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New Free Offering: School and Classroom Biblical Theory and Methods

After a considerable delay, I have finally posted comprehensive manuscript School and Classroom Theory and Method. Okay, it’s more important and interesting than it sounds. This new post puts our extremely effective Teacher Training program on the classroom into print for the first time.

Admittedly, it is still  a rough draft, hurriedly posted so that it might be available to interested ministries.

Blessings,

Ron

Whole Gospel?

I’ve long believed and argued that even for people who believe the faith of Christ is essentially otherworldly, that a Christ-centered, kingdom oriented view and practice of life is necessary to the fullest exercise of the Gospel and Great Commission. Yes, it should be clear that Christianity is neither merely spiritual nor merely social. Love God; love neighbor. Ten Commandments. Salt and light. Love your enemy. Faith and works. Thy kingdom come; Thy will be done on earth. The government is on His shoulder. He ministers to the orphan, widow and captives. He has shown thee what is good (Mic 6:8). He rules in the midst of His enemies (Ps 110). Christ’s kingdom began when He sent His Holy Spirit to work in us and effect His grace through us (John 14:12). Christianity is spiritual, with a down-payment of fruit in the earth. The early American Puritan could keep his hand on the plow and his eye on heaven. Both/and.

But even if one doesn’t accept a lively expression of the faith in the world or an optimistic eschatology, it should be clear that everything we say and do is influential in others and either hinders the Gospel or encourages it. Jesus did not only preach: He lived (Luke 7:35 (18-35)). Faith comes by hearing and hearing by the Word of God. What if Christ’s people understood His Word so well that they applied it to everything? (1 Cor 10:31). Wouldn’t that multiply the effect of hearing the Word? Add to that seeing good fruit from its practice, and now you have a system of evangelization that works everywhere, all the time, in everything you do. In fact, Christianity has a better mousetrap. Because its God is the Lord, it must produce better fruit (Deut 4:6). So then, what keeps us from learning how to think Biblically about and apply our faith to everything?

Is a work that helps people systematically to do this supportable?

Update on Uganda Ministry

Dear Friends,

A report and update on our lives and work for Christ is perhaps overdue.

Christina and I have now finished several months of greatly downsizing two generations and two households as Christina’s parents moved on to an assisted living/nursing care home. We were caretakers for nearly seven years. My in-laws are now comfortable in a really nice, hospitality-model living arrangement well prepared to take care of their needs. We are now empty nesters for the first time in 37 years!

While finishing up the move into our much smaller home in Ventura, we hosted our dear friends Godfrey Kyazze and Dr. Gillian Kasirye from Kampala, Uganda, for intense training in our systematic Biblical approach to education. They are the principals in the teachers college and educational advocacy work known as Master’s Institute for Education. We all worked very hard and very productively.

I have always found the importance of our life’s work very difficult to communicate.

In order to establish a thoroughly Biblical system of child education, we started by identifying the Biblical, universal goal of Christian manhood and womanhood. What should the mature man or woman of God possess in character traits, sense of purpose in the world, skills and wisdom when fully educated?

This hugely important question, when viewed Biblically and upon the best examples of history, confronted us with the sense that modern Christianity falls short of its Biblical mandate. Thus, an entire world of applied-faith opened up to us. There is now therefore no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus, but there is repentance toward God’s ways.

We must not be exacting crusaders. No, we merely prepare for the callings and responsibilities God grants us in Christ. Thinking that we must triumph on our own terms is a common error, born of misguided self-importance—the original sin. Such thinking tends to make us ogres, not Christian servants. Rather, we seek to please God by faith, not presuming upon Him that we have already arrived in our point of view and lives. We seek to become as prepared as possible, stirring up gifts, looking for opportunities to serve within our sphere, and then courageously walking by faith. None of this should ever be with anything but our eyes fixed on our Lord. In Christ, everything is relational.

God expects us to follow Him to the country He will show us. Christian life is adventure. It is preparation for eternity while leaving a kingdom legacy behind us upon which Christ will continue to build through His people (Ps 110). The results will be foundation restoration and the building of cultures in the world capable of propagating the Gospel in its fullness. The world waits for a better way, a better mousetrap, life that works as it ought. “If the foundations be destroyed, what can the righteous do?” (Ps 11:3). Paul declares that God is ready to punish all disobedience when our obedience is fulfilled (2 Cor 10:6).

As we sought the Biblical view for all of life, recurring Biblical imperatives appeared indeed—the best expressions of the Christian faith. This is the contribution of Verna Hall and the Christian history movement which have served us so well.

We found that these Biblical imperatives provided a comprehensive system of thinking and acting, that when mastered, comprises a handy, ready, eminently useful, and self-correcting way to think and act Biblically upon any subject, any issue. This is an amazingly powerful ability that has proved itself in practice over and over again.

We call our version of this system of thinking Get Wisdom! It is the basis of our educational system, itself theologically deeply rooted in and constantly referring to the most fundamental of all Christian doctrines—that of the Holy Trinity—with His reflection in every aspect of His creation. This is the contribution of Chalcedon Foundation and friends.

The fruit of this compelling line of thinking and resulting crafted educational system has been increasingly apparent over the past nearly forty years. Its application by the Dangers family and their many Ugandan friends for the past nearly thirty years inspired the present effort by Godfrey and Gillian for their soul and culture redeeming education work.

The four of us—Godfrey, Gillian, Christina and I—spent a little over two weeks total in intense discussions about the theology and application of this systematic Biblical thinking and practice. Our friends, already advanced expressions, return home much further armed with the tools necessary to train future Ugandan classroom teachers for the nation’s schools.

As they become successful with a way of education that consistently addresses faith, character, Christ, relationship, excellence, and real accomplishment, we can expect godly families to become increasingly common, the powerful stewards of their nation’s future. And with success in redeeming their culture for Christ, the Good News will no doubt spread. The promise is for nothing less than the kind of foundation-building the American Pilgrims laid toward what was arguably the most godly, just, prosperous and generous people the world had yet known.

Much remains to be done to assist our friends. Moreover, this work is eminently portable and reproducible anywhere humble, Holy-Spirit-inspiration desires it. Lately, international minister of Christian worldview Vishal Mangalwadi and his educational captain Dr. Amanda Sanchez have taken interest in our work. We yet hold hope of effectively sharing Get Wisdom! in the U.S.

With sufficient support to free us from the heavy demands of tent-making in landscape architecture and editing, we hope to return to refining, extending and publishing our educational work to support Uganda, and simultaneously work to stir up interest and further the cause of Christ at home through offering training courses locally and anywhere interest develops.

We will dedicate the percentage of effort that support provides up to 100% of our productive time. Please know that any donations of any amount are appreciated, but especially regular ones.

Please pray for these two amazing pioneers, working very hard for the good of their home land Uganda. Please pray for Christina and me.

Again, thank you for your part in all of this!

The MIE team desires that we travel to Uganda this coming January to help train their students. Lord willing.

We are thankful for you, too. Let us hear from you when you can.

Yours for Christ,

Ron and Christina

New Educational Missionary Word in Uganda

Something new is here. We have joined the staff of New Hope Uganda, the twenty-five-year-old  ministry to bring the fatherhood of God to the fatherless (Ps 68:5-6) through education and re-building of real families. Our new work is to support the teacher training and curriculum development of a new teachers college and Christian education advocacy the Master’s Institute of Education. Check us out on our pages here, too: http://www.getwisdom.us/mie1/.

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Announcing the Publication of a New Get Wisdom! Ministry Book

Announcing the new book Thy Will Be Done: When All Nations Call God Blessed, the latest published addition to the Get Wisdom! educational ministry. Please share this information with your friends! See it at Nordskog Publishing.

You can order the book from Amazon.com.

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Radio Interview with Jerry Newcombe

Just finished recording an interview with Jerry Newcombe. Jerry is a great friend. He endorsed my book. He asked great questions and his whole style was extremely supportive and complementary. Jerry, who carries on the work of D. James Kenn…edy and Coral Ridge Ministries, has a website at http://www.jerrynewcombe.com/. The web-radio interview was on Jerry’s show Vocal Point at http://www.gracenetradio.com/ in Florida.  Thanks, Jerry!

New Book: Thy Will Be Done: When All Nations Call God Blessed

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A Teachers College and Advocacy for Uganda

Lord willing and we raise sufficient support, upon the request of New Hope Uganda ministry, Christina and I will return to Uganda for the month of January 2014. Our job will be to begin training already credentialed teachers as trainers for the new college in Kampala to be known as Master’s Institute for Education (MIE). (The name was not my idea!) The Lord richly blessed our first short stint there in the planning of this work. Many doors opened. One of the principals of the effort is Dr. Gillian Kasirye, a PhD professor of education at Makerere University (one of Uganda’s oldest), a dear lady, and visionary. Other significant community and national leaders are also involved. The soil is amazingly friable and receptive. This work holds great promise to replace Uganda’s now long tradition of nominal Christianity and horrible German enlightenment education practices with a thoroughly godly one based in our own pioneering work built upon the Principle Approach and Christian Reconstruction. MIE proposes to comply with national educational goals—essentially Christian—and the nation’s educational structure, but with completely Biblically redeemed content and methods. We can demonstrate that the only way to achieve the national goals is to use Biblical Christian means. Please pray for this work and our part in it. Many factors have so coalesced in Uganda that this work promises to change its entire historic path, as well as that of other nations. In turn, the work of MIE will be portable and useful anywhere, including our own nation. Already, Godfrey Kyazze—the young disciple I never knew I had—has made significant inroads in the Association of Christian Schools International, Africa, and elsewhere in the community. Godfrey’s able leadership and God’s provision promises to make this endeavor a great success.

Members–Everything is Relational

A note to our good subscribers. For Christians, everything ought to be relational, even commerce. So, to those who would join us, please give true information. We ask only a minimal bit to establish our friendship. Many thanks!–Ron

From the coming book, Thy Will Be Done on Earth

What is the Kingdom of God? It is Christ’s comprehensive rule over every area of life and living among men. It comes when men take every thought captive to the obedience of Christ in every possible particular, from personal practice and habit, to the greatest spheres of civil relationship and economic endeavor. The Bible defines it. It lies in righteousness—what is right—love and justice among men (Matthew 6:33).