Sunday, February 14, 2016

Truth, Beauty, and Goodness For the Glory of God

Truth, Beauty, Goodness.

I hear this phrase over and over again as a Charlotte Mason/Classical homeschooler. I use it myself. It is one of my highest aims in teaching my children: that they will learn to know and love what is good, and true, and beautiful.

We study math because it is beautiful (oh yes, it is!), and true, and good, not because we must in order for our children to get jobs in the STEM-oriented marketplace when they are grown up. (They may do so, and I will be thankful, but that is not our primary aim.)

We study things that seemingly have no usefulness in passing tests now and getting good jobs later on. We store up beautiful paintings in the galleries of our minds, we listen to glorious music, we revel in words skillfully woven into poetry. We do this to grow as people, to learn to recognize what truly is beautiful, and good, and true, and to develop love for these things.

And yet we do not pursue truth, beauty and goodness for their own sake. As Christians, we pursue these things for the glory of God.

Truth, beauty, and goodness are the glory of God. God is their author. Jesus is The Truth, the ultimate manifestation of God's goodness, the altogether lovely.

Truth, beauty, and goodness matter, but not for their own sake. Anyone can pursue truth, beauty, and goodness, but it will all be worthless in the end if the foundation is wrong.

For no one can lay a foundation other than that which is laid, which is Jesus Christ. Now if anyone builds on the foundation with gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, straw— each one’s work will become manifest, for the Day will disclose it, because it will be revealed by fire, and the fire will test what sort of work each one has done. If the work that anyone has built on the foundation survives, he will receive a reward. If anyone’s work is burned up, he will suffer loss, though he himself will be saved, but only as through fire. - 1 Corinthians 3:12-15

Paul is speaking of teaching in the church, but I believe it applies just as well to the teaching we give to our children. I pray that I am building something that will last, even in the teaching I do every day.

The math we study in our homeschool shows forth the glory of the order He built into His creation. The creativity displayed in the music, and art, and poetry we study are a reflection of His glorious creation and of the wonder of man being made in the image of God.

It is for Christ and his kingdom that we seek after truth, beauty, and goodness. It is for God's glory that we love these things, because He is the origin of all that is good, and true, and beautiful in this world.

May we never forget why we are doing what we're doing in our homeschools.