Monthly Archives: July 2015

What is Truth?

JN18.33

“What is truth?”

So Pilate entered his headquarters again and called Jesus and said to him, “Are you the King of the Jews?” Jesus answered, “Do you say this of your own accord, or did others say it to you about me?” Pilate answered, “Am I Jew? Your own nation and chief priests have delivered you over to me. What have you done?” Jesus answered, “My kingdom is not of this world. If my kingdom were of this world, my servants would have been fighting, that I might not be delivered over to the Jews. But my kingdom is not from the world.” Then Pilate said to him, “So you are a king?” Jesus answered, “You say that I am a king. For this purpose I was born and for this purpose I have come into the world- to bear witness to the truth. Everyone who is the truth listens to my voice.” Pilate said to him, “What is truth?” (John 18:33-38 English Standard Version).

After being baffled by Jesus’ words regarding his arrest and purpose on earth, Pontius Pilate gives a most interesting cynical response, “What is truth?” Even though this was to be a dismissive end to the conversation, it does leave you wondering why such a response?

Today, much like in Jesus’ day, the truth can be pretty hard to find. As a little kid in the 80s, during an assembly at my school I remember hearing an expert of technology saying that the coming era would usher in a struggle to find reliable information. The information age, as he spoke of it, would bring a time where there would be hundreds and thousands of television channels and computers would be everywhere all interconnected. Information and knowledge of the universe would double at a rate never imagined. And yet the struggle would be information reliability, or truth.

We are living in the information age. Due to the overabundance and ease of access to information, a common problem has arisen, reliability of the information. It seems that for every fact, there is a conflicting fact. If one is not careful, one can be left cynical, like Pilate, saying “What is truth?”

What is truth? where can it be found? Is it even important? In Lutheran education, the truth is vital to our existence. It is found in God’s word that we so often share in our classrooms. This truth should be the focus of our schools as they look to the future and their place in it. Since the days that Jesus walked on earth, many things have changed. People have come and gone and yet Isaiah reminds us that “The grass withers, the flower fades, but the word of our God will stand forever” (Isaiah 40:8 English Standard Version). It is on this word of God which Lutheran schools stand. God’s word is the center of what we teach. His word is the truth which is our foundation. In a world where truth is often hard to decipher, may we all listen to God’s word. Despite the many changes that face our Lutheran schools, may they continue to be rooted in God’s word which never fades and always provides truth for His people.

Advertisements

Take The High Road

Jerry

“Take the high road, even though it hurts.” My father-in-law, Jerry Eisman, during one of the toughest times in my life, spoke these words to me as a way of encouragement. It was one of those times where taking the high road was a difficult path, one that was furthest from my mind. And yet, these words remind me of the way we are as Christians to live. I am reminded of Luther’s explanation of the eighth commandment when he states “explain everything in the kindest way” (Luther’s Small Catechism p. 13). Wouldn’t it be great if we always explained everything in the kindest way? How many arguments and misunderstandings would we avoid, by this simple understanding of just one commandment?

And yet, this is what we are called in Christ to do. We are to live a life that reflects the love of God, to take the high road. We do this, not to earn any favor with God, but to follow the example of Christ who himself baffled people because he did not act as one who was controlled by the flesh. Paul in Romans states “For those who live according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who live according to the Spirit set their minds on the things of the Spirit. For to set the mind on the flesh is death, but to set the mind on the Spirit is life and peace” (Romans 8:5-6, ESV).

Our Lutheran Schools teach things of the Spirit spoken of in Romans. We strive as private schools to use our time, talents, and treasures wisely to reach the most people. In addition, we are privileged to carry on this instruction of the Spirit. We are privileged to speak of the one who embodied God’s love for us, Jesus. Sometimes this can hurt. Sometimes this can be unpopular or even a bit scary. As painful, unpopular, and scary as it can be, may it be a privilege.

So in the words of a veteran Lutheran teacher and principal that I had the honor of calling father-in-law, “Take the high road, even though it hurts.”

A short introduction- Christ Stevensville

Family7.2014

“So then, brothers, stand firm and hold to the traditions that you were taught by us, either by our spoken word or by our letter” (2 Thessalonians 2:15 English Standard Version). These words of Paul to the church at Thessalonica have been very important to me throughout my life. They remind me that despite the many attempts by man to cloud truth in this world, God’s word is truth and we are to cling to it. It is this truth that called me to Lutheran education.

I grew up in a small lumber town of Emmett, Idaho, about 30 miles southwest of Boise. I went to public school for all of my compulsory education. Even though I was taught by dedicated and caring teachers, there was one topic that was not, and could not be discussed. It wasn’t until I attended college at Concordia (a Lutheran University) that I had instructors that pointed their students to the truth, and that truth permeated all subjects. Of course we spoke of God and His creation in religion, but professors also pointed this out in other subjects that were a part of the general education curriculum. During my undergraduate work as a part of my Lutheran education diploma it was ingrained in us that, “you don’t only teach about God in Religion class, but He should be a part of all the subjects you teach”. This has stayed with me in my days as a Lutheran teacher and will continue as I move into administration.

In many ways schools today are all about teaching facts. Students today are tested endlessly on their knowledge of facts. In all of this, the truth about the creator of the universe and our part in it, are often overlooked. This is to our detriment. This is where our Lutheran schools can provide a clearer picture and fuller experience as we work to build up God’s chosen children to meet their fullest potential. And, because this training is built on God’s word, we can be secure in the words of Proverbs “Train up a child in the way he should go; even when he is old he will not depart from it” (Proverbs 22:6 English Standard Version).

All of this has brought me here to Christ in Stevensville. Sure, there are a lot of experiences that I bring from other places that I have served. It is my intention that in the future I will have opportunities to share with you those experiences as I work with you in building up the education ministry at Christ. In the meantime, let me share with you a couple of things about myself as a sort of introduction.

My Family: Angela, Grace (15), Olivia (12), Isaiah and Jacob (9)

Education: Concordia University Nebraska BS Secondary Education & M. Ed Education Administration

Hobbies: Fishing, reading, music (drums).
Licensed private pilot 1994