I love education. I’ve spent the better part of my life in school. I go to universities in order to minister to students. My wife and I homeschool our 9 children and we are about to graduate our two oldest this year. I taught at Trinity Baptist College on campus in Jacksonville, FL and now I teach for them online. StandardSacredText.com exists as a means of education. Education has been and is a huge part of my life.
As part of my academic pursuits I enjoy studying and discussing the philosophy of education. My wife knowing this has recently gifted to me a rather large book entitled, The Great Tradition. This book is an anthology of excerpts from the Great Books of the Western World on the topic of education. The dedication of this books reads,
“To Thomas J. St. Antoine, a teacher with the courage to make students unfit for the modern world.”The Great Tradition ed. Richard M. Gamble, (Wilmington, DE: ISI Books, 2012), The Dedication.
Perhaps the more skeptical reader would consider the above dedication a kind of Backwoods Manifesto. “What do you mean unfit for the modern world?” “Do you mean unfit for modern medicine or modern automobiles or the 24-hour news cycle?” But these questions miss the point entirely. Rather the point of the above dedication and the point of the book as a whole is to expose and remind the reader of the aim of education. And that aim is to cultivate students in the good, the true, and the beautiful. In other words, not that the student be educated in how to possess an excellent skill but that the student be educated in how to be an excellent soul. Education has become a mere means to getting a job whether that be an engineer, a physician, or a pastor.
This we have abandoned in the modern western education in simple point of fact that we have ignored or rejected the existence of a soul in most of our western educational institutions. Man is no longer considered a soul that has a body, but rather a mere body that has no soul. As such, modern western education has abandoned any meaningful attempt to cultivate excellent souls in America’s students via the good, the true, and the beautiful. And while this abandonment is fitting in order to be modern it is not fitting in order to be human.
May we then have the courage to make students unfit for the modern world.
On the point of the Standard Sacred Text, we hope to give you a glimpse into why we don’t believe it is the old words of the KJV that are the problem. Rather, the problem is that many who read the Bible have been made fitting students of the modern world both in private and Christian educational institutions. We believe the primary social problem in the rejection of a standard sacred text is not the words of the KJV but the systemic failure on the part of most western educational institutions, secular and Christian, to build up and foster excellent souls.
The solution then is to be the kind of teachers and students with the courage sufficient to make and be students unfit for the modern world. And in a world which finds moral standards and theological dogmatism unfit let us begin with the Bible and with a standard sacred text of Scripture.