History: A Moral Requirement

Quote

The study of history is a moral requirement for Christians. 
Think of the Israelites who were required to remember the past. 
Think of Paul in the NT: ‘These things were written for our instruction.’

- Wesley Callihan, Porch of our Fathers

History: A Moral Obligation

Preparing Younger Kids for a Great Books Education

Preparing Younger Children for a Great Books EducationOne question that often comes up as we talk to parents of younger children is “How do I prepare my younger children for a Classical (Great Books) education?”

What a great question! There is a lot to consider: do my kids need to learn Latin and Greek, do they need to be learning ancient history now, do we need to study the Trivium (grammar, rhetoric, and dialectic) in elementary?

To help families with younger children, we’ve published a wonderful e-book by one of the top thought leaders and teachers in the world of classical, Christian education today - Wes Callihan of Schola Classical Tutorials, as well as the author of the Old Western Culture curriculum.

The e-book is called “How to Prepare Younger Children for a Great Books Education” and we would love to share it with you for free.  

First Name
Email *
email marketing by activecampaign

Proclaiming Claudius Emperor

Claudius, the 4th emperor of Rome, had to be dragged out from behind curtains where he was hiding in order to be proclaimed emperor by the Praetorian Guard. A bookish man, preferring to write and study history, Claudius did not want to be emperor. After all, many of the previous emperors had been killed by rivals. It is said that Claudius, a partially crippled man from birth, accentuated his condition so as not to appear a rival to Caligula who had been killing other heirs. In the end, Claudius’ fears were not unfounded, for he was assassinated himself.

Taken from Lesson 1 (An Overview of Roman History) of The Aeneid, Unit I of The Romans in the Old Western Culture literature curriculum.

Proclaiming Claudius Emperor

Taken from The Aeneid, part I of The Romans, year 2 of the Old Western Culture literature curriculum for high school. Painting by Lawrence Alma-Tadema. A.D. 1867.

A Tour of Wes Callihan’s Personal Library

The Great BooksWes Callihan gives a tour of his personal library, located at his home (also known as Hill Abbey) in Potlatch, Idaho.

This tour also doubles as a mini-lecture on a philosophy of the “Great Books.” Wes explains why his collection is slightly different than Mortimer Adler’s Great Books set (University of Chicago Press).

Wes Callihan organizes his library chronologically by time period, in part so that he can brush his fingers through the “leafs of time.” Enjoy this tour!

YouTube version HERE.

A Chronological Confession of Faith

ADVENT SEASON AND THE CHURCH YEAR
Guest post by Wesley Callihan

The Advent season marks the beginning of the church year. As my pastor said once, one of the most important things we can learn in our celebration of the seasons of the church year is the basic truth that calendars are not silent – they always tell a story. Calendars are not neutral. The question is, what story do they tell? Or to ask it another way, who is the Lord of time and does our answer show in the way we mark the passing of time?

Philip Schaff, one of the greatest of modern church historians, says about the church calendar that it centers on and elevates the the person and work of Jesus Christ and His glory. It developed as a yearly representation of the main events of the gospel history; the birth, passion, and resurrection of Christ and the outpouring of the Holy Spirit, as well as an exhibition of the life of the Christian church, its founding, growth, and consummation, as a whole and in its individuals, from regeneration to the resurrection of the dead. 

“THE CHURCH YEAR IS, SO TO SPEAK, A CHRONOLOGICAL CONFESSION OF FAITH; a moving panorama of the great events of salvation; a dramatic exhibition of the gospel for the Christian people. It secures to every important article of faith its place in the cultus of the church, and conduces to wholeness and soundness of Christian doctrine, as against all unbalanced and erratic ideas. It serves to interweave religion with the, life of the people by continually recalling to the popular mind the most important events upon which our salvation rests, and by connecting them with the vicissitudes of the natural and the civil year.” - Philip Schaff

“THE CHURCH YEAR IS, SO TO SPEAK, A CHRONOLOGICAL CONFESSION OF FAITH; a moving panorama of the great events of salvation; a dramatic exhibition of the gospel for the Christian people. It secures to every important article of faith its place in the cultus of the church, and conduces to wholeness and soundness of Christian doctrine, as against all unbalanced and erratic ideas. It serves to interweave religion with the, life of the people by continually recalling to the popular mind the most important events upon which our salvation rests, and by connecting them with the vicissitudes of the natural and the civil year.”

Though the Scriptures contain no warrant for the festivals of the church year (neither does it contain anything that would forbid them so long as they are not presented by the church as binding on the conscience of the believer),

Saints and Feasts of Church Calendar

Saints and Feasts of Church Calendar, circa 1500. Unknown painter

the Old Testament patterns of religious practice are a precedent, and the necessity of at least some kind of Christian worship and public life demands that we think about how we mark the passing of time. The Anglican/Episcopalian Book of Common Prayer says in its preface that the church year and other extra-Biblical practices of the church are not binding on the conscience but legitimate uses of the church to promote faith.

Unfortunately, the church calendar became so overlarded with saints days and other festivals in the middle ages that the Reformation leaders felt the necessity of restoring an earlier simplicity, but there was never any question of abandoning the church year entirely, as that would simply hand over the keeping of cultural time to the unbelieving world.

Written by Wesley Callihan, originally appearing in Scholegium, Vol. 1.2

Refuting the Syncretistic View of the Great Books | Wes Callihan

What is the source of truth? Wes Callihan explains the error of some proponents of the great books, who seek to find truth in a syncretistic approach to the Great Books.

Why are the great books valuable to read? Is it because in them we find truth? Wes Callihan rejects the notion that we find truth in a syncretistic approach to the great books, yet explains why they are still valuable to read, study and enjoy. Among other things, they point us to truth, even though they are not the source of truth.

Why are the great books valuable to read? Is it because in them we find truth? Wes Callihan rejects the notion that we find truth in a syncretistic approach to the great books, yet explains why they are still valuable to read, study and enjoy. Among other things, they point us to truth, even though they are not the source of truth.

The Unusual Use of the Trireme in Thucydides

In this excerpt from The Histories, unit 2 of The Greeks in the Old Western Culture great books series, Wes Callihan talks about the unusual use of the Trireme in this episode from Thucydides that saved the people of a city from certain death.

 The Unusual Use of the Trireme in Thucydides

Triremes had very cramped spaces, and were not intended for long voyages. This is why the Greeks had outposts throughout the Mediterranean and Aegean so that they could restock regularly. The extended trip from this story in Thucydides is very unusual.