Month: October 2017

Bible, Christianity

Asking for Wisdom

In James’ letter to the early churches, he makes the claim that God will, without fail, give wisdom to any who ask without doubting. This is a staggering claim. What does it mean? Here’s the main passage (James 1:2-7): 2 Count it all joy, my brethren, when you meet various trials, 3 for you know that the …

Rhetoric, Culture, Education, Politics

On making America great again

Together we will make America Great Again, better than ever before. This political slogan is usually viewed as either a Nazi bigot’s racist screed against all truth and goodness or as an aspiration to be achieved in the unholy walls and halls of DC. It’s a phrase and sentiment that is not unique to Trump …

Basics

Teddy Roosevelt on Masculinity

A former student texted me out of the blue something like this, “Why isn’t there anything specific about masculinity taught at the school?” It’s a problem I’ve thought about for a while. There are, at the high school level, many pitfalls. The first is the significant danger of shaming young boys for non-masculine behavior with …

Christian Mindset, Basics, Bible, Christianity, Philosophy, Psychology, Spiritual Life

A Spiritual Exercise From Genesis 4:1-7

The Introduction to Cain’s Story Now the man had relations with his wife Eve, and she conceived and gave birth to Cain, and she said, “I have gotten a manchild with the help of the LORD.” And again, she gave birth to his brother Abel. And Abel was a keeper of flocks, but Cain was a …

Education, Psychology, Science Fact of the Day

Science Fact of the Day #2: Teacher Somatotype

As in all cases “science fact” is used loosely. The Main Claim About Teacher Somatotypes In Nonverbal Behavior in Interpersonal Relations the authors observed that: “Teachers who are ectomorphic are usually perceived by students as anxious and less composed but perhaps intelligent. The endomorphic teacher is generally perceived by students as slow, lazy, under-prepared, and not …

Autobiography

Reflections on Fatherhood

This is just a stream of consciousness about the experience of fatherhood: When the struggles with Avery and Margot began toward the end of the pregnancy, I had never felt so defeated, alone, or weak. I didn’t handle it well, and I suspect I’m still recovering from that.  That’s not a complaint, it’s just a …

Ethics, Philosophy

Adler’s Moral Axiom

As far as I can tell, there are three major problems in ethical thinking today: Disconnecting ethics from happiness and therefore thinking that personal well-being and pleasure have nothing to do with ethics. Hedonism: The idea that right and wrong is only a matter of what leads to the highest personal pleasure. In social ethics, this means …

Film, Music, Culture, Literature

Sherlock Holmes, Moriarty, and the Devil

In the three most recent adaptations of Sherlock Holmes (Sherlock, Elementary, and the Game of Shadows) at crucial moments Holmes is deceived by Moriarty into making a tactical error and in the mean time a song about demon forces is played. There Are Spoilers Below In the movie, Holmes is fooled into thinking Moriarty intended …

Basics, Christianity

Corruption and Perfection

Imagine the horror of your bad habits being made known on your body, on the news, or to the masses on social media. Even more than your social life, imagine the effects of such habits on your soul or upon your highest aspirations in life. If you’ve ever read The Picture of Dorian Gray you get to …

Book-Review

Simplify: a review

Back in 2008, I saw a review for Simplify by Paul Borthwick over at Internet Monk, back before Mike Spencer died. I bought the book immediately. I found that despite its price tag ($16.99), it contained a wealth of valuable information. It’s exactly what it says it will be. A book about the practical side of …