In my previous post I looked at the structure of change, and I argued that Augustine’s view of how people change is well suited to the nature of the human soul. Humans are not only thinking beings, nor is ignorance our only problem. Humans are creatures of desire, and our thoughts gravitate toward the things we love. Therefore, any change involves not only thinking on the True, the Good, and the Beautiful, but also finding rest in (i.e. loving) our purpose as beings made by and for a Triune, Divine Creator.
Logs tonight. The stack of metaphoric logs waiting for the szzaaw-szzawing in my dreamy head must wait. I’m setting up the kids’ academic logs first.
It is, probably, the most barbed of the criticisms leveled against the whole array of classical, Christian, and homeschooling endeavors. Yet it shoots forth from the secular media, the mainstream Christians, and our own self-doubts—the declaration that our homes and schools are too heavenly minded to accomplish any earthly good; that we have absconded from the essential work of evangelizing or redeeming culture; that our communities are merely “Christian ghettos,” as morally irresponsible as the monasteries of the Middle Ages.
Aristotle once wrote that “It is the mark of an educated man to look for precision in each class of things just so far as the nature of the subject admits.”
This is one of the most important principles of thought ever expressed - and one that has been almost universally neglected in our day, especially by those who oversee the ways we teach our children how to think.
We look for scientific precision when we study literature, for artistic judgment in math and spelling. When we assess, we look for statistical variation of immeasurable matters.
At the very first conference, in July 2002, Dr. Charles Reed presented a wonderful talk that he called "Reading as if for life," a title drawn from Dickens' David Copperfield.
Today, July 15, 2015, Rod Dreher showed us what it means to read as if for life. He reflected through the day on the meaning of the title of his recent book How Dante Can Save Your Life.
If you weren't here, I'm sorry you missed it. I'll write one or two things that impressed me, then ask others to add their insights. First, this:
From December 2008, so lacking in the mellowness of my late years:
When I first began discussing the question of eschatology with friends ten years ago, a particular passage of Scripture arose numerous times which more or less foiled every side of every argument:
The Son of Man will go just as it is written about him. But woe to that man who betrays the Son of Man! It would be better for him if he had not been born.
Heraclitus (in)famously claimed that all is flux; that change is the only constant. Excluding the Triune, Infinite Being, there is plausibility to the more limited claim that all finite beings are flux, that change is a constant. The frail, clumsy body of a child grows into the strong, supple one of an adult. Even the soul of man grows out of infancy into maturity, out of frailty into fortitude, graced by wisdom and virtue.
In a post on my old blog (the now defunct ordo-amoris.com) I wrote about how we are failing to give our boys a reason to learn, how boys are motivated by honor and how our society has left them without hope, and how one antidote to the problem may be using great literature to motivate our sons to pursue honor.
But what books should they read?