The Kuyperian Commentary

Politics, Economics, Culture, and Theology with a Biblical Viewpoint

Archive for the category “Education”

Baby Steps Toward the Masterpiece

by Marc Hays

Thanks to a blue-light special at the Kindle store, I recently acquired an e-copy of N. T. Wright’s Simply Christian: Why Christianity Makes Sense. The first section addresses humanity’s struggle with justice, spirituality, relationship and beauty. His questions are honest and piercing.  His logic is so seamless, that I find it hard to decide on a pull quote without doing a great injustice to the surrounding material as well as the quote itself, but, having said all that, here’s a portion that is exceptionally tasty.  It is from chapter 4, For the Beauty of the Earth,

What we must notice at this stage is that both in the Old Testament and the New, the present suffering of the world–about which the biblical writers knew every bit as much as we do–never makes them falter in their claim that the created world really is the good creation of a good God. They live with the tension. And they don’t do it by imagining that the present created order is a shabby, second-rate kind of thing, perhaps (as in some kinds of Platonism) made by a shabby second-rate sort of god. They do it by telling a story of what the one creator God has been doing to rescue his beautiful world and put it to rights. And the story they tell, which we shall explore further in due course, indicates that the present world really is a signpost to a larger beauty, a deeper truth. It really is the authentic manuscript of one part of a masterpiece. The question is, What is the whole masterpiece like, and how can we begin to hear the music in that way it was intended? Read more…

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Romeikes Lose Battle, Jesus Still Wins War

by Marc Hays

Justice PeekingIt comes as no surprise to hear that the 6th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled against the Romeike’s continued asylum in these United States.   Judge Jeffrey S. Sutton, a George W. Bush administration appointee, said, “Germany is not forbidding home-schooling … It’s not like saying you can’t teach them at home in the evenings.”  This is, of course, utter nonsense, but that is not surprising either.  “W” appointed him.  Michael Farris of the Home School Legal Defense Association related this type of thinking to telling a Jew that their children could eat kosher at home every evening even though the state will be feeding them bacon for 6 hours per day for 180 days per year.  How is that eating kosher?  How is forcing Christians to subjugate their children to the religion of the German state not religious persecution? If you think Germany does not have a state religion, you can read more about that here.

This news comes to us as bad news, and it is.  Anytime a God-ordained liberty, like a father raising his children (Deut. 6), loses to tyranny, it’s bad news, and it’s bad news for all of us.  This ruling is indicative of our court system, our attorney general, our president and his administration, but worse yet is that they don’t define us.  We define them. The people of the United States elected Barak Hussein Obama to four more years.  President George W. Bush appointed Judge Sutton to his bench.  We granted them these powers, so they are indicative of us as a nation.

So, this is bad news, but this is not the end of the story.  Read more…

Why I am Proud to be an American

By Uri Brito

In the best sense of the term, this has been a very patriotic weekend for me. It began on Thursday evening at the Banquet for Life hosted by Safe Harbor. Safe Harbor is a ministry the saints of Providence have invested in for quite a few years. It is more than just another pro-life ministry, it is a labor that saw 162 women this past year choose life rather than live with the blood of the innocent in their hands for the rest of their lives. They provide counseling, medical help, and the environment to best guide confused young women out of their present chaos.

At their annual fundraising banquet they invited Senator Rick Santorum. Santorum was still living off the energy of last year’s election. The Senator from Pennsylvania shocked the nation by losing to Mitt Romney by only eight votes in Iowa and going on to win several other primaries. Though Santorum was no match for the prosperous GOP establishment candidate, the Senator was still able to leave a lasting impression in the GOP Primary.

Santorum observed in his speech that though he had opined continuously on the state of the economy and on other pertinent matters, the media chose not to pursue the Senator’s opinion on these issues, but rather focus on some of his more “extreme” ideas. Ideas like opposition to abortion, which according to the general American public are far from extreme. Yet, we are at such a stage in the civil discourse that when anyone speaks passionately about any moral issue, he is already termed a radical. To hell with logic! Read more…

That Your Joy May Be Full: Celebrating the Ascension of our Lord

By Uri Brito

The Church celebrates the Ascension of our Lord this Thursday. Since many Protestant churches find it difficult to gather parishioners for a Thursday service, many of them celebrate Ascension on Sunday.

The Ascension of Jesus is barely mentioned in the evangelical vocabulary. We make room for his birth, death, and resurrection, but we tend to put a period where God puts a comma.

If the resurrection was the beginning of Jesus’ enthronement, then the ascension is the establishment of his enthronement. The Ascension activates Christ’s victory in history. The Great Commission is only relevant because of the Ascension. Without the Ascension the call to baptize and disciple would be meaningless. It is on the basis of Jesus’ enthronement at the right-hand of the Father, that we image-bearers can de-throne rulers through the power and authority of our Great Ruler, Jesus Christ.

The Ascension then is a joyful event, because it is the genesis of the Church’s triumph over the world. Further, it defines us as a people of glory and power, not of weakness and shame. As Jesus is ascended, we too enter into his ascension glory (Col. 3:1) This glory exhorts us to embrace full joy. As Alexander Schmemann once wrote:

“The Church was victorious over the world through joy…and she will lose the world when she loses its joy… Of all accusations against Christians, the most terrible one was uttered by Nietzsche when he said that Christians had no joy.”[1]

But this joy is given to us by a bodily Lord.

We know that Jesus is at the right hand of the Father. He is ruling and reigning from his heavenly throne. He has given the Father the kingdom, and now he is preserving, progressing, and perfecting his kingdom. He is bringing all things under subjection.

We know that when he was raised from the dead, Jesus was raised bodily. But Gnostic thinking would have us assume that since Jesus is in heaven he longer needs a physical body. But the same Father who raised Jesus physically, also has his Son sitting beside him in a physical body.  As one author observed:

Jesus has gone before us in a way we may follow through the Holy Spirit whom he has sent, because the way is in his flesh, in his humanity.[1]

Our Lord is in his incarnation body at the right hand of the Father. This has all sorts of implications for us in worship. We are worshipping a God/Man; one who descended in human flesh and who ascended in human flesh. He is not a disembodied spirit. He is truly God and truly man.

As we consider and celebrate the Ascension of our blessed Lord, remember that you are worshiping the One who understands your needs, because he has a body just like you; he understands your joy because he has a body just like you.

[1] Alexander Schmemann, For the Life of the World. Paraphrased

[2] Gerrit Dawson, see http://apologus.wordpress.com/2012/05/16/ascension-and-jesus-humanity/

Uri Brito is a pastor and blogger. He treasures earthly life, but dwells in the heavenly places.

The New Kingdom Almanac: Alfred the Great, White Horse King

Alfred the Great, son of Æthelwulf of Wessex (West Saxons), vanquisher of the Danish warlord Guthrum, victor of the field of Ethandun, warrior king and royal servant of the Lord Jesus Christ. It was on this day, May 6 anno Domini 878, after having spent years studying the methods of the Viking raiders and engineering many advances in field and naval combat[1], that the Anglo-Saxon King Alfreda defeated the cruel Northmen of Scandinavia and preserved Christendom in Britannia, thus making the unification of that land possible for the first time since the occupation of the Roman Legions four centuries earlier [2].
White-Horse-of-Uffington

Read more…

This Year, Vacation in Narnia

Mr. Tumnus and Lucyby Marc Hays

It finally happened.  I could hardly believe it myself, but I was there when it happened. No, I didn’t win the lottery. (You actually have to buy a ticket to do that.)  And besides, this event was way more exciting than a few million Federal Reserve Notes.  This was a moment I had been anticipating for years.  Okay, okay, I’ll tell you. After reading three chapters of Prince Caspian to my children, they asked me to read another one, and then another.  I know, I know, it’s hard to believe, but I tell you the truth, I am not lying.

Maybe you experience this beautiful moment nightly.  I hope that you do, but usually, at the end of reading to my children, I hear encouraging comments like, “So, are we done now?”, “Can I go play?”, or, worst of all, “Can we watch a movie now?”.  But not that day. That day they wanted more, so I gave it to them.  Read more…

What I Learned About Education from James K.A. Smith

I recently interviewed Calvin College professor of Philosophy and author, James K.A. Smith. Dr. Smith has written books such as Desiring the Kingdom, Imagining the Kingdom, the forthcoming Embodying the Kingdom, Who’s Afraid of Postmodernism?, and more.

We primarily discussed his book, Desiring the Kingdom, and he made some points that I thought were worth revisiting.

First, when it comes to education, we are going to educate primarily based on our answer to the question, “What is man?” If we imagine humans to be consumers, our education will look similar to public education. If we imagine humans to be primarily thinkers, we will educate another way. But, if we imagine humans to be primarily worshipers, then our education will look another way.

Read more…

Government Free Childrearing

by Luke Welch

gluten free

Imagine you have celiac disease, you and all your children. You live in a land that demands that your children eat glutenous meals everyday. You are old enough to do what you want, but growing up you experienced the torment of being given shredded wheat every day, and you don’t want your children to suffer. But the land doesn’t care for your plan to feed them at home – they have to go to the public feeding centers, by force of law. The land says, “Celiac disease is a figment of your imagination.” So one day, you leave the land and go to a place that will allow you to serve completely gluten-free meals.

You thought you were safe, because everyone in the land of the gluten-free is free to be gluten-free. But after a while the GF country starts pushing you to go back home. “Sorry Folks, just because WE protect people with celiac, doesn’t mean you have a right to have that same protection, since you came from Gluteny.”

In the case against you, someone even says, “Come on! Your kids are free to eat gluten free all they want! Right after they come home from the gluten meal! So what are you complaining about!?”

But that’s not the point, is it? You aren’t hoping to get to give them SOME gluten free. You are trying to get them completely gluten free. Gluten-somewhat-free is not actually free.

Napp Nazworth, at the Christian Post, writes, “The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit heard arguments Tuesday in a case, Romeike vs. Holder, that could Read more…

The Romeikes and the Myth of Secular Education

by Marc Hays

Today in the 6th Circuit Court of Appeals in Cincinnati, Ohio, the Romeike family’s case will be heard in open court.  They have been granted asylum in the United States on the grounds that they were being persecuted for their religion by refusing to enroll their children in Germany’s government schools.  Prior to 1938, homeschooling was legal in Germany.  Adolf Hitler decided it should be otherwise.  I wrote a brief post about that here.  Today the status regarding their asylum in the United States will be determined.

LogoOver the past week I have continued to read HSLDA’s articles about the Romeikes, other German homeschoolers, German law, United States law, and international law.  I am not an expert in these matters, which is why I help to pay Mike Farris’ electric bill each month and am happy to do so.  As much as I enjoyed reading HSLDA’s articles, I remembered that everyone seems right until another comes along with a challenge (Prov. 18:17), so I looked up some opposing views as well.  You can read one of the better opposing arguments that I found here. Read more…

Boston Bomber’s Future Prospects

by Sean Johnson

Amidst the terribly tragic events of the last week, countless smaller news items were understandably forgotten, but at least one now bears remembering.

Earlier this month Kathy Boudin, former domestic terrorist who spent almost twenty years in prison on second-degree murder charges, was named to a position of scholar-in-residence at NYU Law School. Already a Columbia University professor since 2008, she spent the years between 1984 and 2003 behind bars for her involvement in the killing of two police officers and a security guard during an armored car robbery that she and her accomplices described as anti-imperialist activism.
weathermen most wanted 1970's Chicago

Boudin and her accomplices were also members of Weather Underground, a domestic terrorism group created to Read more…

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