The End of the Ring: Wagner, Ferris Wheels, and God

The gods we create can be destroyed, but there is no hope in mankind either. Whatever Richard Wagner intended, that is the message I found in Houston Grand Opera's concluding opera in the Ring Cycle. About the Houston Grand Wagner Experience We began in 2013 and now we have seen all of the four operas: the story is fully told. The staging was not good, it was as if Michael Bey had decided to do some transformers work, but then ran out of money. Pity those of Chestertonian girth asked to wear … [Read More...]

The Complete Guide to Becoming a Great “Great Books” Teacher

Having led hundreds of great books discussions, I am often asked how to lead a good discussion. Years of labor can be boiled down into five commands that I cannot ignore. When I get afraid (as I do at the start of term), I remind myself to make it simple. What should I be doing? What must I do?My friend Rod Dreher has shown that a good idea also needs a good title, so let us refer to this as the Constantine Comprehensive Classical Strategy (with these rules conquer):Constantine … [Read More...]

Gift of the University Wise Men: A Christmas Parody for April

One million and eighty-seven thousand. That was all. And sixty thousand of it was in pledges. Pledges collected one and two at a time by bulldozing the alum and friends and donors until one's cheeks burned with the silent imputation of parsimony that such close dealing implied. Three times the … [Read More...]

Doubt! Or Not

The news was so good, he could not stand to believe it. If he did, and it turned out to be wrong, Thomas would not be able to stand the pain. The man he admired and loved was dead. He could go on living, maybe, but if they convinced him that his friend was alive again only to have him discover the … [Read More...]

A Bit More Obscure Christian Writers that I Enjoy Reading (Bright Week Post 6)

CS Lewis? I have read some Lewis every year of my life since I was in single digits. Tolkien? When I found him in seventh grade, I lost a weekend on Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings. Since that year, Tolkien has been a constant source of joy. John Chrysostom, Augustine, and John Bunyan keep teaching … [Read More...]

They were almost great . . . Five Remarkable Writers (Fifth Post of Bright Week)

Most college students I meet have not heard of Agatha Christie or Ray Bradbury.This is not tragic, like going to a school that cannot afford textbooks or starting the school day with no breakfast and little chance of lunch. It isn't even educational fraud, like paying for an undergraduate degree … [Read More...]

The Worst Book I Read as a Child (Bright Week Post 4)

There are some really evil books out there: think Mein Kampf. There are also books that are just wretched: try Star Wars: Aftermath. There exists a select group of books that are both wretched and evil and I had the misfortune to read one as a child: Mimi's House Party. If you think there was a G … [Read More...]

Three Fashion Ideas that Should Trend But Will Not (Bright Week Party Post 3)

Once a man reaches a certain age, the young man clothes of his youth look like young man clothes on an old man.This is not good.Sadly, almost all fashion trends have catered to the man of less than Chestertonian bulk. We cannot wear track suits, because the notion of my running laps is … [Read More...]

Things My Adult Children Say I Should Not Say

A joy of having adult children is knowing the many, many things that I should never say, why I should never say them, and the penalties for saying them. One child threatens to "break me" if I ever again say that anything said three times  or containing chimps can be funny.This is not only false ( … [Read More...]

Bright Week!

Lent is over, as is Super Lent (what my kids, when they were kids, called Holy Week) and now we are commanded to Feast. If you do not wish to Feast, too bad. Most of us did not wish to fast, but we did.Let's party.Never, ever, ever join a movement defined by opposition to something or s … [Read More...]

Truly, He is Risen and is Reigning

Truth matters and the truth is this: Jesus died and now is alive. The body that went into the tomb came out different and Jesus ascended to God where He rules.He defeated death to become High King, not just to win a victory over death. He earned the right to be King of Kings and Lord of Lords by … [Read More...]

A Hell of a Day: Holy Saturday

Today is the day that Jesus went to hell, the place of the dead, with hope. If everyone else rightly abandoned hope in the inferno, Jesus came full of hope, faith and love and set the captives free.Death fought Hope and Hope won. As a boy, I used to think of Holy Saturday as the "day off" in the … [Read More...]

Today is a Good Friday

"Jesus looks asleep."The first time I saw Christ on the Cross on an Eastern icon, that was my thought. My very wise pastor said this representation said many things, but that two of them were the fact that Christ was in control and that the central fact of Good Friday was not the evil done to … [Read More...]

Eating and Drinking with Your Friends: On Holy Thursday

One of the last things Jesus did before death was to eat and drink with His friends. In fact, during this last meal, Jesus served his students as if He were not the teacher and also transformed the relationship. Jesus said: Henceforth I call you not servants; for the servant knoweth not what his … [Read More...]