Joshua Gibbs

Joshua Gibbs teaches great books to high school students at Veritas School in Richmond, Virginia. He is the editor of FilmFisher and has two daughters, both of whom have seven names. You can find him on Twitter @joshgibbs. 

Joshua Gibbs Jul 6, 2017

Make every effort... to be holy…”

- Hebrews 12:14

Just before my children depart for their classrooms in the morning, I ask them, “Why do you go to school?”

They answer, “To learn how to be an excellent human being.”

Joshua Gibbs Jul 4, 2017

Some years ago, David Bentley Hart wrote that “love of country is most ennobling… when it is most concrete,” which is to say that loving America in general will not foster genuine national loyalty, however, loving baseball and apple pie— particular things, in other words— will do so. Hart went on to enumerate more than fifty particularly American things he loved, and his list ranged from the Marx Brothers to Samuel Barber and Miles Davis.

Joshua Gibbs Jun 30, 2017

The Joshua Gibbs Christian Worldview Exam

1. If you took the “Dharma Initiative Christian Worldview Exam” online, answered forty multiple choice questions about piety and religion and history and art and wine, and received a score back indicating your worldview was only 17% Christian, you would…

A. Become quite anxious and wonder if you were attending a truly Biblical church; schedule a meeting with your elders; compose a list of questions to ask your elders which might help you determine if you have properly understood their teachings.      

Joshua Gibbs Jun 28, 2017

A chasm separates "worldview" and what is commonly meant by "worldview analysis." I have no issue with a class wherein different worldviews are taught, insofar as “worldview” refers to a series of related presuppositions. I am more than content that worldviews exist (like gravity, the number four, and dogs exist). On occasion, I refer to "worldviews" while teaching and I have seen various benefits which come from students reading books about competing worldviews. 

Joshua Gibbs Jun 25, 2017

When I take students to the Met and the Cloisters in New York, I try to avoid asking interesting questions. I do not initiate deep conversations. At the end of a long day of enjoying Rembrandt and Vermeer, I do not ask students to offer up reflections on what they have seen. I do not take students to New York to teach them anything. We go to New York to be enriched.

Joshua Gibbs Jun 20, 2017

No writer in the Western Tradition has conceived a more terrifying vision of Heaven than Dante, for Dante believed a man actually had to want to go to Heaven in order to get there. Granted, Dante’s God will ultimately requite even the smallest fraction of desire for the Divine, but some desire must actually be present in the soul of a man by the moment he dies. If not, the man gets what he wants, and what he wants is Hell. “Broad is the path which leads to destruction,” teaches Christ, a claim which Dante would likely take to mean, “Most people prefer Hell.” C.S.

Joshua Gibbs Jun 19, 2017

While a consumerist society may have given Americans a better selection of beer and cheese to choose from, it has done our sense of the sacred no favors. Most Americans, myself included, maintain a certain taste in piety. I like 20th century Catholic fiction, and I like Baptist preaching, and I think no one has bested the Anglicans so far as hymns are concerned, especially Christmas hymns. I say this not exactly as a confession, for I do not know if I really had a choice in the matter, growing up where and how I did.

Joshua Gibbs Jun 16, 2017

Taken from "Split," a short story. 

A great many chapters had passed in Sylvia’s life between the last time she described herself as a Lutheran and the first time she described herself as “agnostic” on a Minnesota census form— the latter event, wherein Sylvia blackened a circle scarcely bigger than an ovum, prefaced by nearly an hour of pacing barefoot and refilling a wine glass.

Joshua Gibbs Jun 9, 2017

While attending conferences this summer, there are two very particular kinds of teachers you are likely to meet around the coffee carafes and book tables. While there are far more than just two kinds of teachers, I want to talk about just two. Let us call them Glad Man and Sad Man. Here is what either of these teachers will say as you are looking for the creamer.

Joshua Gibbs Jun 5, 2017

Many rookie teachers are tempted to hold a hardline view on some theological issue which “the average Christian just can’t handle.” The rookie teacher believes the average American Christian is too intellectually weak to handle the real truth about pacifism, spanking, total war, double predestination, liberalism, Catholicism, monarchy, eschatology, socialism, race relations, wealth and poverty, slavery, liturgy, prayer for the dead, God’s exhaustive sovereignty, universalism, apostolic succession, nuclear war, taxation (is theft!), the Crusades, democracy, and so forth.