Wednesday Words—Knowledge

knowledge - passed like the light of a torch, from mind to mind, with a flame that can be kindled at original minds only.

We can give only a negative answer. Knowledge is not instruction, information, scholarship, a well-stored memory. It is passed, like the light of a torch, from mind to mind, and the flame can be kindled at original minds only. Thought, we know, breeds thought; it is as vital thought touches our minds that our ideas are vitalized, and out of our ideas comes our conduct of life. The case for reform hardly needs demonstration, but now we begin to see the way of reform. The direct and immediate impact of great minds upon his own mind is necessary to the education of a child. [1] Children gain knowledge optimally each day from meeting mind to mind with a score of thinkers through their books, living books, not twaddle.

In a classroom, upon reading Luke 22, young students came upon the names of Jesus, the Son of God and the Son of Man. The knowledge of Christ’s deity and humanity were intricately woven in the nature of his fullness of both God and Man. The discussion which ensued gave me pause of appreciation for children and teacher meeting mind to mind with the Scriptures, gaining knowledge for its sake.

Questions to Consider

~What is the intellectual sustenance your child is receiving at school?  Ask for a list of books your child is reading during this current semester. Examine the list — “If the list be short, the scholar will not get enough mind-stuff; if the books are not various, his will not be an all-round development; if they are not original, but compiled at second hand, he will find no material in them for his intellectual growth. Again, if they are too easy and too direct, if they tell him straight away what he is to think, he will read, but he will not appropriate.” [2]

~What knowledge of conduct and character are your children gaining from the books they are reading?

[1] Charlotte Mason, School Education (Wheaton, IL: Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., 1989), 303.

[2] Ibid.