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Excellence Defined Biblically: Are We Half-Hearted Creatures? (Part One)
Excellence Defined Biblically: Are We Half-Hearted Creatures? (Part One)

As a movement, Christian school educators and families seek to build schools that pursue excellence for the glory of God.

Recently, I was asked to write an article for a magazine on defining excellence biblically. It was a sobering experience because we speak of excellence as a pursuit, but have we investigated a definition of excellence in Scripture? I had not. This is the result of my research journey . . .

There are moments in my life that cause me to ponder what is excellent . . . Drew Holcomb, a renowned musician and lead singer of Drew Holcomb & The Neighbors, spoke at our school's fiftieth anniversary celebration as a 2000 alumnus of our school. In sharing with our community, he stated,

I often am asked why I am not a 'Christian' musician. My response is that I am a musician who is a Christian. When I go out to eat at a nice restaurant I do not ask myself, "Is the chef a Christian chef?" Instead I choose a restaurant where the chef makes something true and good and beautiful out of the gifts that God gave him or her, regardless of whether they acknowledge the giver of the gifts. In the same regard, my heart as a musician is to write and sing music that points others to the true, the good, and the beautiful. This is my contribution to the culture as a musician who is also a Christian.

His words have remained with me because he leaves breadcrumbs as a musician to what is excellent. God does not call Christian schools to be average or even good; God calls us to do everything with excellence. As a movement, Christian school educators and families seek to build schools that pursue excellence for the glory of God. If our aim is any less, then the Christian schooling model is a subpar education and not a supra education. In The Weight of Glory, C.S. Lewis challenges our thinking on whether we are "half-hearted creatures" "making mud pies in the slum" because we are unable to imagine when a "holiday at the sea" is offered to us. In day-to-day life, the word "excellence" can be thrown around to the point that it loses its meaning. It is easy to become, as Lewis notes, "far too easily pleased." The aim of this article is to explore the question: How does one define excellence biblically?

In the coming weeks, I will answer this question by sharing the patterns in Scripture about excellence, what excellence looks like in praxis, and excellence going forward.


References

Holcomb, Drew. Celebrate and Shine: An Evening to Reflect Upon 50 Years of God's Grace at Evangelical Christian School and Share Our Joy for the Future! Memphis, TN. September 17, 2015.

Lewis, C.S. 2001. The Weight of Glory. New York, NY: HarperCollins Publishers. Page 26.