Harold Burroughs Black was born July 16, 1945.
What are the strongest indicators of future success for a high school student? If a teacher were a gambling man, what character traits and personality attributes at the age of sixteen are most apt to become happiness and success at the age of thirty-six? I am tempted to say happiness is simply too slippery, too elusive a fish to catch with predictable lures and conventional methods. I have been in and around classical school since I was fourteen, and I have seen class clowns get rich and valedictorians tank.
When I get to the end of one of J.S. Bach’s Brandenburg Concertos, I want to jump out of my chair and cheer like I would for a Seattle Seahawks touchdown. I don’t usually do it, but the impulse is the same–the resolution at the end of these pieces is something like victory.
If you enjoy classical music, you probably already know what I am talking about. If you are not a fan of the genre, I will bet these masterpieces can make you cheer anyway.
In response to a student petition, the Yale University English faculty recently voted to “decolonize the English department” by rearranging their course requirements to minimize exposure to, among others, Shakespeare and Chaucer. New course requirements mandate that undergraduate students choose three out of four core courses, in which only one includes Chaucer and Shakespeare, while another includes Milton.
500 years ago today Martin Luther nailed his 95 Theses to the door of Castle Church in Wittenburg, thus setting in motion one of the most important religious revolutions in history: the Protestant Reformation. Sure, it's debatable whether this date actually kicked-off the Reformation, but it's certainly the date that has most captured the imagination of Christians since. It's the date on which we remember what happened, and why, and what became of it. So with that in mind we asked a few friends (Dr. Peter Leithart, George Grant, Brett McCracken, Dr.
By the time a man is ten years into his career, he will have professionally encountered a few people who cannot stand him. A man makes his way in the world, sets goals, refines his methods, and in the midst of it all, at least one person with whom he has a professional relationship will say, “I do not like you and I intend on doing something about it.” Politicians meet such adversity every day. Missionaries often meet such adversity. So do classical educators.
In the Divine Comedy, Dante discovers an odd rule of Mount Purgatory. Every soul there may ascend the mountain as they will except at night, where a great and horrible darkness falls over everything. At times like that, the only thing to do is to sit and wait in the dark. Throughout the poem (and in typical Medieval symbolism), light is representative of God. Those in Hell, being separated from God, have no light. Those in Paradise, being in God's presence, have all-light (or all the light that they desire).
In Paradise Lost, the hours before the Fall see Adam and Eve in a disagreement about work. Eve tells Adam they should part ways for the day so they can get more done, for when they are together, they distract one another with conversation and flirtation. Eve is not content the two are accomplishing enough. Every night, the day’s work of pruning and trimming is undone by the natural growth of the limbs and branches and fruit. But Adam is not persuaded this really matters. God cares little about the shape of the garden and much about man’s delight in it.
Jesus said, "Ask and it will be given to you, seek and you will find, knock and the door will be opened to you."
The enemy does anything he can to keep us from asking, seeking, and knocking.
Three effective things include:
1. He convinces us that it has already been given and there is no more need to ask, that we have already found and there is no more need to seek, that the door has already been opened and there is no more need to knock.
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).