Clapham Christian Classical School

Clapham Journal

A Letter from the Clapham Chaplain

Dear Clapham Parents,

It is a privilege to serve your children this year as chaplain at Clapham. Please allow me to take this moment to introduce the subject of our chapel series in order for you to have the advantage of thoughtfully interacting with your children around their lessons from week to week.

Our series, titled “Christian Thought through the Centuries,” will explore insights that have emerged from the first century Church to the present. Each lesson will evaluate a new person or movement, with special attention on one’s view of Christ and his kingdom. The following paragraphs provide a couple of reasons why such a study is valuable.


The fifth commandment exhorts God’s people to “honor your father and mother.” It’s an imperative that applies to children and adults. Furthermore, in addition to guiding family relations, the commandment speaks to the way we view our theological forebears—men and women of God who have gone before us, the ones whom the Apostle Paul encourages us to imitate. And in the case of those who have been bad theological parents—loose cannons, unreliable teachers, even heretics—there are still valuable lessons for us to learn.





We must read about the past to acquire a proper perspective on the present. As historical theologian, Tony Lane, reminds us, “People without a grasp of history are like a person without a memory.” Such people are detached and impoverished, confused about where they are going because they don’t know from whence they have come. Reflection on Christian thought orients us in history, which is a critical step in gaining perspective on life.


The second reason why we should consider Christian history is to escape from our present. Every generation faces the same challenge of seeing above and beyond obstacles and into blind spots, and we are no different. Our assumptions and contextually conditioned biases lead us to overlook important pieces of truth. Reflection on Christian history is tantamount to cleaning the window with a generous amount of Windex—it removes the smudges and blurriness which inevitably hinder our vision, allowing us to recognize gospel opportunities.


At this point you’re thinking, “Goodness, is he really going to talk that way to our kids?” Don’t worry. The fun part for me will be to take substantive ideas and make them clear to our children, to be simple without being simplistic. In this regard, I covet your prayers.


Finally, I invite you to visit my blog where you will find these and other such topics treated ( I post several times a week on topics related to gospel ministry.


For Christ and His Kingdom,

Chris Castaldo


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