As I have been preparing my book requests for next school year, I have revisited something I’ve shared before regarding some principles for choosing reading material for classes. In “The Three Columns Revisited,” Mortimer Adler goes into greater detail on the nature of leading seminars in order to help correct some misconceptions about his previous discussion on the three columns from his great work The … Continue reading The Choice of Things to Be Read (Monday Musings)
In his 1987 essay entitled “The Three Columns Revisited,” Mortimer Adler has a prophetic word for today about the misconceptions regarding the meaning of the words freedom and tolerance and how they apply to education. Adler writes: “The cultural or intellectual malaise of which I speak can be described as phony tolerance. It denounces as dogmatic and authoritarian anyone who regards one person’s opinion as … Continue reading Freedom and Tolerance
This past week I had the opportunity to attend the annual meeting of the Evangelical Theological Society in Providence, Rhode Island. The final paper I attended was not only one of the best of the conference, but also led to some further reflection that I think is helpful for our endeavors in classical Christian education. The presentation was given by John Dickson and it was … Continue reading Monday Musings (November 20, 2017): New Testament “Creeds” and Classical Christian Education
“What is needed today is a better understanding of the person not just as an individual but as someone who finds his or her true being in communion with God and with others” ~James Torrance, Worship, Community, and the Triune God of Grace, 38 Torrance’s quote is one I reflect upon often. As a strong advocate for the local church and God’s design for Christian community, … Continue reading Monday Musings (November 6, 2017): Is Education about the Individual?
“Education is our path to true humanity and wisdom” ~Stratford Caldecott, Beauty for Truth’s Sake, 11 One of the more difficult challenges with classical Christian education is clarifying our end goal. I wrote on this recently in my post “Is Repairing the Ruins our Goal?”, and I suggested that we have the two-fold goal of excellent education and Christian discipleship. In Beauty for Truth’s Sake, … Continue reading Monday Musings (October 30, 2017): Education, the Path to True Humanity?
I recently participated in a conference at fbcBranson entitled “Christianity and the Death of the Old Testament.” You can check out the excellent presentations here. As part of this conference, I was giving a presentation on how the Old Testament is dying. I relied heavily on the work of Brent Strawn in his book, The Old Testament is Dying, in which he argues that the … Continue reading Monday Musings (October 23, 2017): Education, the Church, and the Old Testament
This year I have begun occasionally giving my students writing prompts before class begins and allowing the first 5-6 minutes of class to be a time of reflection. I have found that in the midst of busy lives, loads of work, and everything else with which the teenage mind is occupied, it is absolutely necessary to remind them frequently why we do what we do. … Continue reading Monday Musings (October 16, 2017): Start Searching Today
Back in the spring I had an excellent conversation with another classical Christian educator who asked whether we were right to define our endeavors along the lines of John Milton’s idea that we were repairing the ruins of Adam and Eve so that we might love and imitate God. This educator proposed that, as Christians, although this was our goal in the Christian life, our … Continue reading Is Repairing the Ruins Our Goal?
The past several weeks I have been exploring the notion of meditation, first upon Scripture, but then suggesting that this could apply to the Great Books as well, albeit with a different authority. One of the ways we can meditate on the Great Books is by recognizing that we are not passive recipients of the Great Books but actually active participants in the same story … Continue reading Monday Musings (October 2, 2017): Meditating on the Great Books—Some Practical Steps
Last week I considered how we have tamed God’s Word instead of eating it. This week I continue the theme of meditating on the written word. One of the better insights of Eugene Peterson’s excellent book, Eat This Book: A Conversation in the Art of Spiritual Reading, is his proposal that spiritual reading is “participatory reading.” He uses the illustration of a period of life … Continue reading Monday Musings (September 25, 2017): Meditation as Participation
Lectio Divina and the Monster Book of Monsters: Harry Potter, Eugene Peterson, and the Art of Spiritual Reading Note: Last week I discussed Hugh of Saint Victor’s two things “by which every man advances in knowledge”: reading and meditation. This week I want to explore in some more detail the topic of meditation as it is specifically applied to the Bible. In Harry’s third year … Continue reading Monday Musings (September 18, 2017): Lectio Divina and the Monster Book of Monsters
Last week I discussed the first part of the Preface in Hugh of Saint Victor’s work, Didascalicon, particularly the way he identifies four varieties of learners, two virtuous and two sinful. For the virtuous learner who truly desires to grow and use his gifts of intellect (however great or meager they may be), Hugh of Saint Victor suggests that there are two things “by which … Continue reading Monday Musings (September 11, 2017): Reading and Meditation