Sophomore Courses

Theology II

Fall Term – Pluralism

Al-Masih, Abd. Islam under the Magnifying Glass. Villach, Austria: Light of Life, n.d.

This book is a clear and concise critique of Islam from a Christian Arab, but unfortunately it is out of print.  If you find a copy online, please purchase it for our school library and the academy will happily reimburse you.

Dewey, John. A Common Faith. New Haven: Yale University Press, 1934.

The author is the main architect of modern pragmatic education in America.  This book is his idolatrous confession of faith in democracy as an ideal worthy of worship.  He argues fervently that supernatural Christianity stands in the way of achieving this ideal, due to its insistence on a fundamental division in mankind.  Students will hear firsthand the philosophy that created the modern public high school.

Du Bois, W. E. B. The Souls of Black Folk. Everyman’s Library. Centennial Edition. New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 2003 [1903].

W. E. B. DuBois and Booker T. Washington were African-Americans who differed a hundred years ago about how to help the sons of former slaves advance in society. In this book, students will read DuBois’s argument for cultural advancement with the goal of immediate and equal respect.  It is a great debate.  Alternative Thrift Edition: The Souls of Black Folk.

Harris, Sam. Letter to a Christian Nation. New York: Alfred A. Knopf, Borzoi Book, 2006.

This book is an acidic attack on Christianity from a recent atheist.  Before reading this book, students will already have read Mohler’s survey and response to the new atheists.  It is risky to assign such a book, but it also risky not to assign one.  Overall, it is the academy’s conviction that it is better to inoculate our children than to over-shelter them; someday they must face these attacks anyways.  Please pray for our students to see through this attack.  Ironically and wondrously, the Bible itself already addressed many of these attacks in the Old Testament wisdom literature, which proves (again) there is nothing new under the sun.

Hitchens, Christopher and Douglas Wilson. Collision: Is Christianity Good for the World? Crux Pictures DVD, 2009.

This ninety-minute video pits atheist Christopher Hitchens against pastor-theologian Douglas Wilson.  Presented in a highly dramatic fashion, students can get a first-hand taste of the modern debate.  Note: Parents do not need to purchase this video, because students can watch the copy from the academy library.

The Koran. 5th rev. ed. Trans. N. J. Dawood. Penguin Classics. New York: Penguin, 1956, 1959, 1966, 1968, 1974, 1990.

In today’s world of aggressive Islam, students should have some familiarity with its lies and distortions of the Bible.  Reading firsthand from their “holy” book will help.  Note: Any English translation of the Koran will suffice, so please seek to borrow a copy from a library or find the material online.

Machen, J. Gresham. Education, Christianity, and the State. Ed. John W. Robbins. Unicoi, TN: The Trinity Foundation, 1987, 1995, 2004.

During the 1920s, public education threatened to eliminate private education.  Machen was summoned as an expert witness for the debates.  In this book, students will encounter a refreshingly Christian approach to education that emphasizes the development of the individual before our Creator and Judge.

McLeod, Alexander. Messiah, Governor of the Nations of the Earth. Reprint, New York: Reformed Presbyterian Church, 1992 [1803].

Several years ago a brother in New York City sent me this two-hundred-year-old sermon by a Convenanter Presbyterian on why the United States Constitution should have acknowledged the lordship of Jesus Christ.  It is a fascinating consideration, showing that the United States was innovatively secular in not acknowledging Jesus, in contrast to the European states, who though godless, yet nonetheless acknowledged Jesus Christ.  Therefore, from our perspective historically, the Founders were very Christian; but from the perspective of previous history, they were quite secular.  Students should find the assertion of Christ’s lordship invigorating, but they should also be wary on how it is applied politically.  Note: This sermon is available free online (just follow the hyperlink above), so please do not purchase an expensive used copy.

Mencken, H. L. The American Language: An Inquiry into the Development of English in the United States. 4th ed. New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1919, 1921, 1923, 1936.

This book compares British English to its American cousin and claims that American English is now affecting British English.  Written by a journalist, the book is conversational in tone, but has academic detail.  Students should be fascinated by the interesting ways their mother tongue has developed from many sources.  Interestingly, the author was the scoffing journalist at the Scopes trial, which is covered in the freshman year.  Accordingly, this book exemplifies the principle that the wicked store up things for the righteous to use (Ecclesiastes 2:26).  Note: Please obtain the fourth edition.

Mohler, R. Albert, Jr. Atheism Remix: A Christian Confronts the New Atheists. Wheaton, IL: Crossway, 2008.

This small book first surveys the four main new atheists and their arguments, then answers them using arguments from Alister McGrath and Alvin Plantinga.  In the end, Mohler rejects both theistic evolution and theological liberalism as an adequate response to atheism.  Instead, he argues for biblical theism, which asserts not only that God exists but also that God speaks.  For such a short book, much is accomplished—a very appropriate size for high school students.

Ryken, Philip Graham. Is Jesus the Only Way? Wheaton, IL: Crossway, 2012 [1999].

In this small book, Ryken clearly shows that Christianity has always insisted on one way to God—Jesus Christ alone.  By God’s grace, this book should help to prepare students to read John Dewey’s attack on the exclusivity of Christian faith.

Washington, Booker T. “Atlanta Exposition Address.” In George Grant, ed., The American Patriot’s Handbook: The Writings, History, and Spirit of a Free Nation. 2nd ed. Naperville, IL: Sourcebooks, Cumberland House, 2009, 2016, 375-381.

Booker T. Washington and W. E. B. DuBois were African-Americans who differed a hundred years ago about how to help the sons of former slaves advance in society.  In this address, students will read about Washington’s case for patient hard work earning the respect of white society.  It is a great debate.  Note: The hyperlink to the address has not only the text online, but a genuine recording of the first three minutes of Washington’s speech—one of the first speeches recorded in American history.  If you already own Grant’s anthology, which is an assigned text for juniors, the address is also reprinted there in full.

Yetman, Norman R., ed. Voices from Slavery: 100 Authentic Slave Narratives. Reprint, Mineola, NY: Dover, 2000 [1970, 1972].

During the 1930s, as part of the WPA, several historians took down these oral histories from elderly African-Americans who could remember their days of slavery.  Students are often interested in hearing firsthand what slavery was really like in the American South.  Experiences were quite varied.

Zacharias, Ravi and Kevin Johnson. Jesus Among Other Gods: The Absolute Claims of the Christian Message – Youth Edition. Nashville: Thomas Nelson, W Publishing, 2000.

Christian apologist Ravi Zacharias grew up in India under a highly pressurized Hindu home environment.  This book tells of his own conversion and then describes how Jesus is fundamentally different than the major world religions of Islam, Hinduism, and Buddhism.  Note: Students should obtain the youth edition cited above; however, parents may obtain the original version at Jesus Among Other Gods.

Winter Term – God

Handel, G. F. The Messiah. Audio recording.

This classic oratorio from the 18th century audibly portrays messianic passages from Scripture.  Students should stand when the “Hallelujah” chorus is played—even the British king stood at this point.

Lewis, C. S. Mere Christianity: A Revised and Amplified Edition, with a New Introduction, of the Three Books. New York: HarperCollins, 2001 [1952].

Outside of the Narnia series, this is Lewis’ most famous book—certainly his most famous apologetic book.  The book consists of four parts, the last three of which were presented during WWII as radio broadcasts.  Lewis was not an ordained theologian—his theology on Scripture and the cross are errant—but he is highly original, thought-provoking, and often quite weighty in his reasons.  Students read the fourth part, which has a very simple and straight-forward presentation of the Trinity.  Note: Beware of obtaining a very new edition—it may have been edited.

Muller, George. The Autobiography of George Mueller. New Kensington, PA: Whitaker House, 1984.

Muller knew God personally—his prayer-life and care of orphans achieved fame, even in his lifetime.  He started the orphanage for God’s name, so that modern Christians would know God still answers prayer.  This inexpensive paperback is a fine abridged version of Muller’s larger autobiography.

Piper, John. Desiring God: Meditations of a Christian Hedonist. Rev. ed. Sisters, OR: Multnomah, 1986, 1996, 2003, 2011.

The author is perhaps the most significant evangelical preacher of our day, certainly one of the most provocative and God-centered.  His philosophy of Christian hedonism has influenced an entire generation of Reformed-minded preachers.  Although not without fault, the vision of this book should generate a thirst for God and His glory.

Sproul, R. C. The Holiness of God. 2nd ed. Wheaton, IL: Tyndale House, 1985, 1998.

This book is Sproul’s signature work, vividly portraying the Gospel from the aspect of God’s holiness.  Sproul’s anecdotal way of relating theology should appeal to students.  If successful, this book should engender a proper fear of God, which is the beginning of wisdom.

Tozer, A. W. The Pursuit of God: The Human Thirst for the Divine. Camp Hill, PA: WingSpread Publishers, 2006 [1948].

Tozer was an evangelical mystic, having no formal Bible training but a deep thirst for God’s presence.  His vision presented a stark contrast to his contemporaries’ mechanical, formulaic approach to holiness.  Although he downplays the role of formal theology, Tozer presents a rigorously theological and intensely personal pursuit of God.

Spring Term – Personal Finances

Alcorn, Randy. Money, Possessions, and Eternity. Rev. ed. Wheaton, IL: Tyndale House, 1989, 2003.

This textbook is an exhaustive treatment of the topic of money from a biblical perspective.  The author is uniquely qualified to write on the topic of money.  Having spent some time fighting abortion, he was hit with a multimillion-dollar lawsuit, for which he had to relinquish all private property!  His overall aim is to foster an eternal perspective among Christians—the same goal as his book Heaven.  Students should appreciate that the discussions are both detailed and down-to-earth.

Alcorn, Randy. The Treasure Principle: Discovering the Secret of Joyful Giving. LifeChange Books. Sisters, OR: Multnomah, 2001.

Written by the same author as the course textbook, this little popular book will introduce the topic of money well.

Burkett, Larry. The Complete Financial Guide for Young Couples: A Lifetime Approach to Spending, Saving, and Investing. Wheaton, IL: Victor Books, 1989, 1993.

This highly-experienced Christian financial counselor offers sound advice to young adults on finances.  Students should be amazed by his real-life stories of individuals having trouble with personal finances.

Edwards, Jonathan. Christian Charity: or, the Duty of Charity to the Poor, Explained and Enforced. In The Works of Jonathan Edwards. 2 vols. Ed. Edward Hickman. Reprint, Carlisle, PA: Banner of Truth Trust, 1974 [1834], 2:163-173.

This 18th-century preacher is perhaps America’s premiere evangelical theologian.  Written from a pastoral perspective, this work presents the biblical case of Christians caring for the poor.  This copy should be available online as part of his collective works.  Alternative Online Source: Christian Charity.

Humanities II

Fall Term – The Reformation and Puritans

The Baptist Confession of Faith 1689. Ed. Peter Masters. Rev. ed. Oberlin, OH: The Wakeman Trust, 1981, 1989, 1998.

Also called “The Second London Baptist Confession,” this document is the traditional Baptist confession of faith.  In the main, the confession echoes the Westminster Confession of Faith, but without Presbyterianism.  This edition has updated English and supplies Scripture proofs, and is inexpensive.  The confession of faith can also be found online in the original seventeenth-century English.

Bunyan, John. The Pilgrim’s Progress. Ed. W. R. Owens. Oxford World’s Classics. New York: Oxford University Press, 2003 [1678].

This allegory of the Christian life as a journey of perseverance is a classic both in the church and in English literature.  Amazingly, Bunyan was a simple tinker by trade, but he knew his God and Scripture exceptionally well.  In the words of C. H. Spurgeon, Bunyan’s blood ran “bibline.”  Alternative Hardcover Edition: Bunyan, John. The Pilgrim’s Progress. Hendrickson Christian Classics. Peabody, MA: Hendrickson, 2004 [1678].

Calvin, John and Jacopo Sadoleto. A Reformation Debate: Sadoleto’s Letter to the Genevans and Calvin’s Reply. Ed. John C. Olin. Grand Rapids: Baker, 1976 [1966].

The setting for this book is the battle for the soul of Geneva, Switzerland, a city that has rejected the Protestant Reformers, but is not accepting the Roman Catholics either.  Both sides seek to win the Genevans back—Cardinal Sadoleto with his appeal to personal safety, and the Reformer John Calvin with his appeal to divine majesty.  The appendix is a great benefit for students, because it presents the official Catholic position on justification from the Council of Trent as well as Calvin’s exposition of justification in his Institutes of the Christian Religion.

Erasmus, Desiderius. Praise of Folly. Trans. Betty Radice. Ed A. H. T. Levi. Rev. ed. Penguin Classics. New York: Penguin, 1971, 1993.

The author was the top scholar in the early 1500s and his research prepared for the Reformation.  Although he himself never became a Protestant, he is said to have “laid the egg” that Luther hatched through his publication of the Greek New Testament.  This particular book pokes fun at the follies of the Catholic clergy by utilizing a vast array of classical allusions.  The book is an excellent example of Renaissance literature and adds color to the Reformation era.

Foxe, John. Foxe’s Book of Martyrs. Ed. W. Grinton Berry. Grand Rapids: Fleming J. Revell, Spire, 1998.

In this book, Foxe retells the stories of the English martyrs burned at the stake under Queen “Bloody” Mary in the 1550s.  For years, Protestant children read this book and Bunyan’s Pilgrim’s Progress, by which their imaginations received a mental map of what to expect in a Christian life—lots of hardship, requiring faith and perseverance.  This is exactly the message that new Christians should hear (Acts 14:22).  Alternative Hardcover Edition: Foxe, John. Foxe’s Book of Martyrs. Ed. William Byron Forbush. Hendrickson Christian Classics. Peabody, MA: Hendrickson, 2004.

Luther, Martin. Martin Luther’s Ninety-Five Theses. Ed. Stephen J. Nichols. Trans. Adolph Spaeth, L. D. Reed, and Henry Eyster Jacobs. Phillipsburg, NJ: P&R, 2002 [1517].

In the fall of 1517, Martin Luther posted ninety-five theological statements (called “theses”) on the door of a Wittenberg church, thereby igniting the church controversy called the Protestant Reformation.  This booklet provides comment on the text as well as the historical background to the controversy in the sale of indulgences.  Alternative Online Edition: Ninety-Five Theses.

Luther, Martin. The Freedom of a Christian. Trans. Mark D. Tranvik. Minneapolis: Fortress, 2008 [1520].

This book is a fresh translation of Luther’s classic statement on the Christian life, with a good introduction.  Please purchase this book for not only your child, but also for your own devotional reading.

Milton, John. Paradise Lost: The Biblically Annotated Edition. Ed. Matthew S. Stallard. Macon, GA: Mercer University Press, 2011.

Poet John Milton wrote the last universally acclaimed epic of the English language—an embellished retelling of the Fall of Man.  In reading this epic, students must discern between Scripture and Milton’s fertile imagination.  To help in that discernment, this edition has footnotes with biblical citations written out in full.  Alternative Online Edition: Paradise Lost.

Parker, T. H. L. Portrait of Calvin. London: SCM Press, 1954.

As a young scholar, Parker wrote this “portrait” of Reformer John Calvin, highlighting his main character through main emphases and life-shaping events.  Some have said this book, though sketched, is better than Parker’s later and much fuller biography of Calvin.  After reading this, students should have no doubt that Calvin overcame his personal resistance to carrying the cross of Christ, which every true disciple must carry.  Alternative Online Edition: Parker, T. H. L. Portrait of Calvin. Reprint, Minneapolis: Desiring God, 2009 [1954].

Shakespeare, William. Macbeth. Ed. Nicholas Brooke. The Oxford Shakespeare. New York: Oxford University Press, 1990.

This Shakespeare play is a tragedy that exposes the sinful motives and justifications of the human heart.  Students should purchase this inexpensive edition, or else borrow an unabridged version that is easy to read.

Strunk, William, Jr. and E. B. White. The Elements of Style. 4th ed. Boston: Allyn & Bacon, 1979, 2000.

This little book has become the classic text on writing precise and technically-correct prose.  Literary artists often disdain this text, and rightly they should (art ventures beyond the lines!); however, beginning writers can benefit from training wheels.  Incidentally, E. B. White, one of the authors, was an editor with New Yorker magazine, who also wrote Charlotte’s Web and Stuart Little.

Winter Term – The Enlightenment and Evangelical Christianity

Amazing Grace. DVD

This movie retells the efforts of William Wilberforce to abolish the slave trade in Great Britain.  Students will be asked to compare the movie rendition of the preacher John Newton to the man they meet in his autobiography.  Note: This movie may be borrowed from the school library.

Austen, Jane. Pride and Prejudice. London: CRW Publishing Ltd., Collector’s Library, 2003 [1813].

A favorite with the girls, this book will still appeal to young men seeking wisdom about social life.  The author has a keen awareness of human nature, especially in the virtues and vices of the interpersonal relationships.  If students have seen a movie version of the novel, they should enjoy comparing it to the book.

Carey, William. An Enquiry into the Obligation of Christians to Use Means for the Conversion of the Heathens, in Which the Religious State of the Different Nations of the World, the Success of Former Undertakings, and the Practicability of Further Undertakings, Are Considered. Leicester, UK: Ann Irkland, 1792.

This tract helped to launch the modern mission movement in England.  Carey, a relatively obscure Baptist minister, was relentless in his plea that something should be don in plain obedience to the Great Commission.  Even today, his singular message and earnest integrity make a person think spiritually, globally, and eternally.  Alternative Online Edition: An Enquiry into the Obligation of Christians to Use Means for the Conversion of the Heathen.

Coleridge, Samuel Taylor. The Rime of the Ancient Mariner.  Illus. Gustave Doré. Dover Pictorial Archives Series. Reprint, Mineola, NY: Dover, 1970 [1834, 1878].

Told as the tale of an old sailor, a tale full of ghosts, nature, and omens, this lengthy poem has near impeccable form as a ballad.  Theologically, it provides a good example of Romanticism, which relies on inner feelings in the midst of sublime nature rather than on divine revelation.  Students should be wary of this false and foolish orientation.  Alternative Online Edition: The Rime of the Ancient Mariner (1834 text).

Davis, Walter Bruce. William Carey: Father of Modern Missions. Moody Pocket Books. Chicago: Moody, 1963.

It is shame that this excellent little book is not still in print; thankfully, many used copies are available.  The author tells a fast-moving biography of this persistent English pioneer of foreign missions.  We need to know about Carey today.  Many of us have lost his big view of God and of the need of the world.

Dickens, Charles. A Christmas Carol. Penguin Christmas Classics. New York: Penguin, 2014 [1843].

This little classic has left Western culture with the memorable character of Ebenezer Scrooge, who is changed from a miserly old man into a generous family man through the visits of several spirits on Christmas Eve.  Students should note that Scrooge is changed in a way contrary to the Gospel of Jesus Christ.  Differentiating between the two ways is part of the excitement in assigning this text.  Alternative Thrift Edition: Dickens, Charles. A Christmas Carol. Dover Thrift Editions. New York: Dover, 1991 [1843].

Newton, John. Out of the Depths: The Autobiography of John Newton. Ed. Dennis R. Hillman. Grand Rapids: Kregel, 2003 [1764].

Newton is mainly remembered today for his hymn “Amazing Grace,” which accurately summarizes his own conversion from the African slave trade to salvation in Jesus Christ.  In this book, he retells his own conversion through a series of fourteen letters.

Rousseau, Jean-Jacques. The Social Contract. Trans. Maurice Cranston. Penguin Classics. New York: Penguin, 1968 [1762].

Among the many writings of the French Enlightenment (so-called), this one stands out for two reasons.  First, it is not an attack on Christianity, even though it thoroughly denies the inherent evil of human nature.  Second, the idea of a social contract became a basic idea behind the American ideal of self-government.  Students should be able to gain a good feel for the philosophical nature of this intellectual movement.  Alternative Thrift Edition: Rousseau, Jean-Jacques. On the Social Contract. Trans. G. D. H. Cole. Dover Thrift Edition. New York: Dover, 2003 [1913, 1762].

Smith, Jane Stuart and Betty Carlson. The Gift of Music: Great Composers and Their Influence. 3rd ed. Wheaton, IL: Crossway Books, 1995.

The authors come from the Francis Schaeffer’s circle of art appreciation, and offer an engaging text for students.  The book describes the character, life-story, and compositions of many leading musical composers.  The Christian perspective on these lives shines through, offering a needed perspective beyond simply an analysis of art.

Spurgeon, C. H. All of Grace. Moody Classics. Chicago: Moody, 2010 [1894].

In this little book, the British “prince of preachers” calls sinners to repent and believe in Christ.  If you love the gospel, or are longing to be saved, this earnest little book should delight your soul.  Alternative Edition: Spurgeon, C. H. All of Grace: An Earnest Word with Those Who Are Seeking Salvation by the Lord Jesus Christ.  Reprint, Pasadena, TX: Pilgrim Publications, 1978 [1894].

Taylor, Dr. and Mrs. Howard [Frederick Howard Taylor and Mary Geraldine Taylor]. Hudson Taylor’s Spiritual Secret. Moody Classics. Chicago: Moody, 1989, 2009 [1932].

Written by the son of Hudson Taylor, the famous missionary to inland China, this lively book recounts his life, his struggles, and his eventual enduring dependence on the living water of Jesus to sustain and delight his soul.  Still honored among Chinese Christians today, Taylor challenges all of us to live more by faith in the living Jesus.

Wesley, John. A Plain Account of Christian Perfection. Hendrickson Christian Classics. Reprint, Peabody, MA: Hendrickson, 2007 [1777].

For his entire life after conversion, Wesley continued to tinker with his understanding of perfection.  Because this doctrine is a defining trait of the Wesleyan tradition, it is good for students to hear it from Wesley himself.  Students should appreciate his zeal for holiness, but remain wary of his optimism over our perfectibility.

Whitefield, George. Whitefield’s Letter to Wesley on Election. Reprint, Pensacola, FL: Chapel Library, n. d. [1740].

This online resource reprints the published response of George Whitefield to John Wesley’s Arminian sermon entitled “Free Grace.”  In this letter, we see how the famous evangelist reconciled the truth of God’s unconditional election with his own free offer of the Gospel to all sinners.

Whitefield, George. Select Sermons of George Whitefield. Carlisle, PA: Banner of Truth Trust, 1958.

This collection of sermons from the Grand Itinerant will give students not only a direct taste of the Great Awakening, but also a call for their own soul to close with Christ in saving faith.

Spring Term – Modern Culture and Persecution

Ambrose, Stephen E. The Good Fight: How World War II Was Won. New York: Simon & Schuster, Atheneum Books for Young Readers, 2001.

This children’s book is a great overview of the war, complete with pictures and expert commentary.  The author was one of the great historians of World War II, but was too optimistic about what it produced.  Note: This book should be readily available through interlibrary loan; the used copies seem to be expensive.

Bonhoeffer, Dietrich. The Cost of Discipleship. Trans. R. H. Fuller with Irmgard Booth. Reprint, New York: Simon & Schuster, Touchstone, 1995 [1937, 1959].

This twentieth-century classic should challenge students with the concept of “cheap grace” in light of the commands of Jesus.  The author sealed his words with his own blood, becoming a martyr of the Third Reich in April 1945.

Freedman, Russell. The War to End All Wars: World War I. New York: Clarion, 2010.

World War I, once called “the Great War,” is such an illustration of pride leading to vanity and death.  This war was the first all-out war conducted almost completely with modern technology, and the results were shocking.  The author is a master at using photos to tell a story and, combined with his text, the result is memorable.

Lewis, C. S. The Abolition of Man, or Reflections on Education with Special Reference to the Teaching of English in the Upper Forms of Schools. New York: Harper Collins, HarperSanFransisco, 2001 [1944].

Ranked by conservative scholars as one of the top books of the twentieth century, this little book makes one point—modern men have lost their soul.  Education no longer cultivates the deep sense of honor that is appropriate to noble things.  Lewis presents a strong case that fundamental to all wisdom, in traditional cultures, is an awareness that differing degrees of weight (or glory) adhere to the nature of things.  This is philosophical realism at its best.

Lutzer, Erwin W. Hitler’s Cross: How the Cross Was Used to Promote the Nazi Agenda. Rev. ed. Chicago: Moody, 1995, 2016.

This is a great book for a Christian school—a fundamentally sound Gospel preacher analyzes history from a biblical perspective.  Lutzer describes how much of the German church capitulated to the Nazi regime.  The lessons drawn are quite applicable to America today, when totalitarianism threatens to rule us.

Schaeffer, Francis A. Escape from Reason: A Penetrating Analysis of Trends in Modern Thought. IVP Classics. Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity, IVP Books, 2006 [1968].

This short book explains the origin of the modern “leap of faith,” that is, the absolute separation in modern times of rational thought (science) and religious experience (faith).  In order to achieve what the author calls a “unified field of knowledge,” it is necessary to abandon autonomous reason and to return to biblical revelation.  Even though the author has rightly been critiqued about some of his details (especially on Thomas Aquinas), his overall analysis is sound and will provide students with a basis for understanding their world and its split between public facts and private values.

Severance, John B. Winston Churchill: Soldier, Statesman, Artist. New York: Houghton Mifflin, Clarion, 1996.

This is another delightful Clarion book, complete with interesting photographs and a compelling text.  By any definition, Churchill was a remarkable man; and in God’s providence, he played a big role in history.  Note: This book should be readily available through interlibrary loan.

Tolstoy, Leo. The Death of Ivan Ilych. Trans. Ian Dreiblatt. Brooklyn: Melville House, 2008 [1886].

The author was a Russian ascetic, highly revered by some for his austere religion.  The book, written later in life during his ascetic idealism, describes the thoughts of a dying man.  Like Ecclesiastes, themes here are the vanity of life, the isolation of death, and the value of relationships.  The book may cause students to reexamine their own priorities and pursuits in light of certain death.  Note: Other editions of this book are acceptable.

War Horse. DVD

This movie rendition of the Broadway play War Horse, directed by Steven Spielberg, will give students a panorama of the horrors of World War I, especially of its transition from cavalry to modern warfare.  Note: This movie may be borrowed from the school library.

Wiesel, Elie. Night. Trans. Marion Wiesel. New York: Farrar, Straus, and Giroux, Hill and Wang, 2006 [1958].

This disturbing book chronicles how one young Jew in the Holocaust lost his faith—thus entering the “night” of his soul.  Students will hear firsthand how even deep duties such as honoring a father suffered during the horrors of those days.  To help students process this loss of faith, they will also read the biblical book of Job, in which another man suffered greatly and questioned God.  Comparing the two should show where the line lies between faithful questioning and atheistic despair.

Wurmbrand, Richard. Tortured for Christ. Bartlesville, OK: Living Sacrifice Book Company, 1998, 1967.

The Romanian author was an atheistic Jew who became a Christian through receiving a wept-over Bible.  He survived both the Nazis and the Russians, and stated that the communists were worse than the Nazis.  This book was written hastily after being released from a total of fourteen years in communist prisons.  It is a plea for the free Christians of the West to remember the persecuted Christians of the East.       Students should be amazed by the graphic nature of torture and even more by the buoyancy of faith—so different than Wiesel’s experience.  Note: The hyperlink leads to the website of Voice of the Martyrs, where a free copy can be obtained and a donation given.

Algebra II

Brown, Richard G. et al. Algebra and Trigonometry: Structure and Method, Book 2. Evanston, IL: Houghton Mifflin, McDougal Littell, 1990, 1992, 1994, 1997, 2000.

This text comes with strong recommendations.  It will be used for two years, during both Algebra II and Precalculus.  The main author taught math at Phillips Exeter Academy, a school known for teaching mathematics.


Jacobs, Harold R. Geometry: Seeing, Doing, Understanding. 3rd ed. New York: W. H. Freeman, 2003.

This textbook is rich in sample problems from history and from other cultures.  Students are introduced to concepts as they complete the assignments.  Note: Try to obtain a used copy of the text book, due to the expense of the set from My Father’s World.

Jacobs, Harold R., with Donald M. Luepke. Improved Test Bank for Geometry: Seeing, Doing, Understanding. 3rd ed. New York: W. H. Freeman, 2005.

Please purchase the tests as well, which are given in this smaller, paperback book.  Note: Try to obtain a used copy of the test bank, due to the expense of the set from My Father’s World.

Greek II

Note: The required texts listed here are the same as in Greek I.

The Greek-English New Testament: Nestle-Aland 28th Edition, English Standard Version. Wheaton, IL: Crossway, 2012; Stuttgart, Germany: Deutsche Bibelgesellschaft, 2012.

This hardcover book displays the Greek text on one page and the English translation on the opposite page.  Note: Students are free to use any used copy of the Nestle-Aland 27th or 28th editions.

Mounce, William D. Basics of Biblical Greek Grammar. 3rd ed. Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 2009.

This textbook on elementary, biblical Greek has now become the standard text for teaching Greek.  The author is quite user-friendly, perhaps to a fault.

Mounce, William D. Basics of Biblical Greek Workbook. 3rd ed. Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 2009.

Please purchase the accompanying workbook, one per student.