What is The Divine Comedy about? It is the rarest sort of book which is about absolutely everything. Every year when I start on the Comedy, I ask my students, “What do you want this book to teach you?” and they begin naming their several interests. Politics. Predestination. Piety. Free will. Determinism.
Parent: I’ve heard that you have said some pretty disparaging things about TikTok in class.
Parent: Wouldn’t you say that what is true of all tools is true of TikTok? What I mean is that any tool can be used poorly, and any tool can be used well. In and of itself, a tool is morally neutral.
Parent: I have heard quite a lot about “piety” coming from the school recently. What is piety?
Gibbs: A dictionary is apt to tell you that a pious man is “devoutly religious,” which is not a bad definition, although I typically tell my students that piety refers to holy manners. Morality is what one man gives another, but piety is what a man gives to God alone.
Parent: Can you give an example?
Gibbs: I can give you three: prayer, fasting, and almsgiving.
Parent: That sounds very Catholic.
Just a little more than a week after Sean Connery passed away, Jeopardy! host Alex Trebek went on to his great reward. The loss I felt upon hearing the news of Trebek’s passing came not only from the fact that I have watched the show since I was a boy, but because Jeopardy! is really the only game show which a professional intellectual, amateur intellectual, or wannabe intellectual like myself can truly get behind. What other game show could a teacher of classical literature endorse?
What if Christmas is exactly what it claims to be? What if Christmas is nothing less than the birthday of Jesus Christ?
And what if Christmas does not need us? What if we need Christmas?
Modern men shudder at the thought.
Enlightened men want Christmas to be anything other than the birthday of Christ. They want Christmas to be a commercial racket, a Catholic superstition, a hollow symbol emptied of meaning centuries ago, an embarrassing relic of a purely hypothetical Christian envy of pagan holidays.
Man was created to seek glory. He was created to love the glory of God and to mirror God’s glory through the pursuit of beauty, truth, goodness, and holiness. The glory of man is derived from God and the glory of God is underived. “Only God is good,” teaches Christ, which means the goodness of creation reveals God.
Given the sorry state of American public schools, it is not surprising that many classical Christian schools use words like “excellence” and “mastery” to describe their goals for students. The school that aims to graduate students with “mastery” over their subjects will obviously not be content with seniors who have only attained an 8th grade reading level.
Not every book is as easy to understand as Pride & Prejudice.
Logic figures heavily into a classical Christian education and no small portion of informal logic books is concerned with the subject of authority; however, ever since the French Revolution, Christians have been profoundly confused on the nature of authority. While the “appeal to false authority” is a widely recognized logical fallacy, a good number of modern Christians have followed modern secularists in the belief that every claim of authority is false.
Gibbs: I was hoping we could talk about the music you were playing in your classroom this morning.
Teacher: Of course.
Gibbs: Do you think it is appropriate to play that kind of music at a classical Christian school?
Teacher: I was playing Christian music.
Gibbs: You were playing pop Christian music.
Teacher: Why is it inappropriate to play Christian music at a Christian school?