the crusades ... again?!

The other night we attended the parent:teacher evening for our youngest child, Joseph (aged 14 - year 10). With five children we've been to a few of these events over the years...

A Unit of learning in his Social Studies class is the Crusades. Really?! In two thousands years of history this is the story that is still being selected to impact impressionable minds on the themes of the way the wrong ideas can breed injustice?!

I'll take a lot of convincing to change my mind that there isn't an agenda behind this, an agenda that sows a seed in young Kiwi minds that Christianity, particularly Christianity among all the religions of the world, is the root of (all) evil and so stay clear of it.

Of course, we all know what the great irony is, don't we?! Don't we?! If it were not for the Gospel and for the Christianity which carried it, the history of the world would be a far sadder place than it has been.

There may not be a physical persecution of Christians going on - but in the realm of ideas (which is where it really can have a lasting influence), the persecution of faithful followers of Jesus willing to speak their faith in the public world continues on unabated.

Courage is the commodity that we chiefly need.

I attended the launch of the new Laidlaw College (formerly the Bible College of New Zealand) on Saturday where the Principal, Mark Strom, cast a vision of a School of Humanities where the worlds of politics, economics, and philosophy can be engaged. May it be so! We've needed it desperately for some time but the Christian church has been too busy pursuing adenaline and playing with fencing wire.

nice chatting



Scott said…
Thanks for this Paul.

I've noticed that pressure recently after helping a TSCF student compose an article for a student magazine. Given the article merely sought to persuade people of the value of public discussion of Christian faith, the negative response it recieved the following week was amazing! Courage is a hard thing when the Gospel has been so sidelined, but an attractive thing when courageous discussion is carried out with patience and grace.
Madeleine said…
The worst thing is that the historical account is not only pointed against Christianity but the popularly peddled version are frequently historically false.

Matt wrote a couple of pieces on some of them here:

and also here:
Madeleine said…
Just noticed that your comments on Laidlaw College were fairly similar to ours:
Paul said…
Oh dear - I have just spent far too much time enjoying your blogs on a whole range of topics. Good searching stuff from you and Matt. Joins the favourit-ed!

I do enjoy the writings of Rodney Stark here. He does NOT seem to be avidly Christian and this creates a tone that must extend his readership more widely.

And I've been thinking a lot about your final sentence, Scott. The ol' hymn does say it well: "grant us wisdom; grant us courage for the facing of this hour".

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