Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade is a motion picture that deals with the formation of a human soul. To achieve the goal, the greatest goal of mythology which is the Holy Grail, will require character as well as courage. Courage and character are good descriptions of the desirable outcome of a Christian education. Students in America learned history for moral lessons, science to think God’s thoughts after Him, and language arts to wrestle with the Divine Word.
In the first challenge, Indy learns that only the penitent man, the humble man, has a chance to live and see the Grail. In any real education, the humble student and teacher are the ones who will achieve the quest of authentic higher education. The second quest is called “the Word of God” and the clue given is that “only in the footsteps of God will He succeed.” Indy is facing a floor covered in letters and must decide what to do.
The Word of God is whispered to the hearts of every person. No person created in God’s image lacks common grace. Every human being sees the logic of creation and this can point to the Divine Logic, the Word of God. (John 1:1) Real education must be lived out in community where people are the priority, never programs. Why? Because education is for the people, the closest thing to the Divine, and not people for education. A way to measure a school is to ask this question: does the school end indebted to the student or the student to the school? If the school gains and the student loses (even financially), something is wrong. Servant leadership would strengthen all the humans (teachers and students) and leave the institutions disposable servants of the folks.
The Word of God is revealed in the teachings of His people over time. If I think God is saying something to me, God might be. God speaks to each human heart attempting by any r0ad to lead us to Wisdom. Education must occur in community with a progressive vision that comes from God to all His people. A good school is one where every person has helped shape the vision, every person can express it, and every person helps create the reality. The Word of God educates the individual in the life of the community. If I cut myself off from that global community, I have failed. If I cut myself off from the community that is fully alive, we call them dead, then I have failed.
There is no school without authentic community based on common vision, love, and the Word of God revealed in the historic people of God from all places and times.
The Word of God is timelessly and infallibly captured in the writings He inspired His friends to write. Still, we might be deceived even in the most orthodox of communities if it were not for the fact that God has given us an infallible Word captured in the diverse personalities of many writers. This has become for us the canon: the only rule for faith and practice. Tradition flows from it to the community just as the community was used by God to create the written Word of God. We study it, we think about it, we live it.
Yet Indy has the sense to know that at times a man cannot take time for long prayers, turn to the fathers and mothers of the church, or join a Bible study. Sometimes He can only breath the Divine Name: the “I AM” that Jesus proclaimed Himself to be. There is power in the Name of God and the whole soul will reverence that Name. The truly educated man achieves piety through doubt by reason, experience, and Divine transformation. The name that the fool might use as a curse becomes a sweet blessing to this student. He cannot fail because the Name of God becomes a shield to failure. Call on His Name and all that the evil ones can do is kill the body, they cannot touch the soul. Death is a quick escape to Paradise, so the good student does not fear it.
Too much of education is hostile to piety. It forgets the lesson of the Euthyphro that the impious man with the clever words is always an ass and often wicked. I should know. As scandals mount around us, we have learned that the words we say are not enough. Only living words, ideas made into deeds, save us. The frauds, the grifters of higher education, preen and posture behind credentials and clever words. They fail to be educated themselves or able to educate other people. Their words are sterile because they speak the Name of God without knowledge of God, the Word of God without His authority, and the works of God without doing those works themselves. Real education is a bloodless martyrdom of self, but they are puffery chasing windy words signifying nothing to anyone outside their clubs. The humble man stands only on the Name of God, His Holy Word and is saved from falling into a dark cave.
The Living Word of God took the Word of God and made it flesh and dwelt among us. We beheld His glory, full of grace and truth, and that is enough. To see the World of God, Jesus, is to see the Grail.