If I were not a Christian, Arnold Lobel’s Frog and Toad books would be my holy scripture. When I meet a sane adult, I assume his sanity comes largely from having heard Frog and Toad stories in his youth. Yesterday, I read my sophomore humanities students four stories from a Frog and Toad anthology. It would be impolite to assume you, noble reader, are not intimately familiar with all the Frog and Toad stories, but, in case too many years have elapsed between today and your last reading, I will briefly describe the four stories I read to my sophomores:
The four senses by which Scripture can be interpreted correspond to Aristotle’s four causes. The literal sense corresponds with the material cause, the moral sense with the efficient cause, the eschatological sense with the final cause, and the allegorical sense with the formal cause. When Modern scientists rejected formal and final causes, they only did so because theologians had rejected the eschatological and allegorical senses of Scripture. Modern science comes from Modern theology.
People who want to find themselves, people who want to lose themselves, and people who want to be themselves often all end up in the same places, doing the same things. The self thus seems little more than a nullifying force of needless confusion and misdirection, for no one knows whether the self is coming, going, or staying put.
The story of Judas is the story of a man who thought he was going to get away with everything. In fact, everything about Judas’s Holy Week interactions with the chief priests, Christ, and the apostles suggest that Judas intended on returning to his life with the apostles after Christ was arrested.
Who killed Jesus Christ?
Today, a great many Protestants and Orthodox Christians watched Notre Dame burn. They sadly and soberly lamentated the loss of a building at once so beautiful and yet so old. By the evening, word came that a portion of the cathedral had been saved. Here was a little relief, though I was reminded of the fire which destroyed St. Sava’s cathedral in Manhattan back in May of 2016. On the day it burned, I spoke about St.
Student: What do you think of video games?
Gibbs: Oh, playing a round or two of Tetris every few months is probably not going to kill anyone.
Student: That’s not really what I meant.
Gibbs: I know.
Student: I wanted to know what you thought about video games as a hobby.
Gibbs: You mean the kind of thing which a fellow spends a few hours on every day? The kind of thing which he talks about and thinks about at length?
Having led eight high school classes on trips to New York City, I have developed a fairly tight game plan. This year’s trip to New York came with the first significant rule change in almost a decade: no phones.
I have no original thoughts on art. They are all borrowed from Roger Scruton.
McLaren: What do you think of Jackson Pollock?
Gibbs: Not a fan.
McLaren: But he’s a genius.
Gibbs: Interesting you say that. If you were in a conversation with someone who said he wasn’t a fan of Shakespeare, what would you reply?
McLaren: I would say, “What’s wrong with you? Have you never read Hamlet?”
Student: Mr. Gibbs, we got into this long discussion about infant baptism in theology class and heard about all these different beliefs regarding baptism. What do you think? Should we baptize infants?
Gibbs: Should who baptize babies? You?
Student: No. Should anyone baptize babies? What is your personal belief on the matter?
Gibbs: That is not a matter about which I have a personal belief. I simply do what my church tells me to do.
Student: And what does your church tell you to do?
Gibbs: My church baptizes babies.