“I wouldn’t mind it nearly as much if I didn’t feel like I was just part of a big corporate and political campaign,” said a third-grade teacher I know. She was talking about the Common Core Curriculum. Recently another friend pointed me to this article in Politico, which helps me to understand. Though it contains some encouraging news about resistance efforts that have gained some momentum, there is also material that concerned me very much. This, for instance: The proponents would appear to have all…Continue Reading “Follow the money to the Common Core”

After writing this post about the role of experts in the morphing of the Christmas season in area public schools, I read Alice’s post about how Christians are partly to blame. She makes some great points about Christmas being meaningful to Christians, but not to people of other faiths, or of no faith. Our church has done Advent Conspiracy projects for the last two years, and one of the first points made in the Advent Conspiracy video is that the Christmas story is ours to…Continue Reading “Afterthought”

I’ve been thinking about this article I read yesterday. It’s about the multicultural holiday season in the public schools. The basic gist is that public education no longer operates under the benighted view that Christmas is about Christmas. Now, it’s about “instruction that teaches students about the variety of cultural celebrations this time of year.” At one point, a principal mentions that some parents want to see more emphasis on Christmas: But for the most part, he said, parents understand and accept the way the…Continue Reading “Off limits”

In Prophetic Untimeliness: A Challenge to the Idol of Relevance (2009), Os Guinness explores the fascination with relevance that permeates evangelicalism, diagnosing it as a result of our uncritical immersion in our current view of time. He summarizes the problem in two densely woven sentences: The faith-world of John Wesley, Jonathan Edwards, John Jay, William Wilberforce, Hannah More, Lord Shaftesbury, Catherine Booth, Hudson Taylor, D.L. Moody, Charles Spurgeon, Oswald Chambers, Andrew Murray, Carl Henry, and John Stott is disappearing. In its place a new evangelicalism…Continue Reading “Prophetic Untimeliness”

Someone forwarded Ben Stein’s CBS Sunday Morning “Confession” to me by email. Mr. Stein uses the following exchange as a springboard for discussing God’s alleged departure from America: Billy Graham’s daughter was interviewed on the Early Show and Jane Clayson asked her ‘How could God let something like this happen?’ (regarding Hurricane Katrina).  Anne Graham gave an extremely profound and insightful response.  She said, ‘I believe God is deeply saddened by this, just as we are, but for years we’ve been telling God to get…Continue Reading “A larger and truer confession”

Stepping outside the Tao, they have stepped into the void. Nor are their subjects necessarily unhappy men. They are not men at all: they are artefacts. Man’s final conquest has proved to be the abolition of Man. –from Lewis’ title essay, “The Abolition of Man” The Abolition of Man: How Education Develops Man’s Sense of Morality consists of three lectures given by Lewis in 1943. Partly because my reading experience was fractured by countless interruptions, I found it a challenge. But in essence, the three…Continue Reading “The Abolition of Man: Contemplating Skepticism”

I learned about this op-ed piece in the Washington Times through the weekly HSLDA email. It’s about President Obama’s plan for “zero-to-five” education — using federal money to create more preschool opportunities, and work toward universal preschool. “The presumption by Mr. Obama is that the earlier children start formal education, the better chance they have of being successful in life and being competitive in the global market,” writes HSLDA President J. Michael Smith. “Sounds good, but is this policy backed by evidence that government involvement…Continue Reading “Finding the proper tools”

In order to arrive at what you do not know You must go by a way which is the way of ignorance. (T.S. Eliot, “East Coker”) So reads the passage from which Wendell Berry’s 2005 essay collection The Way of Ignorance takes its title. Ranging from essays of a page or two, to full-length lectures and conference presentations, to letters, these essays address topics that Mr. Berry has been writing about for many years: What is the cost of globalization, and who pays it? What…Continue Reading “The Way of Ignorance”