Happy Missionary Day

Today is another holiday that we should reclaim: St. Patrick’s Day.

Instead of just making it about Ireland, let’s make it about St. Patrick and what he did. Let’s take the opportunity to honor him by honoring all missionaries.

St. Patrick was one of many missionaries to what was then the dangerous mission field of Europe. Those of us of European heritage need to remember that our ancestors came to Christianity the same way “Third World” people did, through the dedicated work of missionaries.

Here is a good slogan for the day: “If your ancestors were Christians, thank a missionary.”

How else could we turn St. Patrick’s Day into a festival to celebrate the work of missionaries?

Obama’s preacher

We posted questions some time ago about Trinity United Church of Christ, which Barack Obama attends, but it turns out his pastor Jeremiah Wright had the practice of cursing America, condemning white people as a race, honoring the anti-semitic Black Muslim Louis Farrakhan, blaming America for 9/11, and more. Obama repudiated these teachings. Rev. Wright stepped down as one of the advisors to his campaign. Is this controversy relevant? If your pastor preached that sort of thing, would you still be going to that church?

A history of Atheism

Mollie Ziegler pens a useful and learned survey of the history of atheism at Modern Reformation . The main point: There is nothing new or modern or enlightened about atheism, which has ALWAYS been contending against the faith.

HT: Anthony Scaramone at First Things.

The pope & Luther, fact-checked

The report that the Pope is set to rehabilitate Martin Luther, which we blogged about recently, turns out to have been greatly exaggerated; indeed, not true. M.Z. Hemingway reconstructs the shoddy journalism behind how the story got started.

My new book is out

Book Description
Through best-selling books and now blockbuster motion pictures, C. S. Lewis’s masterpiece The Chronicles of Narnia has captured the hearts and imaginations of millions of children and adults. When Lewis wrote this acclaimed series more than half a century ago, many considered it a mere children’s allegory and missed the rich spiritual meaning of the Christian faith that Lewis was clearly communicating.

In The Soul of Prince Caspian, Veith reveals how Lewis takes on the modern mindset that has literally forgotten Christ just as Narnia has forgotten Aslan. As Veith unlocks the story of Prince Caspian, you’ll discover how Lewis’s other writings add depth and clarity to his message. And you’ll see that, while Prince Caspian may be about the fantastic land of Narnia, it’s also about your world.

(You can click the ad, above, if you would like to buy it. Sorry for the commercial. I do like the cover art, though.)

The Caspian book cover

Math findings & a big fallacy

A blue-ribbon presidential panel charged with figuring out what has gone wrong with math education in this country. Here is a summary of the findings. They include this observation:

Children badly need both automatic recall of math facts and understanding of big concepts, in effect declawing both sides in the decades-long “math wars.”

This points to a fallacy that seems everywhere in education and elsewhere: the FALSE DICHOTOMY. How would anyone think there needs to be a CHOICE between EITHER knowing material OR understanding it? To be educated about any subject you need BOTH! You also need to be able to apply it yourself.

(Note that the whole range of what education must be is fulfilled in the paradigm of classical education: grammar [knowing]; logic [understanding]; rhetoric [personal application].)

What are some other false dichotomies? (I’ll get you started: faith & works; orthodoxy & mission. . . .)