Brent_Whitney.jpgAs a former public school math teacher, I certainly enjoy the sense of family and community that comes with smaller class sizes. I also appreciate the maturity of our students and their conduct in the classroom. In the public school setting, rules were never grounded in an ultimate standard, and often differed from class to class. Without a clear set of expectations for the students or a reason for learning beyond the practical, the atmosphere on campus quickly deteriorated.

What a difference it makes when a school is unified by sound doctrine and the Gospel. Sure, kids are going to misbehave, but we have God's Word as our standard, God's glory as our motivation, and God's grace to cover our sins and empower us to strive for excellence. But perhaps what I enjoy the most is the emphasis on teaching students "how" to think and not just "what" to think.

I believe that the Christian worldview is the only intellectually honest worldview. And when you teach students "how" to think critically, it's the only worldview that holds up to scrutiny. Its answers to all of life's most important questions are rational, coherent, sufficient, and satisfying. I found it intellectually frustrating to teach in a secular setting which expected me to assume that mathematics is something man invented instead of something that man discovered, or that if it was discovered that it was just the product of random chance.

At the end of the day, if mathematics is just a tool man invented to complete certain tasks, then for most high school students the answer to the question "when am I ever going to use this" is "90% of this...probably never, unless you become an engineer or scientist." However, once we realize that an infinitely intelligent God created the universe with inherent mathematical properties, then the study of mathematics becomes and act of worship.

Our purpose is to know God, glorify Him, and have dominion over the sphere of influence in which he has placed each one of us. He has revealed himself partially through his creation. So, we study math to see the glory of God in creation AND to better understand how his creation is designed so that we can have dominion in a way that aligns with reality. In a secular setting, the study of mathematics becomes drudgery for any student not interested in a so called "STEM" career. But, at HOS, the study of mathematics can be a difficult (nobody said math was easy), yet fruitful act of worship.

If we are called to know God and have dominion to the glory of God, then it is our privilege to study his creation (which includes mathematics) in order to understand God's amazing intelligence and appreciate how He has designed the universe to function, which makes us better worshipers of God and better stewards of His creation. So, I am certainly thankful for the opportunity to know the students, parents, and faculty more closely.

I am also thankful that we do not have to deal with campus violence, drug abuse, and gender confusion in the bathrooms. But I am most thankful that HOS recognizes that an education is far more than memorizing facts and figures. What is the point of an education if students never learn to think? And what is the point of an education if we are not allowed to follow truth to its ultimate conclusion and source, the God of the Bible? And what is the point of an education if it ignores the inner man, morality, and ultimate realities?

As Solomon wrote, "Of making many books there is no end, and much study is wearisome to the flesh. Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God and keep His commandments. For this is man's all." (Eccl. 12:12-13) Why do I like teaching at HOS? Because to attempt education without God and the Bible is a fool's errand--vanity, vanity, all is vanity.