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...]

Laura Ingalls Wilder’s latest best-seller

Back in the 1930′s, an elderly woman wrote a memoir about her life on the American frontier.  But no one would publish it.  So she recast her memories as a series of children’s novels, giving the world the immortal Little House on the Prairie books.

Now that original manuscript, entitled Pioneer Girl has been published in an annotated edition that gives the complete historical context of this woman’s remarkable life.  The 472-page book has become a smash hit, to the point that its publisher, the 7-employee South Dakota Historical Society Press, can’t print enough copies to keep up with the demand.

When I was in the fifth grade, if we were good, our teacher, Mrs. Waldrop, would read us a chapter from the novels.  I will never forget the impact they had on my imagination in their portrayal of family, America, overcoming hardship, and growing up.  I have got to read this true-life adult version, if I can ever find a copy.  Read an account of the book after the jump. [Read more...]

Readiness for 1st grade then and now

In a column on the cops busting the parents for letting their 10 and 6 year olds walk home from the park by themselves, columnist Petula Dvorak has a felicitous sentence:  “Our rapid march toward police-state parenting has got to end.”  But then she compares the checklists to see if your child is ready for 1st grade from today as compared to 1979. [Read more...]

Keeping Easter going

It’s still Easter, that season lasting for the 40 days in which Christ was with His disciples again, culminating in His Ascension, and then adding the next 10 days that take us to Pentecost.  So we should keep  Easter going, by continuing to contemplate Christ’s resurrection and what it means for each of us.

We’ve been going to lots of church lately and hearing lots of sermons.  Give the insights you have gained this season by telling about them in the comments section.  I’ll go first, after the jump. [Read more...]

Twins!

I have two more grandchildren (for a total of 11), as my daughter Mary in Oklahoma had her twins!  The complication is that they came 8 weeks early.  They are in a neo-natal intensive care unit in Oklahoma City.  They are doing fine, considering, and they are big for their extremely young age, weighing 4 lb. 4 oz. and 4 lb. 12 oz., so from what we are being told, the prognosis is good.  Thank God for today’s medical technology.  They have been baptized.  We’d appreciate your prayers for little Anastasia (“Resurrection”) and Dorothea (“Gift of God”).


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