If someone asks me today for a book I recommend if you are thinking about homeschooling, or already a seasoned homeschooler, this will be the FIRST TITLE. That good it is.
Dedicated to the Andreola couple, mentioning among others Francis Shaeffer, Dorothy Sayers, the word utilitarism, and quoting C.S. Lewis, Chesterton, George McDonald, J.R.R. Tolkien, Aristotle, and the Fruits of the Spirit, it was destined to be a book that leaves an impression, a companion that reassures us and defines with detail our vision for our children and ourselves, and how to accomplish this forge of character that a christian education is.
pg. 23 …we must help our children to develop good habits, to foster the kind of self-discipline which will enable them to respond to morally vexing situations in a way that honors God and demonstrates virtue. When they form good habits, children are empowered to develop “right desiring” and the will and discipline to do as they ought.
pg. 30 Virtue is not simply obedience to a set of rules.
Virtue is not old-fashioned or represive.
Chesterton writes, “Virtue is not the absence of vices or the avoidance of moral dangers; virtue is a vivid and separate thing”.
pg.35 The life of faith does not denigrate earthly life or make it seem inconsequential.
To live for the good is to live life to its fullest. To live for the good is to live with joy.
pg.38 The development of moral virtues in our lives is something greater than merely a concern with “values.” All the current discussion over “family values” tends to play into the hands of the moral relativists. Value is a morally neutral term which identifies a preference. Virtue, on the other hand, is a quality of character which leads to action. (…) They are, if you will, our road map to the destination of character.
pg.66 Christians have no reason to be intellectually ashamed or embarrassed. The Christian worldview is a strong and logical answer to our culture’s search for meaning. Our beliefs will stand up both in the court of reason and in the court of experience. The Christian worldview is the only fully satisfying way to answer the questions men have struggled with throughout history.
pg. 107-108 As modern Christians, we have created our own subculture. We have Christian music, Christian bookstores, Christian television, Christian schools, (…) one of the dangers is that we can tend to devalue that which does not specifically wear the label “Christian”. When we separate ourselves to this extent, we lose our impact upon the culture at large and rob ourselves of the insights we could draw from those whose faith is different from ours.
pg. 111 Because all truth is God’s truth, the early Christian theologian Justin Martyr could write, “Whatever has been well said anywhere or by anyone belongs to us Christians” (Apology II, 13). This is an attitude not of arrogance, but of gratitude. Gratitude for all the truth of God and His creation; the truths of science, art, sociology, psychology, as well as the truth of faith. Great thinkers throughout Christian history have pointed out that all knowledge is the province of the believer, that we have nothing to fear and everything to gain from the pursuit of truth wherever we find it. We must, as Augustine write, mine the riches from the secular culture.
pg. 113 One reason we can learn so much from unbelievers is that Christian values have influenced our culture so deeply that even unbelievers hold to remnants of truth. Most of our culture’s moral foundations, institutions, and attitudes are based on Christian principles. This situation may be changing. Our worldview is becoming less and less acceptable and the common ground is shrinking. But still, though the last couple of centuries may have distorted the truth, the Christian influence in our culture is far from extinguished.
Another reason we can learn from unbelievers is that Christianity is about truth and reality. Unbelievers and believers alike share the same reality.
pg. 131 In this third section, we will examine how we might use our leisure time to develop our moral imagination. (A note from me: leisure is not entertainment).
pg. 142 Too much exposure to television can warp our sense of what is truly important and valuable in life. (…) The commercials, in particular, by giving us a false definition of true happiness, create in us a greedy lust for ever-increasing consumption.
I am realizing I have highlights in many more pages, and I will end up quoting all the book. He will talk later in the book about fiction that is too didactic, morality as role playing more than rule keeping, the role of art and music, the criticism to utilitarianism, and he will arrive at beautiful conclusions after laying down the path on how to develop moral imagination, and cultivate virtues that will result in christian character.
A MUST READ!