Updated: May 7, 2018
Resisting the "POST-TRUTH" Culture
Oxford Dictionaries has selected "post-truth" as 2016's international word of the year. This is the atmosphere of our culture. You can't escape it. We are living in a culture which has replaced the Protestant Reformation view of Truth which was considered absolute, universal, and objective with the Post-Modern view of opinions, emotions and personal beliefs. I feel that it is very difficult for us to understand all the implications of the Protestant Reformation. Unfortunately, we take the results of that movement of God for granted. For example, almost no one during that time had a Bible in their own language. But if you did and if you were caught having one, it would certainly mean imprisonment, torture, or death. Before the Reformation, the leadership of the Church began teaching the ideas from the Greek and Roman worldview alongside the Biblical worldview. However, it wasn't long before these two opposing sets of ideas were forged together creating the Renaissance worldview. The Bible was no longer the center of thought or of education. The door was now opened for the next generation to walk through. But what did they find on the other side? What did they begin to believe? It wasn't long before the Bible was no longer viewed as the ultimate authority over all of life. The high view of Scripture once held by the Church was no longer accepted. Truth had been compromised and eventually, it would be set to the side as irrelevant. In the meantime, God raised up leaders who stood strong against those compromises and unbiblical teachings, encouraging Christians to trust God's Word alone (sola Scriptura) as the ultimate source of Truth in every area in which the Bible spoke and to reject the union of two differing and opposing worldviews. The Protestant Reformation was born some 500 years ago in the midst of great conflict and controversy.
The ultimate issue at that time was their view of Truth. I feel we are living in a similar time. In the beginning of the 20th-Century, the secular culture had mocked Truth and pushed it from culture into the four corners of the Church. The thinking was that there is the Bible and then there is Truth. In 1984 we started Cornerstone Curriculum with the mission of "Teaching Children to Reason from the Biblical Worldview." That meant that we would have to create a curriculum in which ALL subjects would fall under the authority and teaching of the Word of God as understood during the Reformation. For example, God has given us a framework for understanding science, history, economics, and all other areas - the Bible. The Reformation worldview started with the Bible as the foundation for understanding and developing every area of study. Cornerstone Curriculum would embrace that same educational and theological philosophy.
Truth, as taught in the Bible, is the cornerstone of our curriculum. We believe that the Bible should govern every aspect of our thinking and therefore every aspect of our curriculum. It is our passion to help parents preserve the Reformation Worldview by presenting it to their children. Why? So that the next generation of Christians will "stand firm" in it and proclaim it to their generation. It is because we are living in this "post-truth" culture, that Cornerstone Curriculum exists.
Three Interpretations The ideas and beliefs of an artist flow from his mind through his fingers onto the canvas creating his work of art. As an observer of the fine arts we want not only to enjoy the beauty of the work, but we also want to understand its meaning. In one sense the artist is an open book. He takes his beliefs and puts them on the canvas for all to see. But have you ever stood in front of a piece of art and asked yourself "I don't get it? What was the artist thinking anyway?" In The Fine Arts we will help you get behind the canvas or score of music to see into the heart and soul of the person. In doing so this will help us see into the very culture in which the painter or composer walked. But there is a problem in doing this. Each of us has our own way of looking at the world. Three different people can observer the same painting, but come to three very different conclusions about what they see. The way a person interprets the meaning of a work of art is determined by the way that person sees the world. In our culture, there are at least three different interpretations. Let me introduce you to three such people: Secular Eyes, Renaissance Christian Eyes, and Reformation Christian Eyes.
Through Secular Eyes
The sensitive secular eyes see and understand the problem we all face as a human race -- a world that is in a terrible mess. The canvas is a reflection of his heart. The canvas and musical score is the place where he makes his statement regarding the confusion around us. Life, as seen through secular eyes, is without objective meaning, purpose, or intrinsic value, and the artist tries to resolve the conflict that Lavender Mist - J Pollock Said to "rival" the tresses of hair of the Mona Lisa painted by Leonardo.results from this viewpoint. He has the same dilemma as the secular philosopher who is seeking value and meaning in life and the human inability to find any. Where does the artist turn? He turns in one of two directions. He attempts to find the universal or ideal forms through mathematics or through science. Both are considered objective rather than subjective. What is this effect on art? Over a period of time, art either is reduced to simple mathematical geometric shapes (the particulars), or complete abstract randomness (universals). In either case, the world the painter creates is a world different from the one we see with our own eyes. Through secular eyes, however, this is understood to be true beauty.
Through Renaissance Christian Eyes
Mankind is caught in a universal struggle. The Renaissance Christian Eyes focus on man's human greatness overcoming human brokenness as heard in Beethoven's Symphony No. 5. Music and art become a means of fighting against these forces. Who is painted between these two prophets of God in the Sistine Chapel? The Delphic Sibyl. According to the Renaissance Christian Eyes this is an example of merging two opposing worldviews producing a greatness otherwise not seen. Man becomes the hero in this struggle. For the artist, the canvas is the medium for bringing universal truth from a variety of sources and cultures to the observer. The ideas of man become the focus. The classical mind brings together the "best" thoughts and ideas from sources that appear to be in disagreement. How does this work its way out in art? Man becomes bigger than life! The Renaissance Christian Eyes believes that merging together different religions, cultures, or schools of thought (worldviews) produces a greatness in art and music that is otherwise not seen. Through Reformation Christian Eyes
What does a person seeing with Reformation Christian Eyes see and hear? He also sees a broken world ... a world that is just not right, but he attempts to maintain a connectedness between the ideals and the individual things of life. The world he sees reflects the greatness of the Creator, and yet the fallenness of mankind as described in the Bible. His canvas or musical score is a place to represent God's world and it's form in both its beauty and in its brokenness. His portrayal of the Biblical moments is seen as unidealized actual happenings in real space-time history without blending with ideas from other sources.
van Eyck - Adoration of the Lamb: "most impressive is the central theme: the rich, the poor - people of all classes and backgrounds - coming to Christ. And who is this Christ? The Lamb of God who died ... but He now lives!" (Schaeffer)
Reformation Christian Eyes do not so prefer the ideals to such an extreme that they lose sight of the particulars; nor do they prefer the particulars to such an extreme that they lose the universals. CORNERSTONE CURRICULUM embraces the Reformation interpretations in all subjects.