November 17, 2018

Religious Liberty is the Fundamental Human Liberty I have been listening to a biography of Peter the Great of Russia. One lesson is how rulers have always had freedom of conscience. They were rulers, in part, because they, and sometimes they alone, could live as they thought they must. Christian societies inherited systems from pagans and though we immediately began expanding human rights and dignity for all subjects, most often only the ruler was allowed full freedom of conscience. This… Read more

November 16, 2018

Some cultures die as men of iron and blood. Nobody mourns them. If they had some virtue, then they went out standing. If they were mostly brutal tyrants, then the world is a better place when they are gone. Then there are cultures that amuse themselves to death in a riot of bread and circuses. By the time the barbarians come to finish things off, the civilized try to hire them to do security. If one must choose, then the… Read more

November 15, 2018

Some classical educators just now claim they are the answer to what ails us, when they are part of the reason we are sick. World War I is one hundred years ago.  At the moment the world is reflecting on what caused that horror, classical education is making a come back. Those of us who are part of that movement should bring back the form of education with care. We would not want to have taken one hundred years to forget… Read more

November 14, 2018

Williams Jennings Bryan stood in Dayton and battled for the humane. He was no scholar, but his opposition to Darwinism, whatever the merits, came from a fierce hatred of the Darwinian justification for the killing fields of World War I. This misuse of science (or even philosophical Darwinism) kept a certain kind of classically educated leader comfortable with the deaths of millions. The fit would survive having conveniently arranged for back-of-the-lines jobs. Industry and creativity would boom, because the demands of… Read more

November 13, 2018

In 1914 classically educated men destroyed the world. 1918 was a disaster where almost everything was worse than the promise that existed in 1913 . . . The vices of Europe fed and grew fat on the corpse of Christendom while the virtues were starved. If you educate classically, you should pause, stop, think about it. Why did the classically educated bring on the guns of August 1914? One deep problem was a disdain or a false superiority over industry, one… Read more

November 12, 2018

We live in perilous times. Classical education can help, but only if we take care. The myth that education is the answer apart from the rest of culture may make professors and teachers feel powerful, but prevents us from building the rest of the support structures we need to flourish. Schools are part of a strong civilization, but they are not the only part. The myth that there is One True Curriculum that will solve our problems for all time… Read more

November 11, 2018

As I write on the eleventh day in the eleventh month, set to publish at the eleventh minute of the eleventh hour, educators should pause, especially Christian educators, and realize that bad classical education did nothing to prevent the disasterous War. Bad classical education exterminated itself for several generations in Flander’s fields as men who learned Latin well, but were educated badly killed each other in World War I. The results were a barbaric Middle East, the monsters of Bolshevism… Read more

November 10, 2018

We need more heroic losers. While getting more heroic losers, we might aspire to shed short-term winners and miserable losers. This begins when we realize that winning is not always virtuous for humans because in a broken cosmos, winning always come with a cost. God who knows the future can judge when the game is worth the price, but we can only guess and our guesses are often wrong. Failure is not always bad for us, because failure in the short… Read more

November 9, 2018

Leaders: We Need Them Choosing a leader is hard and our present few decades of electoral mess is not an encouraging example.  What about leaders in churches? The Bible gives us some requirements, generally ignored, yet still there. A great many organizations in higher education are looking for new leaders as Boards discover things are not going as well as advertised. What are the  characteristics of a leader who can actually lead and people follow who are not just being paid. The… Read more

November 8, 2018

 Far Better Irrelevant for Now than Unserious Forever Events can make us feel powerless, because we are, in fact, fairly powerless. Even in a Republic, my vote, my opinion is just one of many. That is as it should be, but means that I must not worry or stress when I cannot control outcomes I do not like. This is as hard as not being stressed when heading to the dentist. I know what I should feel, yet mental assent to the… Read more

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