by Dr. Lindsey Scholl, Logic School Coordinator
What a difference a preposition can make. “Unity at Trinity” indicates that we’re about to discuss our school. “Unity in Trinity” sounds like a philosophical assertion. Throw in a definite article (“Unity in the Trinity”) and you have a theological doctrine.
I had the privilege of attending the annual meeting of the Association of Classical Christian Schools (ACCS) this past summer. One speaker in particular gave me food for thought–he helped me to consider our school’s name in a fresh way, despite the fact that he never actually mentioned us in his speech.
During his keynote address, Matt Whitling, principal at Logos School in Idaho, reminded his audience that his school is named “Logos”after Jesus Christ the Word (logos in Greek). And since his school is named after Christ, Whitling asserted, he and his colleagues must make Christ the center of their school, otherwise they are taking the Lord’s name in vain. Likewise, any school named “Providence” should model faith in God’s foresight and will, otherwise they’re in contradiction of their own name. If a Christian school chooses a divine attribute for its name, he argued, the character of the school should model that attribute. It was a simple, beautiful, and surprising thought to me, especially as I considered our own name, which invokes the Trinity.
What does it mean to identify our school with the Trinity? The name “Trinity” sounds educated, comes from Latin roots, and distinguishes us as a Christian school. It also provides an interesting parallel to the trifold nature of our academics: the grammar, logic, and rhetoric stages. But its highest purpose is to remind those who encounter it of the nature of our God: how He is three and one, a profound yet somehow practical mystery.
My pastor enjoys reminding us of the practicality of the Trinity. All true fellowship, he says, embodies unity with diversity. A business has different departments and employs unique individuals, but it has one purpose and one identity. Or as the Apostle Paul might say, our arms are in fellowship with our kidneys, not because they look and act the same, but because they are all part of the body, the church.
Neither a business nor a body is a perfect analogy for the Trinity, but they help us to grasp one aspect of it, at least. We can understand that unity produces harmony (surely the Trinity is harmonious) and that harmony is a great thing. After all, God the Father does not begrudge Christ his experience in the flesh, nor does the Holy Spirit complain that God the Father is overly controlling. Rather, they enjoy each other, giving glory to each other and leaving the world to wonder at how such a thing is possible.
Unity, we know, is close to Christ’s heart. We remember his prayer in John Chapter 17: “…that they all may be one, just as you, Father, are in me and I in you, so they also may be in us, so that the world may believe that you have sent me.” Ponder those last two clauses for a moment. Christ is saying that if we are one with each other as believers, that unity will result in two astounding results: first, we ourselves are unified with the Trinity, and second, our unity will result in the world’s believing in Christ.
Those are the goals towards which all of us at Trinity Classical School must strive. If we do not make unity a priority at our school, we are doing a disservice not only to our own name, but to God’s. If you think this is weighty material for the beginning of the school year, I won’t disagree. But just as we are setting a tone of joyful reverence for our students, so we must, with God’s guidance, set it for ourselves.
How does this unity appear on a day-to-day basis? How does it look in the narthex, in the TCS offices, at home with the Saxon math book, or on the phone? As administrators, we can adopt a spirit of unity by suing for peace when the Grammar School teachers gang up on the Logic School teachers during lunch time (and also when we’re negotiating the multifaceted waters between teacher and co-teacher). Our teachers can model unity by honoring the parents in all that they say or do, even when there is disagreement. And parents can model unity by respecting the authority that they’ve allowed us as educators.
If we, at the start of this 2012 school year, make every effort to model the name “Trinity” in our school-related activities, imagine the results! Not only will our children see Christ in us, but the world will see. And the world will believe.
Unity at Trinity. Unity in the Trinity. Mere prepositions and adjectives shouldn’t keep them apart. A profound theological concept can and should influence our school on an hourly basis. When it does, Trinity Classical School will itself participate in the Trinity, just as Christ declared.
Dominus vobiscum (The Lord be with you),
Dr. Lindsey Scholl