Question: I have questions about the study of Greek myths. I find many of the stories disturbing, and my children do as well. Can you please help me understand why we should require classical students to study the Greek myths?
Our answer: This is a very, very good question, and the answer to it gets right at the heart of why we are promoting a classical Christian education movement, not just a Christian education movement.
Right now, Evangelicals often send their kids to public schools, praying that their kids survive, despite much of the current educational baloney. While we believe that the problems in public schools are so extensive that kids should not be there, we are not “fundamentalists” in the sense that we want to create retreatist enclaves: we still want kids to be culturally conversant with unbelievers and to have a knowledge of Western civilization and the context in which men like Paul, Luther, and C.S. Lewis wrote. This means knowing history from before 1776, literature from before Narnia, and theology from before Billy Graham.
We are not doing this because we like the Greek myths or because kids should adore the classics. They shouldn’t: Achilles in The Iliad pouts on the beaches of Troy for the majority of Homer’s epic. In The Aeneid, Aeneas gives colossally lame excuses for abandoning Dido after marrying her. The Greek myths include a lot of stories that are not for kids, as do Grimm’s Fairy Tales. You can see rape and gore in more mature tellings than ours, and we should rejoice that the Gospel has transformed the world. (On the other hand, many of the Greek myths are well told and have a fairy-tale quality, so they are not on the level of, say, Gilgamesh or Theogony).
Aeneas’ Religious Leadership and Roman Sacrificial Ritual in the Aeneid
by Samuel Bussey
In the Aeneid, Virgil’s hero Aeneas faces numerous hardships and misfortunes before he can bring his gods to Latium and found a city.1 His goal is both political and religious in nature, and after the fall of Troy he becomes both the political and religious leader of his people.2 He is responsible for maintaining the pax deorum or peace of the gods, which for the Romans was a necessary prerequisite to enjoying the favour of the gods in their endeavours.3 The pax deorum is maintained by a strict adherence to ritual stoicheia, or temporary principles of religious training. These come in the form of taboos or restrictions for humanity, while humanity lives in the minority under guardians or stewards, in this case the Greco-Roman gods.4 Thus, from a Roman perspective, every misfortune they suffered could be traced back to a breach of these ritual principles. On numerous occasions, the misfortunes that befall the Trojans in the Aeneid are a direct result of Aeneas unintentionally violating the ritual stoicheia of Roman sacrifice. In the light of Roman religious practices, Aeneas’ religious leadership and his violations of Roman ritual stoicheia have important implications for our understanding of both the Aeneid and the Roman view of sacrifice. Continue reading
by Douglas Wilson. This article was originally posted on www.desiringgod.org
Modern men have a distinct tendency to think that we have to grapple with a number of things that are “new under the sun.” But from the fact that the ancient preacher had to make a point of refuting this peculiar idea (Ecclesiastes 1:9), it would seem that even this mistake is not new.
One of the assumptions we tend to make is that something called “technology” has somehow created this new thing called “distance learning,” and that we have to come up with some fancy new way of combating the new temptations that come with it. But these are not new temptations at all — they are ancient temptations. And if, as some of us suspect, the first few pages of Genesis were probably written by Adam (with Moses, of course, serving as editor), these temptations are almost literally as old as the hills.
Ephesians as Distance Learning
Think about it for a minute. In addition to the first pages of the Bible, to take another example at random, the book of Ephesians is a form of distance learning. The apostle Paul had certain thoughts in his mind, which he arranged to have recorded on parchment or papyrus. That letter was then entrusted to a courier or couriers, who utilized things like donkeys, ships, and wagons to cross a great distance of many miles so that the letter to the Ephesians might be received by them. Then someone unrolled it, stood up in the assembly, deciphered in his mind what was written, and read it aloud to the assembled. As he did so, the same thoughts that Paul had been thinking in a distant prison cell were duplicated in numerous minds throughout the room.
That is distance learning. Not only so, but that same book of Ephesians traverses the distance of centuries every time one of us sits down and reads it. That is greater distance learning. Continue reading
Our neighbors are over for Thanksgiving dinner and one of them asks me “so — what do you do for work?” I look up at her, smiling: “I’m a teacher for an online school.” Continuing the small talk, my neighbor asks what I teach. “Latin?!” she questions with a puzzled look, “that’s…so… interesting! Why Latin?”
These are the sorts of conversations that I have at dinner parties, the grocery store, and Bible studies. Yes, Latin is unusual. Yes, Latin is a dead language. Yes, I willingly (and happily!) chose to teach this unusual and dead language to online middle and high school students. So why Latin? Why would I ever want to spend hours upon hours studying the language, let alone teach it? I’m sure many of you have asked yourself the same question — maybe “useless” has even crossed your mind: why would I want to sign up for a class to learn a dead language? I once heard that Latin is not dead, it is immortal. We must not think of Latin as a useless language merely because it’s no longer spoken. Rather, Latin is timeless—everywhere we look, whether it be in government buildings, in a theology book, or in your wallet — Latin is there. Continue reading
We’re proud to have awarded diplomas to these 3 bright students on June 1st:
Allyson’s plans for college include attending Virginia Tech in the Fall and graduating with a degree in Human Nutrition, Foods and Exercise. With this degree, she can go into multiple directions, one of which is furthering her education and getting a doctorate in Physical Therapy, specializing in vestibular therapy (something she has had to undergo as she has recovered from three traumatic brain injuries). Another option would be to obtain a different medical degree in Physiatry or some other medical field. Either way, she would ultimately like to provide hope and help to brain-injured patients and their families.
Mariya’s future plans, as of this point, consist of doing college through an online program called CollegePlus and finding a part-time job alongside her studies. Although she is still undecided, she is aiming to pursue a double major in Liberal Arts and Biology, and perhaps afterwards, study for a nursing degree. Mariya is intending to stay active in her Church, particularly by serving the youth, and wherever the Lord plants her. Whatever happens in her future, one thing she knows will always be on her agenda, and that is to love and obey the Lord, and teach others to do the same.
Megan was born in Houston, TX. She began her classical Christian education in third grade at Regents Academy in Nacogdoches, TX. During her education, she enjoyed the Drama Class where she was able to really show off her facial expressions. Megan was able to participate and achieve many awards through the TAPPS Program (Texas Association of Private Parochial Schools). She was also very active in the school’s sports department. Megan played soccer and basketball and was named Most Valuable Player multiple times for track and cross country. Megan has always had a love for photography, but only started to develop her talent for it in her last year in Nacogdoches. After she moved to Texarkana, she was very blessed to find Logos Online School. The teaching she has received at Logos has helped to develop her love for God. Megan received teachings from Tyler Antkowiak, Daniel Ryan (both of whom are in Moscow), and Jackie Amorelli (who is in New York). She made many friends online through the school. She is a little sad to leave high school, but could not be more excited to move on! Megan will be attending Texas A&M University in Texarkana on the Presidential Scholarship and will be pursuing her dream of becoming a high school math teacher.
To learn more about our curriculum and diploma track, visit our website.