49A Creation: Spiritual Teachings and History

“Much of the church has adopted the spiritual teachings of the Bible (the message of morality and salvation—even that is somewhat questionable today with so much compromise on Genesis in the church!), but has rejected a significant amount of its history.  The is, to most, a book of stories containing important ‘truths.’ But the history (particularly in the early chapters of Genesis) is not viewed as important –or even real.” (Gospel Reset by Ken Ham, p.119).

#70 The Liberal Arts Trained Schoolmaster

So it was done in ancient Rome. There boys were so taught that by the time they reached their fifteenth, eighteenth, or twentieth year they were well versed in Latin, Greek, and all the liberal arts (as they are called), and then immediately entered upon a political or military career. Their system produced intelligent, wise, and competent men, so skilled in every art and rich in experience that if all the bishops, priests, and monks in the whole of Germany today were rolled into one, you would not have the equal of a single Roman soldier. As a result their country prospered; they had capable and trained men for every position. So at all times throughout the world simple necessity has forced men, even among the heathen, to maintain pedagogues and schoolmasters if their nation was to be brought to a high standard. Hence, the word “schoolmaster” is used by Paul in Galatians 4 as a word taken from the common usage and practice of mankind, where he says, “The law was our schoolmaster.” (Luther’s Works, v. 45 p. 356).

#66 We have the Gifts to Educate Our Children

A second consideration is, as St. Paul says in II Corinthians 6[:1–2], that we should not accept the grace of God in vain and neglect the time of salvation. Almighty God has indeed graciously visited us Germans and proclaimed a true year of jubilee.10 We have today the finest and most learned group of men, adorned with languages and all the arts, who could also render real service if only we would make use of them as instructors of the young people. Is it not evident that we are now able to prepare a boy in three years, so that at the age of fifteen or eighteen he will know more than all the universities and monasteries have known before? Indeed, what have men been learning till now in the universities and monasteries except to become asses, blockheads, and numbskulls? For twenty, even forty, years they pored over their books, and still failed to master either Latin or German, to say nothing of the scandalous and immoral life there in which many a fine young fellow was shamefully corrupted (Luther’s Works, v. 45 p. 351-352).

Book of Concord Bible Class #8: Articles 18-21

This Bible study is an overview of Augburg Confession, articles eighteen through part of article twenty.

Quiz #8 (grey sheet): Quiz-8-for-Nov-3-Augsburg-Confession-Art-6-17.pdf
Handout 1: Handout-Articles-of-the-Augsburg-Confession-Overview-Nov-3.pdf
Overhead: AC-articles-18-21.pdf

48A Creation: We Can’t Assume

“My point is that we can no longer assume the people we are talking to will understand Christian terminology, or why Christians believe the way they do.  In fact, many just have little or no understanding of the true gospel and what constitutes a Christian way of thinking.  We need to understand where they are coming from, why they believe what they do, and know how to converse with them so they don’t get the idea we are trying to impose what we believe on them.  Instead, we need to help them understand why they believe the way they do from their starting point, and then teach them what Christians believe and why.  At the same time we will need to be answering questions they pose along the way as objections to why the Bible and the Christian message can be trusted” (Gospel Reset by Ken Ham, p.112).

#65 Out of Gratitude, Educate Your Children

Therefore, I beg all of you, my dear sirs and friends, for the sake of God and our poor young people, not to treat this matter as lightly as many do, who fail to realize what the ruler of this world [John 14:30] is up to. For it is a grave and important matter, and one which is of vital concern both to Christ and the world at large, that we take steps to help the youth. By so doing we will be taking steps to help also ourselves and everybody else. Bear in mind that such insidious, subtle, and crafty attacks of the devil must be met with great Christian determination. My dear sirs, if we have to spend such large sums every year on guns, roads, bridges, dams, and countless similar items to insure the temporal peace and prosperity of a city, why should not much more be devoted to the poor neglected youth—at least enough to engage one or two competent men to teach school?

Moreover, every citizen should be influenced by the following consideration. Formerly he was obliged to waste a great deal of money and property on indulgences, masses, vigils, endowments, bequests, anniversaries, mendicant friars, brotherhoods, pilgrimages, and similar nonsense. Now that he is, by the grace of God, rid of such pillage and compulsory giving, he ought henceforth, out of gratitude to God and for his glory, to contribute a part of that amount toward schools for the training of the poor children. That would be an excellent investment. If the light of the gospel had not dawned and set him free, he would have had to continue indefinitely giving up to the above-mentioned robbers ten times that sum and more, without hope of return. Know also that where there arise hindrances, objections, impediments, and opposition to this proposal, there the devil is surely at work, the devil who voiced no such objection when men gave their money for monasteries and masses, pouring it out in a veritable stream; for he senses that this kind of giving is not to his advantage. Let this, then, my dear sirs and friends, be the first consideration to influence you, namely, that herein we are fighting against the devil as the most dangerous and subtle enemy of all (Luther’s Works, v. 45 p. 350-351).

#64 The Devil Keep Them Unlearned

But now that he{the Devil} sees his snares exposed through the word of God, he goes to the other extreme and will permit no learning at all. Again he does the right and smart thing to preserve his kingdom and by all means retain his hold on the young crowd. If he can hold them, and they grow up under him and remain his, who can take anything from him? He then maintains undisputed possession of the world. For if he is to be dealt a blow that really hurts, it must be done through young people who have come to maturity in the knowledge of God, and who spread His word and teach it to others.

No one, positively no one, realizes that this is a despicable trick of the devil. It proceeds so unobtrusively that no one notices it, and the damage is done before one can take steps to prevent and remedy it. We are on the alert against Turks,6 wars, and floods, because in such matters we can see what is harmful and what is beneficial. But no one is aware of the devil’s wily purpose. No one is on the alert, but just goes quietly along. Even though only a single boy could thereby be trained to become a real Christian, we ought properly to give a hundred gulden to this cause for every gulden we would give to fight the Turk, even if he were breathing down our necks. For one real Christian is better and can do more good than all the men on earth (Luther’s Works, v. 45 p. 349-350).

#63 The Devil Set Up Monasteries To Thwart Real Education

It is not surprising that the wicked devil takes a position in this matter and induces carnal and worldly hearts thus to neglect the children and young people. Who can blame him for it? He is the ruler and god of this world [John 14:30]; how can he possibly be pleased to see the gospel destroy his nests, the monasteries and the clerical gangs, in which he corrupts above all the young folks who mean so much, in fact everything, to him? How can we expect him to permit or promote the proper training of the young? He would indeed be a fool to allow and promote the establishment in his kingdom of the very thing by which that kingdom must be most speedily overthrown, which would happen if he were to lose that choice morsel—our dear young people—and have to suffer them to be supported at his own expense and by means of his own resources for the service of God.

Therefore, he acted most adroitly at the time when Christians were having their children trained and taught in a Christian manner. The young crowd bade fair to escape him entirely and to establish within his kingdom something that was quite intolerable. So he went to work, spread his nets, and set up such monasteries, schools, and estates that it was impossible for any lad to escape him, apart from a special miracle of God (Luther’s Works, v. 45 p. 349).

#69 The Greatest Asset of a City—Educated Citizens

It therefore behooves the council and the authorities to devote the greatest care and attention to the young. Since the property, honor, and life of the whole city have been committed to their faithful keeping, they would be remiss in their duty before God and man if they did not seek its welfare and improvement day and night with all the means at their command. Now the welfare of a city does not consist solely in accumulating vast treasures, building mighty walls and magnificent buildings, and producing a goodly supply of guns and armor. Indeed, where such things are plentiful, and reckless fools get control of them, it is so much the worse and the city suffers even greater loss. A city’s best and greatest welfare, safety, and strength consist rather in its having many able, learned, wise, honorable, and well-educated citizens. They can then readily gather, protect, and properly use treasure and all manner of property (Luther’s Works, v. 45 p. 355-356).