Updated: Mar 9
Dear Veritas Families,
The last two weeks have seen a new chapter in the social unrest in the US and around the world, after the entire world has been put on a pause through the COVID-19.
Whatever impact both of these turmoils are having on us as communities and individuals, it is a wake-up call on two harsh realities of life: the fragility of both the physical and the socio-political aspects of human life. Both are results of sin. Sin brought both the natural chaos and socio-political chaos into this world. And it will continue to rage until the end of the world.
There are no quick solutions to these problems. Even if a vaccine for COVID-19 is discovered, we can be threatened by other new viruses and other forms of natural disasters. For the problem of racism, we all know the problems are deeper than socio-political aspects.
At the core of the problems that we are facing is our loss or lack of humanity. COVID-19 situation is testing how we should respond as human beings. The protests and riots are testing the same. How should we treat one another as human beings in the midst of trials? How can we bring justice and mercy at the same time? How can we truly be reconciled to one another at a deeper level than merely “social justice”.
I believe God is using these two situations to wake us up to the underlying problems, as well as to the underlying solution: a Christ-centered liberal arts education.
When we look back in history, it was during some of the greatest times of socio-political turmoils that we have seen major educational reforms. In the 4th and 5th century, in the wake of the fall of Rome, non-Christians were blaming Christians for the fall of Rome, and Augustine responded with a clear vision of the City of God, and laid out a vision for classical Christian education in his De Doctrina Christiana. In the 8th century, when England was being terrorized by the Vikings, Charlemagne called Alcuin of York to bring about an educational reform that led to social and political stability. In the 15th century, when Italy was at the peak of their tribal warfare, Renaissance along with educational reforms brought stability in the land. At the beginning of the 20th century, when WW II was about to break out, C. S. Lewis gave a speech about the importance of learning during war-time, a period which gave birth to the flourishing of Christian literature from the pens of Chesterton, Lewis, Tolkien, and Dorothy Sayers, which led to the current revival of classical education.
Thus, we can take heart in the face of great upheavals of our time. It did not happen by accident. In fact, historically and providentially viewed, it happened for a great purpose. We need a wake up call to see what are the roots of the problems of our generation, and return to the fundamentals of raising up a generation that loves the Lord and that is armed with the tools of learning, so that they can bring about a fresh time of revival in the world, as it has happened before.