Today's BP Ledger contains items from:
WORLD News Service
The Association of Christian Schools International
Christian rocker Larry Norman recognized
as an American musical treasure
By Jeff Koch
WASHINGTON, D.C. (WORLD News Service) -- The Library of Congress recently added the work of Christian rock innovator Larry Norman to the National Recording Registry, an elite collection of recordings marked for special preservation as "cultural, artistic, or historical treasures." Norman is the first Christian rock artist to be chosen, making the list with his groundbreaking 1972 folk-rock album “Only Visiting This Planet.” Of the 25 artists selected this year, Norman keeps company with the likes of Stephen Sondheim, Bing Crosby and the Everly Brothers.
Many Christians today have never heard of Norman, though his influence on Christian music is vast: More than 300 artists from Rebecca St. James to DC Talk have covered his songs. CCM Magazine assessed, "it is certainly no overstatement to say that Larry Norman is to Christian music what John Lennon is to rock-and-roll or Bob Dylan is to folk music."
The Library of Congress noted Norman's somewhat "controversial" tenure. Indeed, he was a veritable lightning rod in his day, for a couple of reasons. First was the rock music itself, which excited profound suspicion among people of faith. It was through rock-and-roll, after all, that the social and sexual revolution of the 60s thrived and found expression.
Enter Norman, with an unabashed love for rock's driving beat, which he hilariously defended in his well-known boogie-woogie, "Why Should The Devil Have All The Good Music?" With hippie hair down his back, Norman stymied many with his cry, "I want the people to know/that he saved my soul/but I still like to listen to the radio!" Norman recounted how often church folks insisted he was wrong: God and rock music didn't go together. But Norman grew up in an African-American neighborhood in San Francisco and remembered how when he first heard rock-n-roll it seemed to him that "Elvis was trying to steal the music of the black churches in his songs. So, I decided to steal it back."
Norman was also controversial for his biting social critique. Crafted in the midst of the Vietnam War, his Dylanesque folk ballad "The Great American Novel" provoked many with questions like, "Do you really think the only way to bring the peace/is to sacrifice your children and kill all your enemies?" In later years, however, he focused more on spiritual reflection than political provocation. He explained to Strait Magazine that true social commentary was talking about lust, greed, and bitterness because "that's what wars are. Sin is sin. There is no sophisticated, high tech sin … it's all just silly, greedy, selfish, snotty sin."
Near the end of his life, Norman would become controversial for different reasons, as stories of infidelity and harsh business practices came to light. Nevertheless, Norman was without question one of the very first (and best) musicians to combine a bold, electric-rock sound with an equally bold presentation of gospel truths. He avoided the copycat syndrome with inventive bluesy arrangements that still sound fresh and forceful today, while his sharp-witted lyrics covered a wide range of topics. Norman wrestled at various stages with political and personal demons, but he fiercely maintained that ultimate hope could only be found in one place: "Don't ask me for the answer I've only got one/that a man leaves his darkness when he follows the Son."
Cedarville's Partnership with SBACS
"bridges gap" in Christian Education
CEDARVILLE, Ohio (Cedarville University) -- Cedarville University's School of Education and the Southern Baptist Association of Christian Schools (SBACS) are partnering to bridge the gap between Christian education in K-12 schools and higher education. As a result of the partnership, two qualified students will receive full tuition scholarships from Cedarville University.
Jeremy Ervin, Ph.D., dean of the School of Education, said there is often a disconnect between completing a Christian education in K-12 schools and continuing to a Christian university. "Transitions from elementary education into upper level schooling are strategically prepared by education systems," said Ervin. "But the transition to a continuation of Christian higher education is not traditionally included in those plans."
According to Ervin, part of the purpose of the new SBACS scholarship is to make a connection for qualified high school graduates to earn a college degree from an academically rigorous institution that is Christ-focused in its curriculum and teaching.
Offered for the first time this year, the scholarships' awardees are Rachel Williams from High Point Christian Academy in High Point, N.C., and Victoria Stearns from First Baptist Academy in Naples, Fla.
The scholarships are available to high school seniors graduating from SBACS schools who enroll at Cedarville University in the fall. Applicants were required to answer essay questions about the benefits of their Christian education over secular education and the effects further Christian education would have on their future careers.
"We wanted them to see how a Christian education will impact them in their future occupations," Ervin said. "It's important for each student to see how a biblical worldview will impact academic study and future career and ministry opportunities."
Cedarville University and the SBACS expect to continue this partnership, offering the scholarships to students every year.
"The School of Education is delighted to have the opportunity to select key high school graduates to come to Cedarville," said Ervin. "To bring high-quality students who are seeking to follow God's direction in their career and seeking to have a biblical perspective on life is exciting."
Cedarville University, located east of Dayton, Ohio, has 3,459 students in more than 100 areas of study. A Baptist university of arts, sciences, professional and graduate programs, Cedarville is recognized nationally for rigorous academic programs, strong graduation and retention rates, accredited professional and health science offerings, and leading student satisfaction ratings. Visit the University online at www.cedarville.edu.
ACSI launches National
Christian Educators Day
COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (The Association of Christian Schools International) -- The Association of Christian Schools International (ACSI) is excited to announce the launch of National Christian Educators Day (NCED) on May 5. This will be an annual event to celebrate, honor and pray for Christian educators in both public and private schools worldwide.
The goal of this day is to support the Christian educators who work hard to positively influence the next generation, especially by praying for them.
"ACSI is inviting parents, students, pastors, educators, businesses and nonprofits to participate in National Christian Educators Day," said ACSI Vice President Taylor Smith. "We want to bless Christian educators—wherever they serve—on this day."
One key part of the event is an essay contest, "I Love My Teacher Because…." Entrants are to write about an influential teacher for a chance to win a $250 gift card for the school of their choice and a $25 iTunes gift card for themselves.
Other aspects of the event include free, downloadable thank-you cards for teachers; a memory wall and a prayer wall. NCED will take place the first Monday in May every year. Learn more about the event at www.NationalChristianEducatorsDay.com.
ACSI, headquartered in Colorado Springs, Colo., encompasses nearly 24,000 member Christian schools in more than 100 nations, providing services through a network of 28 regional offices. The organization accredits Protestant pre-K–12 schools. Learn more at www.acsi.org.
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