The Quarterly Newsletter of Wittenberg Academy
The Ninety-Sixth Thesis
Chaplain's Corner- p. 12
Parents and Children
Rev. Larry Beane
Scholars' Spotlight - P. 23-25
Submission is Your Superpower!
What We're Reading: - P. 28-29
Featured Teacher -P. 20
On the Road with Wittenberg Academy- p. 21
Poetry- p. 22
Nature George Herbert
From Our Teachers p. 14-17
~The Vocations and Duties of a Student
~The Authority and Duties of a Teacher
What do you think of when you think of superpowers? Invisibility? Superhuman strength? X-ray vision? Teleportation?
What do all of these superpowers, or perhaps more so the “owner” of the superpower, have in common? Across the board, something happened to the person that resulted in the acquisition of the super power. It was a gift, given to the super hero, for the benefit of those in need. We’ll revisit this thought in a moment, but let us first consider a Hector and Andromache.
Here is the scene: Long ago and far away, Hera (Juno), Athena (Minerva), and Aphrodite (Venus) were given by Eris (Discordia) a golden apple marked “for the fairest.” Zeus sent the ladies to Paris (the guy, not the city) and he judged Aphrodite the fairest. Aphrodite rewarded him by making Helen, queen of Sparta, whose husband was Menelaus, fall in love with Paris. Now, here is a tidbit of helpful information: many suitors had pursued Helen, but Menelaus finally won her hand in marriage. As a result, all of the other suitors vowed to go to war if anyone would threaten or sever the bond of marriage between Menelaus and Helen. Is that not fantastic? That brings a whole new meaning to “what God has joined together let no man put asunder!” If only we treated marriage with this level of honor! Okay, back to the story. The Greeks of various stripes and their allies head to Troy to wage war against Paris’ people, the Trojans. The war is brutal. The Greeks attack with a vengeance- literally. Bloodshed is prolific. Paris ends up leaving the fray and the honorable Hector goes after him to convince him to come back. We’ll pick up the story from Homer here:
The chief replied: "This time forbids to rest;
The Trojan bands, by hostile fury press'd,
Demand their Hector, and his arm require;
The combat urges, and my soul's on fire.
Urge thou thy knight to march where glory calls,
And timely join me, ere I leave the walls.
Ere yet I mingle in the direful fray,
My wife, my infant, claim a moment's stay;
This day (perhaps the last that sees me here)
Demands a parting word, a tender tear:
This day, some god who hates our Trojan land
May vanquish Hector by a Grecian hand.”
He said, and pass'd with sad presaging heart
To seek his spouse, his soul's far dearer part;
At home he sought her, but he sought in vain;
She, with one maid of all her menial train,
Had hence retired; and with her second joy,
The young Astyanax, the hope of Troy,
Pensive she stood on Ilion's towery height,
Beheld the war, and sicken'd at the sight;
There her sad eyes in vain her lord explore,
Or weep the wounds her bleeding country bore.
But he who found not whom his soul desired,
Whose virtue charm'd him as her beauty fired,
Stood in the gates, and ask'd "what way she bent
Her parting step? If to the fane she went,
Where late the mourning matrons made resort;
Or sought her sisters in the Trojan court?"
"Not to the court, (replied the attendant train,)
Nor mix'd with matrons to Minerva's fane:
To Ilion's steepy tower she bent her way,
To mark the fortunes of the doubtful day.
Troy fled, she heard, before the Grecian sword;
She heard, and trembled for her absent lord:
Distracted with surprise, she seem'd to fly,
Fear on her cheek, and sorrow m her eye.
The nurse attended with her infant boy,
The young Astyanax, the hope of Troy."
Hector this heard, return'd without delay;
Swift through the town he trod his former way,
Through streets of palaces, and walks of state;
And met the mourner at the Scaean gate.
With haste to meet him sprung the joyful fair.
His blameless wife, Aetion's wealthy heir:
(Cilician Thebe great Aetion sway'd,
And Hippoplacus' wide extended shade:)
The nurse stood near, in whose embraces press'd,
His only hope hung smiling at her breast,
Whom each soft charm and early grace adorn,
Fair as the new-born star that gilds the morn.
To this loved infant Hector gave the name
Scamandrius, from Scamander's honour'd stream;
Astyanax the Trojans call'd the boy,
From his great father, the defence of Troy.
Silent the warrior smiled, and pleased resign'd
To tender passions all his mighty mind;
His beauteous princess cast a mournful look,
Hung on his hand, and then dejected spoke;
Her bosom laboured with a boding sigh,
And the big tear stood trembling in her eye.
"Too daring prince! ah, whither dost thou run?
Ah, too forgetful of thy wife and son!
And think'st thou not how wretched we shall be,
A widow I, a helpless orphan he?
For sure such courage length of life denies,
And thou must fall, thy virtue's sacrifice.
Greece in her single heroes strove in vain;
Now hosts oppose thee, and thou must be slain.
O grant me, gods, ere Hector meets his doom,
All I can ask of heaven, an early tomb!
So shall my days in one sad tenor run,
And end with sorrows as they first begun.
No parent now remains my griefs to share,
No father's aid, no mother's tender care.
The fierce Achilles wrapt our walls in fire,
Laid Thebe waste, and slew my warlike sire!
His fate compassion in the victor bred;
Stern as he was, he yet revered the dead,
His radiant arms preserved from hostile spoil,
And laid him decent on the funeral pile;
Then raised a mountain where his bones were burn'd,
The mountain-nymphs the rural tomb adorn'd,
Jove's sylvan daughters bade their elms bestow
A barren shade, and in his honour grow.
"By the same arm my seven brave brothers fell;
In one sad day beheld the gates of hell;
While the fat herds and snowy flocks they fed,
Amid their fields the hapless heroes bled!
My mother lived to wear the victor's bands,
The queen of Hippoplacia's sylvan lands:
Redeem'd too late, she scarce beheld again
Her pleasing empire and her native plain,
When ah! oppress'd by life-consuming woe,
She fell a victim to Diana's bow.
"Yet while my Hector still survives, I see
My father, mother, brethren, all, in thee:
Alas! my parents, brothers, kindred, all
Once more will perish, if my Hector fall,
Thy wife, thy infant, in thy danger share:
Oh, prove a husband's and a father's care!
That quarter most the skilful Greeks annoy,
Where yon wild fig-trees join the wall of Troy;
Thou, from this tower defend the important post;
There Agamemnon points his dreadful host,
That pass Tydides, Ajax, strive to gain,
And there the vengeful Spartan fires his train.
Thrice our bold foes the fierce attack have given,
Or led by hopes, or dictated from heaven.
Let others in the field their arms employ,
But stay my Hector here, and guard his Troy."
The chief replied: "That post shall be my care,
Not that alone, but all the works of war.
How would the sons of Troy, in arms renown'd,
And Troy's proud dames, whose garments sweep the ground
Attaint the lustre of my former name,
Should Hector basely quit the field of fame?
“My early youth was bred to martial pains,
My soul impels me to the embattled plains!
Let me be foremost to defend the throne,
And guard my father's glories, and my own.
"Yet come it will, the day decreed by fates!
(How my heart trembles while my tongue relates!)
The day when thou, imperial Troy! must bend,
And see thy warriors fall, thy glories end.
And yet no dire presage so wounds my mind,
My mother's death, the ruin of my kind,
Not Priam's hoary hairs defiled with gore,
Not all my brothers gasping on the shore;
As thine, Andromache! Thy griefs I dread:
I see thee trembling, weeping, captive led!
In Argive looms our battles to design,
And woes, of which so large a part was thine!
To bear the victor's hard commands, or bring
The weight of waters from Hyperia's spring.
There while you groan beneath the load of life,
They cry, 'Behold the mighty Hector's wife!'
Some haughty Greek, who lives thy tears to see,
Imbitters all thy woes, by naming me.
The thoughts of glory past, and present shame,
A thousand griefs shall waken at the name!
“May I lie cold before that dreadful day,
Press'd with a load of monumental clay!
Thy Hector, wrapt in everlasting sleep,
Shall neither hear thee sigh, nor see thee weep."
Thus having spoke, the illustrious chief of Troy
Stretch'd his fond arms to clasp the lovely boy.
The babe clung crying to his nurse's breast,
Scared at the dazzling helm, and nodding crest.
With secret pleasure each fond parent smiled,
And Hector hasted to relieve his child,
The glittering terrors from his brows unbound,
And placed the beaming helmet on the ground;
Then kiss'd the child, and, lifting high in air,
Thus to the gods preferr'd a father's prayer:
"O thou! whose glory fills the ethereal throne,
And all ye deathless powers! protect my son!
Grant him, like me, to purchase just renown,
To guard the Trojans, to defend the crown,
Against his country's foes the war to wage,
And rise the Hector of the future age!
So when triumphant from successful toils
Of heroes slain he bears the reeking spoils,
Whole hosts may hail him with deserved acclaim,
And say, 'This chief transcends his father's fame:'
While pleased amidst the general shouts of Troy,
His mother's conscious heart o’erflows with joy.”
He spoke, and fondly gazing on her charms,
Restored the pleasing burden to her arms;
Soft on her fragrant breast the babe she laid,
Hush'd to repose, and with a smile survey'd.
The troubled pleasure soon chastised by fear,
She mingled with a smile a tender tear.
The soften'd chief with kind compassion view'd,
And dried the falling drops, and thus pursued:
"Andromache! my soul's far better part,
Why with untimely sorrows heaves thy heart?
No hostile hand can antedate my doom,
Till fate condemns me to the silent tomb.
Fix'd is the term to all the race of earth;
And such the hard condition of our birth:
No force can then resist, no flight can save,
All sink alike, the fearful and the brave.
No more—but hasten to thy tasks at home,
There guide the spindle, and direct the loom:
Me glory summons to the martial scene,
The field of combat is the sphere for men.
Where heroes war, the foremost place I claim,
The first in danger as the first in fame.”
What did you observe? Even within the chaos of war and the defection of a fellow soldier, Homer brings to our attention an undeniable order. Hector took his vocations as husband and father seriously. When the trappings of war, his helmet, scared his infant son, he removed the fear-inducing piece. Holding his son, then, he professes his hopes and dreams for his son- that he would be protected through his youth, so that as a man he could show loyalty, bravery, and steadfastness that would exceed the loyalty, bravery, and steadfastness of his father. Even more so, he wants his son’s achievements to honor his mother. His, wife, hearing these words almost as a eulogy for her husband even as they are words of hope for the future, sheds tears of simultaneous joy and sadness. Hector, seeing her tears, tries to reassure her that death will happen when it is to happen and not a moment sooner, so see to the tasks each is given to do: the wife must tend the home and the husband must fight to protect the home. These tender moments between a husband, a wife, and a son confess an order worth noting, which we shall, but first let us consider one more story.
This story begins where The Iliad ends. The Trojan War is over. The Trojans are defeated and the Greeks make their ways home. Our friend Odysseus (or Ulysses) haphazardly makes his way home. Through many dangers, toils, and snares, he finally makes it back to Ithaca. He had plenty of opportunities to stray, to abandon home, to leave his wife and son to the wiles of the world. But he did not. His calling as husband and father drew him home. As Odysseus is wandering, his wife and son are waiting. Penelope has suitors galore waiting for her to give up on her husband. But, she waits. She clings to the hope that he will return. Finally, unbeknownst to Penelope, Odysseus returns, but in disguise. In order to restore order to his home and reclaim his throne, he must get rid of the suitors. A contest is proposed. Whomever can string Odysseus’ bow and shoot an arrow through a series of axe handles will win the hand of Penelope and the kingdom.
Every story confesses something. What do these stories confess? They confess a natural order of submission- putting our own desires aside for the sake of our neighbor (Ephesians 5:17-21). A husband protects and provides for his family. A wife tends the home and nurtures the children. A husband and wife remain faithful to one another even though the world and their flesh tempt them otherwise. We see these truths played out in Scripture and summarized in the Table of Duties.
The order summarized in the Table of Duties and illustrated in the stories above does not come from us. It is given to us as a gift and as a reflection of the reality that God is a God of order and thus is His Creation ordered. Even pagans, like Homer, confess God’s order because it is written on our hearts. God even provides protection for this order in the Ten Commandments. Open up Luther’s Small Catechism and consider each part of the Table of Duties along with at least one Commandment that protects it:
To Bishops, Pastors, and Preacher - The Third Commandment
What the Hearers Owe Their Pastors- The Third Commandment
Of Civil Government -The Fourth Commandment
Of Citizens -The Fourth Commandment
To Husbands- The Sixth Commandment
To Wives- The Sixth Commandment
To Parents- The Fourth Commandment
To Workers of All Kinds- The Seventh Commandment
To Employers and Supervisors- The Fourth Commandment
To Youth- The Fourth Commandment
To Widows- The Fourth Commandment
To Everyone- The First Commandment
Having a super power is not easy- submitting to one another out of reverence for Christ is not easy. Enemies will scheme against you. Their attacks will be ruthless. Occasionally, they might succeed in disarming you. After all, you are sometimes your own worst enemy and fail to rightly use this power given to you. But, thanks be to God that He continues to bestow His grace and continues to protect this order on our behalf, no matter how bleak things might seem in the world. The world will continue to war against the natural order of submission, but thanks be to God, the victory is already won in Christ Jesus. +JCB
Mrs. Jocelyn C. Benson serves as Wittenberg Academy's Head Teacher.
From the Head Teacher's Desk- p. 3
Submission is Your Superpower
Mrs. Jocelyn C. Benson
2019 Witttenberg Academy Family Retreat Memories
and 2020 Family Retreat Announcement- P. 32
Registration is Open
for the Christmas 2019-20 Term!
Thank you for your support!
Students are welcome to pursue a Wittenberg Academy Diploma or take classes à la carte.
"Wittenberg Academy combines the best of a physical school education with the best of homeschooling. You will meet people from across the country (and even the world). You can easily discuss questions, ideas, or perceived problems in your topic of study with other students and your teacher. Yet at the same time, you have the freedom to pursue personal interests and engage in activities for which most students don’t have the time. Finally, you will learn much more than many students, while having a lot of fun along the way."
~ WA Student on why others should Attend WA
You can support Wittenberg Academy simply by doing your Amazon shopping through smile.amazon.com/ch/45-3174086. Every time you shop on Amazon using our Amazon Smile link, Amazon donates to Wittenberg Academy Inc.
Support Wittenberg Academy
When You Shop Amazon Smile
Parents and Children
One of the striking things about the Table of Duties is how Luther’s categories are complimentary with each other: Pastors and Hearers, Government and Citizens, Husbands and Wives, Parents and Children. For each duty is based on a relationship, and there are obligations of love from both sides.
In other words, the Table of Duties is a two-way street, for they are ultimately based on love. And love requires both a lover and a beloved.
The Table of Duties entries for both parents and children come from the same passage: Ephesians 6:1-4. In fact, much of the Table of Duties comes from this chapter – in which St. Paul teaches us how to live the Christian life.
The mutual relationship between parents and children is grounded in a deep bond of love, of life, and of the order of creation. In this passage, children are called to “obey” their parents. St. Paul takes the 4th Commandment’s command to “honor” and shows us what that abstract idea of “honor” looks like in the real world: “obedience.”
Parents have a reciprocal duty to their children, which St. Paul describes as not provoking their children to anger. The text strictly applies this to fathers, but certainly also applies to mothers as well – given the position of parental authority they also have over their children. Just as it is with pastors, government, husbands, and employers – being given authority over others, parents must guard against the sinful misuse of their God-given authority.
Our Lord demonstrated the proper attitude of one given authority when he washed the disciples’ feet during the Last Supper (John 13:1-17). Authority without humility is tyranny, and it reflects original sin. St. Augustine called this misuse of power “the lust for domination” (libido dominandi). And parents can easily fall into this sin. With little ones, parents have almost unchecked power and authority.
The parent-child relationship – along with the husband-wife relationship – are the building blocks of society and of all other relationships. Our secular culture has declared war against the family. Wives are urged to lord over their husbands . Children are urged to rebel against their parents. There is also a subtle encouragement for husbands to abuse their authority through neglect or abuse, and for parents to likewise fail their children, whether by trying to be their kids’ friend, or by being inclined to selfishness.
The beauty of our Lord’s order of creation is that when every part of creation lovingly carries out its duties, it makes it easier for the rest of creation to likewise love and serve in their own vocations. For example, when pastors love their congregations by faithfully preaching Law and Gospel, this empowers their congregations to take care of them. When governments behave with integrity, citizens are far more likely to pay taxes and obey those holding office. The same is true for husbands and wives, parents and children.
The Christian family works best when parents serve their children in love and service, and when children obey their parents. And when both parents and children fall into sin, to seek forgiveness from one another and from God: the Father who never provokes His children to anger, the Son who perfectly obeys His Father, the Holy Spirit who guides us into the truths revealed in Scripture.
Pastor Larry Beane serves as Chaplain and a Paideia instructor for Wittenberg Academy.
Many students today have heard the common phrase, “School is your job.” Parents, mentors, and teachers often emphasize how a student’s place in school is tantamount to those parents’ and mentors’ own vocations in the workplace. However, the desire for students to learn has often been confused with the desire for students to fulfill specific dreams, thus resulting in a tense relationship between teacher, student, and parent. “You need to focus on school,” they say, “ so you can get into a good college.” “You need to get into a good college,” they say, “so that you can get a good job.” “You need to get a good job,” they say, “to earn enough money to live the way you want.” Just as a doctor’s job is to care for patients, a student’s job is to focus on school so that he can achieve the desired results. Just as a salesman’s goal is to reach a certain quota, a student’s job is to reach a certain GPA.
Unfortunately, the preoccupation with learning measured by standardized tests and letter grades has created a culture of immense pressure and stress for students in this day and age. There is competition as early as kindergarten amongst parents battling to get their students into the best programs so as to “start their children off right.” As students get older, they often feel as if they will fail their parents by not pursuing their parents’ dreams of college, a comfortable salary, the ability to purchase a home by their mid-twenties, etc. Are such goals and desires bad things? Certainly not. But we cannot ignore that the remnants of the post-WWII era “freedom from want” initiative have inadvertently created a culture pressuring students to pursue careers which will give them that exact freedom, when these days those careers come at much greater financial cost than earlier generations. In summary, school as a means to an end that emphasizes economic security above all else has done immense harm to both children and adults. Preoccupation with grades and results places pressure on students to succeed, but also upon teachers to place standards by which students can excel; students and teachers, then, are often pitted against one another in the students’ quest for worldly success.
This issue calls for a return to the original vocation of ‘student,’ and, indeed, the purpose of education on the whole. Scripturally, children and youth are called to submit to their elders and superiors, as well as their teachers. The life of the church is one in which generations and vocations cooperate according to the good order established in both scripture and society. Students are required to fulfill that which their teachers require of them; besides being a son or daughter, a brother or sister, and a Child of God, a student ought to remember his or her place according to the Fourth Commandment in the educational setting. Conversely, teachers and parents cooperate in order to foster the love of learning in their children; not necessarily to achieve a certain grade, but to form their minds to be able to work towards their goals, whether academic or otherwise, both now and in the future.
The Lutheran doctrine of vocation fosters community and cooperation, not competition in climbing the ladder of success. Not every student grows up to be a doctor. Not every student needs to go to college. But every student needs to learn how to learn about the good, the true, and the beautiful; only by doing thus may the students appreciate the beauty of vocation and Christian service in any career. Grades are important insofar as they reflect a healthy adherence of 4th Commandment requirements of student and teacher; they assist in raising GPAs and gaining the attention of admissions counselors. However, if a student only narrows education as a means to a career, then finding a career will be a stressful and costly task indeed.
Mrs. Emily Cockran serves as Paideia and Philosophy instructor for Wittenberg Academy.
The Vocation and Duties of a student
In our student handbook, we have a quote from the Large Catechism that is useful in understanding the role and authority of a teacher:
"In this commandment belongs a further statement regarding all kinds of obedience to persons in authority who have to command and to govern. For all authority flows and is propagated from the authority of parents. For where a father is unable alone to educate his [rebellious and irritable] child, he employs a schoolmaster to instruct him; if he be too weak, he enlists the aid of his friends and neighbors; if he departs this life, he delegates and confers his authority and government upon others who are appointed for the purpose." (Large Catechism, Ten Commandments, 141)
A parent can employ others to aid in the educating of his children. Teachers have authority, because it is give to them by the parents. Because of the source of authority, it is helpful to view what is said to parents regarding their dealings with their children. Here Luther cites Ephesians 6:4 in the Table of Duties, “Fathers, do not exasperate your children; instead, bring them up in the training and instruction of the Lord.”
I do not need to look farther than my own history with various teachers, good and bad, to see ways teachers can exasperate their students. I know first hand, how frustrating lack of communication can be. That communication can be regarding a change in class time or feedback on homework. Teachers should always strive to clearly communicate schedule changes as well as give timely feedback. This creates less stress for both the student and the teacher. Students should receive feedback that properly reflects their work. I once had a teacher give me zero negative feedback then try to fail me. Fortunately, in my case, someone higher up was able to step in successfully on my behalf. That was an extremely stressful and frustrating experience that can easily be avoided by giving true feedback.
Teachers should also be willing to offer help and schedule extra sessions as we are able with struggling students. Many times a student that is struggling can be brought to understanding if proper care is given to pinpoint their struggles and to help them see where they are going astray.
Finally, students should expect teachers to see them as children of God, sinners on this earth, saved by Christ. This means they should expect their teachers to care for them and be willing to share in their burdens and joys. Teachers should be constantly praying for their students, even after their students have moved on and are no longer under their tutelage. +MMV
Mrs. Michelle Venteicher serves as German instructor for Wittenberg Academy.
The Authority and Duties of Teachers
At Wittenberg Academy, we pursue the good, the true, and the beautiful because we value those things which endure. In keeping with this philosophy, we highly recommend that students use printed books and readings as much as possible. Our instructors supply information so that families may purchase necessary books or print off copies of readings. At the same time, we recognize the financial sacrifices that many families already make to provide an excellent education for their children. For this reason, we also offer options for using web or other electronic copies of readings, most of which are available free of charge. Since the choice to use print, electronic, or combined means for readings will not limit a student’s participation in classes, each family may utilize the option deemed best-suited for them.
"Vivacity, Perspicuity, and the Nature of the Soul: Selections from George Campbell's Philosophy of Rhetoric"
A Statement from Our
Board of Directors
Our seminar begins with an introduction to the Scottish Enlightenment. We will be introduced to the key players and a brief history of the philosophical and scientific societies that grew in Edinburgh, Glasgow, and especially, "The Wise Club" of Aberdeen. Dr. Tallmon will lecture on influences of and contributions to Western Thought of the Scottish Enlightenment. A number of online resources will be consulted throughout the week and discussed online.
Campbell's Philosophy of Rhetoric will be positioned the history of these ideas. We will then examine the layout of the work, major themes, and get a feel for Campbell's modus operandi. George Campbell's unique and substantive work is a one of a kind contribution to rhetorical studies.
Dr. Tallmon serves as Rhetoric instructor at Wittenberg Academy. This article is the first of a series explaining Dr. Tallmon's summer seminar on rhetoric.
Mrs. Rebecca McCreary
On the Road with Wittenberg Academy
Wittenberg Academy Family Retreat April 23-25, 2020
Issues, Etc. Making the Case Conference June 12-13
Concordia University Chicago
Mrs. Benson will be conducting a breakout session at the Rurual and Small Town Mission conference. We would love for you to stop by and say hello if you are attending the conference!
Mrs. McCreary currently lives in upstate New York with her husband, Matthew, and daughter, Abigail, after growing up in Wyoming and spending a few years in the United Kingdom while her husband was completing an assignment. She received her B.S. from the University of Missouri-St. Louis and her M.Ed from the University of Cincinnati. In her free time she enjoys knitting, reading, and dancing. Mrs. McCreary feels truly blessed to be able to share her love of mathematics with her students.
By George Herbert
Full of rebellion, I would die,
Or fight, or travel, or deny
That thou has aught to do with me.
O tame my heart;
It is thy highest art
To captivate strong holds to thee.
If thou shalt let this venom lurk,
And in suggestions fume and work,
My soul will turn to bubbles straight,
And thence by kind
Vanish into a wind,
Making thy workmanship deceit.
O smooth my rugged heart, and there
Engrave thy rev'rend law and fear;
Or make a new one, since the old
Is sapless grown,
And a much fitter stone
To hide my dust, than thee to hold.
Written by Elizabeth Paul
C.S. Lewis ends The Chronicles of Narniawith the main characters arriving at the garden of heaven. As the characters approach the garden, the characters repeat Aslan’s phrase: “further up and further in” many times. This phrase lines up with Lutheran theology when it means that the Christian faith furthers as it grows in God’s Word and when the Christian serves his neighbor in his vocation. However, the Christian does not need to strive for going “further up and further in” in order to reach heaven, for Christ has done all the work, and faith only receives the free gift of eternal life.
This short phrase “further up and further in” is repeated many times, one of which appears in the longer quote “I have come home at last...Come further up, come further in” (Lewis 196). This phrase is used when the group of characters are in the “real Narnia” (Lewis 195). They are walking through a more perfect, more real, more colorful Narnia. Aslan had told them to “go further up and further in” (Lewis 189). Thus, they repeat the phrase as they move “further up and further in.” The meaning of “further up and further in” in the story itself is to go further through this “real Narnia” to reach the heavenly garden where all who have died and Aslan himself will meet them.
The “further up, further in” of C.S. Lewis might represent the Christian faith as it grows and shows itself in love towards the neighbor. From the context of the book, Lewis might also mean going further towards heaven. C.S. Lewis seems to suggest that the Christian faith takes Christians “further up and further in” towards heaven, their true home.
In some respects, the depiction of faith as going “further up and further in” fits with the Lutheran theology, while in other respects it does not. One way in which “further up and further in” can be viewed is that faith goes “further up and further in” when it is strengthened. Through the Word and Sacrament, the Christian faith furthers in its growth. Through catechesis, the Christian faith grows. Like an infant grows by its mother’s milk, so the Christian grows by its spiritual milk, which is God’s Word (1 Peter 2:2). The Christian faith continually goes “further up and further in” in its knowledge of God’s Word. In the Lutheran education I have received, my faith has furthered in this way. My faith has gone “further in” as I studied the Old and New Testament, the Lutheran Confessions, Christian writings, and other areas of theology.
Another meaning of this phrase is that faith takes us further towards heaven. This view has some truth, but it can also mislead Christians into non Biblical theology. This view is true in that faith in Christ does take us into heaven. Through faith in Christ, Christians are saved, and thus will go to their true home in heaven. In this respect, the Christian faith does take the Christian “further up and further in.”
The Christian faith depicted as taking the Christian “further up and further in” towards heaven can also be misleading. It is especially misleading when “further up” is taken with what comes before it, that is: “come further up,” or when Aslan speaks it, “go further up” (Lewis 196, 189) Must we go further up? On the cross, Jesus said, “It is finished” (John 19:30). When a baker bakes a loaf of bread, he does not say “It is finished” when he has all the ingredients ready to go. Rather, he says “It is finished” when the bread is out of the oven and ready to be eaten. Likewise, when Jesus said “It is finished,” He meant that it is completely finished. The work is finished. Salvation is won. The sinner is reconciled to God. Heaven is opened. The work is completely finished in Christ’s suffering. Faith does nothing, for there is nothing left to do. All it does is receive this completed work; it simply swallows the bread that the baker shoves into its mouth, and even the swallowing is the work of the Holy Spirit. In this way, faith does not take us “further up and further” into heaven. There is no “go further” needed. Faith connects us to Christ and the gift of eternal life that is already there. We do not need to run and go further and further as they do in The Last Battle. Aslan does not need to say,“go further in,” but he should say, “you are already in.” Faith in Christ takes us directly in. We are already saved through the waters of baptism. No fervent running, no act of faith, and no good work, will get us closer to heaven. We do not need to strive further and further to get to heaven. Christ has already redeemed us so that we may be His own and serve Him in heaven’s everlasting righteousness (Luther). We do not need to proceed further and further, for Christ has done everything. It truly is finished.
We do not go “further up and further in” towards heaven, but our faith still does further in a different way. The Christian goes further as he is strengthened by Word and Sacrament. Not only this, but the Christian faith also furthers when the Christian lives out his life in his vocation. Our faith furthers in love and service toward our neighbor. This furthering of faith in the our vocation does not, however, bring us “further up” to the gates of heaven.
In some ways, our faith does take us “further up and further in.” The Christian faith takes us further into the study of God’s Word and the Christian faith itself grows from this very Word, and the reception of the Sacrament. The Christian faith takes us “further in” as we live out our faith in love and service toward our neighbor. This furthering, however, should not mean that our acts of faith take us further and further to heaven. Christ’s death and resurrection has taken us all the way to the gates of heaven, and no further work is needed to bring us to those gates. We do nothing, Christ does everything.
Further Up, Further IN
Congratulations to Nicole Rodriguez and Elizabeth Paul for co-winning the Consortium for Classical Lutheran Education's Rhetoric level Essay Contest!
Did You miss your opportunity to pick up a t-shirt at a conference this summer?
Did you get one and want another?
If so, we have great news for you!
You can now purchase Wittenberg Academy t-shirts year round online! They will also be available at the conferences listed in the 'On the Road with WA' page.
If you feel so moved, a GoFundMe account has been set up for the Wolf family. Please keep the family in your prayers.
Our beloved Aaron Wolf passed away suddenly on Easter Sunday. It is a devastating loss to his family and a terrible loss to Chronicles, The Charlemagne Institute, and the conservative cause.
In his mid-forties, Aaron is survived by his incredible wife Lorrie, their six children, and his mother and father.
He was a man of abounding goodness as father, husband, and Christian. Readers of Chronicles know that he was also a tenacious defender of Western Civilization and the lives of the unborn and most vulnerable. He made Chronicles possible through his industry as an editor, seeing the magazine through to production every month. His generosity toward colleagues, writers, and even strangers was unstinting, and he bettered the lives of everyone who knew him. Aaron set a benchmark for us all.
Aaron Wolf Family Memorial Fund
The Innocence of Father Brown
I would first like to thank the Wittenberg Academy scholars for allowing me to attend their monthly book club. It is always enjoyable to witness the wit and camaraderie of such a group, and they certainly keep me on my toes in the insightful discussions and good humor, both aloud in video conferencing and in the swiftly flowing chat box.
On October 17th, our scholars from various parts of the world met to discuss the first short story in G.K. Chesterton’s The Innocence of Father Brown entitled “The Blue Cross.” Some of us were already familiar with his work, while others were introduced to Father Brown in Chesterton's clever prose. “The little priest was so much the essence of those Eastern flats; he had a face as round and dull as a Norfolk dumpling; he had eyes as empty as the North Sea; he had several brown paper parcels, which he was quite incapable of collecting.”
We get this description from the French detective, Valentin, who is the likeliest of heroes for a mystery. For the first third of the story we are assured by this member of the Paris police himself that he is cool and capable. He will without a doubt catch the rascal, Flambeau, that he is chasing, regardless of the thief’s previous cunning and acrobatics when evading the law. “He [Valentin] was not ‘a thinking machine’; for that is a brainless phrase of modern fatalism and materialism. But he was a thinking man, and a plain man at the same time...But exactly because Valentin understood reason, he understood the limits of reason...In such cases he reckoned on the unforeseen.”
Because of Valentin’s keen eye and limitless adaptability, he is not the least bit worried about catching Flambeau, who “had escaped, once by a pair of nail scissors, and once by a house on fire; once by having to pay for an unstamped letter, and once by getting people to look through a telescope at a comet that might destroy the world.” Society marvels at his ability to shrink into a crowd or slip away especially because of his towering 6’ frame.
Having laid out the characters in this way, Chesterton begins to throw one strange puzzle after another at the feet of his readers. There are a myriad of opportunities to laugh or snort aloud while reading this story. The scholars discussed his use of what the world would not deem worthy, wise, or efficient, much in the same way that our Lord uses the cross, a stumbling block to the Jews and folly to the Gentiles. As a result of the characters’ actions, we also explored the role of confession in the life of the Church and how it can be used in faithful Lutheran congregations.
As we closed on the exciting and humorous tale that was the purpose of the WABC, we also discussed our reading habits with one another. Some of our members enjoy listening to others read, reading aloud to others, or listening to audiobooks. Others enjoy reading alone in a quiet nook. It was interesting to compare our experiences. As has been the case in previous meetings, recommendations for other books were shared. This is one of my favorite parts of the meetings, as I’ve heard about wonderful stories that I otherwise would not have the opportunity to explore. The suggestion was made in earnest that those who hadn’t read the rest of The Innocence of Father Brown continue on to the end.
Chesterton’s ability to blend humor, action, and the truths of life are hard to find. Being able to discuss “The Blue Cross” with the Wittenberg Academy Book Club scholars made my experience with this story, an old favorite, that much deeper and more enjoyable.
Mrs. Frances B.N. Meadows
Wittenberg Academy Mom
Wittenberg Academy's 4th Annual Family Retreat
A point of confession
Wittenberg Academy held their 4th Annual Family Retreat on April 25-27, 2019. The Rev. Dr. Thomas Korcok spoke on the liberal arts. We were blessed to have many families that enjoyed three days of fun, fellowship, and worship. We hope to see everyone again next year!
Next year's Retreat will be held on April 23-25, 2020.
2019-20 Academic Year Dates
Michaelmas: September 3-November 22
Christmas: November 25- February 28
Easter: March 2- May 22
Trinity: June 1- August 21
"For if we wish to have excellent and able persons both for civil and Church leadership. we must spare no diligence, time, or cost in teaching and education our children, so that they may serve God and the world. We must not think only about how we may amass money and possessions for them. God can indeed support and make them rich without us, as He daily does. But for this purpose He has given us children and issued ths command: we should train and govern them according to His will. Otherwise, He would have no purpose for a father and a mother.Therefore, let everyone know that it is his duty, on peril of losing the divine favor, to bring up his children in the fear and knowledge of God above all things (Proverbs 1:7). And if the children are talented, have them learn and study something. Then they ma be hired for whatever need there is."
~ The Large Catechism, Part I: The Fourth Commandment, 172-174
Registration is now open for the 2020 Wittenberg Academy Family Retreat!
When: April 23-25, 2020
Who: Plenary speaker forthcoming
Cost: $300 per family (Includes room & board)
WE hope to see you there!
from Kloria Publishing
These publications are available for order on
Like us on Facebook
Follow us on Twitter
Check out our boards on Pinterest
Connect with Wittenberg Academy!