A lot has been written in recent days regarding Christian worldview analysis as relates to Christian classical education, and obviously, the thing to do in the midst of a cacophony is to chime in with another voice.
The Joshua Gibbs Christian Worldview Exam
1. If you took the “Dharma Initiative Christian Worldview Exam” online, answered forty multiple choice questions about piety and religion and history and art and wine, and received a score back indicating your worldview was only 17% Christian, you would…
A. Become quite anxious and wonder if you were attending a truly Biblical church; schedule a meeting with your elders; compose a list of questions to ask your elders which might help you determine if you have properly understood their teachings.
In an earlier post, I talked about how melody is one of the primary elements of music that enables a listener to better grasp and appreciate a piece of music. Rhythm is the other element that helps to structure music and is half of what defines music. Music is taking dominion over sound in time. With either strict or non-strict rhythmic forms, music places sound in time.
When I remember childhood summer afternoons, I remember sun and water. Wet grass squelching between my toes as I skipped through sprinklers in the yard. Chalky sunblock on my shoulders, making water bead like pearls on my skin. Wrinkled fingers and waterlogged ears from countless hours in the pool. Barefoot galumphing through mountain streams, listening to the chatter of songbirds, gazing at golden sunlight streaming through leaves.
A chasm separates "worldview" and what is commonly meant by "worldview analysis." I have no issue with a class wherein different worldviews are taught, insofar as “worldview” refers to a series of related presuppositions. I am more than content that worldviews exist (like gravity, the number four, and dogs exist). On occasion, I refer to "worldviews" while teaching and I have seen various benefits which come from students reading books about competing worldviews.
When I take students to the Met and the Cloisters in New York, I try to avoid asking interesting questions. I do not initiate deep conversations. At the end of a long day of enjoying Rembrandt and Vermeer, I do not ask students to offer up reflections on what they have seen. I do not take students to New York to teach them anything. We go to New York to be enriched.
No writer in the Western Tradition has conceived a more terrifying vision of Heaven than Dante, for Dante believed a man actually had to want to go to Heaven in order to get there. Granted, Dante’s God will ultimately requite even the smallest fraction of desire for the Divine, but some desire must actually be present in the soul of a man by the moment he dies. If not, the man gets what he wants, and what he wants is Hell. “Broad is the path which leads to destruction,” teaches Christ, a claim which Dante would likely take to mean, “Most people prefer Hell.” C.S.
I’ve slowly made a discovery over time. Modern and post-modern artists can often make a great show of why they create art and the substance of it—ideally things that promote sales and highlight the uniqueness of the work. However, when you get to popular creativity, a little more of the true heart and motivation emerges.
This post is part of a series called The Fellowship of the Inklings where I attempt to blog my way through reading The Fellowship: The Literary Lives of the Inklings by Philip and Carol Zaleski.
It wasn’t until I finished grad school that I properly encountered the Inklings. Oh sure, I had read The Lord of the Rings and I knew about Narnia, and I think I may have even read a Lord Peter novel, but I had no idea of the larger implications of their work.
While a consumerist society may have given Americans a better selection of beer and cheese to choose from, it has done our sense of the sacred no favors. Most Americans, myself included, maintain a certain taste in piety. I like 20th century Catholic fiction, and I like Baptist preaching, and I think no one has bested the Anglicans so far as hymns are concerned, especially Christmas hymns. I say this not exactly as a confession, for I do not know if I really had a choice in the matter, growing up where and how I did.