Anderson Family Construction

I wrote the following review of Anderson Family Construction for Houzz.

Anderson Family Construction built our home on acreage near Moscow, Idaho in 2018, and we are absolutely thrilled! We have a growing family, and really wanted a place that would incorporate a lot of very busy life. They modified the design to fit our family, incorporating some special features that were specific to us, including a foundation stone that has sentimental value to us, a butcher-block counter that used to be part of our family restaurant, and gorgeous built-in floor-to-ceiling bookcases in the large study, as I often work from home and own several thousand books.

I was warned several times by friends who had built their homes that “building your own home is very stressful.” The building process was the one element of this whole move that really wasn’t stressful to us, and I think that is because of a very key ingredient that is somewhat rare in the homebuilding and construction industry: trust. It’s not that there were zero bumps (though there were very few), but we had full confidence that AFC was made up of owners and employees of integrity. We had much of this confidence going in because we knew several of the crew, and they did not disappoint. The builders (from the earth movers, to the framers, to the drywallers, to the woodworkers) had obvious pride in a job well done. We weren’t dealing with time-punchers, but a guild of craftsmen who delighted in solving problems and making beautiful results.

AFC kept to the budget, did most of the build in 4 months, and most of all gave us a very high-quality, high-efficiency, cozy, elegant home.

We like to say it is a “new home with an old soul,” combining 21st-century latest in building technology with a classic, “farmhouse” design we love so much. The foundation was poured using the innovative FoxBlocks, and the siding is LP Smartside. Combined with the high efficiency 33 SEER Mitsubishi HVAC for our heating and cooling, we have an energy efficient home with very reasonable utility bills as a result (tracked with Sense and SensorPush).

I highly recommend AFC for any construction or remodel work, but particularly recommend their semi-custom, affordable yet gorgeous, high-quality home building.

I would happily give more details about our home and build process to anyone interested in using AFC – contact me through foucachon.com. #AFCBuilt

See more photos, including photos and videos of construction, as well the incredible view, at Foucachon Farmhouse facebook page.

A few construction videos:

Snow, snow, snow!

I have thoroughly enjoyed our snowfall these last few weeks! Thanks to the drone, in spite of battling a bad chest cold this last week I was able to enjoy the outdoors, flying from inside the house, and getting photos from all around the property. I’ve been posting regularly on the Foucachon Farmhouse FB Page and my Instagram. Enjoy some of the highlight videos below! Subscribe to our YouTube Channel here

This wide-screen 4k video is worth watching in full screen!

May Primary Election 2018 Endorsements

We have an important Primary coming up!

I have been unusually busy over the last few months, and have therefore had less time to look into each candidate. But many of these names are not new, and I’ve recently had some confirmations on those I knew less about. My friend Gresham Bouma, who ran for Idaho Senate (District 5) a number of years ago, put together his list of endorsements which lined up exactly with mine. I have not had time to create notes for each candidate, so with his permission, I am including his notes below.

Here is how I’m voting this May 15th. Notes by Gresham Bouma.

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A Waldensian Confession of Faith

[dropcap]T[/dropcap]his confession of faith, from 1655, is found on pages 112 to 114 of Jean Léger’s, Histoire Générale des Vaudois (1669). Here is my rough translation, taken from the old French.

We Believe:

I. That there is only one God, who is a spiritual essence, eternal, infinite, all wise, all merciful, and all just; in one word, perfect. And that there are three Persons in that one and simple essence: the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit.

II. That this God manifested himself to man by his works, such as Creation, such as Providence, and by his Word, revealed in the beginning by diverse strong Oracles, and then composed by writing in Books which we call the Holy Scripture.

III. That just as we must receive the Holy Scriptures as Divine and Canonical, for the rule of our life and Faith, [so also we receive] that it is filled with Books from the Old and New Testament. From the Old Testament only those Books which God committed to the Judean Church, and those that have always been recognized as Divine: to receive: the five Books of Moses, Joshua, Judges, Ruth, 1 & 2 Samuel, 1 & 2 Kings, 1 & 2 Chronicles or Paralipomenon, 1 of Esdras,[1. “Protestant writers, after the Geneva Bible, call I and II Esdras of the Vulgate respectively Ezra and Nehemiah, and III and IV Esdras of the Vulgate respectively I and II Esdras.” Source: Catholic Encyclopedia.] Nehemiah, Esther, Job, the Psalms, the Proverbs of Solomon, Ecclesiastes, the Song of Songs, the four major prophets and the twelve minor. And in the New [Testament]: the four Gospels, the Acts of the Apostles, the Epistles of Paul, one to the Romans, two to the Corinthians, one to the Galatians, one to the Ephesians, one to the Philippians, one to the Colossians, the epistle of Hebrews, one of St. James, two of St. Peter, three of St. John, one of St. Jude, and the Apocalypse [Revelation].

IV. That we recognize the Divinity of the Sacred Books, not only by the testimony of the Church, but primarily by the eternal and indubitable truth of the Doctrine which are therein contained, [by the] excellence, sublimity, and majesty of everything Divine which are therein, and by the operation of the Holy Spirit, who makes us receive with respect the testimony which the Church gives us, who open our eyes to discover the rays of celestial light which burst in Scripture, and who rectifies our taste in order to discern this meat by the Divine savor that it is.

V. That God made all things from nothing, by his entirely free will, and by the infinite power of his Word.

VI. That he leads and governs all by his Providence, ordaining and addressing all that comes about in the world, that without being neither the author nor the cause of evil done by the creatures, or that culpability be able, or ought in any way to be imputed [to him.]

VII. That the Angels having been created holy and pure, some fell in a corruption and irreparable perdition, but that the others persevered by an effect of Divine goodness, which supported and confirmed them.

VIII. That man, who was created pure and holy, in the Image of God, deprived himself by his own fault of this happy state, giving his sentiments to the captivating discourse of the Devil.

IX. That man lost, by his transgression, the justice and holiness that he had received, incurring, with the indignation of God, death and captivity, under the power of him who has the empire of death, that is to say the Devil, to the point that his free will[2. Franc arbitre] became serf and slave of sin, so much that by nature all men, Jews and Gentiles, are the Children of Ire, all dead in faults and sins, and consequently incapable of having any good movement towards salvation, no even [able] to form any good thought without grace; all their imagination and thought are but evil at all times.

X. That all the posterity of Adam is guilty, in him, of his disobedience, infected by his corruption, and fallen in the same calamity, all the way to little Children, starting from the womb of their Mother, from where comes the name of Original Sin.

XI. That God withdraws from this corruption and damnation those persons whom he elected by his grace, in his Son Jesus Christ, leaving the others [in their corruption & damnation] by an irreproachable right of his liberty and justice.

XII. That Jesus Christ, having been ordained by God in his eternal decree to be the only Savior and the only Head of his Body, that is the Church, bought by his own Blood, in the accomplishment of time, and offers and communicates to us all his benefits by the Gospel.

XIII. That there are two natures in Jesus Christ, the Divine and the human, truly in one person, without confusion, without division, without separation, without change; each nature keeping its own distinct natures, and that Jesus Christ is truly God and truly man all together.

XIV. That God so loved the world that he gave his Son to save us by his very perfect obedience, namely by that [obedience] which he showed by suffering the damned death of the Cross, and by the victories that he won over the Devil: sin and death.

XV. That Jesus Christ having accomplished the entire expiation of our sins by his very perfect sacrifice, once offered on the Cross, it [that expiation] cannot, nor should be reiterated under any pretext whatever.

XVI. That the Lord Jesus having fully reconciled us to God by the Blood of the Cross, it is by his merit only, and not by our works, that we are absolved and justified before him.

XVII. That we have union with Jesus Christ, and communion to his benefits by Faith.

XVIII. That this Faith comes from the gracious and effective operation of the Holy Spirit, who enlightens our souls, and brings them [our souls] to press upon the grace of God, in order to apply the merit of Jesus Christ.

XIX. That Jesus Christ is our true and only Mediator: not only of Redemption, but also of Intercession, and that by his merits and mediation we have access to the Father, in order that we might invoke with the holy confidence of being answered, without needing to have recourse to any other intercessor than him [Christ.]

XX. That since God promised regeneration in Jesus Christ, those who are united to him by a lively Faith, ought to give themselves, and give themselves indeed, to good works.

XXI. That good works are so necessary to the faithful, that they cannot reach the Kingdom of Heaven without doing them, being true that God prepared them in order that we might progress in them, that therefore we ought to flee vices and give ourselves to the Christian virtues, employing fasts and all other means which can serve us to a thing so holy.

XXII. That just as our works cannot merit [Eternal Life], our Lord will not let go [forget] to recompense them with Eternal Life, by a gracious continuation of his grace, and in virtue of the immutable constancy of the promises that he made in our regard.

XXIII. That those who posses Eternal Life following their Faith and their good works, ought to be considered Holy and glorified, prayed for their virtues, imitated in all the beautiful actions of their life, but not adored, nor invoked, since we ought to pray to only one God through Jesus Christ.

XXIV. That God gathered one Church in the world for the salvation of men, that it has one Head and foundation, which is Jesus Christ.

XXV. That that Church is the company of the faithful, who having been elect of God, before the foundation of the world, and called by a holy vocation, unite to follow the Word of God, believing what he taught us, and living in his fear.

XXVI. That this Church cannot fail, or be destroyed, but that it must be perpetual.

XXVII. That all must put away[3. “ranger” – not sure about translation.] and stand firm in their communion.

XXVIII. That God teaches us not only by his Word, but he also instituted the Sacraments in order to join them to his Word, as means to join us to Jesus Christ, and to communicate his benefits, and that there are but two common to all the members of the church under the New Testament, that is Baptism and the Holy Supper.

XXIX. That he instituted that of Baptism as a testimony of our adoption, and that we are all washed of our sins by the Blood of Jesus Christ, and renewed in holiness of life.

XXX. That he instituted that of the Holy Supper or Eucharist, for the food of our soul, in order that by a true and lively Faith, by the incomprehensible virtue of the Holy Spirit, we actually eat his Body, and drink his Blood, and we unite very closely and inseparably to Christ, in him, and by him, we have spiritual and eternal life. In order that all the world clearly sees our belief on this point, we add here the same terms which are embedded in our Prayer before Communion, in our liturgy, or manner of celebrating the Holy Eucharist, and in our public catechism, which are pieces that can be seen at the end of our Psalms: Here are the terms of our Prayer: Just as our Lord not only at one time offered his Body and his Blood for the remission of our sins, but also wants to communicate [these elements] for food into eternal life, give us this grace that from true sincerity of heart and of an ardent zeal we receive of him a benefit so great, that in a certain Faith we enjoy of his Body and of his Blood, or even of him entirely. The terms of our Liturgy are: First of all then, we believe in his promises that Jesus Christ who is truth itself pronounced of his mouth; know then, that he wants us to truly participate in his Body and his Blood, in order that we posses him entirely in such a way that he lives in us, and us in him. Those of our public Catechism are the same in Section 53.

XXXI. That it is necessary that the church has Pastors, judged to be well instructed, and of a good life, by those who have the right, as much to preach the Word of God, as well as administer the Sacraments, and to watch on the flock of Jesus Christ, following the ruled of a good and holy Discipline, together with the Elders and Deacons, according to the practice of the ancient Church.

XXXII. That God established Kings and Magistrates, for the conduct of the people and that the people must be subjected and obedient in virtue of this order, not only because of wrath, but because of conscience, in all things which are in conformity with the Word of God, who is the King of Kings, and Lord of lords.

XXXIII. Finally, that Apostles Creed ought to be received, the Lord’s Prayer, and the Decalogue, as well as the fundamental documents of our beliefs and our devotions.

And for a more ample declaration of our beliefs, we repeat here the protestation that we had printed in the year 1603. Know that we consent to the healthy Doctrine, with all the Reformed Churches of France, England, the Netherlands, Germany, of Switzerland, Bohemia, Poland, Hungary, and others, as well as is expressed en their Confession of Augsburg, according to the declaration that we gave to the Author. And promising to persevere with God’s help, inviolably in life and in death, being ready to sign this eternal truth of God with our own blood, as our predecessors have done since the times of the Apostles, particularly in these last centuries. And yet we very humbly pray all the Evangelical and Protestant Churches to consider us, with regards to our poverty and littleness, as true member of the mystical body of Jesus Christ, suffering for his Holy Name, and to continue to assist us in your prayer towards God, and all other good offices of your charity, as we have already abundantly experienced, for which we thank you in all humility which is possible to us, and beg from all our heart the Lord, that he be himself the remunerator, pouring on them [the churches] the most precious benedictions of his grace and his glory, in this life and in that which is to come.
Amen.

Translated by Daniel Foucachon in The Sectarized People of God, 2008. Originally a thesis in completion of a degree in Liberal Arts and Culture from New Saint Andrews College, Moscow, Idaho.

Caroling on Friendship Square

I had the privilege to once again film Christ Church and Trinity Reformed Church gathering for caroling on Friendship Square.

Previous years: 
Caroling (mall) 2009
Caroling 2011
– Caroling 2012
– Caroling 2013
Caroling 2015

The Moscow-Pullman Daily News ran this article, which quoted me:

Singing in the snow

Christ Church carolers fill Friendship Square for hour of singing, fellowship

By Taylor Nadauld, Daily News Staff Writer

Framed by the branches of a Christmas tree Saturday, carolers sing at Friendship Square in Moscow. Kai Eiselein/Daily News

Framed by the branches of a Christmas tree Saturday, carolers sing at Friendship Square in Moscow.
Kai Eiselein/Daily News

Members of Christ Church gathered in an hour of song for the church’s annual Christmas caroling event Saturday afternoon at Friendship Square in Moscow.

Volunteer Curtis Spencer carried a stack of carol booklets in his arms, passing them out to people in the crowd as they sang “O Come, O Come, Emmanuel,” one of several Christmas-themed hymns in an hour-long lineup of caroling.

“There’s a few scripture readings, passages of the Christmas story from the Bible, and then we’ll end with fellowshiping, drinking cocoa and eating cookies,” Spencer said.

A member came to the front of the crowd in between songs, reading scripture to the audience from a megaphone near a frosted evergreen in the square.

Above the many voices, friends and New Saint Andrews College classmates James Goode and Caleb Harris could be heard belting harmonies during each hymn.

“We were trying,” Harris said with a laugh. “We’re like that in church, too,” to which Goode added, “If you’re going to sing, you might as well sing loud.”

For Harris and Goode, the annual caroling event is not just about singing, but about teachings of Jesus Christ, who Christians believe to be the son of God and whose birth is celebrated on Christmas.

“We are here to spread the news to the world that Jesus is king, that he has died on the cross for our sins, and we can’t keep that in — we’re happy about it,” Harris said.

At the front of the crowd, Daniel Foucachon photographed the carolers with his cellphone. A frequent attendee and unofficial photographer of the event, Foucachon said the church sings in the square about four times per year, but its Christmas caroling event is special, as it includes hymns many passersby will recognize.

“Christmas is a time where just about everyone is happy to talk about something that Christians are celebrating every week, all year round,” Foucachon said.

The carolers wrapped up with “Joy to the World! The Lord is Come,” before ending in prayer and warming up from the surrounding snow with some hot chocolate.

Taylor Nadauld can be reached at (208) 883-4630, by email to tnadauld at dnews.com and on Twitter @tnadauldarg.

Moscow Election 2017

We have an election coming up in Moscow! This November 7th, we will be deciding who will be meeting every Monday at the City Council meetings and deciding about policies, permits, laws, levies, taxes, and infrastructure that affect us daily in Moscow. This is an important election!

I moved to Moscow in 2005, which is long enough to have observed the direct effect anti-business, “progressive” politicians can have on a small city. I wasn’t the only one noticing. In 2013 the Greater Moscow Alliance released an economic report showing the harm of the anti-growth politicians running our city. Thankfully, we got a new mayor that election year (our current mayor Bill Lambert) and the GMA just released a new study and is happy to announce that “Moscow’s economy [is] “thriving,” pro-business climate pay[ing] dividends“. Your vote made a difference!

I fully concur with the GMA endorsement of all incumbents. Please get out and vote! Let’s keep Moscow thriving and economically healthy. I offer this simple voting guide in case it’s helpful.

Where to vote? Latah County Fairgrounds, from 8 am to 8 pm, on November 7th.

Read the full 2017 Report from the GMA or the Executive Summary on their website.

Voting guide image not showing up? Here is a text version: 

I endorse:

For Mayor:
Bill Lambert

For City Council, four-year term:
Walter Steed
Gina Taruscio
Art Bettge

For City Council, two-year Term:

John Weber

What do we mean by “Liberal Arts”?

[dropcap]A[/dropcap]s Christians recover classical Christian education, they are unearthing old treasures, once the possession of every educated man. Some of these treasures are words and descriptions–terms like “Trivium” and “Quadrivium,” “paideia,” and “liberal arts.” Of all these terms, “liberal arts” lays at the heart of what classical education is all about. So what did our forefathers mean by “liberal arts”?

“Liberal”

[dropcap]T[/dropcap]he word liberal has nothing to do with our modern use of the word in politics and culture. Liberal means “free,” and historically described the kind of education expected of a freeman–especially one in a position of leadership, like nobility. Our culture has so alienated itself from a historic education that it’s very difficult for us to think of education without thinking of jobs and vocational training.

Dr. Roy Atwood, founding President of New Saint Andrews College, was once asked by a student, “Who are you”? His automatic response was to give his profession: “Uh…I’m a professor.” But the student responded, “No, I don’t mean what you do, but who are you?”[1. Dr. Roy Atwood, Educating Royalty, Reformed Perspective: A Magazine for the Christian Family, Vol. 33, No. 6, April 2014.] We are programmed to answer that question with what we do, with our job title. And we likewise think of education in terms of answering the question, “Will this education prepare me for a job?”. The modern definition of education has the effect of not only defining the education process in terms of pragmatic usefulness, but also defining human beings themselves in terms of usefulness. Like in the world of Thomas the Train which our children didactically watch, our identity is wound up with our usefulness. “Who are you?” asks the modernist? “I do this job” we reply catechetically.

Christians of previous generations viewed education, and themselves, differently. The opening lines of the Westminster Shorter Catechism would have been familiar to nearly every child in early America: “The chief end of man is to glorify God and enjoy him forever.” That is who we are: worshiping beings, who delight in God. Or to use Dr. Atwood’s conclusion to the question “who are you?”, we are royalty, heirs of Christ. And we should educate our children in that light.

Some may object that this identity is a fine thing, but has nothing to do with education. “How does it help you get a job? How is it useful?” In 1646, the founders of Harvard College defined education in their “Rules and Precepts” in this way:

“Let every Student be plainly instructed, and earnestly pressed to consider well, the maine end of his life and studies is, to know God and Jesus Christ which is eternal life (John 17:3) and therefore to lay Christ in the bottome, as the only foundation of all sound knowledge and Learning.”

Christ is both the source and the goal of education.

“Who are you?” We are liberal (free) Christians, pursuing wisdom and virtue through the interwoven arts of theology (study of the knowledge of God) and humanities (study of ourselves and of mankind). “Knowledge of God and knowledge of self” is how John Calvin sets the stage for his Institutes of the Christian Religion, and is also how Harvard and other universities in the United States prior to the 1900s set the foundation for education.

So the term “liberal” points to the purpose of education and our identity. But what precisely does this looks like.

“Arts”

[dropcap]I[/dropcap]f the foundation of education is knowledge of self and knowledge of God, how might the liberal arts help us in this endeavor? The Liberal Arts are an education in first principles–in the foundations of things. The Western heritage is the cultural soil into which Christ was made flesh, and the common inheritance of all God’s people. This specifically means recovering an education which includes Plato and Aristotle, Aquinas and Dante, Augustine and Boethius, Cicero and Plutarch, Homer and Vergil, Milton and Shakespeare. These and many others are so much woven into the fiber of ourselves and our culture that we cannot truly know ourselves without knowing them. It includes the classical study of logic, rhetoric, grammar, and language. These disciplines inform our understanding of the written and spoken word, the means God gave us for understanding Himself and ourselves.

We may have only recently re-discovered this birthright, but it is not presumptuous to receive this rich heritage as our own. Our culture is in full-blown identity crisis. The liberal arts educate our children in their identity, giving them the tools to understand the world around them in wisdom and virtue. And with this education in first principles–these freeing, liberal arts not defined by usefulness–our children will possess tools of learning that are surprisingly useful in a confused world.

This article is an adapted excerpt from chapter one of A Better Admissions Test: Raising the Standard for College Entrance Exams, published by the Classical Learning Initiative and Mudhouse Press. 

family-square-360x360Daniel Foucachon grew up in Lyon, France where his father was an evangelist and church-planter with Mission to the World. He moved to Moscow, Idaho in 2005 to attend New Saint Andrews College, where he graduated with a BA in Liberal Arts and Culture in 2009. In 2009 he founded a media production company, and was the producer of Canon Wired (the media branch of Canon Press) until 2013. His love for classical education and desire to publish curriculum designed for home education led him to found Roman Roads Media in 2011, which has since produced and published award-winning liberal arts curriculum for high school students. He and his wife Lydia live in Moscow, Idaho with their three sons and one daughter.
Follow Daniel: Facebook | Twitter

liberal-arts-daniel-article

Children’s Church

A friend ran into this argument:

“Can you give biblical reasons for not having someone watch your ONE YEAR and 2-month-old child while you’re in church? Come on man. 14-months-old?? Can you tell me exactly what you think you are accomplishing by having a 14-month-old in church?”

childrenschurch

He responded simply with Bible references.

Have you not read?

“Call a solemn assembly; gather the people. Consecrate the congregation; assemble the elders; gather the children, even nursing infants.” -Joel 2:15-16

“And Jesus said to them, ‘Yes; have you never read, ‘Out of the mouth of infants and nursing babies you have prepared praise’?” -Matthew 21:16

“Now they were bringing even infants to him that he might touch them. And when the disciples saw it, they rebuked them. But Jesus called them to him, saying, “Let the children come to me, and do not hinder them, for to such belongs the kingdom of God. Truly, I say to you, whoever does not receive the kingdom of God like a child shall not enter it.” -Luke 18:15-17

“There was not a word of all that Moses commanded that Joshua did not read before all the assembly of Israel, and the women, and the little ones, and the sojourners who lived among them.” -Joshua 8:35

“Assemble the people, men, women, and little ones, and the sojourner within your towns, that they may hear and learn to fear the Lord your God, and be careful to do all the words of this law, and that their children, who have not known it, may hear and learn to fear the Lord your God, as long as you live in the land that you are going over the Jordan to possess.” -Deuteronomy 31:12-13

“Meanwhile all Judah stood before the Lord, with their little ones, their wives, and their children.” -2 Chronicles 20:13

“While Ezra prayed and made confession, weeping and casting himself down before the house of God, a very great assembly of men, women, and children, gathered to him out of Israel, for the people wept bitterly.” -Ezra 10:1

“When our days there were ended, we departed and went on our journey, and they all, with wives and children, accompanied us until we were outside the city. And kneeling down on the beach, we prayed and said farewell to one another.” -Acts 21:5-6

Ephesians 6 assumes that children would be present at the reading of the letter to the congregation.

Children were present at Jesus’ preaching (Matt 14:21).

Keep your kids in Church! The Kingdom of God belongs to such as these. The elements of a service are didactic even if they don’t have full comprehension. What they will quickly gain is the knowledge that “these are my people, this is where I belong, this is the Body of Christ where I worship God.” It may take years for them to put that into words, but they understand it as surely as they understand that they belong at your dinner table. Have you ever tried removing a one-year-old from a dinner table full of older siblings?  They know to whom they belong. They have an incredible ability to discern the Body.

A Better Admissions Test: Raising the Standard for College Entrance Exams

a-better-admissions-testIt was a real privilege to contribute to A Better Admissions Test: Raising the Standard for College Entrance Exams by Classic Learning Initiatives! It was especially delightful when my search for a primary source brought me to the University of Idaho special collections, and the inaugural address of Frederick Kelley, President of the University of Idaho in 1928. Kelley, the original creator of the standardized exam in 1915, changed his views with age and wisdom, and spent the latter part of his career advocating for classical liberal arts.

My chapter (Chapter 1) gives a brief history of entrance exams in the United States, starting with an overview of the classical liberal arts, a needed foundation to understand the change brought about by standardized testing.

Robert Bortins of Classical Conversations said it best about this book: “A must read for anyone in education or admissions who is brave enough to admit that things aren’t quite right in higher education any more.”

The River Thief, by N.D. Wilson (starring Joel Courtney) | Review

If you’re familiar with N.D. Wilson’s children’s novels, you know you’re in for a treat with The River Thief, his first feature film.

This film breaks from the typical Christian film by telling a good story first and foremost. A lost, father-hungry boy discovering true love. Not the sappy, romantic love of your typical Hollywood flick (this girl wouldn’t have any of that), but rather the kind of love that creates a longing to live or die for someone else (something new for Diz).

A wonderful family film, although there are some rough scenes. My 7-year-old son was spellbound, and somewhat affected by the rough parts. Yet this is the kind of story that is healthy. The emotion, drama, and violence of this *good* story are like emotional boot camp; it allows a young boy or girl to experience these emotions of grief and fear along with the positive life lesson that a good story provides.

As a resident of the Northwest where this was shot, I also appreciated the cinematography, which was outstanding! Beautiful aerial views in particular.
I highly recommend The River Thief!

Could Your Child Enter Harvard In 1869?

What the entrance exam to Harvard university tells us about classical education in America.

In 1646 Harvard University adopted the following words, based on their mission statement, as part of their “Rules and Precepts”:

Let every Student be plainly instructed, and earnestly pressed to consider well, the maine end of his life and studies is, to know God and Jesus Christ which is eternal life (John 17:3) and therefore to lay Christ in the bottome, as the only foundation of all sound knowledge and Learning. And seeing the Lord only giveth wisedome, Let every one seriously set himself by prayer in secret to seeke it of him (Prov. 2:3).

Thoroughly dedicated to Scriptures as the source of all Truth, Harvard sought to equip ministers and laymen with the tools for being effective citizens in the world, to the glory of God. How did they do this? Through classical education.

Some Christians hear about “classical” or “liberal arts” education, and assume it is an ancient, pre-Christian form of education. Historically liberal arts, meaning “freeing arts”, was the education of a freeman or nobleman, while vocational education was for a slave or serf. Some object that it is a pagan way to educate children, as opposed to Christian, and that “Classical Christian” is simply some kind of syncretism or oxymoron. Not only is this untrue, but it is ironically untrue. In order to dismiss “classical education” as pagan, you have to dismiss the entire history of Christianity in regards to education. The founding fathers of the United States provide a clear example. Not only were they classically educated themselves, but they considered classical education to be an important component to being a faithful, educated Christian. The entrance exam below, paired with the mission statement of Harvard, demonstrates this:

The HISTORY AND GEOGRAPHY portion of the Entrance Exam for Harvard University, July 1869.

I. Bound the basin of the Po, of the Mississippi, of the St. Lawrence.

II. Name the chief rivers of Ancient Gaul and Modern France.   Is France later or smaller than Transalpine Gaul? What are the two principal rivers that rise in the Alps? Where is the Mount Blanc?

III. Where is the Source of the Danube? of the Volga? of the Ganges? of the Amazon?

IV. Describe the route of the Ten Thousand, or lay it down on a map.

V. Leonidas, Pausanias, Lysander.

VI. Pharsalia, Philippi, Actium, — geographically and historically

VII. Supply the two names left bank in the following passage from the Oration for the Manilian Law:

“Non dicam duas urbes potentissimas, Carthaginem et Numantiam ab eodem ________ esse deletas; non commemorabo nuper ita vobis patribusque esse visum, ut in uno _________ spes imperii poneretur, ut idem cum Jugurtha, idem cum Cimbris, idem cum Teutonis bellum administraret.” Who was Jugurtha? Where was Numantia?

VIII. Compare Athens with Sparta?

IX. Pericles: —the Man and his Policy.

See the entire exam (all subjects) HERE (PDF).

Students would answer from their knowledge of Julius Ceasar’s Gallic Wars in Latin, Xenophon’s Anabasis in Greek, and from the historians Herodotus and Thucydides. It was this education that enabled the American founding fathers to intentionally reject the (failed) “experiment in democracy” of ancient Athens, and to instead build a Constitutional and representative Republic, which was more like the Republic of Rome. Classical education shaped men like George Washington, and John Adams. But the Founders were not returning to something merely ancient. They were continuing the tradition of classical education as it was handed down from the earliest of Christian history, starting with the Apostles themselves, and going into the early Church, and on into the Middle Ages, and particularly strong among the Protestant Reformers. As little as 60-70 years ago, it was still taken for granted that an educated person would have a classical education. The idea that education would not be classical, or that classical education is opposed to Christian education, is a very novel and modern idea.

Wondering how to give your children the kind of education that would allow them to pass the entrance exam to Harvard in 1869? Roman Roads Media is the right place.

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Open Letter to Every Christian Parent with Children in Public School

Christian, is your child in a public school facing yet another wave of attacks on sanity and religious freedom? Will your daughter be using the restroom alongside a disturbed boy who “identifies” as a girl?

It’s time to opt out!

I’m not going to spend time making the case that you should opt out. I really hope that Christians are seeing that in most situations today, this is the obvious conclusion. But rather, I want to answer the objection “what is the alternative?” How do we opt out?

It may not be easy, and some situations are harder than others, but there are incredible opportunities available today to give your children a CHRISTIAN education. You really CAN opt out! More than ever before in history, parents are equipped with the tools to make this possible, whether books, video courses, online courses, curriculums for every learning style, and of course, private schools. There is a solution for just about every situation, every budget, and every style of learning. All of these scenarios require dedication, but nearly every true obsticle is now removed.

I have dedicated my own career to providing one answer to this question. Through the company I founded, Roman Roads Media, we provide Christian classical curriculum designed specifically for the homeschool, with an emphasis on video and online learning. Our speciality is 6-12 grade classical subjects.

But we are one of many. Let me name you just a few of my friends, all doing their part to answer this question:

For homeschool:

For Private schools:

Can you not afford the education? There are ways: scholarships, talk to your church, or talk to me if you’re interested in our curriculum.
But please, Christian, #OPTOUT! For the dedicated parent, there are always opportunies. And I will help any way I can.

Sincerely,
Daniel Foucachon.

Founder, Roman Roads Media,
publisher of Christian classical curriculum

Photograph: Toby Talbot/AP. Originally appeared as a Facebook Note, and on New City Times

Singing for Eileen – a paltry earthy choir to send her off

Eileen was too weak to go to church, so we brought the worship to her window this evening, with three hymns of her choosing. Her battle with cancer has been an incredible testimony of her faith. Read Mike’s latest update here.

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YouTube version.

From Rachel Jankovic:

We gathered to sing today to a dear saint who is in the final stages of cancer and can no longer come to worship with us. A paltry earthly choir to send her off – only a small picture of the far more glorious choir gathered to receive her. Eileen Lawyer – we love you and we will miss you! Thank you for having lived so well with the time you had. Packing a much longer lifetime of serving the saints into the time God planned for you. May we all be so fruitful, may we all be so faithful, and may we all love as fiercely -May God grant us the grace to follow in your train.

“A noble army, men and boys,
the matron and the maid,
around the Savior’s throne rejoice,
in robes of light arrayed.
They climbed the steep ascent of heaven,
through peril, toil and pain;
O God, to us may grace be given,
to follow in their train.”

Great Books Challenge for Parents 2016

Welcome to the 2016 Great Books Challenge for Parents! This Challenge is for any parent, but especially for parents who plan to classically homeschool their children, or who are currently homeschooling their children.

Classical homeschoolers love Old Western Culture because they see their children coming to the dinner table full of stories, and thirsty for knowledge and wisdom. Make 2016 the year classical learning comes alive in your home, and earn free curriculum in the process!

Last year’s Great Books Challenge, centered around Virgil’s Aeneid, was a tremendous success! This year we are going to continue and build upon that challenge, adding the following unit, Romans: The Historians, to the challenge. Romans: The Historians, covers the most famous men of Rome, as well as the history of Rome, the persecution of the early Christians, and how the Roman empire influenced the West, especially the founding of the United States.

THE 2016 GREAT BOOK CHALLENGE FOR PARENTS


YouTube version

FREE CURRICULUM!

If you complete the challenge by December 31st, 2016, you will qualify for a free unit from the Old Western Culture curriculum, which includes the video set ($56 value), the workbook ($12), and the accompanying Reader ($22 value).

IN ORDER TO QUALIFY, YOU MUST:

  • Be a parent (children of any age, including expecting).
  • Watch all 12 lectures from either The Aeneid, or The Historians.
  • Complete all reading assignments from either The Aeneid, or The Historians.
  • Fill THIS FORM (form link coming soon) indicating that you completed the above before December 31st, 2016.

FIRST THREE PARENTS TO COMPLETE THE CHALLENGE:

This Great Books Challenge is not a race, however the first three parents to finish the challenge and fill the form on this page will receive a special prize!

  • First Place: $50 Amazon Gift Certificate
  • Second & Third Place: $15 Amazon Gift Certificate

20% OFF TO HELP YOU GET STARTED

To help you get started, we are offering 20% off the price of the materials associated with the Challenge. Enter code “challenge2016” during checkout for a 20% discount on all items related to the Challenge (DVD set, Workbook, and Reader).

“WHY ARE YOU GIVING AWAY FREE CURRICULUM?”

We are convinced that parents who use Old Western Culture will LOVE it. And when a parent loves a curriculum, they tell their friends. And word-of-mouth is the BEST way to let people know about this curriculum. We’re spending most of our time making this the best literature curriculum available, and we need help spreading the word. So help us by USING it, and telling your friends!

Get Started with The Aeneid Challenge
The Aeneid
Get Started with The Historians Challenge
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COMPLETED CHALLENGE FORM

Click HERE (link coming soon) to fill out the form when you have completed the challenge. The form includes an option for choosing your free unit.

TESTIMONIALS FROM LAST YEAR

I’m including a few comments from parents who finished last year’s Great Books Challenge for Parents.

Hi, I finished the parent Aeneid challenge yesterday and I am so very happy I did it. Not only am I much more prepared to help my children learn the material in a few years when they reach high school age, but I absolutely loved reading the books! I was a science major in college and never really “got” the excitement for literature and history. Now I realize that literature and history are foundational to our western society. They have become the subjects central to our little homeschooling effort.
– Kirsten

I have now finished the Aeneid Challenge and much to my surprise, I thoroughly enjoyed and understood it all. I was terribly intimidated before I began but within the first lesson my apprehension evaporated and I couldn’t wait to move on to the next section! Thanks so much for issuing the challenge as I can’t wait to begin with my daughter in a few months!
– Sarah

Hi there, I took up the Aeneid challenge this year and wanted to let you know that I completed it! The Aeneid was the first “Great book” I have ever read and I am amazed at how much I have learnt.
– Cindy

Hello!
I wanted to let you know that I have completed the Great Books Challenge using the Aeneid. Actually, my husband and I did it together after we put the kids to bed (they are in elementary grades) and called it a weekly ‘date night’. 😉
Being publicly educated, we didn’t have the education that we hope to give our children and had very little exposure to most of the ‘greats’ (both books and individuals). I suggested we begin to learn these things now, though our children are younger, so we will know a bit about what we will be teaching when the time comes. Your great books challenge was just the impetus we needed to dive in- and we are so glad we did!
We were both amazed at the vast knowledge that just seeps out of Wes Callihan–it is clear he is not reading from a script but teaching through conversation…a style we both loved. And he teaches in such a way that even huge spans of history or daunting subjects can be made both understandable, fascinating and downright pleasant to discover.
We are very excited for this incredible resource for ourselves presently and for our children in the future! 
– Rebecca and Matt

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Great Books Challenge 2016

Originally appeared on Roman Roads Media Blog. Written by Daniel Foucachon.

A glimpse at what we lost when we abandoned classical education

Wesley Callihan on the opening lines of Julius Caesar’s Gallic Wars

Mark Twain is attributed with the saying “Those who don’t read have no advantage over those who can’t.”

We are now a couple generations away from our forefathers who abandoned classical education. We are now the generation that does not even know what it has lost. Wes Callihan gives a  glimpse at the kind of richness we have lost in this excerpt from the Old Western Culture curriculum on the great books of Western civilization. If you don’t study the classics, you have no advantage over those who can’t. Roman Roads Media provides tools to help you accomplish this task! Get started today!


Watch on YouTube.

what we lost - gallic wars

Originally appeared on Roman Roads Media blog. Written by Daniel Foucachon.