A moment of truth is coming for every Christian school, every evangelical institution. The hour is coming when we will know where every Christian college stands, what every Christian school teaches, and whether these institutions will take a stand for Biblical truth or collapse into the monoblob of progressive ideologies...
Your child spends about 1,200 hours in school every year. Hours in classrooms, schoolyards, gyms, and cafeterias. Fretting over exams, grades, projects. Poring over volumes of books. Hours spent on the school bus, or driving across town together, waiting in drop off and pickup lines. Hours spent with teachers and classmates who will - by their instruction and by their relationships - be instrumental in shaping your child into the person they are to become. All of this and more...for what?
Geneva Academy has always celebrated Reformation Day, even in the early days when we had just a few families. It was not to find a Christian alternative to Halloween. There are Christian groups who do that; they host harvest parties and provide an opportunity for children to dress in costume, eat candy, and play games without the dark, monstrous, bloody, and evil themes that now mark Halloween observances. Reformation Day was, and is, an international remembrance of the movement that brought back into common understanding the doctrines of grace, a faith based salvation, the proper worship of God, and the translation of the word of God into the common tongues of Europe. These major triumphs of the Reformation reshaped European churches, as well as politics, culture, science, education, and the arts. Without understanding the Reformation, one really cannot understand the history of Europe or of the United States. Also, it is important for children to know what they believe, and our focusing on different Reformation countries and individuals over the years allows us to recapitulate the ardent discussions that happened in the 16th and 17th centuries.
One of the most frightening aspects of 2020 that continues today was its overt and hasty embrace of the same totalitarian ideologies that brought such suffering to China and Eastern Europe. At the core of those ideologies is what George Orwell prophetically dubbed “groupthink.” The fact that progressives not only consider conservative Christian values a greater threat to our democracy than radical Islam, Chinese communism, and European statism, but that they are willing (and eager) to sacrifice individual liberty for the sake of “making the world safe”—whether from “misinformation” or “inequality” or a virus—shows how far we have fallen into the “groupthink” of the Calormens who, when they hear the name Tisroc, immediately and unthinkingly respond, “May he live forever!”
The Genderbread Person on the table at our local college is thus not simply a bit of silliness set out by a group of fellow county residents few might take seriously. It’s a manifestation of an all-out assault on the truth which is happening all around us. It is imperative that we Christians hold fast to the teachings of the Scriptures. We affirm “So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them” (Genesis 1:27). There are only two genders. God assigns those genders, and He makes no mistakes.
This week I’ll simply share some quotes from the Common Book my daughter Cynthia and I send back and forth to one another. We mostly share Bible verses, but we like to add quips from famous authors or politicians. Some are profound, some are just amusing.
Cicero laid out a six-part arrangement for an argumentative essay. Arrangement (dispositio or taxis) is the term we use for how one orders a speech or an essay. In ancient rhetoric, arrangement referred solely to the order to be observed in an oration, but the term has broadened to include all considerations of the ordering of discourse, especially on a large scale. In addition, Cicero aligned certain rhetorical appeals articulated centuries earlier by Aristotle with specific parts of the oration. In the introduction, it is necessary for one to establish his or her own authority. Therefore, here one employs ethical appeals (ethos). In the next four parts of the oration—statement of facts, division, proof, and refutation—one chiefly employs logical arguments (logos). In the conclusion, one finishes up by employing emotional appeals (pathos).
When you think of America today, do you think of a society, culture, and way of life that is predominantly Christian? Do you think the Christian church in the U.S. is a great civilizing power? Who or what is most influential right now in shaping our society, culture, and way of life?
If you find yourself confused over whether our duty as Christians should be to comply out of love for our neighbors, or to not comply out of love for our neighbors, to comply out of obedience to God, or to not comply out of obedience to God, I suggest doing some careful research. A good starting point is by watching a series of sermons by local pastor Jeff Scott. You can find them on the Covenant Grace Media channel on YouTube. I recommend the sermons “Speaking Truth in a World of Lies”, “Standing for Truth in a World of Lies,” and “Freed to Serve the Lord.” (You can fast forward to the sermons). These will help you avoid being mushy in your understanding of the relationship between Biblical imperatives and political freedoms.
There are yet a few days left in the school year, but we can observe with joy and thanksgiving that God has given us a remarkable and healthy year. We addressed pandemic realities with care but not panic. We complied with State orders where they did not infringe on parental rights. We treated our children like children, not like worrisome super-spreaders. Parents that had greater need or desire for additional precautions were gracious and patient. Disagreements over appropriate Covid responses did not split us apart, though good people came to different conclusions. In short, what mercy and grace God has shown us! We were able to give our students a full, robust year of instruction, and even now we are planning a Commencement and End-of-Year Soirees. Let us remember the name of the Lord our God in this time of celebration and relief.
We’ve never seen such clear contrasts between the road that government schooling is taking, and the road that Christian education takes. The State of Oregon is going all in on Critical Race Theory and LGBTQ+. Even the feeble support ODE gives for the Constitution and the Christian history that shaped it will be supplanted. Public education will be all Agenda. So it’s a good time to be a Christian school, whether it’s Geneva, or UVC, or your homeschool! Coupled with that thought is appreciation for what Geneva has accomplished this year. We have a few weeks of school left, but now seems a good time to highlight some successes, made possible by God’s grace and provision, and good people He’s given to serve Geneva families.
What Contrasts did, and what Pugin did, was lift up to a nation an impassioned explanation of two choices. On one side was what the nation had been, and what it stood for. On the other was the direction it was heading. He underlined very Christian principles and meanings to the debate. His was the world of architecture and design, and his argument largely prevailed. There are many lessons here for Geneva parents and all who are supporting our Christian educational mission. One is that study of the past, informed by a Biblical worldview and Christian history, helps us see more clearly the truly good and beautiful, and the falsely so. Another is that even in “technical” fields, there are underlying assumptions about the universe, humanity, and morals that guide the outcome of work in those fields, and that Christians better be in them! I could add the impact that a single, convicted person with gifting might have on an entire discipline and even country. Or the importance of actually doing something about what’s important, rather than leaving it to others to hopefully figure out.
The wonder of the Ascension is that even now our humanity is seated at the right hand of the Father, in the glorified human nature of Jesus Christ. In Christ, heaven broke in, and is even now breaking into our own reality and turning wickedness to His Holy purpose for us and our salvation. Our God reigns! We can rest confident in his wise rule, because He has ascended into heaven and sits on the right hand of the Father.
We are giving thanks this week for the wonderful provision of God at our Annual Auction. Facilitated by many volunteer hands, who worked sometimes into early mornings and through weekends, the school met its lofty fundraising goals. What I’d like to remember here is the admonition in Deuteronomy 8 to look to God as much after His blessings as before. God told his people, “When thou hast eaten and art full, then thou shalt bless the Lord thy God for the good land which he hath given thee.” (A thought arises: I often give thanks before a meal, but have I ever given thanks after?) Of course, God is not talking about a single meal here, but about a wide provision... not just about one prayer, but about an attitude, a posture.
Many Christian families volunteered their sons because they would receive a good education and live a better life. They became the Sultan's elite shock troops--they would attack in a dense V-shaped formation that overwhelmed their enemies. They were experts in siege warfare and were the primary force used to conquer Constantinople, Belgrade, and other European cities. These boys who were given to the Sultan became the primary tool used to defeat the Christian lands from which they came. Some of these boys killed their own Christian families who had given them to the Turks. We need to recognize that the world we live in is not friendly to gospel-centered living, and it is actively working to destroy our children's faith in Jesus Christ. Music, television, movies, and computer games, and education--some attacks are overt, but most are subtle and difficulty to recognize without training. Our children need protection as they mature in their faith and their worldview. If we turn them over to the Turks for the sake of ease, cost, or opportunity, then we should not be surprised when they turn against us--when they become the new Janissaries.
In a world that is fallen into sin, and upside down (down the rabbit-hole so to speak) what does this ordering work look like? God’s ordering of our loves, to be more like the love Christ had for his beloved bride the church, will appear as disorder to the wicked who rule in high places. Christ’s Truth, Goodness and Beauty appears as error, ugliness, and evil to the world the flesh and the devil. To the principalities and powers, having principles makes you a threat to their power!
One of the highlights of the trip for me happened while we were walking past a display in the officers’ mess. It was near a portrait of Admiral Joseph Clark, a native of the Cherokee Nation (which at his birth in 1893 had not yet been made a part of Oklahoma). Clark, who was known as “Jocko”, had a reputation for being a courageous & tough officer, willing to fight the enemy and take initiative. The display said Clark was once described as “part Cherokee, part Methodist, but all fighter.” Yet what you see in the photo of Geneva staff and students is our interest not in Jocko’s medals, but in an inscription written in a book of his. That book was a pocket Bible, and he carried it with him...
The mystery of godliness given to us in the gift of salvation by grace through faith in Christ Jesus. Being resurrected with Christ now, by the power of his Holy Spirit begins that Great Conversation. It is not the end of life--even though it is in one sense--it is the beginning of the wonderful romance of Orthodoxy, as G.K. Chesterton called it. We at Geneva are working with you to shepherd your children into this mystery. That is what the church celebrates at Easter.
The students, from kindergarten all the way up to 12th grade, spend a few minutes in a quieted room, built as a place for worship for the people of God, to say something important. One after the other, boy and girl, a young woman and young man, they use their minds and voices in recitation. Some are too fast, some are awkward, some are accomplished. Every one of them, however, stands as an in-progress work of God. Every one of them is a child loved and prayed over. It’s a living presentation of the most precious things in the lives of our families.
We are witnessing the self-destruction of mathematics instruction in public education. Math and science instruction, long-held up in the public sphere as the solution to all of our educational problems, is being co-opted to be a social justice platform. Having the focus on finding the right answer, showing your work, establishing efficient ways of problem-solving based on centuries of previous instruction….all that is being pulled down as white supremacy. More statues must fall!
"Freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction. We didn't pass it to our children in the bloodstream. It must be fought for, protected, and handed on for them to do the same, or one day we will spend our sunset years telling our children and our children's children what it was once like in the United States where men were free." ~President Ronald Reagan
It is not the critic who counts, not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly...
What we learn in Aesthetics is that influential architects such as Palladio and Wren believed that there were objective standards of beauty and truth that ultimately derive from God. Buildings should be designed in such a way as to encourage decorum and the betterment of the soul. Architecture for public buildings and spaces should be inspiring, uplifting, and beautiful. There should be balance and harmony. In every area of our culture, our nation will show forth its current belief system, as every other culture has done through history. Our real hope for future, beautiful, civic, and private architecture is raising up architects who love God and will design with objective principles and beauty in mind.
The movement from the freedom of information to the control of information on the Web—has been the story of the past five years. Common threats create strange bedfellows. Socialists, conservatives, nationalists, neoliberals, autocrats, and anti-autocrats may not agree on much, but they all recognize that the tech giants have accumulated far too much power.
Students could choose a project that was a standard science project, a myth buster or an engineering and design project. Each upper school student had to get their project approved by science and math teacher Luke Suhr. This list has been Published in the News Review.
From designing a seawall to creating a vortex cannon to teaching a fish to swim through a hoop, Geneva Academy students thoroughly embraced the scientific process for the biennial science fair.
Many parents want to give their children a "normal" childhood with public school when they're older, meaning football games, dances, and pop culture. If we recognize that "normal" in America's public school now also means "below proficient" education that also indoctrinates children with a disdain for traditional values, for God and the Bible, then please consider anew how valuable your investment in your child's Geneva education is and will be!
If you need to refresh your soul, I suggest you open your Bible and turn to one of the gospels, and listen to Christ, and watch him heal. If you ask the Spirit to bless your reading and to quiet your anxieties, a different world will open up, the real world.
And if you need to refresh your imagination, I suggest you pick up one of the Narnia books on your son or daughter’s bookshelf, sit down, and while the rain is coming down let your mind be transported to the land of Aslan and Cair Paravel. (Read it aloud to your children!)
Geneva parents, it is very important that you train up your children in the Lord, and that your sons and daughters know Truth, Beauty, and Goodness, and the single Source of all three.
We've had a vibrant & productive school year thus far... Our families are healthy & our God is Sovereign! We canceled our much-beloved Christmas Soiree due to restrictions, but our students learned the Christmas Canon from Choir Directors Mrs. Allison Harmon & Miss Cynthia Turner, so we thought it would be nice to share some smiling faces & joyful voices on Christmas Day!
“I will greatly rejoice in the Lord, my soul shall be joyful in my God; for he hath clothed me with the garments of salvation, he hath covered me with the robe of righteousness, as a bridegroom decketh himself with ornaments, and as a bride adorneth herself with her jewels.”
We want to craft the character of our community in a way that draws people to the Truth, Beauty, and Goodness of Christ, in contrast to evil ugliness of the world and its so-called “Noble Lies” told over and over again until the people actually believe them. Christmas is when we remember when Christ, the light of the world, came into the darkness.
“The magnificent mystery and paradoxical beauty of the ‘already and not yet,’” as Dr. Kester might say. The Advent of our Savior into this broken world marks the change for humanity’s destiny. The hope of what’s yet to come is presently in our heart—The Holy Spirit. The war is decided. The end is sealed. And as we wait, as we groan, praying for the end of certain seasons… an end to Covid, an end to political drama, an end to the three weeks leading up to Christmas; let us find present rest and joy in the already. The Eternal Already, who is Christ our King.
The Black Lives Matter organization was started by three Marxist women devoted to the overthrow of white systems of power. It began with the 2013 protests over the acquittal of Officer George Zimmerman of the charge of murdering Trayvon Martin. Black Lives Matter is a popular movement, but is fueled by Critical Race Theory and all of the ideas written about above. This is why, when people say, “Police Lives Matter” or “All Lives Matter,” BLM activists would say those assertions, even if meant well or said by non-whites, just reinforce white hegemony and systemic oppression.
Critical Race Theory. It has rooted itself in colleges, public education, mass media, Hollywood, and politicians of both parties. It is making inroads in the church, and it is affecting your life right now, even if you are not aware of it. We want secondary students to learn about it and wrestle with its claims and observations. We want students to address the arguments with the Scriptures, and grow in their faith thereby.
Critical Theory is shaping public discourse and has taken over the universities and public education systems. It guides Hollywood entertainment and mass media. It is the system of thought behind Black Lives Matter and the current teaching of U.S. history to American children. This is exactly the kind of discussion we prepare your children to have in their high school years. These kinds of topics intertwine history, economics, the Scriptures, and politics. This is affecting our nation right now! Being informed is wise, for we may thereby be better parents and witnesses of the gospel.
The Protestant Reformation sought not innovation, but restoration. Every year at Geneva we observe the anniversary of Martin Luther’s public questioning of certain church practices. Luther’s 95 Theses, posted on the cathedral door October 31st, 1517, were reprinted rapidly with the new, moveable-type printing presses, and the writings of the somewhat obscure monk enflamed Europe. Reformation pastors emphasized what’s known as the five Solas: sola gratia (grace alone), sola fide (faith alone), solus Christus (Christ alone), soli Deo Gloria (glory of God alone), and sola scriptura (scripture alone). Salvation is not something we must or even can earn, it is by grace alone, through faith alone. Christ’s work alone is sufficient to meet our spiritual needs, and we do not share in His glory. We must rely on the Scriptures alone to be our guide, for men err.
Are we quick to leave our promises to God, are we intent on our own pleasure, do we seek the approval of others so as to indulge ourselves less encumbered by guilt? As leaders, are we strong and loving enough to hold fast to truth, even if other leaders back away in fear or uncertainty? Are we willing to shut down the party? As a people, are we forgetting Who got us here, Who gave us our laws and freedoms and churches? Are we willingly believing lies?
I learned of Critical Race Theory last week and Intersectionalism, both trendy worldviews coming out of Marxism that the political left has embraced and has actively been teaching the nation’s youth. A core belief is that our country was born of oppression, that we got where we are by the hegemony of privileged groups, most notably white, native-born, heterosexual, Christian men. The children of Israel willfully set aside all they had seen, all they knew, the Holy One Himself, and embraced a ridiculous “religion” that satisfied their own lusts. Are we not there?
Our eternal standing with God is secure through His Son, will hopefully overshadow our current headlines and anxieties. May we walk with Him!
Who is going to lead us forward in the years to come, and how will they be prepared? How will they be trained? For my part, I’m hoping that our most powerful and persuasive leaders will be mature Christians with a thought-out worldview, and trained to recognize truth, goodness, and beauty, who know their history and everyone else’s, who reason wisely and sing loudly.
During the 1990s, families in about 100 communities across the United States started classical Christian schools with the hope of offering an education that would assist parents in raising their children in the paideia of the Lord. The question almost thirty years later is: “To what extent have the goals of classical Christian education been realized?” To that end, the ACCS commissioned a study by the University of Notre Dame’s Sociology Department.
In humility, we are aiming to teach your children knowledge, understanding, and wisdom.
Public school. Private school. Online school. Homeschool. What are the pros and cons of these options? And how do we decide on the right option for our kids?
The point of studying history is not dates, names, and facts... it's drinking the wisdom of the dead. It's recognizing that the same trends of human behavior run through our veins. We must remain vigilant, especially when we see old trends sprouting new limbs. And lastly, while history is wisdom, it's not a savior--that title belongs to Christ.
If we want the prominent members of our communities to express truth, beauty, and goodness in businesses, city halls, homes, and churches, we have to educate them accordingly! That’s what we’re doing at Geneva. We are confident about starting the new school year on time and prepared, without alteration of our regular schedule. Our final plans are due to the school district on August 15.
The Geneva Academy board of directors issued a brief statement this month. Back to school plans are pending. If you're interested in learning more about our plans for Fall 2020, please send us an inquiry or request a campus visit (same form, slightly shorter).
When it comes to living an altruistic life that can help make a difference for others, one of the most valuable things you can give your community is the gift of volunteering.
The purpose of Geneva Academy Classical Preschool is to provide a high-quality early childhood experience for your child in a safe, joyful, and exciting environment where children develop and grow using fun and developmentally-appropriate curriculum. We strive to prepare your child for the formal learning classroom they will encounter in Kindergarten.
"Capital is accumulated effort and innovation, the sum of human achievement and imagination. Its creation is the aim of civilization. But civilization is everywhere and at all times vulnerable to the darkest human impulses. Government exists to rein in those impulses so that individual initiative can flourish. America’s Founders, schooled in a profound philosophical and literary tradition dating back to classical antiquity, understood the fragility of civil peace and the danger of the lustful, vengeful mob."
Our present leaders, the products of a politicized and failing education system, seem to know nothing of those truths. Pulling the country back from the abyss will require a recalling of our civilizational inheritance.