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What's In a Name: Part Three

Oaks Classical Christian...

What does it mean to be Christian. Obviously, on a personal level it means to have repented and believed on the Lord Jesus. To be someone who is redeemed, and identifies themselves with Christ and his church. That's easy, but when it comes to defining a school, or really any other organization, as "Christian" the waters can get a bit murky. I'm sure we could all think of an organization that calls itself "Christian" but has little of Christ in it. There are even political parties in Europe called the "Christian Party" (it's probably very boring anyway, what with the lack of dancing, no cards, no dominos, and no other paraphernalia of debauchery). So, what do we mean when we call Oaks a "Christian" school?

At the most basic level it means that we, the faculty, staff, and parents confess the classic, ecumenical creeds of the church, the Apostle's Creed and the Nicene Creed. What that tells us is that we are a school made up of Christians. But it must be more than that...right? Right.

When we make the claim that we are a Christian school we are claiming, not only that we are a school of Christians, but that we desire to function in a Christian manner. That means that our days begin with worship (Collective) and that Scripture and catechism are central to our school days. It is also seen in our deep conviction that education is discipleship. Whether we are doing math, poetry, artist study, literature, chemistry, or whatever, we want to do it to the glory of God and from a biblical worldview. In fact, I would argue that a distinctly Christian education is the only legitimate form of education simply because, "the fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom." Secular and non-Christian educational endeavors begin with the wrong starting point, so it is highly unlikely that they are somehow going to miraculously arrive at the proper destination.

I realize that what I just wrote may sound high-minded and potentially elitist. Surely there is some value in a non-Christian education, isn't there? Well, I suppose that depends upon the desired outcome. If the goal of education is not only preparation for life, but also eternal life, then non-Christian education is simply a non-starter. It has potential to meet the first goal, but none to meet the second. Which is more important?

One may argue that non-Christian education can effectively prepare a student for life after high school and the church can worry about eternal life. Indeed, the church should be worrying about people's everlasting souls, but remember, all education is discipleship. Those non-Christian schools are still discipling their students, just not in the Christian worldview and usually, they do a pretty good job of it. Well they should because they have somewhere in the neighborhood of 16,000 hours to inculcate a non-Christian worldview. Compare that to 1,248 hours that the church has over the same span of twelve years - if the kids go to church twice a week...every absences.

I digress.

My point in all of this is to say that Oaks is committed to being Christian in a deeper sense than having a Bible class. We do have that (by the way our upper schoolers are getting instruction that most people have to wait until seminary to get), but we want the totality of our program to be absolutely saturated with Christian discipleship and the Christian worldview. That, combined with a solid academic program and family partnership, is going to help prepare the next generation of Christian leaders for this life and the next.

Soli Deo Gloria,


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