Here is another sneak peak at a 2015/2016 class coming to Libertas Academy.
For my own part, I have sometimes told my audience that the only two things really worth considering are Christianity and Hinduism. (Islam is only the greatest of the Christian heresies, Buddhism only the greatest of the Hindu heresies. Real Paganism is dead. All that was best in Judaism and Platonism survives in Christianity.) There isn’t really, for an adult mind, this infinite variety of religions to consider. CS Lewis “God in the Dock”
What exactly is Lewis talking about in the above quote? What exactly does Hinduism teach? Or even Islam, for that matter? And what is Paganism, or at least in our time, what is humanism? And what is a heresy? And how are we to think about these things?
These are only some of the things we will tackle in World Religions. The important things aren’t necessarily what these religions teach (although this is definitely something that must be understood!) but why they teach them and how we should think about them. In order to understand the what’s, why’s and how’s, the student must also delve into the historical context in which these religions sprung up, the actual writings and teachings of the religion’s leading theologians, and exactly why this all matters to the Christ follower.
The middle school and high school years are formative for understanding not just the biblical worldview, but the worldviews they will encounter when their educational pursuits lead them to secular universities and secular jobs. What will they say when a Muslim tells them that the Christian and Muslim God is one and the same? Or when the Buddhist claim that God is in all that is around us, and that the Christian scriptures even teaches this? Or when the secular humanists insist that to be altruistic is a sign of evolutionary weakness? Or when the postmodernists tells them that it’s ok to believe in Jesus, but it’s not ok to force others to do the same? Or when the atheists claim that the Christian God is egotistical and unjust?
We will be taking a deeper look at the leading religions and cults of the world, from Mormonism to Atheism, from Islam to Judaism. Each month will be spent digging deeply into the history of the religion, the writings of the religion, the specific beliefs of the religion, and the Christian response. By the end of this course, students will not only have a better understanding of what others believe, but what they themselves believe. To quote CS Lewis again, the response to learning about different world religions will always come back to this: “I believe in Christianity as I believe that the sun has risen: not only because I see it, but because by it I see everything else.” The Christian response isn’t about simply disproving what other religions claim…it’s about demonstrating Christ to a world that desperately needs Him and wants to find happiness in anything else but Him. And by studying world religions, students can become convinced in their own minds of the supremacy of Christ above all things.
Janelle Garrett has 10 years tutoring and teaching experience, everything from writing to Anatomy and Physiology. She has her nursing degree from Florida Hospital College of Health Science, and started tutoring her senior year of high school to start saving to get her college degree. She now stays at home with her kids and continues to pursue her original passion of teaching.