Stuff and Nonsense: What Mary Poppins Taught Me

“Stuff and nonsense can be fun,” says Mary Poppins in the new Mary Poppins Returns, and I couldn’t agree more. More and more as I grow older, I feel the weight of worldly responsibility. Bills to pay, meetings to schedule and attend, a family to care for, and a feeling of inadequacy for all of it. I sympathize with Michael Banks in the movie because … Continue reading Stuff and Nonsense: What Mary Poppins Taught Me

My Top 5 Books of 2018 (Kyle Rapinchuk)

Kyle Rapinchuk’s Top 5 Books of 2018 My reading tastes in the past decade have focused primarily on theology and fiction. Some of that was due to my degrees (B.A. in English followed by M.Div. and Ph.D. in Biblical Studies), but largely I could say I completed those degrees because those were the subjects I loved to read and about which I loved to learn. … Continue reading My Top 5 Books of 2018 (Kyle Rapinchuk)

Teaching to the Test (Educational Insights from Hogwarts, Part 10)

We are now on to the second half of our 10 part series on Educational Insights from Hogwarts. If you missed any of the previous articles, check them out at the links below. Part 1: Lessons from Dolores, Dumbledore, and More Part 2: Private Christian Schools and Government Involvement Part 3: Meaningful Teacher Evaluations Part 4: Student Organizations Part 5: On the Integration of Subjects/Arts … Continue reading Teaching to the Test (Educational Insights from Hogwarts, Part 10)

Career Advice (Educational Insights from Hogwarts, Part 9)

We are now on to the second half of our 10 part series on Educational Insights from Hogwarts. If you missed any previous articles, check them out at the links below. Part 1: Lessons from Dolores, Dumbledore, and More Part 2: Private Christian Schools and Government Involvement Part 3: Meaningful Teacher Evaluations Part 4: Student Organizations Part 5: On the Integration of Subjects/Arts Part 6: … Continue reading Career Advice (Educational Insights from Hogwarts, Part 9)

Intellectual Humility (Educational Insights from Hogwarts, Part 8)

One of the better educational moves that Dumbledore makes in Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix is to add Firenze the Centaur to his teaching staff. Firenze is to share the duties of divination with Professor Trelawney, but unlike Trelawney, Firenze seems actually to know his subject. Nevertheless, Rowling writes that Firenze’s “priority did not seem to be to teach them what he … Continue reading Intellectual Humility (Educational Insights from Hogwarts, Part 8)

The Nutcracker and the Four Realms: Appreciating “Old” Truths in a New-Centered World

I generally don’t read movie reviews, especially in the comment sections of websites. My straightforward principle is that the people who generally write those are the same people who think the McRib is a good idea, and, well, let’s just say I question their judgment. But sometimes when I am going to take my kids to see a movie I haven’t seen, I do want … Continue reading The Nutcracker and the Four Realms: Appreciating “Old” Truths in a New-Centered World

What is the Purpose of Teaching History? (Educational Insights from Hogwarts, Part 7)

We are now on to the second half of our 10 part series on Educational Insights from Hogwarts. If you missed the first five, check them out at the links below. Part 1: Lessons from Dolores, Dumbledore, and More Part 2: Private Christian Schools and Government Involvement Part 3: Meaningful Teacher Evaluations Part 4: Student Organizations Part 5: On the Integration of Subjects/Arts Part 6: … Continue reading What is the Purpose of Teaching History? (Educational Insights from Hogwarts, Part 7)

Censorship and the Great Books (Educational Insights from Hogwarts, Part 6)

Part 1: Lessons from Dolores, Dumbledore, and More Part 2: Private Christian Schools and Government Involvement Part 3: Meaningful Teacher Evaluations Part 4: Student Organizations Part 5: On the Integration of Subjects/Arts Censorship: Educational Decree #27 In this sixth installment we will explore Educational Decree #27 in which Umbridge bans The Quibbler after Harry gives an interview about what really happened on the night of Cedric … Continue reading Censorship and the Great Books (Educational Insights from Hogwarts, Part 6)

Felix Felicis and the Providence of God in Harry Potter and The Half-Blood Prince (Theology Through the Eyes of Fiction Series)

As a Bible and theology professor, I receive a lot of questions. And over time, I find that certain questions perplex and gnaw at students more often than others. Likely one of the most frequent questions (and also most urgent) I have received from students relates to the way in which the Bible affirms both divine sovereignty and human freedom. Many students feel the tension … Continue reading Felix Felicis and the Providence of God in Harry Potter and The Half-Blood Prince (Theology Through the Eyes of Fiction Series)

On the Integration of Subjects/Arts (Educational Insights from Hogwarts, Part 5)

On the Integration of Subjects/Arts (Educational Insights from Hogwarts, Part 5) As I continue this series on educational insights we glean from Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, I have decided to skip three of the educational decrees because they have a great deal of overlap and are related more to the administrative side of the school and the handling of punishments. Educational … Continue reading On the Integration of Subjects/Arts (Educational Insights from Hogwarts, Part 5)

Cloudy with a Chance of Confusion: Obedience Clouded by Culture and the Importance of Memory for Virtuous Living in The Silver Chair (Theology through the Eyes of Fiction Series)

Have you ever found yourself in a moment, having just sinned, and you can’t explain for the life of you why you have just done what you did? I know I have. In fact, most sin in my life is of this kind. I don’t want to sin, and yet sin continues to wage war against me and I sometimes lose that battle. I know … Continue reading Cloudy with a Chance of Confusion: Obedience Clouded by Culture and the Importance of Memory for Virtuous Living in The Silver Chair (Theology through the Eyes of Fiction Series)

Student Organizations (Educational Insights from Hogwarts #4)

Educational Decree #24 (Educational Insights from Hogwarts, Part 4) When Dolores Umbridge begins to suspect that students are meeting to subvert her authority, she uses her position as Hogwarts High Inquisitor to take action regarding student organizations. Educational Decree #24 states: “All Student Organizations, Societies, Teams, Groups, and Clubs are henceforth disbanded. An Organization, Society, Team, Group, or Club is hereby defined as a regular … Continue reading Student Organizations (Educational Insights from Hogwarts #4)