Christopher Stevens Feb 6, 2019

Creativity is the ability to bring about something new. Somewhat counterintuitively, structure, rules, and standards invite creativity. Aristotle, Plato, and the Scriptures tell us to “train up” a child. Aristotle, referencing Plato, emphasizes the importance of “having been definitely trained from childhood to like and dislike the proper things; this is what good education means” (Nicomachean Ethics Book 2, 1104b).

Joshua Gibbs Feb 3, 2019

Student: I am thinking of switching to public school next year.

Gibbs: I see. Why is that?

Student: I don’t think I am being challenged in my faith at this school. I’m worried that I’m just going along with the crowd, just going through the motions. It’s easy to be a Christian here. Everyone here is just kind of passive about their faith.  

Gibbs: What does it mean to be “challenged in your faith”?

Student: I don’t think my faith in God is growing deeper here. I want it to grow deeper.

Gibbs: Why don’t you get rid of your phone?

Lindsey Brigham Knott Jan 31, 2019

My favorite nineteenth-century novel, George Eliot’s Middlemarch, spins its plot from this premise: What happens when a person of fervent ideals is born into a place and age that cannot support them? 

Joshua Gibbs Jan 29, 2019

Having attended hundreds of parent-teacher conferences over the years, I feel safe in saying that the parents of the happiest and most productive students generally open the conversation with a question like, “So, what do we need to know? What are we doing wrong?” Parents of troubled students (students who give great concern to their teachers) are far more apt to open conversations with, “You have probably noticed my daughter is very special.”

Kate Deddens Jan 29, 2019

Most teachers would probably agree with this truth: “Interest and attention characterize the mental state of a true learner and constitute the essential basis on which the process of learning rests” (John Milton Gregory, The Seven Laws of Teaching). We want the attention of our students—their eyes focused, their ears tuned in, their minds alert. Of course, the student must be attentive. But what must the teacher be?

Joshua Gibbs Jan 24, 2019

Student: What do you think about students dating in high school?

Gibbs: Why date? Why not just get married?

Student: We’re obviously not old enough to get married.

Gibbs: So why date?

Student: I want to marry someone I know really well. Look, I’m dating someone right now. But we’re not dating for fun. We’re dating to get to know each other better.

Gibbs: No. You are not currently in a relationship with a girl to “get to know her better,” and we both know it.    

Student: What makes you say that?

Joshua Gibbs Jan 24, 2019

“Go and sin no more.”

While Mary Magdalene is not universally recognized as the woman caught in the act of adultery, most of the greatest artists of the West believe she was. The typical Magdalene painting shows a woman alone in the dark, deep in thought over one of Christ’s strangest private injunctions. What is a prostitute to make of the command to “sin no more”?

Joshua Gibbs Jan 19, 2019

An eye for an eye. God is dead. Fear and trembling.

Does an author deserve to be understood in context? Perhaps.

Felipe Vogel Jan 18, 2019

Latin and Greek are the bane of many a classical self-educator; as we adult latecomers play catch-up to get the classical education we weren’t lucky enough to have in school, it’s hard enough to find time to read Homer and Augustine in translation, let alone the original. To learn the classical languages seems simply out of our reach.

Joshua Gibbs Jan 17, 2019

Was Jesus on fire for God? Probably, but Renaissance artists never got the memo. The typical Renaissance Christ looks bored and burned out, not like someone who is ready to start a Bible study, lead worship, or stand up for his faith. At very least, I commonly field such concerns when teaching art history.