The Central Vision by Douglas Wilson

When Logos Online School first began five years ago, we settled on a tagline that stated your partner in classical Christian education. There were two pitfalls we wanted to avoid, and each adjective of this phrase put up a gate to keep us from going down that particular road.

The word classical meant that while we were interested in instilling the educational basics, in the three R’s sense, we were not interested in providing a truncated education. We wanted to teach all subjects as parts of an integrated whole, with Scriptures at the center.

The second emphasis—Christ-centered—meant that we wanted an education that was decidedly Christian. All things cohere in Jesus Christ (Col. 1:17-18), and so that includes everything that falls under the first heading of classical.

Too often Christian schools assume that the spiritual aspect of the education can be added to a basic (neutral) curriculum. But a true Christ-centered education is a function, not of addition, but rather of integration. In other words, it is not as though we have so many subjects, hanging like so many shirts on a clothesline, and then a Christian school just adds an extra shirt—chapel, say, or Bible class. No, the Scriptures have to occupy a place in the education that is comparable to the position the sun has in the solar system.

The Scriptures are not the light at which we stare. The Scriptures provide the light in which we see—in which we see everything else.

Instead of shirts on a line, a better analogy for what we are seeking to do is to think of each subject as a spoke in a wheel, and with the axle being Christ.

So the vision of Logos Online School is to see education as having the same point, the same end, the same telos, as the Christian life does. If education is preparation for life, then Christian education needs to be preparation for Christian life. And what is the point of a Christian life? It is to grow up into the likeness of Jesus Christ, the only true human being who ever lived.

We were created in the image of God at the beginning, but when our first parents disobeyed and fell into sin, that divine image (while still there) was heavily damaged. This is what it means to be a member of the fallen human race. The image of God is still present in us, but it has been busted. The Adamic glory was broken, shattered. But in His grace, God sent a second Adam in order to start the human race over again, so that we might be enabled to grow up into true human beings.

This is why a classical education is not vocational training (although there is nothing wrong with vocational training per se). We are not teaching students how to get a job, but rather how to get a life. And because the only true life is found in Jesus Christ, this means that every subject needs to point to Him. Every teacher must model Him. Every board policy must be built upon Him.

So what is the point of classical Christian education? It is nothing less than the restoration of the image of God, which means we must be constantly grounded on the gospel.

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