Friday, July 31, 2009

For a sterner combat...

The primary end of classical education, then, is in the student. But the student is a human being, and according to all the religions of the world (and therefore according to the vast majority of all people who have ever lived, in all times, places and cultures), the ultimate end or final cause of a human being is something more than simply the mature flourishing of human powers, especially the powers of the mind, in this life. If this is true-- if in fact this life is a gymnasium to train for another, sterner combat-- then the ultimate purpose of classical education is there.
~Peter Kreeft, "What Is Classical Education", from The Classical Teacher, Spring 2009, by Memoria Press

Thursday, July 16, 2009

A little eugenics between friends

The New York Times ran an interesting interview with Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsberg last week in which she said, in part...
Frankly I had thought that at the time Roe was decided, there was concern about population growth and particularly growth in populations that we don’t want to have too many of.

You can read the whole context here.

May I just say that the lack of attention given to this comment is rather astounding to me, and others. I first read about it when a friend linked to this blog article by Damian Thompson at the UK Telegraph. He quoted at the Creative Minority blog, which said in part...
What the heck is going on here? What are we to make of the media's complete silence on this issue? They don't see a little eugenics between friends as a big deal?...As the large metropolitan newspapers die, they're wondering "why?" This is why...The Times didn't bother to ask her who the populations were that "we" didn't want too many of or even who the "we" consisted of. In fact, nobody has.

The road between eugenics and abortion is a well traveled one. Margaret Sanger, founder and heroine of Planned Parenthood, was in favor of "negative eugenics, a social philosophy which claims that human hereditary traits can be improved through social intervention." She advocated weeding out the negative genetic factors in the black population through abortion and sterilization.

Our culture of death marches on seemingly unchallenged.

Monday, July 13, 2009

Monday Miscellany

Interesting headlines for the week:
Study on self-help techniques shows it may make things worse.
Pagans (and others, most likely...) party at the solstice. (OK, this isn't from this week, but neither are any of these others. They have been sitting in a file, waiting me to post them...)
Interesting book review by D'Souza.
Timely reminders on battling self-pity.

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Sabbath Sentiments

Jesus, I am Resting, Resting by Jean S. Pig­ott, 1876.

Jesus, I am resting, resting,
In the joy of what Thou art;
I am finding out the greatness
Of Thy loving heart.
Thou hast bid me gaze upon Thee,
And Thy beauty fills my soul,
For by Thy transforming power,
Thou hast made me whole.


Jesus, I am resting, resting,
In the joy of what Thou art;
I am finding out the greatness
Of Thy loving heart.

O, how great Thy loving kindness,
Vaster, broader than the sea!
O, how marvelous Thy goodness,
Lavished all on me!
Yes, I rest in Thee, Belov├Ęd,
Know what wealth of grace is Thine,
Know Thy certainty of promise,
And have made it mine.


Simply trusting Thee, Lord Jesus,
I behold Thee as Thou art,
And Thy love, so pure, so changeless,
Satisfies my heart;
Satisfies its deepest longings,
Meets, supplies its every need,
Compasseth me round with blessings:
Thine is love indeed!


Ever lift Thy face upon me
As I work and wait for Thee;
Resting ’neath Thy smile, Lord Jesus,
Earth’s dark shadows flee.
Brightness of my Father’s glory,
Sunshine of my Father’s face,
Keep me ever trusting, resting,
Fill me with Thy grace.


Saturday, July 11, 2009

Let us study

"So, invited by the great sweetness of his beneficence and goodness, let us study to love and serve him with all our heart."
~John Calvin

Thursday, July 09, 2009

Teach me, O God, so to use all the circumstances of my life today that they may bring forth in me the fruits of holiness rather than the fruits of sin.

Let me use disappointment as material for patience:
Let me use success as material for thankfulness:
Let me use suspense as material for perseverance:
Let me use danger as material for courage:
Let me use reproach as material for longsuffering:
Let me use praise as material for humility:
Let me use pleasures as material for temperance:
Let me use pains as material for endurance.

~John Baillie, A Diary of private Prayer

Tuesday, July 07, 2009

Exchanging the truth for a lie...

We have within ourselves a veritable divine "workshop." Yet instead of praising him men swell with pride in themselves and find reasons for rejecting the revelation God has given to them. Instead of acknowledging the true and living God men "substitute nature for God."

We have all seen or heard it. A secular naturalist engages in the activities Calvin here describes--whether by exploring the heavens or investigating things on earth. Insects and animals with the most limited mental capacity are said to engage in all kinds of detailed logical thinking as they develop coping mechanisms in a hostile environment. And as the program ends the naturalist comments "And so again we find ourselves saying 'Isn't Mother Nature wonderful?' "

But who, one might ask, is Mother Nature? Why is her name always capitalized? On what logic has our agnostic or atheist presenter smuggled in his or her appeal to the transcendent? How profoundly true are Paul's words that men exchange the truth about God for the lie.

~Sinclair Ferguson, Blogging the Institutes

Thursday, July 02, 2009

He lifted them...

I will recount the steadfast love of the LORD,
the praises of the LORD, according to all that the LORD has granted us, and the great goodness to the house of Israel that he has granted them according to his compassion, according to the abundance of his steadfast love. For he said, "Surely they are my people, children who will not deal falsely." And he became their Savior. In all their affliction he was afflicted, and the angel of his presence saved them;
in his love and in his pity he redeemed them; he lifted them up and carried them all the days of old.
~Isaiah 63:7-9