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What is the Difference between Classical and Conventional Education?

An article by Andrew Kern from the Circe Institute, a very good read:

The heart of the difference between classical and conventional education is not in curriculum or teaching methods, though those are effected. The heart of the issue is in goals and beliefs. Our practices often entangle us so much that we can’t get back to the things that matter most.

The biggest difference is theological. Conventional education is ultimately nihilistic, believing that we live in a great meaningless vacuum. Classical education, Christian or philosophical, rests on the foundation of Being. Everything, quite literally follows from this. Continue reading

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Mitch Albom: Denied Michigan hopeful learns tough lesson

I really do like Mitch Albom. I seem to recall from days past listening to his radio show the feeling that we differed quite a bit politically, but he was always so gracious and thoughtful when presenting ideas that I wanted to hear what he had to say. I have read most of his books and enjoy them quite a lot. He just seems like a genuinely good guy. And I really enjoyed this article, the way he reacted to, and tried to get at the truth of, this scandal. Continue reading

Summer Reading List

I’ve been putting together a summer reading list lately and I’ve come up with a nice little collection. Ten is a nice round number, though I am open to adding a few more. So I present my list here to hopefully start a conversation about what others are reading in hopes of maybe finding new interesting titles. I have already started the first, so perhaps this is a spring/summer reading list. Either way, here we go: Continue reading

The Willful Refusal of Logic

The Atlantic recently ran a piece that asked the question, “Does Traditional College Debate Reinforce White Privilege?” From the piece:

It used to be that if you went to a college-level debate tournament, the students you’d see would be bookish future lawyers from elite universities, most of them white. In matching navy blazers, they’d recite academic arguments for and against various government policies. It was tame, predictable, and, frankly, boring.

No more.

These days, an increasingly diverse group of participants has transformed debate competitions, mounting challenges to traditional form and content by incorporating personal experience, performance, and radical politics. These “alternative-style” debaters have achieved success, too, taking top honors at national collegiate tournaments over the past few years.

But this transformation has also sparked a difficult, often painful controversy for a community that prides itself on handling volatile topics.

On March 24, 2014 at the Cross Examination Debate Association (CEDA) Championships at Indiana University, two Towson University students, Ameena Ruffin and Korey Johnson, became the first African-American women to win a national college debate tournament, for which the resolution asked whether the U.S. president’s war powers should be restricted. Rather than address the resolution straight on, Ruffin and Johnson, along with other teams of African-Americans, attacked its premise. The more pressing issue, they argued, is how the U.S. government is at war with poor black communities.

In the final round, Ruffin and Johnson squared off against Rashid Campbell and George Lee from the University of Oklahoma, two highly accomplished African-American debaters with distinctive dreadlocks and dashikis. Over four hours, the two teams engaged in a heated discussion of concepts like “nigga authenticity” and performed hip-hop and spoken-word poetry in the traditional timed format. At one point during Lee’s rebuttal, the clock ran out but he refused to yield the floor. “Fuck the time!” he yelled. His partner Campbell, who won the top speaker award at the National Debate Tournament two weeks later, had been unfairly targeted by the police at the debate venue just days before, and cited this personal trauma as evidence for his case against the government’s treatment of poor African-Americans.

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BUILDING THE MACHINE – The Common Core Documentary

ABOUT THE FILM

“Building the Machine” introduces the public to the Common Core States Standards Initiative (CCSSI) and its effects on our children’s education. The documentary compiles interviews from leading educational experts, including members of the Common Core Validation Committee. Parents, officials, and the American public should be involved in this national decision regardless of their political persuasion.

WHAT IS THE COMMON CORE?

The Common Core is the largest systemic reform of American public education in recent history. What started as a collaboration between the National Governors Association and the Council of Chief State School Officers to reevaluate and nationalize America’s education standards has become one of the most controversial—and yet, unheard of—issues in the American public.

In 2010, 45 states adopted the Common Core, but according to a May 2013 Gallup Poll, 62% of Americans said they had never heard of the Common Core. Prominent groups and public figures have broken traditional party lines over the issue, leaving many wondering where they should stand.

Find out more about the Common Core: http://www.hslda.org/CommonCore

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The testimony of John C. Wright

I finished reading Mere Christianity today. I’ve been trying to work my way through some of the weightier books from the Omnibus series I plan on using with my children. I’m still a couple of years away from the first time through with my oldest, but I figure that gives me time to move slowly and really try to digest these works myself before I have to teach them.

Anyway, I do not know why, but I ended up at Goodreads looking at what others thought of the work. I must admit I was greatly saddened by a few of the reviews. The mental gymnastics that are done to try and rationalize away God are incredible, if futile. I honestly do not believe that anyone who honestly applied Logic and Reason could come away believing that God is not real. Instead, I believe the  unbelief claimed by so many is either ignorance or a conscious decision by people to ignore Logic and Reason because they do not like the conclusion it leads them to. I sincerely believe the vast majority of claimed atheists who deride Christianity fall into the latter.

But all hope is not lost. I ran across this article today, the personal testimony of a formerly avowed atheist who is now a Christian. He realized the circular nature of the arguments he had been employing against Christianity, and wanting to know Truth wherever it may lie, he opened himself up to the possibility he had been wrong. It is a very interesting read. The source is Vox Popoli: Continue reading

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Truth and the Resurrection

Truth and the Resurrection

A post from Vox Popoli I really liked and thought I would share:

There are those who say that the Resurrection of Jesus Christ of Nazareth is merely a story. They will claim, falsely, that the Risen Lord is derived from an agricultural myth. They will assert, wrongly, that “Easter is originally the celebration of Ishtar, the Assyrian and Babylonian goddess of fertility and sex.” They will declare, contra the historical evidence, that Jesus Christ never lived or was crucified on a cross by the Roman authorities.

It is strange, is it not, that they should tell so many palpable lies in the service of that which they say to be truth?

The Apostle Paul once said that if the story of the Crucifixion and Resurrection of Jesus Christ is not true, then we Christians are the saddest and most pathetic of all men. Everything we do, everything we believe, everything for which we hope and strive, is a lie.

It is strange, is it not, that so many observable and long-lived truths should stand so firmly on such a flimsy foundation of falsehood?

From Plato to Zelazny, men of letters have written of the purer things, that in their perfection spawn lesser shadows and imitations that reflect but an aspect of the true essence. From where does truth come, if not the Truth? And did Jesus not say that he was the Way, the Truth, and the Life?

Those who are Aristotelian devotees of reality stand by the Lesser Truth that A is A, and that A is never Not-A. But the Lesser Truth descends from, and depends upon, the Greater Truth, which is this:

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning. Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made. In him was life, and that life was the light of all mankind. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.

Yesterday the light shone in the darkness. Today the light shines in the darkness. Tomorrow the light will shine in the darkness. And the darkness will never, ever, overcome it.

It is not a story, it is The Story, it is the oldest story, it is the true story from which all other stories flow. Light versus dark. And despite the darkness that surrounds us, that pervades us, that haunts us, the light of all mankind is winning.

That is why, all around the world this morning, there are millions of men and women who will greet each other with three simple words of hope and truth and triumph.

Christ is risen!