Why Classical Lutheran Education Matters

The Lutheran faith is Christological.  That is to say, it is based on biblical Christianity, and our bible narrative focuses tightly on the words and works of Christ.  Other “faith worldviews” within Christendom are much less focused on Christ and more focused on moralism, mysticism, or rationalism. (See Gene Edward Veith’s Spirituality of the Cross)

The Lutheran faith is Sacramental. The Word and Sacraments are central to our doctrine and, especially in a rationalistic and empiricist culture, sacramental Christianity is an “acquired taste.”  We must learn to participate in it, so to speak.  Why?  Because it requires imagination and figuration; to bridge the seen and unseen; this world and the world to come.

The Lutheran faith is Creedal.  Our doctrine is based on the Creeds and Confessions forged by great theological minds, in the crucible of conflict, through the ages.  This is most certainly true. (See The Book of Concord)

The Lutheran faith is Liturgical.  Our rites and worship practices are fruits of a heritage that goes back, literally, to an age that predates Christianity.  They are “classical.”  (See Art Just’s Heaven on Earth)

Our Classical Lutheran education prepares our children to embrace a “classical” or ancient faith such as ours.  The catechesis they receive helps them have “eyes to see and ears to hear” the particular kind of truth they encounter in the sermons of our church.  They grasp more readily than the child educated differently, that Christ is at the center, that we are His workmanship, and that we walk in the works He prepared for us to do.  Cultivating imagination is a natural outcome of the approach to language arts we teach, indeed, that has been taught in our heritage for millennia.  This cultivated imagination, combined with training in logic, and the “long view” of history, when combined with the catechesis, equips our children to fully hear and inwardly digest, God’s Word.  Finally, the training theology, along with logic, gives the child the intellectual ability to fully grasp, embrace, and defend creeds and confessions.  They are written in a certain style, and we teach that “style of thinking,” as it were.  I am not talking about mere indoctrination.  I am talking about cultivating mental habits.  Our ancient, traditional liberal arts education is designed, specifically, to equip students to understand and embrace a faith such as ours.  This is most certainly true!

Source: Trinity Lutheran Church and School, Cheyenne, WY

Statue of Luther

Luther on Education

A compilation of quotations from the writings of Dr. Martin Luther concerning schools, Christian education, and classical education.

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