Standing on our build site! Lord willing, next Christmas this photo will include a new home!
The Moscow-Pullman Daily News ran this article, which quoted me:
Christ Church carolers fill Friendship Square for hour of singing, fellowship
By Taylor Nadauld, Daily News Staff Writer
Members of Christ Church gathered in an hour of song for the church’s annual Christmas caroling event Saturday afternoon at Friendship Square in Moscow.
Volunteer Curtis Spencer carried a stack of carol booklets in his arms, passing them out to people in the crowd as they sang “O Come, O Come, Emmanuel,” one of several Christmas-themed hymns in an hour-long lineup of caroling.
“There’s a few scripture readings, passages of the Christmas story from the Bible, and then we’ll end with fellowshiping, drinking cocoa and eating cookies,” Spencer said.
A member came to the front of the crowd in between songs, reading scripture to the audience from a megaphone near a frosted evergreen in the square.
Above the many voices, friends and New Saint Andrews College classmates James Goode and Caleb Harris could be heard belting harmonies during each hymn.
“We were trying,” Harris said with a laugh. “We’re like that in church, too,” to which Goode added, “If you’re going to sing, you might as well sing loud.”
For Harris and Goode, the annual caroling event is not just about singing, but about teachings of Jesus Christ, who Christians believe to be the son of God and whose birth is celebrated on Christmas.
“We are here to spread the news to the world that Jesus is king, that he has died on the cross for our sins, and we can’t keep that in — we’re happy about it,” Harris said.
At the front of the crowd, Daniel Foucachon photographed the carolers with his cellphone. A frequent attendee and unofficial photographer of the event, Foucachon said the church sings in the square about four times per year, but its Christmas caroling event is special, as it includes hymns many passersby will recognize.
“Christmas is a time where just about everyone is happy to talk about something that Christians are celebrating every week, all year round,” Foucachon said.
The carolers wrapped up with “Joy to the World! The Lord is Come,” before ending in prayer and warming up from the surrounding snow with some hot chocolate.
Taylor Nadauld can be reached at (208) 883-4630, by email to tnadauld at dnews.com and on Twitter @tnadauldarg.
We have an election coming up in Moscow! This November 7th, we will be deciding who will be meeting every Monday at the City Council meetings and deciding about policies, permits, laws, levies, taxes, and infrastructure that affect us daily in Moscow. This is an important election!
I moved to Moscow in 2005, which is long enough to have observed the direct effect anti-business, “progressive” politicians can have on a small city. I wasn’t the only one noticing. In 2013 the Greater Moscow Alliance released an economic report showing the harm of the anti-growth politicians running our city. Thankfully, we got a new mayor that election year (our current mayor Bill Lambert) and the GMA just released a new study and is happy to announce that “Moscow’s economy [is] “thriving,” pro-business climate pay[ing] dividends“. Your vote made a difference!
I fully concur with the GMA endorsement of all incumbents. Please get out and vote! Let’s keep Moscow thriving and economically healthy. I offer this simple voting guide in case it’s helpful.
Where to vote? Latah County Fairgrounds, from 8 am to 8 pm, on November 7th.
Read the full 2017 Report from the GMA or the Executive Summary on their website.
For City Council, four-year term:
For City Council, two-year Term:
As Christians recover classical Christian education, they are unearthing old treasures, once the possession of every educated man. Some of these treasures are words and descriptions–terms like “Trivium” and “Quadrivium,” “paideia,” and “liberal arts.” Of all these terms, “liberal arts” lays at the heart of what classical education is all about. So what did our forefathers mean by “liberal arts”?
The word liberal has nothing to do with our modern use of the word in politics and culture. Liberal means “free,” and historically described the kind of education expected of a freeman–especially one in a position of leadership, like nobility. Our culture has so alienated itself from a historic education that it’s very difficult for us to think of education without thinking of jobs and vocational training.
Christians of previous generations viewed education, and themselves, differently. The opening lines of the Westminster Shorter Catechism would have been familiar to nearly every child in early America: “The chief end of man is to glorify God and enjoy him forever.” That is who we are: worshiping beings, who delight in God. Or to use Dr. Atwood’s conclusion to the question “who are you?”, we are royalty, heirs of Christ. And we should educate our children in that light.
Some may object that this identity is a fine thing, but has nothing to do with education. “How does it help you get a job? How is it useful?” In 1646, the founders of Harvard College defined education in their “Rules and Precepts” in this way:
“Let every Student be plainly instructed, and earnestly pressed to consider well, the maine end of his life and studies is, to know God and Jesus Christ which is eternal life (John 17:3) and therefore to lay Christ in the bottome, as the only foundation of all sound knowledge and Learning.”
Christ is both the source and the goal of education.
“Who are you?” We are liberal (free) Christians, pursuing wisdom and virtue through the interwoven arts of theology (study of the knowledge of God) and humanities (study of ourselves and of mankind). “Knowledge of God and knowledge of self” is how John Calvin sets the stage for his Institutes of the Christian Religion, and is also how Harvard and other universities in the United States prior to the 1900s set the foundation for education.
So the term “liberal” points to the purpose of education and our identity. But what precisely does this looks like.
If the foundation of education is knowledge of self and knowledge of God, how might the liberal arts help us in this endeavor? The Liberal Arts are an education in first principles–in the foundations of things. The Western heritage is the cultural soil into which Christ was made flesh, and the common inheritance of all God’s people. This specifically means recovering an education which includes Plato and Aristotle, Aquinas and Dante, Augustine and Boethius, Cicero and Plutarch, Homer and Vergil, Milton and Shakespeare. These and many others are so much woven into the fiber of ourselves and our culture that we cannot truly know ourselves without knowing them. It includes the classical study of logic, rhetoric, grammar, and language. These disciplines inform our understanding of the written and spoken word, the means God gave us for understanding Himself and ourselves.
We may have only recently re-discovered this birthright, but it is not presumptuous to receive this rich heritage as our own. Our culture is in full-blown identity crisis. The liberal arts educate our children in their identity, giving them the tools to understand the world around them in wisdom and virtue. And with this education in first principles–these freeing, liberal arts not defined by usefulness–our children will possess tools of learning that are surprisingly useful in a confused world.
This article is an adapted excerpt from chapter one of A Better Admissions Test: Raising the Standard for College Entrance Exams, published by the Classical Learning Initiative and Mudhouse Press.
A friend ran into this argument:
“Can you give biblical reasons for not having someone watch your ONE YEAR and 2-month-old child while you’re in church? Come on man. 14-months-old?? Can you tell me exactly what you think you are accomplishing by having a 14-month-old in church?”
He responded simply with Bible references.
Have you not read?
“Call a solemn assembly; gather the people. Consecrate the congregation; assemble the elders; gather the children, even nursing infants.” -Joel 2:15-16
“And Jesus said to them, ‘Yes; have you never read, ‘Out of the mouth of infants and nursing babies you have prepared praise’?” -Matthew 21:16
“Now they were bringing even infants to him that he might touch them. And when the disciples saw it, they rebuked them. But Jesus called them to him, saying, “Let the children come to me, and do not hinder them, for to such belongs the kingdom of God. Truly, I say to you, whoever does not receive the kingdom of God like a child shall not enter it.” -Luke 18:15-17
“There was not a word of all that Moses commanded that Joshua did not read before all the assembly of Israel, and the women, and the little ones, and the sojourners who lived among them.” -Joshua 8:35
“Assemble the people, men, women, and little ones, and the sojourner within your towns, that they may hear and learn to fear the Lord your God, and be careful to do all the words of this law, and that their children, who have not known it, may hear and learn to fear the Lord your God, as long as you live in the land that you are going over the Jordan to possess.” -Deuteronomy 31:12-13
“Meanwhile all Judah stood before the Lord, with their little ones, their wives, and their children.” -2 Chronicles 20:13
“While Ezra prayed and made confession, weeping and casting himself down before the house of God, a very great assembly of men, women, and children, gathered to him out of Israel, for the people wept bitterly.” -Ezra 10:1
“When our days there were ended, we departed and went on our journey, and they all, with wives and children, accompanied us until we were outside the city. And kneeling down on the beach, we prayed and said farewell to one another.” -Acts 21:5-6
Ephesians 6 assumes that children would be present at the reading of the letter to the congregation.
Children were present at Jesus’ preaching (Matt 14:21).
Keep your kids in Church! The Kingdom of God belongs to such as these. The elements of a service are didactic even if they don’t have full comprehension. What they will quickly gain is the knowledge that “these are my people, this is where I belong, this is the Body of Christ where I worship God.” It may take years for them to put that into words, but they understand it as surely as they understand that they belong at your dinner table. Have you ever tried removing a one-year-old from a dinner table full of older siblings? They know to whom they belong. They have an incredible ability to discern the Body.
It was a real privilege to contribute to A Better Admissions Test: Raising the Standard for College Entrance Exams by Classic Learning Initiatives! It was especially delightful when my search for a primary source brought me to the University of Idaho special collections, and the inaugural address of Frederick Kelley, President of the University of Idaho in 1928. Kelley, the original creator of the standardized exam in 1915, changed his views with age and wisdom, and spent the latter part of his career advocating for classical liberal arts.
My chapter (Chapter 1) gives a brief history of entrance exams in the United States, starting with an overview of the classical liberal arts, a needed foundation to understand the change brought about by standardized testing.
Robert Bortins of Classical Conversations said it best about this book: “A must read for anyone in education or admissions who is brave enough to admit that things aren’t quite right in higher education any more.”
If you’re familiar with N.D. Wilson’s children’s novels, you know you’re in for a treat with The River Thief, his first feature film.
This film breaks from the typical Christian film by telling a good story first and foremost. A lost, father-hungry boy discovering true love. Not the sappy, romantic love of your typical Hollywood flick (this girl wouldn’t have any of that), but rather the kind of love that creates a longing to live or die for someone else (something new for Diz).
A wonderful family film, although there are some rough scenes. My 7-year-old son was spellbound, and somewhat affected by the rough parts. Yet this is the kind of story that is healthy. The emotion, drama, and violence of this *good* story are like emotional boot camp; it allows a young boy or girl to experience these emotions of grief and fear along with the positive life lesson that a good story provides.
As a resident of the Northwest where this was shot, I also appreciated the cinematography, which was outstanding! Beautiful aerial views in particular.
I highly recommend The River Thief!
In 1646 Harvard University adopted the following words, based on their mission statement, as part of their “Rules and Precepts”:
Let every Student be plainly instructed, and earnestly pressed to consider well, the maine end of his life and studies is, to know God and Jesus Christ which is eternal life (John 17:3) and therefore to lay Christ in the bottome, as the only foundation of all sound knowledge and Learning. And seeing the Lord only giveth wisedome, Let every one seriously set himself by prayer in secret to seeke it of him (Prov. 2:3).
Thoroughly dedicated to Scriptures as the source of all Truth, Harvard sought to equip ministers and laymen with the tools for being effective citizens in the world, to the glory of God. How did they do this? Through classical education.
Some Christians hear about “classical” or “liberal arts” education, and assume it is an ancient, pre-Christian form of education. Historically liberal arts, meaning “freeing arts”, was the education of a freeman or nobleman, while vocational education was for a slave or serf. Some object that it is a pagan way to educate children, as opposed to Christian, and that “Classical Christian” is simply some kind of syncretism or oxymoron. Not only is this untrue, but it is ironically untrue. In order to dismiss “classical education” as pagan, you have to dismiss the entire history of Christianity in regards to education. The founding fathers of the United States provide a clear example. Not only were they classically educated themselves, but they considered classical education to be an important component to being a faithful, educated Christian. The entrance exam below, paired with the mission statement of Harvard, demonstrates this:
The HISTORY AND GEOGRAPHY portion of the Entrance Exam for Harvard University, July 1869.
I. Bound the basin of the Po, of the Mississippi, of the St. Lawrence.
II. Name the chief rivers of Ancient Gaul and Modern France. Is France later or smaller than Transalpine Gaul? What are the two principal rivers that rise in the Alps? Where is the Mount Blanc?
III. Where is the Source of the Danube? of the Volga? of the Ganges? of the Amazon?
IV. Describe the route of the Ten Thousand, or lay it down on a map.
V. Leonidas, Pausanias, Lysander.
VI. Pharsalia, Philippi, Actium, — geographically and historically
VII. Supply the two names left bank in the following passage from the Oration for the Manilian Law:
“Non dicam duas urbes potentissimas, Carthaginem et Numantiam ab eodem ________ esse deletas; non commemorabo nuper ita vobis patribusque esse visum, ut in uno _________ spes imperii poneretur, ut idem cum Jugurtha, idem cum Cimbris, idem cum Teutonis bellum administraret.” Who was Jugurtha? Where was Numantia?
VIII. Compare Athens with Sparta?
IX. Pericles: —the Man and his Policy.
See the entire exam (all subjects) HERE (PDF).
Students would answer from their knowledge of Julius Ceasar’s Gallic Wars in Latin, Xenophon’s Anabasis in Greek, and from the historians Herodotus and Thucydides. It was this education that enabled the American founding fathers to intentionally reject the (failed) “experiment in democracy” of ancient Athens, and to instead build a Constitutional and representative Republic, which was more like the Republic of Rome. Classical education shaped men like George Washington, and John Adams. But the Founders were not returning to something merely ancient. They were continuing the tradition of classical education as it was handed down from the earliest of Christian history, starting with the Apostles themselves, and going into the early Church, and on into the Middle Ages, and particularly strong among the Protestant Reformers. As little as 60-70 years ago, it was still taken for granted that an educated person would have a classical education. The idea that education would not be classical, or that classical education is opposed to Christian education, is a very novel and modern idea.
Wondering how to give your children the kind of education that would allow them to pass the entrance exam to Harvard in 1869? Roman Roads Media is the right place.
Christian, is your child in a public school facing yet another wave of attacks on sanity and religious freedom? Will your daughter be using the restroom alongside a disturbed boy who “identifies” as a girl?
It’s time to opt out!
I’m not going to spend time making the case that you should opt out. I really hope that Christians are seeing that in most situations today, this is the obvious conclusion. But rather, I want to answer the objection “what is the alternative?” How do we opt out?
It may not be easy, and some situations are harder than others, but there are incredible opportunities available today to give your children a CHRISTIAN education. You really CAN opt out! More than ever before in history, parents are equipped with the tools to make this possible, whether books, video courses, online courses, curriculums for every learning style, and of course, private schools. There is a solution for just about every situation, every budget, and every style of learning. All of these scenarios require dedication, but nearly every true obsticle is now removed.
I have dedicated my own career to providing one answer to this question. Through the company I founded, Roman Roads Media, we provide Christian classical curriculum designed specifically for the homeschool, with an emphasis on video and online learning. Our speciality is 6-12 grade classical subjects.
It’s now obvious WHY you should #optout of #publicshools – but here’s HOW you can do it
But we are one of many. Let me name you just a few of my friends, all doing their part to answer this question:
For Private schools:
Can you not afford the education? There are ways: scholarships, talk to your church, or talk to me if you’re interested in our curriculum.
But please, Christian, #OPTOUT! For the dedicated parent, there are always opportunies. And I will help any way I can.
Founder, Roman Roads Media,
publisher of Christian classical curriculum
Eileen was too weak to go to church, so we brought the worship to her window this evening, with three hymns of her choosing. Her battle with cancer has been an incredible testimony of her faith. Read Mike’s latest update here.
From Rachel Jankovic:
We gathered to sing today to a dear saint who is in the final stages of cancer and can no longer come to worship with us. A paltry earthly choir to send her off – only a small picture of the far more glorious choir gathered to receive her. Eileen Lawyer – we love you and we will miss you! Thank you for having lived so well with the time you had. Packing a much longer lifetime of serving the saints into the time God planned for you. May we all be so fruitful, may we all be so faithful, and may we all love as fiercely -May God grant us the grace to follow in your train.
“A noble army, men and boys,
the matron and the maid,
around the Savior’s throne rejoice,
in robes of light arrayed.
They climbed the steep ascent of heaven,
through peril, toil and pain;
O God, to us may grace be given,
to follow in their train.”
Welcome to the 2016 Great Books Challenge for Parents! This Challenge is for any parent, but especially for parents who plan to classically homeschool their children, or who are currently homeschooling their children.
Classical homeschoolers love Old Western Culture because they see their children coming to the dinner table full of stories, and thirsty for knowledge and wisdom. Make 2016 the year classical learning comes alive in your home, and earn free curriculum in the process!
Last year’s Great Books Challenge, centered around Virgil’s Aeneid, was a tremendous success! This year we are going to continue and build upon that challenge, adding the following unit, Romans: The Historians, to the challenge. Romans: The Historians, covers the most famous men of Rome, as well as the history of Rome, the persecution of the early Christians, and how the Roman empire influenced the West, especially the founding of the United States.
If you complete the challenge by December 31st, 2016, you will qualify for a free unit from the Old Western Culture curriculum, which includes the video set ($56 value), the workbook ($12), and the accompanying Reader ($22 value).
This Great Books Challenge is not a race, however the first three parents to finish the challenge and fill the form on this page will receive a special prize!
To help you get started, we are offering 20% off the price of the materials associated with the Challenge. Enter code “challenge2016” during checkout for a 20% discount on all items related to the Challenge (DVD set, Workbook, and Reader).
We are convinced that parents who use Old Western Culture will LOVE it. And when a parent loves a curriculum, they tell their friends. And word-of-mouth is the BEST way to let people know about this curriculum. We’re spending most of our time making this the best literature curriculum available, and we need help spreading the word. So help us by USING it, and telling your friends!
Click HERE (link coming soon) to fill out the form when you have completed the challenge. The form includes an option for choosing your free unit.
I’m including a few comments from parents who finished last year’s Great Books Challenge for Parents.
Originally appeared on Roman Roads Media Blog. Written by Daniel Foucachon.
Mark Twain is attributed with the saying “Those who don’t read have no advantage over those who can’t.”
We are now a couple generations away from our forefathers who abandoned classical education. We are now the generation that does not even know what it has lost. Wes Callihan gives a glimpse at the kind of richness we have lost in this excerpt from the Old Western Culture curriculum on the great books of Western civilization. If you don’t study the classics, you have no advantage over those who can’t. Roman Roads Media provides tools to help you accomplish this task! Get started today!
Originally appeared on Roman Roads Media blog. Written by Daniel Foucachon.
This was fun 🙂
I was hunting elk, using a cow elk call, and every time I called a (seemingly annoyed) Turkey responded. SO FUNNY!
Copyright Daniel Foucachon 2016
I would like to tell you something about my mother and about me. Homeschooling mothers have to be self-sacrificial, hard-working, and patient. I want to share how these qualities in my mother blessed my life in a particular way. For whatever reason (some people would affix a three or four letter acronym to this), I was just not ready to read when most boys and girls normally learn to read.
It wasn’t that she wasn’t trying hard enough, or that she was not qualified (truth be told, she graduated Summa Cum Laude from Gordon College, and taught at Winter Park High School – she is over-qualified!). For whatever reason, I simply wasn’t ready–I was just not grasping the careful and articulate lessons she taught me. She patiently continued to teach me from 6-10 years old. When I was about 10 years old everything suddenly clicked into place. I was ready to read, and took off!
Years later, I now have BA in Liberal Arts and Culture from New Saint Andrews College, a particularly vigorous program in terms of reading, requiring an estimated 20,000 pages of reading in Freshman year alone. The pile of required books every Freshman reads reach higher than the average student when stacked. And I loved it. I thrived. I am a voracious reader.
The amazing thing, however, is not that I was late, but that I never knew it. It was only years later that I looked back and realized that most kids learned to read earlier than I did. I had no idea. And that’s when I realized just how much love and care and patience it took my mother to continue teaching me, worrying about the delay, and yet plodding on. It turned out, nothing was “wrong with me.” I was perfectly normal, and just needed time. Had I been in public school I would have been acutely aware of my “slowness.” It wasn’t easy for my mother to homeschool all 5 of us kids in 5 different grades, while also being a pastor’s wife overseas. But it was an incredible gift to me. Thank you!
Now married to another bibliophile, we are inundated with books. We have more books than our bookshelves can hold. Piles of books on every subject: fiction, history, philosophy, literature, theology, how-to’s, The Great Books, classics, etc. And we’ve read the majority of them!
If you are a parent with a late reader, don’t assume there is a problem. Obviously sometimes there can be true issues, ranging from physical, physiological, or even just plain old laziness. But I believe many children are cast into a mold that simply doesn’t fit them. When we force them into that mold, we are hurting them, not helping them. Sometimes they just need time. I did!
Founder and CEO, Roman Roads Media
January 8th, 2013.
The Bible bids us come and eat. “Take, eat, this is my body”. Jesus gave the bread, not only to his disciples, but also to Judas. They were all one in Christ, and Christ bid them all come. But eleven were blessed, and one was cursed. In his letter to Corinth, Paul is giving directions for how the Supper is to be taken, and he tells the church of Corinth not to take the Body of the Lord in an unworthy manner lest they bring judgment upon themselves. What is Paul saying? First of all, the Supper is to be taken when the saints, the Body of Christ gather. Secondly they are to exemplify the unity represented by the Supper in their conduct, for if not their conduct lies about the nature of the body of Christ which is unified. God is One, and the Body of Christ must be One with each other and with the Father. If a man is not in communion with his brother, then he ought to be reunited, lest he lie about the meaning of the Supper he is about to partake. What a more fitting opportunity to repent of faction than before the Table which represents the unity of the church? What is the last thing for a saint to do before the table of the Lord? Abstain.
To abstain is to cut oneself off from the people of God, which in affect fulfills Paul’s warning. He reproached them for coming together with lack of unity, how much less unified is the Body of Christ when certain members are watching, and “partaking in heart”? The point of the Supper is the remembrance of the death of Christ. That death, because of the breaking of Christ’s body on the cross, now unites together believers who have been washed through baptism in the blood of Christ. Christ’s body was broken so that many might be un-broken and unified with Him. The command to all that are in the body is to come, eat, and drink. As a father invites his children to the Sabbath Meal, so Christ invites us to his table. May no child say, “No thanks dad, I’ll just watch you all eat.” Let us first of all obey the clear command to come, and secondly, let us do so in a worthy manner.
January 8, 2007
Written early Monday morning after reflecting upon a Baptist worship service from the day before.
While President Cleveland was in office, a portion of the state of Texas had undergone a drought. Congress proposed a bill that would give the people of that region the modest, yet effective sum of $10,000 for seed. On February 17, 1887, President Cleveland vetoed that bill saying:
“It is the represented that a long-continued and extensive drought has existed in certain portions of the State of Texas, resulting in a failure of crops, and consequent distress and destitution.
Though there has been some difference in statements concerning the extent of the people’s needs in the localities thus affected, there seems to be no doubt that there has existed a condition calling for relief; and I am willing to believe that, notwithstanding the aid already furnished, a donation of seed grain to the farmers located in this region, to enable them to put in new crops, would serve to avert a continuence or return of unfortunate blight.
And yet I feel obliged to withhold my approval of the plan, as proposed by this bill, to indulge a benevolent and charitable sentiment through the appropriation of public funds for that purpose.
I can find no warrant for such an appropriation in the Constitution, and I do not believe that the power and duty of the General Government ought to be extended to the relief of individual suffering which is in no manner properly related to the public service or benefit.
A prevalent tendency to disregard this limited mission of this power and duty should, I think, be steadfastly resisted, to the end that the lesson should be constantly enforced that though the people support the Government the Government should not support the people.
The friendliness and charity of our countrymen can always be relied upon to relieve their fellow-citizens in misfortune. This has been repeatedly and quite lately demonstrated. Federal aid in such cases encourages the expectation of paternal care on the part of the Government and weakens the sturdiness of our national character while it prevents the indulgence among our people of that kindly sentiment and conduct which strengthens the bonds of a common brotherhood.
President Cleveland – 1887