Today begins National Lutheran Schools Week. Through the course of the week, I'll offer insights on the value of Lutheran education. Lutheran schools matter because the Gospel matters. Schools need to teach students; Lutheran schools must also teach and preach Christ crucified for sinners.
Day One: Rev. Daniel Hinton wrote an excellent article on the importance of Lutheran schools for the blog, Brothers of John the Steadfast. Below is an excerpt from the article. If you have students in Lutheran schools, if you teach in a Lutheran school, if you are thinking about sending your child to a Lutheran school then you need to read the entire article.
Why do we need Lutheran schools?...Put simply, it’s all about the gospel. Lots of other sorts of schools can teach lots of different things. Any school can teach children to behave and to be good boys and girls. Any school can dig deep into the wisdom of the ancient Greeks — in fact, there is much we all could learn from the founders of Western civilization. Any school can teach citizenship and character and morality. But all of that is of the Law, and we Lutherans know better than anyone that while the Law is good and wise, it lacks the power to save.
It is wise for us to ask the question “What problem is the school designed to solve?” Naturalists like John Dewey would say that the primary problem that a school is designed to solve is that of ignorance of the world. We Christians, in contrast, might concede that a child ought to know something of the world, but that knowledge is of secondary importance when compared to the gospel, which alone can save us from death. In fact, ignorance is not the greatest problem facing man — death is. All worldly knowledge cannot fix death. Only the gospel of Jesus Christ saves sinful man from sin and death. Lutheran schools do teach math, grammar, and history — and many of them do so quite well. But above all, Lutheran schools proclaim this gospel — that Jesus Christ has taken away death and sin and hell by His atoning death. Many students in Lutheran schools don’t get to hear that on Sunday morning. Many of the children in Lutheran schools are members of the congregation who attend the Divine Service faithfully — but they still need to hear what God has done for them in Christ.