convinced that it is the best way to teach and learn. For, it is with that truth fully and openly infused into the fabric of every nook and cranny of the school program that makes ANY subject whole.
We want to protect our precious possessions, our children, from the thief. He has come so that they can live a full life. It is a privilege to help the souls in the seats of our classroom know Him more and experience the benefits of a good Christian education such as Salem Christian School.
May we never forget this truth and live it daily!

What’s The Difference? -Head of School Blog

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The Grand Plan

Is there a purpose to all of this?

If you are just reading this blog, welcome. Recently, I have been writing about worldview. For two reasons:

1) A particular worldview is what distinguishes each of us from the other. It is what makes us different. As a Head of School, I want to be sure I articulate what makes my school and me different from all of the other choices out there.

2) I am passionate about ensuring each of us understand and are able to articulate how we answer the big questions of life.

Today, I would like to explore what academics call Teleological Beliefs. Simply, the question it asks is, “What purpose, if any, does the universe have?

Well, does the universe have a purpose?

You could, obviously, answer with a no.. You may believe that the universe has no goal or desired end other than what its inhabitants choose to establish and pursue.

Or, you could answer, yes. Alternatively, you could believe that there is some purpose. Other worldview elements will dictate who or what gives that purpose.

If the universe has a purpose, whose purpose is it?

If you believe that the universe has no purpose, then of course this question is a moot point. But, if there is a purpose, that purpose must be assigned by someone. Dr. Funk (2001) refers to this as a “purposive Agent”. Most people recognize this “purposive Agent” as God, while others attribute this to several deities or superior being(s).

In the Christian worldview, this is an important answer that must be given. The Christian, and Christian school, must understand that God has given purpose to His creation. Ultimately, it is to glorify him. Therefore, everything that is part of the person or action, such as education, must exalt the one true God. Of course, other religions do this. However, Christians have a distinctive answer and particular purpose dictated by Jesus Christ. (I Corinthians 10:31 NIV)

“And one of them, a lawyer, asked him a question to test him. ‘Teacher, which is the great commandment in the Law?’ And he said to him, ‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the great and first commandment. And a second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself. On these two commandments depend all the Law and the Prophets.’ (Matthew 22:35-40 NIV)”

What is the purpose of the universe?

I would hope the answer is that you believe in God. Because, if you believe that this purpose is unknown, even unknowable, then there is no grounding or foundation. The belief in a purpose and a God who subscribed this purpose provides the full answer. Other beliefs are proven to be inconsistent and riddled with challenges. To say the least, in a Christian view, do not provide a way to escape the eternal consequences nor give value to life.

“It’s not enough to have lived. We should be determined to live for something.” ―Winston S. Churchill

Perhaps you believe that the purpose of the universe is by nature the complexity or each person/thing being interconnected with the other. Or, maybe, like Nietzsche, you believe that humankind has outgrown the need for a god. Perhaps, you may believe that there is no more purpose to the universe than simply the happiness of all that inhabit the planet. I would challenge each of these views of having some fundamental faults that deny the reasonable explanation of God. (Funk, 2001)

What are the implications?

If the universe has no purpose, then we have no obligation to fulfill. This leaves society to impose obligations upon us that change as culture changes. Ultimately, there is no accountability. Everyone can do whatever they want without any regard to the other. See, in the end, our actions or thoughts cannot be judged; because, there is no marker to judge against if we hold this no-purpose stance. (Funk, 2001)

In a Christian worldview, there is a test. Does it match the Maker’s plan and purpose or not? If it does, good. If it does not, bad. Then, there is a direct link between right and wrong. If there is a Plan or Purpose to the universe we may have an obligation to think and act consistently with it. This provides life meaning in its context.

The decision is which way do we want to live? A Christian school emphatically emphasizes a plan and purpose on the grand scale, the personal scale, and everything in between.

References:
Funk, K. (2001, March 21). What is a worldview? Retrieved April 12, 2016, from http://web.engr.oregonstate.edu/~funkk/Personal/worldview.html. Essay Series

 

What’s The Difference? -Head of School Blog


Solid Ground of Truth

 

Beginning Of It all

 

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A word writing text showing concept of Volunteers Needed made of different magazine newspaper letter for Business case on the white background with space

Partner-Teacher Fellowship Volunteer Opportunities

The Partner Teacher Fellowship exists to assist the school with events directly related to our children, projects that the teachers and school wish to accomplish, and as an opportunity to unite the body of the school. The PTF is a volunteer group made up of the parents, grandparents and teachers. There’s nothing to join. No mandatory meetings or commitments. Simply jump in wherever your interests lie. Our school is growing and we’d would love to have your participation!

Email the Partner-Teacher Fellowship to inquire about any of these activities/events. PTF@SalemChristian.org [/expand]

Room Parent

Room Parents are full-year commitment
All grades work closely with the teacher to meet needs of the class

Being involved in your child’s classroom is a great way to help! Room parents, at the direction of the teacher, coordinate parties, seasonal events, reading help, classroom projects, photocopying, supply preparation for projects and much, much more. Even if you do not want to take a coordination role, you are welcome to help!
Parents volunteering in the classrooms must have a current background security clearance. Please contact the school office for more details on this very quick and easy process.

Picture Day

Picture Day is usually the third Monday in September
2 Helpers for 2 Hours Contact the school office

Two helpers are needed to work with teachers to help younger students right before their pictures are taken. The photographer usually offers two helpers each a 50% off your picture purchase coupon. Check with the office to determine if they are continuing this.

Grandparents Day

Coordinator and volunteers Needed for setup, serving and cleanup

This is a day dedicated to making the Grandparents feel special! There are several events going on around the school that day. The PTF is responsible for the luncheon. This includes coordinating the setup of the room layout, decorations, tableware, food service, and clean up. The coordinating of the menu and food prep is already in place for this event.

Elementary Christmas Store

Elementary Christmas Store is usually the week before Christmas break
Volunteers needed for setup, assisting shoppers, wrapping

This is a fun event! Moms stockpile the tables with inexpensive new items that our elementary school students can purchase for their family members. Volunteers help the students shop, stay focused and on budget, restock tables, check out students and wrap their purchases. Contact the PTF if you are interested in helping with this event.

Christmas Fine Arts Program

Christmas Fine Arts Program Friday, December 14, 2018
Spring Fine Arts Program Thursday, May 16, 2019
Coordinators Needed Volunteers Needed for Baking, Setup and Cleanup

Fine Arts Program

There are many parts to the Fine Arts Programs. The PTF helps with refreshments for this event. The coordinator reaches out to the school families to arrange baked donations for the evening. They are also encouraged to have fun with decorating the food table and arranging drinks.

Elementary Literacy Night

Volunteers Needed for Crafts, Refreshments, Setup & Cleanup

This is a fun family event to get everyone reading! In years past we had tents, campfires, smores, superheros, pizza, and lots and lots of reading. Come to the planning meeting to hear what this year has in store!

Salem Showcase and Open House

Coordinators Needed Coordinate Snacks, Drinks and Table Decorations

The Showcase events usually take place during the school day. Portable bagged snacks and water are typical. Creatively decorating the welcome table is encouraged! The Open House is a more substantial event. Coordinators should plan to recruit families for baked goods, setup and cleanup.

Help with greeting families and students to the school. Directing prospective parents and students during the evening events especially. You can contact Mrs. Beres at tberes@salemchristian.org for more information on how to help with this aspect.

Teacher Appreciation Week

Teacher Appreciation Week is usually the first or second week in May.
Coordinator Needed Volunteers Needed for Luncheon

One of the most fun events to plan needs a coordinator! This is a week set aside to show our teachers how much we appreciate them. The possibilities are endless. A special luncheon is on the lineup. Coordinator(s) have the option to set up theme days for students to participate. The sky’s the limit.

School Community Service Directory

Services Directory Ongoing – Can be found on the school website
We have developed a directory of services owned by or which employs a member of the SCS family. If you would like your business listed, please email the PTF. Students offering services are also encouraged to list their interests. Although, the school does not endorse these businesses; for your convenience, we are sharing the list of connections within our school community.

Room Parent Coordinator

Room Parent Coordinator is year-long
Coordinates with room parents and teachers to accomplish designated tasks.

New Student Orientation

New Student Orientation Luncheon Friday before school begins
Coordinate welcome luncheon for the families of the incoming new students.

Back To School Night

Back To School Night Second Thursday of the school year
Coordinate light refreshments for families attending Back To School Night.
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