What Can You Find When You Open a Book?

When people think about what school is for, they usually think of things like studying subjects and passing tests. As teachers, it is easy for us to get lost in the details of those very things and lose sight of the thing that is at the heart of what we do, the foundation of all learning and knowledge. What is that crucial, foundational thing? Truth. All knowledge rests on truth. To know anything, we must first know that truth exists. We must learn how to look for truth. We must become acquainted with the source of truth. Once we begin thinking about truth, we realize that God has placed clues all around us, clues that lead us toward truth and, ultimately, toward him.

This year, we at Coram Deo spent quite a lot of time talking about truth, what it looks like, and where it can be found. One place to find truth is in good books. A critical quality of any good book is that it teaches you something that’s true. That is what makes good books so good! You walk away knowing something great, something solid, something important. Even if you knew that truth before you read the book, you still love hearing it again, because it is real. And truth itself does not change even though different books reveal truth in different ways. Keep your eye on the characters; they will lead you toward truth. Maybe you hear about a mighty hero who fights with courage and strength against all odds. Or maybe you read about a weak character who finally learns how to stand and face his fears. Or perhaps a young character grows up, seemingly in the blink of an eye. As we observe characters growing in virtue, we grow in our love of virtue. As characters learn what is true, we learn truth along with them, and love them for it.

At our end-of-the-year program, students presented papers that they wrote themselves. Their papers revealed pieces of truth that they discovered within the pages of good books, truth that is now theirs to hold on to. They discovered what’s true as they “opened a book”. [Our program, titled "I Opened a Book], was presented on June 3, 2021.

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