You Don’t Have to Drink the Kool-Aid
I wanted to let you know about an exclusive course I’m teaching beginning January 31st.
There are a limited number of seats available and I won’t be opening the doors on this classroom again for a couple of months.
I apologize in advance if this starts sounding like an infomercial; it’s really not. I’m not making any money off this course.
My passion is to help culture makers make a difference that matters. And, I want to give my readers the opportunity to get in on the ground floor of something remarkable and live-changing.
Prior to launching this course I spent twenty years in pastoral ministry, working with youth, planting churches, and starting Christian schools.
If there is one thing I learned in those twenty years, it is the people who are properly educated, equipped, and empowered where they live, work, worship, and socialize that will make the biggest impact for good in this world.
I have to confess that I’m grieved at the destructive thinking that is unraveling our nation one lie at a time.
I’ve been concerned for a while watching the church become a corporatized entertainment venue and seeing so many pastors try to be the next Christian rock star.
I’ve been bothered that our high schools are churning out functionally illiterate graduates en masse, and that institutions of higher education have been reduced to money pits that depend on the federal government to exist; and they don’t seem to have the foggiest notion of the meaning of “free exchange of ideas.”
There are a lot of other things that bug me too, but it’s probably in everyone’s best interest that I move on and get to the point.
I’m convinced the answer is a grassroots movement of rebuilding what our forefathers called an enlighted and virtuous citizenship.
Plato warned western society of what he called the feverish city, where the demos ran the country driven by their disconcerted lusts and passions–where everything centers around and is driven by the bed (sex) and the table (indulgence). His is an expression that comes close to our use of the words entitled and consumerism.
It was Julius Caesar, if my memory serves me correctly, that said all he need to do to control the people was give them bread and circuses.
A cursory scroll through your Facebook feed, a glance at Instagram, and even a glimpse of the eleven o’clock news demonstrates exactly what I’m talking about.
But there’s another, better side to freedom: drinking the cool-aid is a choice you don’t have to make.
You can swim against the current. You can think differently. You can live differently.
You can discover your significance in this vast and ordered universe. You can create meaningful art. You can imagine what the best of human community should look like, and live justly before the face of God.
A lot of people are talking about making a difference, but you can make a difference that actually matters.
I know there are a lot of courses out there. Some of them are good.
But most of them are junk, like the writing courses that charge top dollar to teach you what your high school English teacher should have.
Or, there’s the Health and Fitness courses that show you the latest research on eating more fruits and vegetables, taking their supplements, and giving you a few new and improved methods of exercise–and letting you pay them off in 10 monthly installments of $79.95.
And don’t get me started on all the online Bible colleges and degree mills.
I know you know better than that, so I’ll shut up and get to the point.
OS Guinness explained that a free society required three things to continue to exist: freedom, faith, and virtue. He explained it in terms of an isosceles triangle.
On the first side was freedom. Freedom is not the liberty to do anything you want, but the freedom to do what was right and best. Without freedom, citizens cannot practice their faith.
On the next adjoining side is faith. In its most generic sense, faith is a creature’s willful and proper worship of the Creator. Faith properly lived out cultivates the creature’s moral barometer.
On the third side, linking faith and freedom is virtue. Virtue is what Aristotle called the doctrine of the mean. It’s doing the right thing, at the right time, for the right motive, toward the right object. Anything deficient of that or in excess of that is vicious. Virtue cultivates the natural boundaries of our freedom. It is what every freeman strives toward that he might live a happy life in community with others.
You might recognize the spirit of this idea in the preamble of the Declaration of Independence: We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.
If any of this resonates with you, I’d like to invite you to join me for a free six-week course called What’s the Big Idea? An Introduction to the Christian Vision for a Humane Life.
Yes, I realize the title doesn’t have the pizazz of modern marketing copy. It’s not supposed to.
It’s supposed to communicate three things.
First, there is something venerable to learn outside your current knowledge base. Second, it’s going to require some effort to get to it. Third, the reward is a new horizon of imagination that is ontologically intrinsic.
Real education is not simply an accumulation of disconnected categories of knowledge. The development of a truly humane person can only be accomplished through the liberal approach of exploring the interconnectedness of ideas and categories of human thought.
If you are a writer, teacher, student, spiritual leader, civil servant, musician, artist or creative, I want to invite you to engage in this introductory course to the classical texts that wrestle with the perennial questions of the human experience.
This course will focus on the interconnectedness of three fundamental and overlapping realms of the humane life.
The Great Conversation: the classic texts of the poets and philosophers whose conversation on a vast number of humanity’s perennial ideas has shaped western civilization.
The Great Commandment: the summation and aim of all of life–according to Jesus–is to love God with your heart, soul, and mind. Next to that, and flowing out of it, is to love your neighbor as yourself (Matthew 22:34–40, ESV). We don’t believe Jesus’s words are arbitrary or subjective; rather these imperatives are packed full of precise meaning that needs to be unpacked and assimilated if we are going to live as we were created to.
The Great Commission: this is God’s commission to believers to join him in the renewal of all things by taking the good news of the inauguration of the kingdom of God (including Christ’s reign, the forgiveness of sins, and the future consummation of the kingdom as a result of the death, burial, and bodily resurrection of Jesus Christ) into every corner world and into every aspect of life (Matthew 28:18–20, ESV).
Nobody can decide for himself whether he is going to be a human being. The only question open to him is whether he will be an ignorant undeveloped one or one who has sought to reach the highest point he is capable of attaining.
― Robert Maynard Hutchins, The Great Conversation: The Substance Of A Liberal Education
As I said before, there is limited space available for the course beginning on January 31st–and seats are already filling up. Really. No gimmick. They really are filling up.
So, if this intrigues you at all, you can learn more here.
About Scott Postma
Scott lives in North Idaho collecting more books than he'll ever read in a lifetime. He helps people cultivate their capacity to perceive and appreciate the good, the true, and the beautiful by sharing rich insights into the arts and humanities, meaningful perspective on faith and culture, and valuable tips on writing and teaching. You can subscribe to the tribe and follow him on Twitter, Facebook, and Google Plus.