Monday, April 28, 2014

Stuff to Ponder

I had a good block of time this weekend to catch up on my favorite blogs and articles, so I have an overflow of great things to share.  You might want to bookmark these to read later because I think they are all highly worth it.  (I use an app called Pocket to save stuff for reading when I have more time.)

Homeschooling IRL asks the provocative question, "Are You More Committed to Homeschooling or to Your Kids?"  An important question for all of us to ask.  This blog and podcast are definitely worth subscribing to.

Gracy Olmstead blogging over at The Gospel Coalition asks another one: "Should Christian Parents Ban Books?"  See if you agree with her thoughts.

And the always funny and sarcastic Matt Walsh takes on the two absolutely worst arguments against homeschooling.

Finally, a few thoughts from David Platt concerning a popular and sometimes controversial Christian book and movie that is in the news lately, to help us think carefully about how we know if Heaven Is For Real.

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

10 Ways the Gospel Shapes How We Homeschool

I haven't blogged in awhile and I've been thinking about starting up again.  So I cleaned up a little, deleted a few posts and thought I would re-introduce the blog by reposting a favorite (of mine) that reminds me why this blog is called "Gospel Centered Homeschooling".

How the gospel shapes our curriculum…

1.        The gospel shows us there is one grand story in all of history:  creation, fall, redemption and restoration.  All of our curriculum: history, science, literature, logic and others should be viewed in the light of that grand story. 

For from him and through him and to him are all things. To him be glory forever. AmenRom. 11:36

…these are written so that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in his name. John 20:31

2.       The heart of our purpose in homeschooling our kids should be to show them their role in this grand story, and to plead with them to become reconciled worshippers of the One True God.

Q:  What is the chief end of man?  A:  To glorify him and enjoy him forever.  (-Westminster Catechism)

3.       The gospel propels us outward in mission, leadership and service.  We should always be seeking to help our kids to discover their gifts and talents and the unique ways that the Lord may desire to use them to bring glory to Him and to serve others.  (Ephesians 2:10)

How the gospel shapes our approach to “The World”…

4.       The gospel tells us that we do not need to avoid the world fearfully, avoiding all contact with the “bad influence” of the lost people around us.

 He who is in you is greater than He who is in the world.” (1 John 4:4)

Take heart for I have overcome the world.” (John 16:33)  .

5.       The gospel tells us that we once were those lost people!  Romans chapter 3 reminds us that “there is no one righteous, not even one; there is no one who understands, no one who seeks God.”  We are saved by grace, not by our works, not by our homeschooling, so that no one can boast.

6.       If we protect our kids from the world, it should be for the purpose of preparation to enter and engage the world.  The power to do this comes from the Holy Spirit through the new birth, not by religious observance (See Colossians chapter 2 and 3).  I fear that our protecting our kids can easily turn into becoming judgmental about all the wrong things in the world, so that we fear, hate and condemn the lost instead of having compassion on those who are enslaved to sin.

How the gospel shapes “The Rules”…

7.       The gospel reminds us that we are not saved by multiplying laws to keep ourselves from sinning.  Homeschoolers can be notorious for adding laws to follow, subtlely conveying that God will bless our efforts with our kids if we just keep all these laws.  This is a FALSE GOSPEL.  (See Galatians 1:6-7, 2:19-21, 3:1-14)

8.       The gospel reminds us that we are saved by grace, through faith. I’ve already said this in multiple forms, but it bears repeating, because I am always prone to wander!

For it is by grace, you have been saved, through faith, and this not from yourselves – it is a gift of God, so that no one can boast.  Ephesians 2:8-9

How the gospel shapes our view of failure and success…

9.       The gospel reminds us that our performance is not the basis of our acceptance.  When we fail to live up to our standards, or the standards of others, we don’t have to despair.  Christ has covered all of our failures and imparts to us his righteousness – instead of despair we can have grateful joy.

10.   The gospel reminds us that all our efforts are grace-driven effort.  When we succeed, we are not proud, but humble recipients of grace from a merciful God.  There is no place for boasting in the Christian homeschool. 

But by the grace of God I am what I am, and his grace toward me was not in vain. On the contrary, I worked harder than any of them, though it was not I, but the grace of God that is with me. 1 Cor. 15:10

How does the gospel shape how you homeschool and in what practical ways?

You might also like this post:  More Ways the Gospel Shapes Our Homeschooling