Our theme for the school year is: Pursuing Truth, Goodness and Beauty. The verse for the school year is Philippians 4:8: “Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things. “
You will hear a great deal of discussion about truth, goodness and beauty in classical education circles, both Christian and secular. Philosophers like Plato saw these things as concepts that there were eternal and unchanging in their nature. Socrates, for example, described the essence of “goodness” as something that is “beyond being.” Both men readily ascribed characteristics to these things that are supernatural and not subject to whim, individual interpretation, or fallibility. Similarly, they have an innate perfection to them so pure that it would seem to be written on one’s soul. Man can find examples of acts, thoughts or deeds that could be characterized as true, good or beautiful…but the essence of truth, goodness and beauty transcends earthly (imperfect) examples of these traits.
Every human being makes several thousand decisions each day, based largely on a values system built around the pursuit of truth, goodness and beauty. For children, this decision making can be an arduous task given the fact that they are still in the process of adopting a values system (willingly or unwillingly) that is being taught to them by the adults that are in their lives. Children who reject the values system imparted to them by the adults in their lives, or have no adults who are willing and able to do pass along such a system, will go on to forge their own values system, based on pursuing what they think is truth, goodness and beauty. It would seem to me that a great number of these children will allow their definitions of truth, goodness and beauty to be based upon things that are worldly, popular, attractive, seductive, and quite often corrupt. As they grow into adulthood, they will base their decisions accordingly on the pursuit of such things. This is not a new idea or notion. The ancient Greeks wrote stories of the Sirens…seductresses who appeared to be pure and beautiful…and lured sailors to their death. These sailors were unable to effectively resist the call of the Siren because they could not differentiate between beauty and seduction…and ended up paying for this with their lives. I would contend that things are much the same in this day and age.
As Christians, we know that we should be looking to Scripture to guide and form our ideas about what is true, good and beautiful. If concepts like these are indeed eternal and unchanging, how could we look to anything other than God’s unchanging Word for examples of acts, deeds, practices, and thoughts that would accurately be categorized as ones that are in pursuit of that which is genuinely truthful, good and beautiful?
So this year, in working to channel our student’s hearts and minds towards an eternity spent with a loving Father, we will be looking extensively at what is written in Scripture about Truth, Goodness, and Beauty. We will also be unafraid to compare Scripture to worldly writings and standards of these concepts in preparing our students to be leaders for Christ in this existence as well.