Pray without ceasing

By Aaron Cummings

Since this is my first post, I’m making it a simple one, nice and straight forward. Nothing objectionable a certain site administrator might be embarassed by.

We offer ourselves, our lives and our labors, to God. We live our lives sacrificially, whether we acknowledge it or not. As Christians, every sandwich we make is a sacrifice to God. Every diaper we change is done to his glory. And so, prayer ought to book end every action done in the Christian life. We ought to go into the action giving thanks and praise to God. We ought to finish it, giving the glory to him. (I have a book of eastern prayers. A suggested short prayer on beginning any action is, “Lord, be merciful to me a sinner.” Implicit in this is a confession that we are incapable of completing an action without God. A suggested prayer on completing the action is, “Glory be to you, O Lord.” Here is a prayer giving God glory for what he accomplished in us.)

In the classroom, incorporating prayer is easy. Start your class with prayer. End it with prayer. Offer up that hour or so to God as a sacrifice of praise and thanksgiving. God demands that we live sacrificially to him, so pray your life and your class meeting as a continual sacrifice to him.



By Matthew Dau

hwhy rme)yo,wa And God said”

This short Hebrew phrase (pronounced va-yo-mer Yahveh) is extremely common in the Old Testament. In fact, these two words, God’s name and the verb “to speak”, make up about 4% of the entire vocabulary of the Hebrew Bible. This is obviously significant. Why is it that speech is such a common theme in the Scriptures, and why is God so often depicted as speaking? It seems that words and speech are essential to our understanding of who the God of the Bible is. Scripture tells us numerous things about God, and many of them are described in terms of words and speech. God is the Creator, but how exactly did He create the heavens and the earth? Genesis 1 shows us that He spoke them into being. God is our Redeemer, but how did he accomplish our redemption? John 1 says that Christ is the Word who became flesh and dwelt among us. God has made Himself known to His people, but just how do we know things about Him? 1 Cor. 2 says that God reveals Himself to us through His Word, the Scriptures, and enables us to understand it by the Holy Spirit.

Since language and speech are an important attribute of God, I think it is safe to assume that they are important attributes of us as well, being created in His image. Language is something that we use to create, to convey knowledge and meaning, to relate to and do good to others. Language study is therefore a very large aspect of what a school does, and how we teach it ought to be considered carefully.

Now, every school ever established has surely included language study as a part of its curriculum. It is in Christian societies, however, that education has historically placed a greater emphasis on language than in most other societies of the world. The Puritans required each child to learn how to read because they understood that “the most basic knowledge is of the Word of God, and of every area of life viewed in terms of God’s Word.”1 For them, language study was not just one subject among many. It was of the utmost importance because it enabled the student to read and understand Scripture. Without a knowledge of the Bible, which is the foundation for all knowledge, they believed that instruction in other areas was useless.

Likewise, when it came to study of foreign languages, the Puritans started with Greek and Hebrew, often as early as age 6. If their purpose of studying language was to understand Scripture, why should their purpose of foreign language study be any different? Why not study the languages which would enable students to gain a greater knowledge of the Bible as they read the original text? These are questions which we ought to ask ourselves today as well. Continue reading ‘HOMO ADORANS AND BIBLICAL LANGUAGES’


By John B. Shaw

In the November newsletter, Dennis Tuuri provided an excellent introduction to the homo adorans model of education. He demonstrated the connection between bringing our tithes and offerings during worship, and educational preparation for our “sacred” work. Our students must prepare to worship in their vocations, and to bring the fruits of their labor to God in formal Lord’s Day worship. This preparation includes training in mathematics, science, language, history, and business as well as in music.

Another area of preparation includes interpersonal relationships. Matthew 5:23-24 says:

Therefore if you bring your gift to the altar, and there remember that your brother has something against you, leave your gift there before the altar, and go your way. First be reconciled to your brother, and then come and offer your gift.

Not only does God expect us to go forth and transform the world, bringing back a tribute from the return of our labors, but he expects us to do so in a manner that demonstrates love to one another. He instructs us in this matter so that none will be disqualified, and that our worship before Him may be holy, without defect. Continue reading ‘HOMO ADORANS: WHAT’S IT ALL ABOUT? PART II’

Homo Adorans: What’s It All About?

N.B. This is the first of a series of posts which come from articles written for the King’s Academy (Oregon City) newsletter. Each deals with a different aspect or application of Homo Adorans, and is meant to generate discussion, encouragement, and criticism. Please feel free to do any of the above in the comments section.

By Dennis R. Tuuri

In Christianity, worship has been considered by most Christians to be the central act of Christian identity throughout history. Many Christian theologians have defined humanity as homo adorans, that is, the ‘worshipping man,’ and thus the worship of God is at the very core of what it means to be human. (Wikipedia) 1

Well, it’s official. When even Wikipedia is using the buzz phrase homo adorans, it’s a real deal. But what does it mean in the context of Christian education?

To begin with, a common misperception is to think homo adorans means that man is only a worshipper. Current usage of the term homo adorans comes from Alexander Schmemann’s wonderful little book entitled For the Life of the World. (This book is available from Exodus Provisions in Oregon City.) Here’s a relevant quote from his book:

[M]an alone…is to respond to God’s blessing with his blessing. …in the Bible to bless God is not a ‘religious’ or ‘cultic’ act, but the very way of life. …All rational, spiritual and other qualities of man, distinguishing him from other creatures, have their focus and ultimate fulfillment in this capacity to bless God, to know, so to speak, the meaning of the thirst and hunger that constitutes his life. ‘Homo sapiens’, ‘homo faber’…yes, but first of all, ‘homo adorans’. The first and basic definition of man is that he is the priest. He stands at the center of the world and unifies it in his act of blessing God, of both receiving the world from God and offering it to God….2

Homo is Latin for man. Sapiens comes from the Latin word sapientia, meaning wisdom or intellect. And faber is a person who builds or makes something. We can see the English word “adore” in adorans and “fabricate” in faber.

So, while Schmemann prioritizes homo adorans (man as worshipper), he recognizes that man is also (secondarily) homo sapiens (man as thinker), and homo faber (man as maker). Continue reading ‘Homo Adorans: What’s It All About?’