Blasted post-modern liberal education

End of the Month Links: March

Still politics! The election ended months ago

Here are 6 of one or half-dozen of another posts I have found around the web (or are sent to me) that I have found interesting, funny, insightful, or thoughtful:

What Tolkien Did So Well, What We Do So Poorly

When we neglect the past we do the opposite of the nobility Tolkien showed us.

Excerpt: “The characters in The Lord of the Rings know they are set within a wider drama that began ages prior and will continue ages hence. They are determined to act in ways that honor their forebears and leave a worthy example for their descendants. Their valor is motivated by their understanding that history has called them to this time, this place, and this set of circumstances. Their nobility is inseparable from their history. They speak and live as if every word of the mouth and every tap of the hammer will honor or dishonor those who have gone before and shame or bless those who will follow.

Is America’s Cult of Death and Free Sex on the Verge of Dying?

A good analysis of how science and truth are slowly wiping away any arguments left in the pocket of those who advocate cheap sex with no consequences.

Excerpt: “This is why the clerics of the cult are panicked, outraged, afraid. They dread seeing their god exposed to the harsh light of reality, its draperies of soothing rhetoric flung back to reveal a glaring, decaying creature of death. If the Supreme Court corrects, even partially, Roe v. Wade, access to abortion will become much less easy. That will require, at least among many younger men and women, greater sexual restraint. As they consider the consequences of their one-night mutual objectifications — babies — they will become not just more careful but more judicious in their conduct.

Christian Storytelling Should Be Both True and Beautiful

The Movie ‘The Shack’ came out recently. This older article is good because it reminds us that Christian storytelling ought to be true and not just emotional ear tickles. When we make true stories they also need to be beautiful.

Excerpt: “Art is indeed a powerful vehicle for expressing truth, but as Brian explains in the interview, when we use story merely as a tool to communicate a message, neglecting the beauty of the craft, we tend to end up with preachy propaganda.”

Sex, Lies, and Secularism

Just saying no does not work unless we teach a Christian worldview that gives reason for saying no.

Excerpt: “When even Christian young people are buying into the hookup culture, it’s clear that traditional ways of teaching biblical morality are no longer effective. “Just say no” is not enough. Young people don’t need simple rules; they need reasons to make sense of the rules. Which is to say, they need to be taught the worldview rationale for biblical morality. Otherwise it is possible for Christian young people to be sincere in their faith, yet thoroughly secular in their thoughts—and, consequently, in their behavior.”

Farewell, Jesus Junk? Christian Retail Finds a Deeper Purpose

I have mixed emotions about the closing of Family Christian Stores, but will not miss the inability to get the books I like while clambering over mints, toys, and Joel Osteen books.

Excerpt: “When America’s biggest Christian chain, Family Christian Stores, announced last month that it would be shutting its doors, a small number of Christian bookstore cynics brought up similar critiques over the shallower content its stores promoted alongside Bibles and Christian classics. The speculated silver lining: Did Family Christian’s closure mean consumers were turning away from the celebrity books, inspirational titles, and “Jesus junk”?

Lego Tape!

Repost – In Pursuit of Boredom

japan-train-phone

An interesting piece of research came across my attention the other day. It was research done studying when people are board by monitoring smart phone usage: http://pielot.org/pubs/Pielot2015-UbiComp-Boredom-Detection.pdf.

Here is an except from the introduction: (more…)

End of the Month Links: February

No matter what I watch, it is the same 3 people!

Here are 6 of one or half-dozen of another posts I have found around the web (or are sent to me) that I have found interesting, funny, insightful, or thoughtful:

Why Our Storytelling Nature Provides Evidence for God

The theistic worldview as the best explanation for the stories we feel compelled to tell.

Excerpt: “The theistic worldview seems to provide a much more robust answer: the reason we are so committed to stories is because we live in a meaningful world, we are made in the image of a personal God, and we are part of a larger story written by the Author of life. The story of our individual lives matters because we are part of a grander, meaningful story.”

Myth and the Universal Longing

Why the commonalities between mythic stories does not invalidate the gospel message.

Excerpt: “This eternal human longing, unspecified down the long ages, was nevertheless expressed in a multitude of legends, myths, stories, poems, and parables as people poured out their longings to one another, all the time longing that one day in some way one would come who would gather up all the great stories and make them come true once and for all..”

Don’t Confuse Spirituality with Righteousness

Feeling pious or following an emotional spiritual feeling is not the way to please God, in fact those can be idols taking us away from God.

Excerpt: “Spirituality and piety are not ends in themselves. In fact they are worthless unless they are means to a higher goal. The goal must go beyond spirituality to righteousness.

Why It’s So Hard to Resist Grieving on Social Media

There are always tragic events that happen in the world, why then do we feel that online solidarity helps those through the tragedy?

Excerpt: “More and more, we are looking to our screens for answers. Some say such convenience, such easy access to information and to people, deceives us into thinking that we can be part of the solution without lifting a finger. And while I do believe Americans in particular could use more political activism and involvement in real life, the lure of social media activism isn’t going away. Facebook and Twitter continue to entice us because they allow us to “tell it like it is” in real time. They feed our emotional hunger in an instant way that in-person outlets cannot..”

A Giant has Fallen — The Death of Justice Antonin Scalia and the Future of Constitutional Government

It is a sad day when the passing of any person happens and people rejoice over it. We need to mourn the passing and understand the legacy of what they left.

Excerpt: “Christians must also remember that Justice Scalia’s understanding of the proper reading of the Constitution as a text is directly relevant to the church’s proper reading of Scripture. The same liberal theorists who propose reading the Constitution as a “living” and “evolving” text also propose that the Bible be liberated from its actual text and from the intention of its authors. Ultimately, this approach to the Bible, common to theological liberalism, denies the authority of God as the ultimate author of the Scriptures. It is no accident that liberal theology and liberal theories of the constitution emerged together in American public life.”

Abortion Group Calls Doritos Ad Offensive

There were many Super bowl commercials that dealt with babies; from the chimera of puppy-monkey-baby, the Super bowl choir, and the Dorito ad. The later of which was criticized of “humanizing the fetus” which shows the way the pro-life cause can succeed.

End of the Month Links: December

So much on, so little time!

Here are 6 of one or half-dozen of another posts I have found around the web (or are sent to me) that I have found interesting, funny, insightful, or thoughtful:

Board Game Geek Gift Guide 2015

We, as a family, invite people over to play board games on New Years Eve. While this list may be a bit late it has a lot of great suggestions for family fun.

Are There Degrees of Sin?

In this season of resolutions, take this article under consideration.

Excerpt: “It’s not that we’re called to be lax on sin, for there are certain sins listed in the New Testament that are serious and ought not be allowed in the church. Adultery is serious. Incest calls for ecclesiastical discipline. Drunkenness, murder, and fornication are repeatedly mentioned. These sins are so destructive that they call forth church discipline when they are manifested. It’s clear that we have different degrees of sin when we consider the warnings of Scripture. There are at least twenty-two references in the New Testament to degrees of rewards that are given to the saints in heaven.”

Are Smartphones Making Christianity Too Convenient?

When things become too easy and at our fingertips we may not treat them with the value they deserve!

Excerpt: “There are clear perks to these methods, including the ability to reach people across the globe. And perhaps the efficiency of these methods frees up Christians to go deeper into Bible study and evangelism. But I worry that our motivation at times is not ministry or mission, but convenience itself. Are we actually trying to make Christianity as painless as possible?”

Chesterton Casts a Spell on Tolkien

My favorite author, G.K. Chesterton and how he influenced another great writer: Tolkien!

Excerpt: “The topic of that “night talk” was what I call Tolkien’s philosophy of myth, an understanding of the priceless truth to be discovered in myths and fairy stories. It was this underlying philosophy which would inform the works of both Lewis and Tolkien in the years ahead, thereby blessing civilization with literary gems, such as The Lord of the Rings and The Chronicles of Narnia. Although this “night talk” is rightly celebrated for sowing the seeds of such beautiful literary fruits, it is not widely known that Tolkien’s “philosophy of myth” is itself a fruit of the seeds planted by Chesterton in his work Orthodoxy, published in 1908, when Tolkien was sixteen-years-old.”

Star Wars, Super Heroes, and How Relativism Doesn’t Satisfy

Now that the movie is out, we can reflect on the message of this article written back in October.

Excerpt: “Clearly, the belief that morality is relative is increasing. It is the default position on college campuses today, and students are so entrenched in it they would rather say rape is OK than admit that there are objective values and duties to which we all must conform. The clear good/evil distinction seems out of place in such a world, so why are films that reflect is so incredibly popular, especially with the youth? I think the answer is a simple one. Moral relativism may sound great, but inside most people there’s a nagging suspicion that it isn’t true.”

A Fun Day in Roller Coaster Tycoon!

Now I feel guilty because I do this! I am glad Roller Coaster Tycoon craziness does not happen in the really world.

End of the Month Links: October

That one channel, must get around to it again!

Here are 6 of one or half-dozen of another posts I have found around the web (or are sent to me) that I have found interesting, funny, insightful, or thoughtful:

Why is God Unable to Forgive Sins Without Jesus Dying?

A pretty good lay discussion about Salvation. For my theology friends… is this a good answer, an incomplete answer or an inadequate answer?

The Rise of Victimhood Culture

Now for something scary for the coming holiday, what one writer sees our culture becoming: victims who lash out for imagined slights.

Excerpt: “As I ponder microaggressions as “a form of social control in which the aggrieved collect and publicize accounts of intercollective offenses, making the case that relatively minor slights are part of a larger pattern of injustice and that those who suffer them are socially marginalized and deserving of sympathy,” I certainly see their emergence on college campuses, but I wonder about other possible iterations.”

10 Obvious Superhero Weaknesses (That Supervillains Hardly Ever Exploit)

As we dress up our kids, perhaps we should also teach them about physics too!

‘Captive’ and the Christian Film Industry

When we make Christian films, preaching to the choir is not a good way to make a story nor does it help anyone. Just because we agree with something does not immediately make it good.

Excerpt: “This cinema appears to exist purely to exploit a market that, in the US, is quite ready to go and see a film if it affirms what they already believe. I wonder if it’s because Christian audiences feel that the rest of Hollywood seeks to undermine their faith, so they enjoy something that is on their side for once. The problem is, such congratulatory storytelling removes any drama or tension from cinema and is a fundamentally dishonest way of making films.”

Academic Calls for a Return to Eugenics (to Battle Global Warming)

Back to the scary, when we lift the importance of ideas above people to their conclusion we get things like this (of which I am still not sure if the original academic paper was serious or written for attention).

Excerpt: “the most innovative idea came from philosopher S. Matthew Liao (NYU) and pals. They propose re-engineering humanity. How? They want to monkey with your genes, kill your unwanted children, inject growth-stunting hormones into your womb, poison your food, and hook you permanently on oxytocin. But, hey: it’s for your own good. And it’s going to save the planet.

Groceries Only Take One Trip

I do this! If only I would learn and not carry everything in one trip, but it’s so faster that way. Note: my wife does help me bring stuff into the house.

End of the Month Links: September

Click away good sir, click away

Here are 6 of one or half-dozen of another posts I have found around the web (or are sent to me) that I have found interesting, funny, insightful, or thoughtful:

Grim Tales

Beautiful stories are just as important as moral stories. This is a big reason why I am starting Breathed Through Silver.

Excerpt: “Children need to hear beautiful language if they are to speak and write beautifully. They need to hear stories of love and courage and joy and sorrow so their imaginations are fired and their hearts expanded. They need to hear the language of Rudyard Kipling, the whimsy of A. A. Milne, the sorrow of Oscar Wilde, the mystery of Hans Christian Andersen, the wisdom of E. B. White, the terror of the Brothers Grimm, the wildness of Dr. Suess . . . there is no shortage of magnificent children’s literature.”

The Saga of Biorn

If works based religion met a variable Mormon like afterlife. I am glad Heaven does not work that way! I dare you to watch this and not think about how the ‘How to Train Your Dragon’ movies would deal with Valhalla.

Why Do Refugees Matter Only After The Christians Are Dead?

A very good question!

Excerpt: “Perhaps the news didn’t catch public attention because early on it was mostly Christians being told convert, leave, or die, and it is acceptable to persecute Christians. Christians are the most persecuted religion, although one would hardly learn that truth reading legacy media. When stories of Christian persecution get told, they are questionably dismissed or billed as stories about something else.

J. Budziszewski: Generation disordered

How the current generation is paying the price of not thinking, embracing the sexual revolution, and not thinking about life. As always there is hope, as people are people and not aggregates, yet this is a interesting interview.

Excerpt: “If you read the great books, you can’t avoid questions like whether happiness and pleasure are the same thing, and how marital order and social order are related. I don’t have to bring them up. My students do. Of course the students won’t talk if they think you are calling them immoral. I humbly suggested to one class that my generation had invented the sexual revolution, but I thought theirs was paying the price. ”

Christian Virtue in the Age of Authenticity

Is the big virtue of the Millennial generation a virtue at all? Answer: it depends but if vices can be considered virtues, how then do we live in this generation?

Excerpt: “In a day where people disdain hypocrisy more than any other vice and prize transparency more than any other virtue, you can be as obnoxious as you want to be, fail spectacularly, and sin repeatedly, as long as you never pretend to be any better than you really are. It makes no difference what errors you say, think, or do, if only you are true to yourself. This is life in the Age of Authenticity.”

Five New Board Games You Should Play

I love board games, and I have one of these 5 games (Spector Ops) and am interested in another one (Codenames). In my opinion board games are a good way to unplug from the electronic sirens and connect back to people in a fun way.

In Pursuit of Boredom

japan-train-phone

An interesting piece of research came across my attention the other day. It was research done studying when people are board by monitoring smart phone usage: http://pielot.org/pubs/Pielot2015-UbiComp-Boredom-Detection.pdf.

Here is an except from the introduction: (more…)