My daughter’s new book: Teaching kids about church

Do you have little kids who squirm and whine and have no idea what is going on in church?  Then you need the new book by my daughter, Deaconness Mary Moerbe,  entitled Whisper, Whisper: Learning About Church.

It’s a children’s book, with wonderful illustrations by Martha Aviles and a charming rhyming text.  But it also includes suggestions in the margins for how parents can help their children take part in the Divine Service.

Hers came out the same day mine did, which makes me very proud.  More about her book after the jump. [Read more...]

Psychology studies too reliant on college students

The field of experimental psychology operates mostly in research universities.  So their test subjects tend to be 20-something-undergraduates volunteering for research projects to get extra credit.  That is not the world’s most representative population.  (I volunteered for some of those experiments myself, and I remember how seriously I took them, which was not very.)  A few years ago, the profession began to realize that this bias can skew research findings. [Read more...]

God from above vs. God from below

I’ve started working through the Christian Year of Grace by Johann Spangenberg, a contemporary of Luther who, as a pastor and educator, wanted to provide laypeople a guide to help with the devotional reading of the newly-available Scriptures.  He took the appointed Scripture readings for each Sunday, then–as a classical educator trained in dialectic–offered questions and answers that take the reader deeply into the riches of these texts.

After the jump, I’ll give you an excerpt from his treatment of Romans 11:33-36, the Epistle reading for Trinity Sunday:  “O the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God:  how incomprehensible are His judgments, how unsearchable His ways!  For who has known the mind of the Lord?” [Read more...]

Whatever happened to Vacation Bible Schools?

It’s getting to be Vacation Bible School season.  In 1997, 81% of churches offered them.  In 2012, that number dropped to 68%, largely due, reportedly, to the difficulty of finding enough volunteers.  VBS still seems pretty popular, particularly since unchurched people often like to have a place to send their children during the day since school is out, so this is a way to reach both the children and their families.  Read an account, which includes videos of all of the different programs. [Read more...]

The World Beyond Your Head

Matthew Crawford, a philosopher who has found wisdom in being a motorcycle mechanic, is the author of an excellent book on vocation entitled Shop Class as Soulcraft: An Inquiry into the Value of Work.  He now has another book that shows how the Enlightenment has given us a very distorted view of the self, one which insulates the inner mind from outside reality.  The new book has the felicitous title  The World Beyond Your Head.

After the jump, I excerpt and link to an extremely thoughtful and perceptive review of the book, one that interacts with Crawford’s ideas with great learning and insight.  I was stunned to see that the reviewer is Gracy Olmstead, a recent student of mine!  I can see Patrick Henry College’s classical liberal arts curriculum underlying her essay, as she draws on the “great books” that we have read and takes part in the “great conversation” of the history of ideas.  Note too the depth of her thinking and how she compares to other recent graduates that you might have encountered.  Sorry–I’m just proud of her, that’s all. [Read more...]

The new Encyclopedia of Christian Education

The  Encyclopedia of Christian Education  has been released today, a three-volume reference book packed with information about the influence of Christianity on education as a whole, as well as the various ways Christians have taught the faith.  I wrote the entries for the Liberal Arts, the Renaissance, Johann Sturm, and the Concordia University System.

Details after the jump. [Read more...]


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