An IronMen Info Post!!
A question-and-answer clip, primarily for the benefit of parents.
I recently answered a great question by a parent who is considering the IronMen program. It went to the theological/doctrinal background that I bring to IronMen.
A great question, and a sign of an active, caring, and diligent parent...bless them.
So, what I thought I'd do is give the gist of my answer here, along with other related info. A kind of a FYI for you. And, if you have more/other questions, feel free to message me like this parent did! This also represents an accurate view of the doctrine within the Glen's Gizmo Homeschool Hub ministry as a whole (if that interests you, be sure you consult the main website for that statement).
My wife and I are attending Athey Creek church. It's very close to community churches we've been members of in the past (ie, Shoreline Church in Monterey, Calif; Cypress Community church in Salinas, Calif; Horizon Christian Fellowship in San Diego, Calif.)
Theologically, these congregations could be described as conservative, evangelical, dispensational, largely pre-tribulational, and largely salvation-permanence in doctrine. I should add creationist, too, I suppose (I tend to take that for granted in a thoroughly Christian church, but perhaps there is reason not to these days.)
My upbringing was in the Evangelical Free church, and my college education began at their liberal arts university in British Columbia, Canada, called Trinity Western. That denomination (EvFree) supports Trinity Evangelical Seminary in Deerfield, Illinois. Their range of scholarship is closely related to Dallas Seminary in Texas; in fact, some of their professors get their degrees from the other school. That’s just to give you a sense of where the denomination sits "on the map" as it were. Both are world-class, conservative theological schools.
My degrees are in communication and education. And, yes, alas, it was public education (two California teaching credentials: one for K-6 and another for English/Language Arts for grades 7-12). It was a solid experience, but I took the theory and principles and LEFT the rest.
My other graduate communication training was focused on education & training (MS and PhD at Southern Illinois University, Carbondale); research there, for me, tended to focus on (1) values in education, (2) leadership ethics and credibility, and (3) perceptions of caring by students.
Ministry experience has ranged from teaching Sunday school, leading in church youth groups, Christian drama ministry, summer Christian camp counseling and directing, guest speaking for pastors on vacation, summer missions, and training young adult men for mission service in Mexico (Baja, mostly), Columbia, and Venezuela (the Amazon jungle area, mostly, near the Orinoco River).
Some of you know Pat Roy. He and I grew up in the same Evangelical Free church in Chico, California (my birthplace, by the way); we co-directed the Junior High youth group ministry there while the church was acclimating a new pastor, and we were sent on our first summer missions experience from there.
So, that about covers it. I am married to a wonderful wife -- 33 years this past December -- and we have 3 children, now 26, 28, and 29. We homeschooled them from pre-K through high school, so we bring a good deal of experience to homeschoolers with questions.
<< It is noble thing you do, homeschooling...and now, becoming an *essential* thing, if you are to protect and preserve your children. Besides reading a lot across home educators of the past few decades, I'd also highly recommend the annual expense of membership with HSLDA. We paid for that the entire time; I would have paid twice as much, if necessary, for thieir service and potential representation. Not a dime was wasted. >>
I should add, by way of encouragement, we did that homeschooling while going through graduate school for 5 years (in California and Illinois), where the divorce-rate was astronomical, and through two decades of teaching for secular universities and colleges (all in California, that oh-so-liberal and progressive of states), where the increasing hostility toward anyone conservative, Christian, white, male, non-relativistic, fact-based, reason-based...has mounted with each decade and every single year (I do not exaggerate). The point is just this: God made it possible. Like Daniel living among Babylonians, Medes, and Persians -- God CAN make it happen. It doesn't mean it might not cost you something. But the mission objective of raising your kids at home -- in spite of all that -- is something He CAN accomplish.
I should add that I have published with NavPress for young adult readership (four novels, beginning with the one NavPress took on in 2012, Trident's Flame). My daughter calls them romaction novels, since they deal with themes of Christian dating, the Gospel, and young adult growing pains...all in the espionage/action genre. The last three are being divided in halves (an editor's recommendation to reduce the word count for each), to make six, for a series of seven novels, called the Jake Sloan Adventures. Frank Peretti’s Cooper Family Adventures are what inspired me to tackle that. We used to read that entire series to our kids. I’m still finishing three more Jake Sloan novels for that series before I’ll consider it complete.
And, finally, I am a licensed Chaplain. I'm studying the Chaplaincy -- the uniquely Christian version -- with a view to be of service to local fire departments and law enforcement. Haven't quite achieved that yet, but it's one of my retirement goals. Been a little busy with a dozen other things recently, including the move here from California, and now the open door to help Glen's Gizmo Homeschool Hub with this wonderful new program, IronMen and Ironmen Rangers.
I'm really praying for the Lord's success in this for the sake of these young men. They have such a challenging future ahead of them. When you think of it -- assuming the Lord Jesus delays in His return -- these young men will be leading whatever is left of this nation forward. It is momentous.
It's difficult to see that far into the future, I know. But I have this deep sense that Christian parents alive right now are raising a generation of Washingtons, Lincolns, God-believing/God-revering leaders who will be the ONLY ones capable of restoring what was destroyed. Sadly, we are watching the destruction. But happily, we serve a very mighty God. The same one who strategically placed Daniel and three of his friends INSIDE the administration of a hostile nation (Babylon). If you track king Nebuchadnezzar, it's difficult to argue that he wasn't converted by the later years. And king Cyrus was named before he was born – specifically to release the Jews back to their homeland.
Who knows what mighty things God might have in store for our young ones.
Sincerely, Dan Fox, PhD