I’m not the kind of person who always wants a baby. As a child, I didn’t “play house.” As a teen, I didn’t babysit other people’s children, and I didn’t enjoy my mom signing me up for nursery duty at church. The blessedness of bearing and raising children is more a belief that has grown in me with my faith than it is a primal urge I have. Hearing Mary’s Magnificat in a liturgical context has enforced this belief: “you have lifted up the lowly.” This is the trajectory of Christ’s Incarnate Life and the life of every believer and the life of the world. From death unto life.
The expression is vulgar. It is rude and nasty. It is not used in polite company and censored by most media. Yet, “F-you” is now a rather common political refrain. Actor Robert de Niro stood at the Tony Awards’ podium and yelled “F*** Trump!” For well over four years, Twitter and Instagram trolls (which have their own issues) flooded the airwaves with two-word arguments “F*** You!” Likewise, a motorcade carrying President Trump passed a singular bicyclist who expressed her opinion with a one-finger salute. The media went wild. And the political left is not alone.
Last year's Circe conference began with the telling and interpreting of our dreams. In the opening session, we were read, with Old Testament drama, the very longings of our souls. Andrew Kern called out to the Glory that resides within each of us and interpreted the longings we each have for Glory- for the One whose train fills the temple. We were challenged on how to lead, to teach, to assess well, and to live glory soaked lives. We went home with suitcases stuffed with books and new friends in the pockets of our hearts.
Tom: It is not enough to punish crimes like theft. You have to look at the underlying causes of theft. You have to ask why people steal. Figuring out why people steal can help prevent theft in the future.
Harry: And why do people steal?
Tom: Studies show one of the biggest underlying causes of theft is poverty.
Harry: And what is the underlying cause of poverty?
Tom: Often enough, it’s racism.
Harry: And what is the underlying cause of racism?
Tom: Well, racism is simply evil.
In the last several years, agrarian metaphors (cultivating, nurturing) have come to dominate the way classical schools describe themselves. However, we have become entirely too dependent on the agrarian metaphor, which is helpful but insufficient by itself to provide a complete picture of a classical education.
John Calvin once said the human heart was “a perpetual factory of idols.” Similarly, the typical modern institution is a perpetual factory of clichés. A cliché is an idea which once had power but has become impotent and meaningless through overuse. Classical Christian education is presently filled with clichés, but so is every movement. We need not despair, but we do need to repent.
Fiction, memoir, biography, history, essay-collections, reportage, science, philosophy, theology, writing that takes off from movies and music and art and more: which branch is most inadequately assessed in our public book-talk, in reviews and podcasts, on Twitter and elsewhere? I would say history, hands down. But what do you get when you read a typical review of a work of history? Mostly a summary of the subject at hand.
The mitochondria is having a moment.
No, you read that right. The mitochondria.
This Lent began more or less as usual: piling pajamaed children into the pew on Wednesday evening for the imposition of ashes. Like every year, one child rolled on the floor under the pew while another needed to use the bathroom during the prayers. A third suffered greatly after refusing to wear a coat. After the service ended, instead of processing out in worshipful silence, I remained in the pew, gathering the impressive amount of crayon and paper shrapnel that we were able to generate in a little over an hour.
I enjoy college football. It makes no sense – I did not play football growing up. Actually, in high school, I thought the RB in football meant right back, not running back. I remember watching us lose our homecoming game by 70+ points. So how did I come to love college football? I know exactly where and when: my freshman year, at a non-football school, I attended an evening football game where my college upset a top 5 team in the country on a last second field goal.