Imparting a classical education at home. Check out the Edwards Academy.

Psalm 78
. . . we will tell the next generation the praiseworthy deeds of the LORD, his power, and the wonders he has done. .
so the next generation would know them . . . and they in turn would tell their children.
Then they would put their trust in God and would not forget his deeds but would keep his commands.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Implications

Edwards Academy students are beginning to study the life of William Wilberforce (1759-1833), the man who is credited with ending the slave trade in the British empire. His life helps us contemplate what it means to be a Christian.
"...in October 1785, [William] Wilberforce began to wrestle with the implications of embracing Christianity. On October 25 he wrote, '[I] began three or four days ago to get up very early. In the solitude and self-conversation of the morning had thoughts, which I trust will come to something. . . The deep guilt and black in gratitude of my past life forced itself upon me in the strongest colours, and I condemned myself for having wasted my precious time, and opportunities, and talents.'" (William Wilberforce by Kevin Belmonte)
I wonder how I am at understanding the full implications of my convictions, and then putting them into practice. Little in our culture pushes me to apply what I believe to all corners of my life. In fact, the loudest voices of our society insist that the opposite be true, that my convictions should remain separate from my actions, especially in the public sphere.

But how can we really live when our core beliefs are shunted aside? When the world is too much with us?

Just as Wordsworth's poem was ringing in my ears, I read this in Tozer:
"[Christians] read the lives of the great saints whose fervent desire after God carried them far up the mountain toward spiritual perfection; and for a brief moment they may yearn to be like these fiery souls whose light and fragrance still linger in the world where they once lived and labored. But the longing soon passes. The world is too much with them and the claims of their earthly lives are too insistent; so they settle back to live their ordinary lives, and accept the customary as normal."
Wilberforce was a fiery soul who desired after God and this desire directed the course of his life. May I long to be like that and may that longing not pass, but inspire me to never accept the customary as normal, but to always be pushing forward, pursuing holiness and the glory of God.

**

Incidentally, Tapestry of Grace does a marvelous job providing for a deep and meaningful discussion about Wilberforce. The Teacher's Notes give discussion questions and answers to help dialectic-age kids (roughly middle school age) fully engage with their studies, getting beyond facts and delving into the implications.

3 comments:

Davesgirl said...

I know it has been awhile since I commented, and I don't even know if you remember me, but I SOOOO wish I lived next door to you! LOL :) Are you going to let your kids watch the movie too? I have been impacted greatly by Tozer in the past 2 years, as well as Spurgeon.

Am I right in remembering that you are doing Classical Conversations as well as TOG? I am doing CC, but I did not see how to fit TOG in, but I miss TOG a lot. How are you implementing it all?

Mrs. Edwards said...

I do remember you! I'm so glad you commented.

CC is so popular, but one year was enough for me. You're right, it doesn't fit in with TOG, although I thought that it would be more complementary than it turned out to be.

CC has a lot of good points, but I'm very committed to TOG and CC was just in our way, not adding to our school experience and overwhelming me. Yes, the kids benefited from the memory work, but it just wasn't worth the half-day for us. It was also too much money. :)

Yes, we will watch Amazing Grace just as soon as they finish reading the book by Belmonte. I think that they will follow the movie more deeply than I did in the first viewing, because they are freshly up to speed on the historical context. They know about William Pitt, the British Empire, and understand the time period pretty well. It is exciting to see how the total effect of Tapestry makes it all come alive.

I just started reading Tozer this summer. I've been closing my Bible reading time with a dose of Tozer, which is very encouraging reading.

Laura said...

I love your post... And Tozer is a favorite. The world is too much with us; and yet, may we find ourselves constantly seeking to see the world in our rear-view mirrors with the hope of Christ our only destination. That is my pursuit today. (and hopefully, tomorrow)

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