Feature Article—A New President. Now What? by Marlin Detweiler
Educational Helps – by Laurie Detweiler
A New President. Now What?
Just like most of you, I voted in November. As it happens, I didn’t vote for the eventual winner of the presidential race. Maybe you didn’t either. But I should say I wasn’t thrilled with the person and party for whom I did vote, either. First and foremost, the sanctity of life and, secondly, a conservative economic agenda were at the core of my thinking, informing my decision. I didn’t believe I had a great option in any case.
If I had thought “None of the Above” could win I might have voted accordingly. Unfortunately, that didn’t seem likely either, and so I cast a vote in what proved to be a losing effort. Obviously, I’m speaking tongue-in-cheek when I talk about voting for “None of the Above.” But I must admit I am very, very frustrated with both the decisions and the decision-making processes that seem to be the norm in our nation’s capital. Nor does the term civil servant have as much traction as we watch the political process play out during these election years. Maybe you feel as I do that most of our elected officials are more about power and influence than serving.
Today there is much talk suggesting that we sit on the precipice of economic disaster. All appearances indicate that we are in for a wild and difficult economic ride with high unemployment rates and many other severe difficulties—particularly in certain industries. Time will tell. Since October, Congress has been spending like there is no tomorrow to provide aid to the securities firms, banks and, most recently, the auto industry. By definition, such is a move toward socialism. Is such an approach to our current woes really wise, not to mention biblical?
It would be hard to blame you if you are worried, if not downright despondent. These, no doubt, are very troubled times. Yet, we serve a great God, a God who is not surprised by these events. In fact, One who orchestrated them. We must not lose sight of that fact as we contemplate our responses.
We must not lose sight of the fact that when St. Paul wrote to the church in Rome he clearly expressed to them the need to “be subject to the governing authorities” (Rom 13:1b). He went on to say, “For there is no authority except from God, and the authorities that exist are appointed by God” (Rom 13:2). Our 21st century minds are not thrilled with thinking that many of our leaders are appointed by God. Yet, we need not read much history of the Roman Caesars, particularly Nero—the one likely in power when Paul wrote and one of the most grotesque leaders of all history—to realize that we have no excuse for not being good citizens. That’s the first thing we must keep in mind. For the sake of Christ and obedience to God, we must be citizens who honor our leaders.
Another thing we can learn from our recent election is that the educational system we believe in is quite powerful. The capstone of a classical education is the mastery of rhetoric. If we have ever doubted how powerfully effective rhetoric can be, we need not any more. For a minority gentleman from Chicago who has served only briefly in national office (not to mention with an extremely politically incorrect middle name) to rise to the highest office in the land in such a meteoric fashion over such a short period of time is truly astonishing. What will such mastery gain for the Kingdom of God on earth when it is regularly found within it? I long for the day.
While educating children I am constantly looking for those times when opportunity knocks. There is not a better time to teach about the branches of our government than now. Everyone knows that I like teaching history chronologically and from a historical perspective. Along with the overwhelming strengths this approach offers, it often has the weakness of not taking advantage of certain opportunities when they are timely. If we are to be great teachers, we can overcome this by watching for these timely moments and capturing them when they arise. With the political season behind us and the inauguration of a new president this month, I am seeking to help you do this in a small way.
We have just come through an election that I would guess has had most of your homes discussing it around the dinner table. This is an opportune time to talk about who your senators and representatives are and what their jobs entail. It is also a time to pray for these people (even those we may not necessarily agree with) and teach our children about the providence of God.
Below are some wonderful websites that will help your children understand how our government functions. These sites are done so that there are different age levels to choose from (3rd -12th grades).
After going through these websites or reading a book about the United States government you may want to test your children’s knowledge. Click here for some activities we have assembled just for you.
Hope you had a blessed Christmas, and we wish you a joyous New Year!
Free Talk from George Grant on Politics
George Grant, one of the most inspiring speakers we know, is the president of the King's Meadow Study Center, the pastor of Parish Presbyterian Church, coordinator of the Gileskirk Curriculum Project, and instructor at Franklin Classical Christian School. In this talk he deals with the idea of sphere sovereignty and what is the legitimate role of government, church, and home. Learn how Abraham Kuyper was able to change a political culture and what we might do today.
Q. This semester has been a difficult one. Due to illness and some other providential hindrances my children are behind in their schooling. How can we get caught up?
A. Don’t despair. First of all, this happens to all of us at one time or another. The main thing is that you realize it and are willing to do something about it. One easy answer is to continue schooling into the summer, but if that’s not an option take a look at your lessons and see what you can combine. For instance, it is pretty easy to combine math lessons by not doing all the problems. You need to be careful to watch that your children are grasping the concepts or you will need to slow down. In history and Bible just do the cards, choosing a project only about every three lessons. I also think it’s a good idea to explain to your children why you are doing this. The other thing to consider is summer online classes. Last year we offered secondary Omnibus and this year we are considering expanding our offerings. The most important thing I can tell you to do is not to give up!
Q. I am trying to make sure that my sixth grader is ready for Omnibus I next year. How can I best prepare him?
A. The best thing for preparing students is to make sure that they are reading a lot and that they are being challenged to increase their reading level and the amount that they read. Look in the catalog and see what is suggested for sixth grade. It is also important to make sure that they comprehend what they read.
Please submit any questions you’d like answered here to email@example.com.
Winners of the Bone Box Writing Contest
In the October epistula we initiated a writing contest. Entrants were to write a chapter to follow the last chapter of a fascinating book called The Bone Box. First place prize is a $200 gift certificate and second place is $100. Thank you everyone who entered. The winners are:
1st place: Abby Walsh of Abbotsford, British Columbia
2nd place: Josiah DeGraaf of Cranberry Township, Pennsylvania
Fourth Annual Conference on Film and Worldview
Join featured speakers George Grant and Greg Wilbur on February 20-21, 2009 in Franklin, Tennessee, for films, discussion, seminars and fellowship to wrestle with how to view movies from a Christian worldview—not only in content but artistically as well. Watch and discuss Nanny McPhee, I am David, Driving Miss Daisy and The Philadelphia Story—all stories that present differences between reformational and revolutionary mindsets. Cost is $40, with lower, group rates available. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
The hosting organization, King’s Meadow Study Center, is a not-for-profit worldview ministry started more than 15 years ago by George Grant. In addition to worldview and culture studies, King’s Meadow is actively starting a classical Christian college in Middle Tennessee—New College Franklin. Additional information can be found at www.kingsmeadow.com.
Catalog Cover Contest
Each year we sweat over finding fine art for our catalog cover. This year we'd like to invite your participation. To recommend a work of art for consideration, email the title, artist, and a link to the picture (if possible) to email@example.com. If we choose to use one we receive, the first person submitting the recommendation will be mentioned on page two of the catalog and receive a $100 gift certificate.
Save the Date: Veritas Press Teacher Training and In-A-Week classes
Next year’s Teacher Training Conference is scheduled for July 13-15, 2009 in Lancaster, Pa. Concurrently, we are offering intense training in what have come to be called In-A-Week classes. From July 13-17, Latin, Greek, and several Omnibus classes will be taught by outstanding teachers in person here in Lancaster. What better way to prepare yourself to teach these courses or just learn the material for your own improvement? Please be encouraged to mark your calendar and join us for these wonderful opportunities.
Future Job Opening with Veritas Press Scholars Academy
Online Teachers—With the rapid growth of our online courses we are anticipating needing even more teachers for the 2009–2010 school year. Experienced teachers can work from home, the beach, or anywhere high-speed internet is available. Send résumé to firstname.lastname@example.org. And don’t wait if you are interested. We continue to interview now to qualify teachers for next year and beyond.
Visit us on the web at VeritasPress.com or call us at 1-800-922-5082.
Lost your catalog? Browse the Veritas Press virtual catalog online!