Joshua Gibbs May 18, 2017

Yesterday, I said this:

"What I have to say, I have to say to the fellows. But ladies, you should eavesdrop.

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Joshua Gibbs May 9, 2017

At noon, during lunch, the friends of a certain high school junior extend an invitation to do something wicked together after school. The junior in question responds, “I don’t know. Let me think about it,” and his friends, who are intent on wickedness, reply, “Let us know after school if you are coming.” For the next three hours, a certain junior will undergo temptation.

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Joshua Gibbs May 5, 2017

In the ongoing series of events which constitute The End of Western Civilization®, mankind’s latest dare for the Almighty to have done with us is nowhere as brazen as smart phones or reality television, though it still needs to be stamped out post-haste. Now joining the ranks of bottle flipping and dabbing, fidget spinners are officially a 2016-2017 school year hot annoying trend.

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Joshua Gibbs May 4, 2017

Do “people in general” actually exist? In Book XIV, chapter 2 of the City of God, Augustine discusses “the carnal life” and mentions, on one extreme end, the Epicureans, who believes man’s chief good is found in his body, and, on the other extreme end, the Stoics, who place man’s chief good in the spirit. However, between these two extremes, Augustine mentions, “people in general, who are not attached to any philosophical doctrine, who hold no sort of theory, but, [have] a natural propensity toward sensuality...”

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Joshua Gibbs May 2, 2017

If the wages of sin is death, why do forgiven people still die? Augustine does not say, “Because even forgiven people are still guilty.” Rather, Augustine suggests death looms for the forgiven man so that he may gain in righteousness.

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Joshua Gibbs Apr 30, 2017

“Good Christians disagree about this issue” is a diplomatic claim frequently on the lips of those involved in ecumenical projects. Good Christians disagree about the Eucharist. Good Christians disagree about icons. Good Christians disagree about the Bible, about faith, about good works.

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Joshua Gibbs Apr 24, 2017

This week, I am leading more than thirty sophomores to New York City. I hope nothing goes wrong. My students, on the other hand, hope something does go wrong. I understand this hope.

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Joshua Gibbs Apr 21, 2017

How much good does it do a film or book to have “a good message”? How valuable to a song is a good message? Will a good message do the audience any good?

Merely acknowledging that “the medium is the message,” as Marshall McLuhan famously opined, cannot help these questions. If the medium is the message, I still want to know how valuable the message is. My students are quite taken with the importance of “messages,” but I am yet to see messages do people much good. So far as art is concerned, good messages are often more of a distraction than a boon.

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Joshua Gibbs Apr 18, 2017

"One must never place a loaded rifle on the stage if it isn't going to go off."
-Anton Chekhov

The Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil seems a good bit like Chekhov's proverbial gun. Who could blame the casual reader for finding Moses's account of the Fall more than a little predictable? How was Adam not going to eat? Given the characters, their power, the rules, and the furniture, wasn't sin inevitable?

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Joshua Gibbs Apr 4, 2017

I was a bad student. Starting my freshman year, I attended a classical Christian school. By senior year, I was sneaking down to the local pizza parlor during lunch to smoke cigarettes and watch music videos. I never aimed to do well, only to pass. If my Biology grade was running a 77, that meant I had 7 points to spend on slacking off before the semester ended. I was a teenage sloth.

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