Over the past year the angst of the previous decade that arose from the anxiety of the previous half-century has been condensed into a few books that explore how Christians should respond now that we are marginalized by our ever-more secular culture.
When our Lord was crucified and buried, the disciples were traumatized and frightened beyond the imagination of the suburban American writing this post.
When He ascended into heaven, however, they were not sad or frightened. We learn mostly from Luke that they returned to Jerusalem rejoicing, that they “were continually in the temple praising and blessing God,” and that they went up into the upper room where they “continued together with one accord in prayer and supplication.”
People don't rise from the dead very often, though it has happened a few times. They don't often ascend to heaven either, though, again, there are a few accounts of it happening.
However, only once has anybody descended into hades, been raised from the dead, and then ascended into heaven in triumph, whence He could distribute the gifts of His triumph to His people.
Christ is risen from the dead, having trampled down death by death, and upon those in the tomb He has bestowed life.
In all the history of mankind, nobody has ever achieved what the Christ achieved during those three holy days from Good Friday through the new Pascha that He initiated when He was raised from the dead.
For some years now I have been preoccupied with the temple and its many iterations and echoes throughout the Bible.
This preoccupation has only grown through the realization of what most people who read the Bible have known since early childhood:
Freedom is a great practical thing, not an ideological idea.
When people rule you on the basis of their own authority, you are not a free person. This is just as true in the classroom, the office, or the shop as it is in Washington, DC or London.
But how can that be prevented?
True freedom has everything to do with how behavior, work, and thought are measured. Where do the criteria arise? This is not as obscure a thought as it might seem. Whoever assesses you is your boss. So where do the standards of assessment come from?
The fundamental task of a teacher, beyond all others (at the practical level), is to take something complicated and make it simple enough for students to apprehend at their level of capacity.
But Darla Sowders is right, it doesn't come naturally. It requires genuine knowledge of the discipline being taught, love of the student, and an understanding of how people learn. Moreover, it requires a specific understanding of the student's readiness for a given lesson.
None of these things are developed by a subject or textbook approach to learning.
Among the most profound mistakes of our era, I am convinced we would have to list the shift from the liberal arts to subjects in our schools.
If you teach subjects, one of the many unfortunate things that happens is that students quickly catch on that there is content (i.e. information to be remembered) in this subject. If they like it, they will pay attention, if not, you need something else to get them to do so.
Tests will do, thank you very much. But that's only one of the myriad ways teachers are taught to manipulate the students affections and minds.
If you want to learn a foreign language, the first thing you should do is start when you are under four years old, when everything is new and you just take it for granted that this is so.
I answered a question very badly today so I'm going to try to answer it better here. I was asked, given the nefarious effect of moralizing, how is teaching mimetically different from that.
Briefly, here's mimetic teaching:
Christ is the form of truth because He is Truth. Among other things, that means that He is the Incarnate Word, or the embodied Logos. This is, as I said, the form of truth.