Making Much of You or God?

Following is a quote from John Piper’s book, “Don’t Waste Your Life,” that really gets at the problem of modernity, inside and outside the church:

“So here is the question to test whether you have been sucked into this world’s distortion of love: Would you feel more loved by God if he made much of you, or if he liberated you from the bondage of self-regard, at great cost to himself, so that you enjoy making much of him forever.”

When Did Mowing the Lawn Become a Bridge Too Far?

The title of this post is the sub-title of the article linked below. The article highlights what’s wrong with the modern obsession with safety. This whole obsession is not just rooted in an aversion to risk but a faulty worldview that seeks perfection in this life and desires to avoid anything that might result in pain or even death.

Christians, on the other hand, should not fear death. Yes, it is the last enemy. But the sting of death has been removed by the death and resurrection of Christ. And for those in Christ, death is now gain!

What Your Neighborhood List-Serv Tells You About the Demise of America 

How to Be an Atheist

Mitch Stokes is a scientist (and a philosopher of science) that, by teaching at New Saint Andrews College, has placed himself squarely in the middle of the renaissance of Classical and Christian education.

His official bio on Amazon says the following:

Mitch Stokes is a Fellow of Philosophy at New St. Andrews College in Moscow, Idaho. He received his Ph.D. in philosophy from Notre Dame under the direction of Alvin Plantinga and Peter van Inwagen. At Yale, he earned an M.A. in religion under the direction of Nicholas Wolterstorff. He also holds an M.S. in mechanical engineering and, prior to his philosophy career, worked for an international engineering firm where he earned five patents in aeroderivative gas turbine technology. He and his wife, Christine, have four children.

Here’s a short intro to his new book along with an interview with Justin Taylor about the book.

How to Be an Atheist

 

Growing a God-Centered Garden

Following is a short piece by Andy Stapleton, a Rhetoric School teacher at MHA, that first appeared in the March issue of the Highland Times.

At January’s Worldview Summit in Washington, D.C., one of the speakers said something very simple, yet very profound: “Culture is an expression of theology.” The significance of this statement grows as we come to realize that every group of people has a “culture.” Whether or not the group intentionally pursues a particular “culture,” every nation, corporation, church, team, school and family has one. This is why it’s impossible for the public square (or public schools) to be theologically neutral. Someone’s beliefs will inevitably be expressed in the culture.

How does culture express theology? Every culture assumes certain fundamental beliefs about God, human beings, the created world, etc. In class, we discuss worldview questions such as “What are human beings?” or “What is wrong with the world?” and then “What is the solution to the world’s problem?” Our answers to these three questions dictate how we interact with each other. Our beliefs about human beings determine how men and women treat one another, how parents treat children and vice versa, and how all of us treat the very old and the very young. In the school setting, what do we do with the disobedient child? How do we treat the child who excels but then becomes conceited? Our approach depends on our theology. To quote the title of one of my most memorable college textbooks, “Ideas Have Consequences.”

Arguably, the most important idea of all is a culture’s answer to the question, “What is the chief end of man?” (Westminster Shorter Catechism 1) If man’s highest goal is to glorify himself and to enjoy “stuff” until he dies, one kind of culture is the result. If, however, man’s chief end is what God says it is in Scripture, we cultivate a culture aimed at loving God and loving our neighbors.

In the 21st century, we cannot avoid involving ourselves in “cultures” that do not express a God-centered theology. That’s okay, because God calls us to be light in a dark house. During our children’s formative years, however, immersing them in a God-centered culture is the best way to saturate their minds and hearts with the Word of God. We want to teach them that God’s perspective is relevant to every area of their lives. Making disciples means teaching them to observe everything Jesus commanded so that they, in turn, will be eager to seek God’s Kingdom and His righteousness throughout their lives.

One of the most valuable features of MHA is our God-centered school culture. Whether in the classroom, in the lunchroom, on the court or on the stage, the Bible’s theology determines our perspectives and priorities. The challenges we face from the world, the flesh and the devil are real, but we pray that the Lord’s “living water” will enable us to cultivate this garden to be a place where strong, fruitful trees grow up to God’s glory.

Continue reading “Growing a God-Centered Garden”

Why the Future of Atheism is Bleak

The post linked below is good, in general. But, there are 2 things that stood out to me.

First, the biblical and realistic view of human nature set forth. Post-fall, we are a race of God-haters. Apart from the grace of regeneration, we would kill God if we had the opportunity. We live in an age of healing sin lightly because we don’t understand the enormity of sin in the first place and it’s pervasive deadly effect on our own hearts. We could all use a dose of Obadiah Sedgwick’s, “The Anatomy of Secret Sins.”

For some, this sounds like a downer. They’d rather talk of grace and love. Continue reading “Why the Future of Atheism is Bleak”

Most Regrettable

“The high-school English teacher will be fulfilling his responsibility if he furnishes the student a guided opportunity, through the best writing of the past, to come, in time, to an understanding of the best writing of the present. He will teach literature, not social studies or little lessons in democracy or the customs of many lands. And if the student finds that this is not to his taste? Well, that is regrettable. Most regrettable. His taste should not be consulted; it is being formed.”

This quote, from Flannery O’Connor, runs counter to so much of modern thinking but it’s consistent with the historical, classical thinking about education and children. The primary aim was to form the student, recognizing that each student comes to the classroom a sinner with little knowledge about God, the world, history, or himself. Everyone knew this was hard work and it required hard work in the process.

Often today, the educational process is driven or substantially informed by what the student believes is best for him. It’s akin to going to the doctor only to have the patient direct the care.

Failure or Crowning Achievement of Our Educational System?

Americans are proud to be Americans. But, if you ask them what is unique about America and what there is to be proud of, they’ll likely struggle to answer. We don’t know where we’ve come from and so, we don’t know who we are.

This article by Patrick Deneen, a professor of political theory at Notre Dame, examines this situation and argues that this is not the failure of our educational system, but rather its crowning achievement. For those with eyes to see, our current age appears to be on the precipice of disaster. Deneen helps us to understand some of why we are where we are.

Res Idiotica