If today’s Christians need encouragement in preserving and creating a healthy Christian culture in our increasingly secular society, they do not have to study in a large university in a big city. They can look at the story of tiny, isolated Wittenberg in the sixteenth century.
Luther saw a primary role of music in teaching the faith and proclaiming the Gospel, and he encouraged congregational singing in church
Academics the Wittenberg way isn’t incidental to Lutheranism; it’s the natural intellectual and academic expression and extension of its devotion to its own source: Scripture itself.
Teaching students to appreciate the history of the church with the eyes of the past will inevitably make some of them appreciate the conservative Reformation of Luther more than that of the Reformers who broke with him. Classical education, and specifically the call of ad fontes, reminds us that the roots of our faith are in the story of our past.
The student of Latin and Greek classics had opportunity to reflect on the entire breadth of things that had engaged man, from theology to farming to poetry to medicine, in a continuous written record over thousands of years.
If my explanation is logical and true, it follows that only Christian education delivered throughout the course of human lifetimes—and delivered with Lutheran attentiveness to the verbatim Word of God—is the way to know the self-evident truth for ourselves.
There is our gap: we have no Lutheran trade school to train men in both piety and the skills needed to earn a good living; we have no network for connecting young Lutheran men with Lutheran business owners in the skilled trades who can provide them apprenticeships.
Today, the great classical preoccupations—the True, the Good, and the Beautiful—are not just theoretical ideals. They are survival skills, especially for Lutherans.
The secular is the religious, and it’s a religion that opposes Jesus.