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Redeemed Sinner. Deep Roots. Southern Heart.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Simplicity: Literature And Education

Before I begin, I wish to say that this post is not, and should not be viewed as, a finger point at any of my friends. This is solely my opinion.

With the release of movies like Lord of the Rings and the Chronicles of Narnia, reading has become popular. Personally, I think it's great that folks are moving back to reading books and away from the tv. Benjamin Franklin once said, "Reading feeds the brain. In our present day it is easy to see that most minds are starving to death." This was in response to the Industrial mindset, which was raising it's ugly head, "There isn't enough time to read! You can be doing this and this and this and all those are more important than reading because reading makes you think".

And thinkers will never be slaves.

Reading was very much encouraged in the agrarian culture of long ago. Our forefathers were so much more literate than we are because they read lots of books.

Therefore they thought.

Thinking, i.e. challenging the status quo, is what began America and founded it on Godly principles.

The center of education was the home and academic education consisted of reading books. While listening to the oft mentioned Reformation series by Pastor Morecraft, I marveled at the depth of learning the parents required of their children. Part of the children's curriculum was to learn the shorter catechism, one of the primary statements of faith for Presbyterians. Now, the Shorter Catechism consists of 107 questions and answers. Deep stuff. They were also required to read certain classics of Christian literature.

But their definition of classical literature and modern day's definition of classical literature is two different things. You see, they didn't have Tolkien or Lewis. Their classics included books like Calvin's Institutes, Augustine's City of God, The Letters of Samuel Rutherford. Lex Rex, another classic by Samuel Rutherford, is the hardest book I have attempted to read. One reason could be because the footnotes are in Latin! In Scotland during the Reformation, most household libraries would consist of the Bible and the Letters of Samuel Rutherford. Because books were so expensive, only the ones that were most beneficial to developing a Christian worldview were invested in. Shakespeare might have written great stuff but men, women, and children were being slaughtered!

The bottom line is only what's done for Christ will last. Although I am absolutely stunned by the brilliance of Tolkien, will reading about hobbits and orcs help me become a Godly husband and father? For me, that's what it boils down to. Although it's certainly no sin to read those books, or to read for entertainment, I think it's much more important to be able to defend your position on the Biblical role of government than to defend Tolkien's use of magic in LOTR.

Maybe there's something I'm missing and if there is, I hope one of my dear readers will straighten me out.

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Blogger Stephen G. said...

I agree, I think we have lost a lot of what we used to have, especially now, we need to defend Christianity. I heard the average American watches 8 hours and 11 minutes per day (I am not sure if this is correct, I Google searched it here is the link.)

A lot to much, way to much! People do spend to much time reading things that are not important or spend to much time on video/computer games.

October 30, 2008 at 3:50 PM  
Blogger Son3 said...

Just to let you know, Mr. Boyd, I've tagged you.

November 2, 2008 at 11:57 AM  

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