"It would be a considerable fraud to do a book on American government which talked as if the constitution were still being substantially observed, that pretended that when Presidents took the oath of office they intended to observe the bounds set by the Constitution, that Congressmen recited their pledges with the same intent, and that Federal judges were still construing the Consitution as it was written." - Clarence Carson: Basic American Government, 1993
"Every writer of history proposes to himself an original method" - G.W.F. Hegel
What exactly am I doing when I do history?
If I ask the question based on the meaning of the word, I make an interesting discovery: history is from the Greek word for inquiry. History, therefore, as originally imagined, was an inquiry.
An inquiry into what? And how is it to be conducted?
Huckleberry Finn's author is supposed to have said that it is easier to fool a person than it is to convince him that he has been fooled. That triggered a longish reflection in me wherein I asked myself, why is that? And, is that good or bad?
Meanwhile, I have been teaching a class on Christian classical rhetoric and have been struck by a particular, somewhat unsettling fact for a modern or postmodern or at least conventional thinker such as I am. God rarely defends Himself when He speaks. He expects you to hear it and respond.
Is there a connection?
As a young man, Benedict left his hometown of Nursia, journeying to Rome to continue his education. His time in Rome left him deeply troubled, the city apparently overcome by paganism and depravity. Eventually, Benedict simply tired of people. Seeking solitude and quite, he moved to a cave near Subiaco (about 30 miles east of Rome).
The verse we are using for this month’s assurance of pardon is a familiar one – “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness” (1st John 1:9). The word “confess” is a compound Greek word that literally means “to say the same thing.” In other words, when we confess our sins, we are saying the same thing about our thoughts, words, and deeds, that God would say about them. If we do that – if we own up to our sins, then God is faithful and just to forgive us and cleanse us.
"The Fighting Bulls and the Frog" by Aesop
Two Bulls were fighting furiously in a field, at one side of which was a marsh. An old Frog living in the marsh, trembled as he watched the fierce battle.
“What are you afraid of?” asked a young Frog.
“Do you not see,” replied the old Frog, “that the Bull who is beaten, will be driven away from the good forage up there to the reeds of this marsh, and we shall all be trampled into the mud?”
The Commons Podcast is back, and this new season brings you lots of great interviews and conversations on school life and leadership! Here are some snapshots of what you can expect:
"The Kid and the Wolf" by Aesop
A frisky young Kid had been left by the herdsman on the thatched roof of a sheep shelter to keep him out of harm’s way. The Kid was browsing near the edge of the roof, when he spied a Wolf and began to jeer at him, making faces and abusing him to his heart’s content.
“I hear you,” said the Wolf, “and I haven’t the least grudge against you for what you say or do. When you are up there it is the roof that’s talking, not you.”
Recently, the Church celebrated the feast of Pentecost, when God fulfilled His promise by giving the gift of the Holy Spirit, who is sent to teach, comfort, and strengthen the Church as we carry out the Lord’s commission (Matthew 28:16-20, Acts 1:8). And, when we see the manner in which God fulfilled that promise, we again hear several echoes and connections with the Old Testament.
From the very beginning, God has ordered our days. In the Creation week, He made the sun to rule the day and the moon to rule the night. He rested on the seventh day, giving us a pattern of work and rest to follow in our own lives. Our calendars have, however, become far more numerous and complicated - work calendars, family calendars, and school calendars now direct how we spend our time. Sadly, the Church calendar is rarely the one setting the rhythm of life, even for Christians.