Thursday, May 20, 2010

Current educational rhetoric...

Note the bent of the [current educational] rhetoric. We are to have a noble citizenry: but how exactly are citizens to be ennobled? manifestos canvassed for the reform of education have run thus ever since. They depart from the hard, specific, and achievable so that they may embrace the soft, indefinite, and ungraspable. While spraying sunny ideals with high-sounding words, their advocates seek deliverance in vague, half-realized science and good feelings.
~T.L. Simmons, Climbing Parnassus, p.209

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Play Music: the movie

My friend Lynne has a couple of very talented sons who are teen-aged film makers. Watch their latest film (in two parts) below. It is brilliant. And you can see their previous film here.

Remember the names Benjamin and Nathan Spear. I think they'll be famous one day!

Monday, May 17, 2010

The imaginative mind...

"To seek to bring the spirit of the dead to life, to summon that spirit to speak and to have it speak, and to make it somehow again a part of the society of the living is an enterprise in which only the imaginative mind can hope to succeed."
~Hermann Hagedorn, as quoted by David Hicks, Norms and Nobility, p.31

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Sabbath Sentiments

Join All the Glorious Names by Isaac Watts, 1709

Join all the glorious names
Of wisdom, love, and power,
That ever mortals knew,
That angels ever bore:
All are too mean to speak His worth,
To poor to set my Savior forth.

But O what gentle terms,
What condescending ways,
Doth our Redeemer use
To teach his heav’nly grace!
Mine eyes with joy and wonder see
What forms of love He bears for me.

Arrayed in mortal flesh,
He like an angel stands,
And holds the promises
And pardons in His hands;
Commissioned from His Father’s throne
To make His grace to mortals known.

Great Prophet of my God,
My tongue would bless Thy Name,
By Thee the joyful news
Of our salvation came,
The joyful news of sin forgiv’n
Of hell subdued, and peace with Heav’n.

Be Thou my Counsellor,
My Pattern, and my Guide,
And through this desert land
Still keep me near thy side:
Nor let my feet e’er run astray
Nor rove nor seek the crooked way.

I love my Shepherd’s voice,
His watchful eyes shall keep
My wand’ring soul among
The thousands of His sheep:
He feeds His flock, He calls their names,
His bosom bears the tender lambs.

To this dear Surety’s hand
Will I commit my cause;
He answers and fulfils
His Father’s broken laws:
Behold my soul at freedom set!
My Surety paid the dreadful debt.

Jesus, my great High Priest,
Offered His blood, and died;
My guilty conscience seeks
No sacrifice beside:
His powerful blood did once atone,
And now it pleads before the throne.

My Advocate appears
For my defense on high;
The Father bows his ears,
And lays his thunder by:
Not all that hell or sin can say
Shall turn his heart, his love away.

My dear almighty Lord,
My Conqueror and my King,
Thy scepter and Thy sword,
Thy reigning grace I sing:
Thine is the power; behold I sit
In willing bonds beneath Thy feet.

Now let my soul arise,
And tread the tempter down;
My Captain leads me forth
To conquest and a crown:
A feeble saint shall win the day,
Though death and hell obstruct the way.

Should all the hosts of death,
And powers of hell unknown,
Put their most dreadful forms
Of rage and mischief on,
I shall be safe, for Christ displays
Superior power, and guardian grace.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

If guys were like girls....

Thanks to ED for posting this. It made me laugh out loud.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Hard-won independence...

...Over time advantages arise from this commerce (between our minds and words). One is mental expansion. Not only do our minds become better stored, but they also become more pliant, better able both to embrace new ideas and to judge old ones. They can analyze and synthesize on command. Our intellects graduate to a hard-won independence. They can cut through thickets of official obfuscation and doubletalk. Classically educated people are not the prime consumers of propaganda.
~T. L. Simmons, Climbing Parnassus, p.169

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Concentrate on his Caliban...

...For when we accept the tyranny of the real over the ideal,we deny the human spirit--the better half of learning and the better half of man. Instead, we concentrate on his Caliban half, making him a more efficient berry-gatherer, a more discriminating shell collector, or a more willing water carrier. The notion of spirit we dismiss as mythological, out-of-date, and irrelevant: at any rate, the fact it cannot be seen in space or under a microscope makes it, in the end, no longer a proper subject for instruction...
~ David Hicks, Norms and Nobility, p.13

Saturday, May 08, 2010


Classical education is not, preeminently, of a specific time or place. It stands instead for a spirit of inquiry and form of instruction concerned with the development of style through language and of conscience through myth. The key word here is inquiry. Everything springs from the special nature of the inquiry. The inquiry dictates the form of instruction and establishes the moral framework for thought and action. Classical inquiry possesses three attributes. The first is general curiosity...Second,one responds to these questions by forming imaginative hypotheses...Third, one completes the inquiry by devising methods for testing the hypotheses.
~David Hicks, Norms and Nobility, p.18

Friday, May 07, 2010

Wednesday, May 05, 2010


"The purpose of education is not the assimilation of facts or the retention of information, but the habituation of the mind and body to will and act in accordance with what one knows...According to Aristotle, the perfect end of education will be an activity that is engaged in for its own sake, complete and sufficient unto itself. Aristotle calls the activity for which education prepares man-- happiness."
~David Hicks, Norms and nobility, p.20

Saturday, May 01, 2010

A little Edwards, anyone?

Last weekend, we had a guest teacher at church who spoke about the amazing theologian, Jonathan Edwards. He also preached an excellent sermon during our worship service. You can listen to all the teaching times here. I highly recommend the sermon, entitled "How Can I Know I am Elect?"