“The List Driven Threat to Christian Education,” John Michael Ritchey.
If we applied the same moralistic standards that we often expect of our students to the stories that fill our curriculum, we would lose the opportunity to introduce our the young to the murderous Macbeth and his three bearded friends. They wouldn’t just be losing the enjoyment of a good story, but the chance to grapple with fate and free-will, to self-examine their own ambitious hearts, to have the eye-opening experience of identifying with a man who buckles under the pressure of an apple too enticing to say, “No.”
“In Search of Sanctuary: Reviewing Young Evangelical Memoirs,” Jake Meador.
There’s a scene elsewhere in Merritt’s book Jesus is Better than You Imagined that most every evangelical family will relate to. The Merritts were driving to church and, as all evangelical children are prone to do when on the way to church, Jonathan and his brother were bickering in the back seat. As the family pulled into the church parking lot, Merritt’s dad turned around and sternly told his sons to knock it off. “You’re Merritts. You need to act like it.” From this and similar experiences Merritt took the principle that it was better to simply ignore whatever sin issues or struggles exist in one’s life and get on with pretending to be a good, upstanding Christian who never struggles, never sins, never has doubts or questions. Merritt is hardly alone in this. Jason Boyett begins his memoir O Me of Little Faith with a tedious confession of all the ways he faked maturity as a Christian young person. Zierman, in her much more successful book, tells a similar story from her early days at Northwestern College in St Paul MN.
But there’s something odd about this complaint and specifically about the language of mask-wearing. In his classic book Mere Christianity CS Lewis uses the same language, but for him this act is an essential part of maturing in the Christian life. Writing about Christian ethics in the latter portion of the book, Lewis tells his readers that the best way to learn to love a difficult person is to pretend that you already do. Lewis refers to this decision to act in a way contrary to your feelings as wearing a mask. And, if you wear a mask long enough, Lewis says, you begin to grow into it.
“On Planned Parenthood Controversy, New York Times Swings and Whiffs,” Jonathan Merritt.
You’ll find no mention of how a Planned Parenthood doctor determines which parts of the baby to “crush” in the Times article. You won’t encounter information about how a Planned Parenthood physician discussed using a “less crunchy” technique to retrieve “whole specimens.” And you definitely won’t read about how the a Planned Parenthood doctor attempted to negotiate a higher price for tissue because she claims she wanted “a Lamborghini.” These are the most damning components in the videos, but the editorial board’s article never even mentions them. The Times did not merely get the Planned Parenthood story wrong; they missed it completely.
Also, you can access, for free, C.S. Lewis’s essay “The Abolition of Man.” This is one of Lewis’s most prescient, prophetic essays. I highly recommend reading it, and more than once.