Some helpful questions...

(TB: Under another post, a Christian sister we've come to respect has asked a series of questions I make a stab at answering below. For the context of her questions please look at comment number thirteen under the above post. First her comment in full, followed by my responses quoting part of each numbered item in what she wrote.)

I mean this as an honest comment/question, not a baiting or critical one. 

First, I was taught to believe that a wife must submit to her husband and a husband must love his wife as Christ loves the Church. A wife is not a doormat, nor is a husband is a tyrant. Furthermore, a couple will work out a balance of this principle in their marriage that is Biblical and fits their personalities and won't look the same for every couple. I assume you would generally agree with that.

Second, I was also taught that everyone in the laity (male and female) must submit to their church's clergy and its governing body -- elder board, church council, board of trustees, vestry, parish council, etc. Again, I assume you would also hold to this view.

Third, the relationship of a wife to submit to her husband does not apply to all males. It applies only to her husband and other male church authorities. She does not have to submit to every other man in her church, in her neighborhood, in the PTA, etc. This is where we probably start to diverge; do you disagree for cultural or Biblical reasons?

 Fourth, every young woman should obtain an education that matches her talents and abilities and the Lord's will for her life. This is not just because her husband could leave her high and dry with several young children. It's because she probably she will marry, she doesn't know whether that will happen when she is 21, 31, or 41 or never and she has to support herself. Do you disagree and if so, why?

Fifth, in society in general, as long as her husband agrees (or she stays single) and she keeps a balance between raising a family and her career, there is no career that she should not attain to her if she is capable of it and it is God's will for her life. (This is similar to what Albert Moller wrote about when Sarah Palin ran for Vice-President in 2008). So why is it wrong for a father to tell his daughter she can run for President someday? 

Sixth, what do you think a single woman means if she says that she has has no voice in the church? 

Finally, I know you will agree with this. SAHW's and SAHM's have gotten a really bad rap for a long time. They are terribly unappreciated and deserve as much encouragement as we can give them.

Thanks for taking the time to read this,

Sue 

Now for some responses. After a day or two we'll post another response by David Wegener whose thought processes and succinct writing style will give Baylyblog readers a pleasant relief after what I've done here.

* * *

First, I was taught to believe that a wife must submit to her husband and a husband must love his wife as Christ loves the Church. A wife is not a doormat, nor is a husband is a tyrant. Furthermore, a couple will work out a balance of this principle in their marriage that is Biblical and fits their personalities and won't look the same for every couple. I assume you would generally agree with that.

Not "generally" but completely.

Second, I was also taught that everyone in the laity (male and female) must submit to their church's clergy and its governing body -- elder board, church council, board of trustees, vestry, parish council, etc. Again, I assume you would also hold to this view.

Again, yes, of course.

Third, the relationship of a wife to submit to her husband does not apply to all males. It applies only to her husband and other male church authorities. She does not have to submit to every other man in her church, in her neighborhood, in the PTA, etc. This is where we probably start to diverge; do you disagree for cultural or Biblical reasons?

We don't disagree. But to say that a woman (and man, for that matter) need to submit to proper authorities is not to say that there should be no difference between how women of the church relate to older men of the church, as opposed to how they relate to older women of the church.

We never escape sexuality, and men never escape manhood as women never escape womanhood. It's our very nature and we want to live this part of our calling with faith--not squelch it. Part of that living is male responsibility and female deference, both of which are made visible, for instance, in (sadly forgotten) good manners.

And if you're Anglican, surely you agree with this?

There is a difference between men living in an understanding way with the weaker sex and a man living with his wife as the weaker vessel. He still takes responsibility for women, generally, while taking covenant care of his wife and daughters. There is a difference between women living in a woman-is-the-glory-of-man way in the world and a woman calling her husband "Lord" as Sarah did.

Man and woman are to be man and woman at home, but also in life outside the home--including at church--and the nature of manhood and womanhood created by God when He decreed Adam being created first, then Eve, should be part of the way we confess our faith in all of life. It should also be the way we lead our wives and raise our daughters.

Fourth ...every young woman should obtain an education that matches her talents and abilities and the Lord's will for her life.

Not "every" young woman. Education is not the center of Christian discipleship. It is the center of money and class (again, you're Anglican, right?) and status as well. So we need to be careful we don't unreflectingly make education into the sine qua non of becoming a mature Christian man or woman. Also we need to understand that education is not schooling. Mark Twain declared his principle never to let his children's schooling get in the way of their education.

Again, this needs to be worked out on an individual basis keeping in mind that schooling is not a unilateral good. Sexual purity, for instance, is more important than schooling, and parents should not pressure their daughters or sons to get a higher education degree if they are engaged and not being pure. They shouldn't force their children to finish their degree on the back of continual burning with lust and falling into fornication.

Calvin's Geneva required couples who got engaged to get married within six weeks in order to avoid impurity.

There's a reason our Christian couples normally have been impure prior to marriage and that reason is often bound up with parents puting a schooling degree above purity. Everyone knows how often socioeconomic security and status drive that degree. It's fine to talk about our children's gifts, but gifts should always be subordinate to holiness. 

Being in Bishop J. C. Ryle's denomination, I'm sure you agree.

Let me add that one of our daughters was a NM finalist and is married without a college degree. Money was aplenty, but God led her and her parents to give permission for becoming a wife and a mother to take precedence over getting a BA. And I might add that she's about as educated as a woman or man can be, and always getting more so. Clearly, her gifts and talents are being much more used and fulfilled as a wife and mother than they ever would have been being a student finishing up her degree at IU. So there are more reasons to marry and become a mother beyond avoiding sexual purity and we're pleased Michal and her husband, Ben, were married when they were. Simply put, their priorities were a very, very, very fine house, with two kids in the yard, life used to be so hard, now everything is easy cause of you...

Fifth, in society in general, as long as her husband agrees (or she stays single) and she keeps a balance between raising a family and her career, there is no career that she should not attain to if she is capable of it and it is God's will for her life.

Well, again, what's the point of being a woman if it stops when she walks out the front door Monday morning? Why would we be so stingy with femininity that we tried to limit its fulfillment in our wives and daughters to church and home? What's wrong with us that we want to hide and keep God's Creation Order from the world's lost? Why would we hide it in our private Christian homes and churches? Isn't that pathetic? Isn't that faithless?

And also, think of what it means for those very churches and homes we're supposedly reserving the truth for? Christian mothers dropping their covenant child off at the daycare center so they can use their most-excellent gifts? So they can be "all they're meant to be?"

The ban on woman teaching and exercising authority over man is founded, based, and demanded by God's Creation Order. In 1Timothy 2, the Holy Spirit tells us this. So why are we so faithless in our embracing of this beauty for men and women, for our sons and daughters? Wouldn't we want our sons to care for women? To protect mothers and sisters and daughters in the world?

What joy to see our sons taking responsibility for widows and orphans as Boaz did? And isn't this our son living as a man-as-man, and not simply as a godly-person-as-godly-person?

Would we deny this to the lost of this world?

The question of whether we love God's creation order and try to live it faithfully everywhere possible is where our attention needs to be focussed, I think. Why be stingy with this gift of God we call the Creation Order? Why try to go the way of the world on this?

So yes, a wife and mother can work outside the home as long as her principle commitment is the home. That's what God commands in Titus 2:3-5 ("be domestic" is the RSV's translation of the phrase in verse 5 translated "workers at home" in the NASB). And anyone who thinks it's good for a physician to be a mother and wife, also; or the President of these United States (or for that matter, governor of some state) to be a mother, also--like Sarah Palin tries to do, publicly, with the whole world watching--has a few screws loose in his or her head. I mean, really; doesn't Sarah Palin's own family demonstrate the truth of this? How very sad it is for her and her family, and for the church before the watching world. They should be ashamed, but they're not. Can I say this without all our readers despising me for it? I hope so. I don't mean to be mean. Some things everyone sees in public should be named and used in the service of repentance by pastors who love God's sheep and the world's lost, too.

God's good news for the lost includes His Creation Order. What a relief it is to this sin-sick world to hear that God made Adam to bear responsibility for Eve as Eve went through the bloodshed of childbirth and the lifelong duties of being a helpmate for her husband and a mother for all her children!

Men who have abdicated our responsibility to sit in the city gates should be blushing to see Deborah there, but theyr'e (we're) not.

If Sarah Palin were running for President, I might well vote for her. But it's to my and your and your own husband's shame. This is what Calvin and Marvin Olasky said, and they're right. Those who deny it are simply wrong. They need to be taught Scripture.

The reason it's wrong for a father to tell his daughter that she should run for president when she grows up is that it's an abandonment of her femininity, plus it gives men an excuse to play video games (or watch March Madness).

Then too, since you're Anglican, why would any self-respecting and loving and Christian father want his beloved and beautiful daughters to grow up to the New York Times hurling the epithet "Iron Lady" at her? Smiling.

I've spoken here before about how I handled these matters with my daughter, Michal. Maybe she'll pipe in to help out on this.

Sixth ...what do you think a single woman means if she says that she has has no voice in the church?

Let's allow some single women who read Baylyblog to answer this. It's a very tender subject and I'd prefer the authority of a single woman to address this matter over the limited abitlity of a married man and pastor. Maybe even a married woman would offer her thoughts on this?

We've had a woman in a congregation say this and the truth was that her life was consumed by bitterness just as her mother's had been before her. Eventually she left the church and I'm sure whatever church she's in now she resents regardless of whether it's feminist or Creation Order faithful.

The position of single men and women is very sensitive in churches and must be approached with the greatest tenderness and love. Churches that are family-centered might have a weakness here, but we must not give in to the modern and perverse habit of sacrificing the normal on the altar of the abnormal. But again, I want to emphasize that single men as often could complain about "lacking a voice" as single women do. Also childless couples could complain of the same. White believers who are members of African churches (and vice versa). Blue collar workers in Anglican churches. Smiling again.

Men without a post-BA degree in Presbyterian churches. And on and on it goes in our culture of victimhood. We need to be extra-careful to cover over the more tender parts of the body while not allowing those more tender parts of the body to oppress the rest of the body by virtue of their proclamation of their weakness and pain--not having a voice. Both are real and constant dangers.

Finally ...They are terribly unappreciated and deserve as much encouragement as we can give them.

Not sure they're terribly unappreciated. Often unappreciated, for sure. But if you want to really know who's unappreciated in the church, look carefully at the deacon who provides for his wife and many children while spending time at church with widows and orphans off the street and widows and orphans of the church; and then has the elders and (more likely) the senior pastor ask him why the grass hasn't been trimmed?

Or the mother of many who is married to the rotten husband who plays video games and won't talk to her.

In other words, the church is absolutely filled with unappreciated souls loved and seen by their Heavenly Father. We all need to stop keeping track of offenses and realize the life of a Christian is a life of painful sanctification. Nobody appreciates any of us the way they ought to--neither the beauty of the gifts we give the world nor the horror of the sins with which we corrupt the world. How's that for a Christian dose of reality?

Thank you, dear sister, for your excellent challenge. I hope you didn't mind my constant references to your Anglicanism. Some of my best friends are Anglican, in heart if not in reality.

Wth much respect,

Your brother in Christ, Tim.

Comments

I recently watched a sermon given by Voddie Baucham who stated that men who allow their wives to work outside the home are merely "wife swapping". He said that one man's wife leaves her own family to help another man further his business. However, the woman's husband in turn has to hire another woman to care for their children while she's out working. Whose values do you think those children will have, the mother who is out working or the woman caring for them? Will the babysitter care for the children in the same way only a mother can? A wife and mother who is totally focused on God and her family cannot possibly work outside the home. We cannot have it all. It's all about sacrifice, isn't it? Afterall, christians always say that we're supposed to sacrifice the way Jesus did. There's so much freedom and peace when we do things His way.

Excellent answers.

p.s Would you consider writing a book with this wisdom?

It is very helpful to see the practical fleshing out of the Creation Ordinance. I don't know of any book that brings all these intertwined issues about family and marriage and jobs and education together in one place, and dares make these obvious practical applications (e.g "Fathers hold their darling on their lap and tell her how she can become president someday"!) and yet does so with both boldness and love. It would be supremely helpful to many many people. When you die, whose going to say it? But if we have a book...

Thanks again.

I'm curious about what kind of "voice" a single young woman might want in the church? I guess I'm not certain what this statement means. D

In our PCA church, women are also welcome to be involved in (family/singles together) small groups, women's Bible studies, and mentoring situations with older women. They can also serve the church body in many ways such as providing meals, helping with church dinners, teaching Sunday School with younger children, and helping in the nursery. There are more areas than this, these just came to my mind. Yes, I'm married with children, but have a daughter in the category of "single young woman". I'm reminded that Douglas Wilson said something about young women in this situation. They are called DAUGHTERS.

A minor point related to our moderators' reply, hopefully not off-topic. When was the last time anyone on this site heard (preached) a message about the single Christian life?

>>When was the last time anyone on this site heard (preached) a message about the single Christian life?

Dear Ross,

Around half our congregation is single. We have widows, children, and many single college and grad students. So we preach to singles all the time--just as we preach to the married all the time. Recently, I've been preaching through 1Corinthians 7, so we've even had sermons recently about the calling to lifelong singleness--how it is a good and godly calling; also how it is a very rare calling; and how at times what masquerades as that calling is actually a woman burning with bitterness or a man burning with lust who should stop being an emotional and sexual narcissist and get married, as God commands also there in 1Corinthians 7.

Matter of fact, I'm guessing pastors preach to singles all the time, although not as often to the very rare calling of lifelong celibacy. Remember that pastors in their preaching are to avoid falling into that modern morbid habit of sacrificing the normal on the altar of the abnormal.

Most of the mid-life singles I've known make no claim to a lifelong calling of singleness and are discotent with it (women) or lazy to repent of it (men).

But yes, it does happen sometimes that a man and a woman in mid-life know and are following the exceptionally rare path of lifelong celibacy at the command of God. And when that is embraced and affirmed by the man or woman and his or her church, what a gift that man and woman are to the church.

Of those souls, I've never heard them ask for sermons on singleness. Must be because they think of themselves and everyone in the church calls them "Father" and "Mother" and "Granddad" and "Grandma" and "Bapa" and "Nana" and "Son" and "Daughter" and "Brother" and "Sister."

Such precious souls hear sermons on singleness all the time.

Related to that, Spurgeon got complaints against how often he preached against fornication. He responded, "When you stop doing it, I'll stop preaching against it."

So apparently Spurgeon preached on singleness so often that it irritated some in his flock.

Love,

Thank you. I'm the dad of four daughters (and two sons), and having just driven through Northfield, MN and Carleton/St. Olaf today, the message "you don't need to send your daughters to college, let alone any old college that degrades them as a matter of course" just needs to be said.

>>any old college that degrades them...

Dear Bert,

Men of Clearnote Fellowship are starting a college Fall of 2013 and would welcome your progeny. More on it will come out soon. We have IU next door and students will take classes there, also. Plans are progressing and we're excited. Name is Athanasius College and it will be a ministry under the auspices of Clearnote Fellowship.

Good profs getting lined up for some excellent courses including English, computer science, theology, Bible, and economics.

Love,

Hi Tim,

Thank you for taking the time to respond to my questions so thoughtfully. I may comment on some of your responses later, but I want to read your answers over a couple of times to be sure I understand them.

Your sister in Christ,

Sue

...oops. last part of last line, I meant to say "to be sure that I understand them more fully".

WRT, to hearing a sermon about singleness in your own church, I can't think of any time that sticks out, but if there was a Bible passage in one of the readings for the day* that dealt with singleness there could have been one.

I would have to say though, that our parish has no specific ministry for single adults. However, singles of all ages are welcomed to become involved in any ministry that God is calling them to.

-------------------------------------------------------
*Our parish, like most, if not all Anglican churches, uses the Revised Common Lectionary cycle of readings that includes a psalm, a Old Testament lesson, a New Testament lesson, and a reading from one of the Gospels every week.

>>Good profs getting lined up for some excellent courses including English, computer science, theology, Bible, and economics.

Any chance you need a tuba teacher?? :)

" Name is Athanasius College"

As vicar of St. Athanasius Anglican Church, I heartily applaud the name for the college. Our parish motto is Contra Mundum Redivivus, an idea that applies as well to a Christian college as to a local congregation of Christians.

" Name is Athanasius College"

Hooray! Never change the name to "University" either, no matter how big it gets. Put it in its constitution, put it in the land grant. Fight institutional hubris!

If I am not mistaken, both colleges and universities are "institutions" and susceptible to "hubris." The term university just refers to a collection of colleges/schools under one name, or an institution that offers multiple degree programs. For example, if Athanasius College ever grew to offer post-graduate programs, then it would no longer be a college, but instead a university. So, to say that they should never change their name to university would mean that you are saying that they should never grow beyond a singular degree program. But, perhaps that is what you mean?

Hi Mrs. W,

You might be right, if it grows to university size someday maybe it should be called a university. I'm just thinking of all the small, private Christian colleges that are all around my neck of the woods that have all changed their names from X College to X University.

It's always because of the diversity of the programs that they now offer, and all the alumni feel great because they graduated from what is now a *University*...

But it's like there's no such thing as an honest college anymore. Huntington University? Wabash University? Anderson University?

I know that the word College doesn't guarantee anything. From my experience it can indicate something though, something humbler and honester.

Suggestion for Athanasius College ... create a chair of theology for the school and name it for St. Anthony.

During the decades when Athanasius was hiding from Arian assasins who would overturn Nicea's Creed and Athanasius who compaioned it, St. Anthony's monks hid Athanasius in the North African desert, from which place Athanasius continued to write against Arianism which fought hard to resist his defense of the Faith.

Because of the patronage of Anthony and the help of his monks, Athanasius prevailed after a life-time of battling heretics within the ranks of the Church.

compaioned = championed

Dear Sue,

I have a suggestion I've thought about making before. Would you consider avoiding abbreviations in your comments? There were some things in this very thread, as well as in past comments by you, that were unintelligible to me simply because I'm not familiar with the abbreviations. Maybe if I texted or hung out on other blogs I would know them, but I bet there are others like me.

Sincerely,

Adam,

Point well taken. I will be happy to stop using abbreviations and acronyms. I tend to overlook the fact that many people aren't familiar with them.

--Sue

Adam and Sue and Fr. Bill,

Despite my father's assertions that I am "educated", I always stumble over inserted Latin and French phrases. :)

Contra Mundum Redivivus? against the world ....what? :)

Michal

Wow, my above comment is awfully smiley. I really only meant to put one, I promise.

I had to laugh when I read my dad's description of our priorities: "a very very fine house..." We've been singing that one a lot lately. But let me assure you, this is no lofty ideal. When I was in college at IU I realized most of what I was learning would be of no use to me. My time could be better spent. I sometimes wish I had finished school, but it's for the sake of my own vanity, not because I think I'd be better equipped. Somehow, I don't think 2 more years of school would have made me any more diligent in my work as a mother, any more knowledgeable in the Word of God and applying it to the hearts and actions of my boys, or any better at sticking to a budget(although with that last one, it would have made it more necessary because of the debt i would have likely incurred).

Historically, Christians have been the ones to make education a priority. But it was always for the purpose of furthering the Gospel. Parents wanted their 5-year-olds to be able to read the Scripture for themselves. Missionaries translated the Scriptures to other languages.

Now, education has displaced God and American "education" as often as not becomes an obstacle to our spiritual growth and maturity. So, this argument isn't really *against* education. We're only arguing that education be put back in its place--in subjection to godly living. American education has become a monster.

Education as an ideal should always be pursued. But when sexual purity, precious years of fertility, financial viability and ultimately, the souls of our children are sacrificed on the altar of the revered BA, it's time to buck the system. There will always be objections. I can argue against the BA based on the quality (or lack thereof) of today's college education.
http://www.foxnews.com/opinion/2010/02/10/dr-richard-brake-isi-civics-literacy-college-education/
I can argue against it from a practical and financial standpoint.
http://www.time.com/time/nation/article/0,8599,1967580,00.html
But as a Christian, I'll simply argue that we need to stop treating college education as a "given." Do our children (particularly our daughters) really need to spend another 4 years in what is typically a moral wasteland just to earn a degree that they--in most cases--will be better off if they don't use? And as for the "what if's", lets decide first if we really do believe in the sovereignty of God, then act accordingly.

One more point. Stay-at-home-ing isn't just for moms with kids between the ages of 0 and 6. Our churches are in dire need of moms and older women. Our younger women need strong mentorship in all areas of life (in large part because of learning all the wrong things in our teen and "college" years). Me and my friends often look at each other and say, "Man, I studied all the wrong subjects!" Our churches need older women to counsel, to provide meals, to teach Bible studies, to lend a helping hand to new moms. Most women working full-time outside the home don't have time to do these things in addition to their own housework and childrearing. From a generation of clueless, abused and ignorant young moms, here's a shout-out. Older women, help us out!!! I have the greatest respect for my mom and both grandmothers who have "wasted" their lives on their spiritual progeny.

One more thing--my friend teaches a large entry-level English class at IU. He informed us last week that none of them had ever heard of Plato's Cave Allegory. 3 of them had heard of Plato. Based on my experience at IU, I'd guess that if he interviewed that same pool of students after graduation, possibly 6 of them would have learned of Plato's existence. *sigh*

Hi Michal,

I totally agree with you that a 4-year college degree should not be the Holy Grail for young Christian women, but I think it shouldn't necessarily be the same for young Christian men, too.

But when I posted the questions that your dad responded to, I may have been misleading when saying that every young woman should receive an education that fits her gifts and talents and is the Lord's will for her life. By no means did I mean that "education" mean a bachelor's degree or higher.

Education could mean an associate's degree from a 2-year community college, which usually offers many programs that could help a woman once she becomes a mother, such as early-childhood education, medical assisting, nursing, respiratory therapy, physical therapy assistant, culinary arts, and others that could still be helpful in running a household, like accounting. Community colleges are usually dirt cheap and it's likely that a student wouldn't have to incur much, if any, debt while attending there. Many of these fields would also have part-time positions available as well.

And I also meant that "education" could also be vocational-technical training as well, such as nursing assistant, cosmetologist, or whatever programs are available locally through the county's vocational school district. Or her formal education may end with high school but she will still be able to be gainfully employed if she marries (which, yes she probably will, but only God knows when) and hopefully has children.

But although you, your dad and other readers here may disagree with me, I do believe every woman needs some way to support herself. Yes, God is sovereign and will take care of everything in the end. But even though we believe God is sovereign we still buy life insurance and health insurance (if possible). Does that show our lack of faith or does it show that we use our God-given wisdom to protect ourselves and our families?

Sue

P.S. I never studied Latin, Michal, so I'm in the same boat as you. I have to look up any Latin phrase I read or hope someone will translate it. ;)

If you decide to homeschool, is studying Latin to teach it to your sons in your future?

P.P.S. Although this is just anecdotal, my goddaughter isn't sorry that she got a bachelor's degree in cultural anthropology, but all it bought her was (eventually) a job as an assistant manager in a gift shop a long way away from home (her choice). She met her now husband in her apartment building. He has a master's degree in food science and has a well-paying job. Before they married, he asked her if she'd like to go back to school and study something that would lead to a more interesting and better-paying job. She said, "Well, not really. I know we should use my salary to pay off your school loans, but after that, I hope you'll let me stay home and make babies."

"Redivivus" means "reborn" or "revived"

Sincerely,

Says the young man who missed that word in a spelling bee.

Love,

"Thank you so much for bringing up such a painful subject. While we're at it, why don't you give me a nice paper cut and pour lemon juice on it?" --Miracle Max

:^)

Love ya,

Thanks, Eliot! :)

Sue, as you say, we're agreed. Men and women alike need to re-consider the college question. And really, the only place I'm going to disagree with you is here:

" I do believe every woman needs some way to support herself."

Maybe I misunderstand you, but I am inferring that you mean a woman should equip herself before marriage in case she needs to be financially self-sufficient. It sounds like in practice we would probably agree, but I'm uncomfortable with the statement. Your idea of "support herself" and someone else's idea of "support herself" can be wildly different. Most young women, on graduating from high school, could get a job and support themselves completely. But maybe not herself *and* kids? So should she, on marrying, only have enough children as she could, on her own, (should the need arise) provide for? Should she anticipate before marriage the # of children she plans to have and educate herself accordingly?

I'm not trying to poke fun, I'm only trying to say that it's a very subjective requirement, and it makes me uncomfortable. I very well may agree with your application, while opposing completely someone else's application. For example, I know of many parents who would argue that by forcing their daughter to get her BA before marrying her fiancee, all they want is for her to have "some way to support herself."

Oh, and re: your goddaughter, I'm in the same boat.

I don't regret the course I took (2 years of college, no degree) I also might not recommend it to someone else... I've never regretted any education, only Academics. My high school didn't want to let me graduate early even though I had satisfied the requirements and was more than ready to "move on" with my education. It's the same thing, I think.

As long as we have more adult women than adult men in our churches, the issues thrown up by this discussion of education will not go away. May I also suggest that the only real fix to the problem, is to sort out our men's evangelism? Mark Driscoll is one of the few on the right track here.

“Contra Mundum Redivivus? against the world ....what? :)”

So far so good – “against the world,” that is. It's part of a slogan applied to Athanasius himself – Athanasius contra mundum – to summarize the quality of the man's life, which in great slobbering chunks was nothing less than Athanasius against the whole stinking Arian world.

Depending on how you tally the data one may glean from the biographical sources, Athanasius spent over a third of his 45 year vocation as bishop of Alexandria sequestered in exile, once for six straight years in the dunes of the Saraha in the care of Anthony's hermits, who ferried out Athanasius' hand-written, hand-copied anti-Arian pamphlets whch kept the waves of Nicene orthodoxy pounding on the cliffs of the Arian political establishment in and out of the Church, until the latter finally collapsed from the relentless faithfulness of Athanasius.

Redivivus? It's explained above as “reborn” or “revived.” “Contra Mundum Redivivus” does not mean ~Athanasius revived~, obviously; but, rather, the ~spirit~ of the slogan “Athanasius Contra Mundum” is (we pray, we strive) revived in the lives of the members of our parish which bears his name.

As for Latin slogans, references, etc., it's part and parcel of an education in Western Civ to know ~something~ of Latin. I had two years of elementary Latin in seventh and eighth grade (yeah, yeah, that was over 50 years ago) in the Amarillo,Texas public schools. Like all beginning Latin students, we read portions Caesar's Gallic Wars (“Omnis Gallia est divisa in tres partes ...”. When learning classical Latin pronunciation, we boys fell into peals of laughter at Caesar's pithy “Veni, vidi, vici” when we'd use the classical vocalization of the letter “v” as the English consonant “w.”

After the Western canon was banished from the halls of academe in America, Latin disappeared from public school curricula, and is still absent from most of them. But, here in Texas, at least, it's experienced a revival in many public school systems, partly (I'm guessing) in reaction to home schoolers and private schools where Latin is again a staple of a basic education in Western civilization.

When my eldest daughter majored in Latin at the University of Texas, I learned that the job openings posted at the departmental website number three or four times the number of graduating majors. And, that is for openings in ~Texas~ alone. When I looked at that listing several years ago, about a third of them were from public schools, many of them seeking applicants for brand-new programs in Latin.

So, a Christian college bearing Athanasius' name could (and should) adopt a Latin motto that characterizes his Christian life (“contra mundum”) renewed once more (“redivivus”) in our day when the legions of hell press against the faithful from within and without the Church.

Interesting note on my daughter's Latin teaching … she is employed in the Austin school district to teach chemistry, general science, and forensic science. Her Latin teaching is done exclusively as a private tutor for home schoolers and private school students, at an hourly rate of $50, far more than she would earn for teaching the same material in the public school system. Plus, her teaching of Latin is, therefore, free from the social engineering folderol she would put up with were she to teach anything other than science courses.

Sue asked Michal, "If you decide to homeschool, is studying Latin to teach it to your sons in your future?"

My brother's four children are all home-schooled, and Latin was in their curriculum. My sister-in-law supervised the studies, and she dove into Latin herself at the beginning (as she did with most subject areas).

However, as the subjects became more advanced, she (like her peers among home-schoolers) deployed those who are well-versed in the subject areas. I'm fascinated at the advances the whole home-school phenomenon has generated in distance learning. Her children "attend" in real-time live classes where they interact with other students and the teacher, via video conferencing that brings that classroom right into their home.

Home-schooling does not mean that the parent teaches every single datum the child learns. For one thing, the student is usually doing most of his learning from a book, a primitive (though effective) means of "distance learning" from an expert, who often is not only far away in space but also in time! Rather, home-schooling puts the parent in control of the curriculum, freed of governmental social-engineering agendas and the moral debauchery of the public education environment.

>>Home-schooling does not mean that the parent teaches every single datum the child learns...Rather, home-schooling puts the parent in control of the curriculum, freed of governmental social-engineering agendas and the moral debauchery of the public education environment.

Thank you for this paragraph, Fr. Bill. You have no idea how much it just lightened the weight on my shoulders about home-schooling. My oldest is not even 3 yet -- though the task ahead was already overwhelming me. (I went to public school.)

Jessica,

I'm delighted to have given you encouragement. But, the strongest encouragement will come from the wise old heads among home-schooling families who can point you to the resources available to home schooling parents -- video conferencing being one of the most powerful to come online recently.

What's at your fingertips will vary from place to place. Beginning around 7th or 8th grade levels, some local home schooling parents have formed co-ops which pay for a teacher to administer classroom teaching in one or two intensive sessions a week. The classes often meet in local church facilities.

In the early years, you'll likely do most of the teaching yourself. And, this is good. It keeps you on your toes, of course. But, mostly it provides a platform for strengthening and developing your Lady Wisdom role toward your children. This ~includes~ your management of interaction between your children and other sages as they progress through the curriculum.

For an entertaining and illuminating exposition of this dynamic between a child, his parents, and extra-familial sages (i.e. teachers expert in some subject area), see the film _Searching for Bobby Fisher_. It's the story of a father who endeavors to play the proper father's role for his son who is a chess prodigy. Knowing that his son has talents far beyond anything he himself can shepherd, the father undertakes to identify and deploy a chess master to advance his son's skills. The boy, meanwhile, stumbles across a second chess master in a local park, where chess hot-dogs play flash games for money.

The film's tensions revolve around two poles: the competition/conflict between the two chess sages, and conflict between the father and the mother who thinks the whole enterprise is passing strange.

All tolled, it's a movie chock full of material for parents to unpack as they contemplate the education of their own children.

Thank you again, Fr. Bill. My husband and I love to watch movies so we will add it to our list. We also recently began reading a couple of Doug Wilson's books on education to help us with the "big picture." Where we live now, Texas, there seems to be a lot of homeschooling options.

Stay at home motherhood is a high calling; but a woman is not going to spend her entire adult life raising children and not all women are called to marriage.

Similarly, by preventing Christian women from engaging the fields of science, education, art, technology, literature, politics and all the rest, you are effectively fighting the culture wars with half an army. Really, less than half, if you consider that women make up a majority of churchgoers.

Nothing would make the secular leftists more overjoyed, considering that they don't keep their women "barefoot and pregnant."

My previous pastor's wife was quoted (in response to a mother that was concerned about her high school daughter's talents in science -- and desire to obtain a college degree in science) that "when you educate a woman, you educate her family." I found that thought interesting. As an extreme example, you never know if X mother is going to raise an X child that "discovers the cure to cancer."
So I don't think that educating a woman is necessarily ungodly, but if she is "putting off" her true calling by God to do so, or headed to college because her parents are more interested in her education than her purity, etc., then there may be some serious sin to confront. I agree that BOTH men and women (and their parents) should carefully pray for and discern the issue of whether to get a college education or not. In our feministic culture though, women are at higher risk of being deceived by the idea.

Reformed people are interesting to me, particularly your cafeteria approach to the Old Testament. Passover, no. Tribal patriarchal sex roles, yes. Dietary laws, no. Tithing, yes. Tefillin, no. The Ten Commandments, yes. Zionism, no. Theonomy, yes.

Dear Cicely,

What on earth are you talking about? Have you been reading Trilateral Commission literature or Order of the Eastern Star initiation rite liturgies?

For the record, I don't know any Reformed man who would answer to your list. But hey, list away. It's a free world!

Cross-eyed and scratching my head,

PS: Would you please not move on to commenting over three or four names on this blog? You've commented as TeresaR., and now Cicely. Let's hold it to those two, OK? Thanks.

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