See to it that no one takes you captive by philosophy and empty deceit, according to human tradition, according to the elemental spirits of the world, and not according to Christ (Colossians 2:8). What business do we have studying the liberal arts? The quadrivium and trivium? Why should Christians take an interest in philosophy, in … Continue reading Vain Philosophy and Christian Learning
“The eye is the lamp of the body. So, if your eye is healthy, your whole body will be full of light, but if your eye is bad, your whole body will be full of darkness. If then the light in you is darkness, how great is the darkness! –Matthew 6:22-23 Beauty is indeed objective; yet, … Continue reading Beauty as Subjective, I
A talk Given at New College Franklin, Prospective Weekend, Spring 2018 Aristotle’s Nicomachean Ethics, the great Western text on virtue, concludes in a very strange way. After all his work discussing virtue, Aristotle unexpectedly relegates it to second rank. But if I am to make clear the remarkable nature of this move, I first need … Continue reading Virtue and its Limits: from Prudence to Contemplation
from a talk given at New College Franklin in the Fall of 2013 Main Texts: Homer’s Odyssey, Book 8, lines 42-45, 62-94, 483-499, 521-534 Homer’s Iliad, Book VI, lines 440-465 My goal in giving this talk is to inspire wonder and excitement about the program of study here, to encourage intellectual enthusiasm. With this goal … Continue reading A Question of the Liberal Arts: Why is Song a Gift from the Gods?
A friend recently gave me a Star Wars button with the the phrase “I find that answer vague and unconvincing.” While wearing it at school the other day, I realized that a large part of my job is communicating this to students, helping them see why it is the case, and what a sufficient answer … Continue reading Vague and Unconvincing
An excerpt from a recent paper: Incidental being is not an object of science because it is neither always and necessarily in the same condition, nor even for the most part so. The essential stability of knowledge depends upon an essential stability of being. The analogy used to show this is a remarkable example of … Continue reading The Fancy Chef: On the Subject of Science
The Heavens declare the glory of God and the skies showeth his handiwork (Psalm 19:1) When we step outside the walls of a school, when we walk about in a park, when we look up at the sky, as we are about to, we observe. We take in and experience the world. And we all … Continue reading An Address on the Eclipse to the Christian Student
Image Courtesy of David Joyce at Clarke University There are several ways that one might produce a line equal to a given line. A carpenter might use a tape measure or a story-stick. A story-stick is an unmarked object of equivalent length to another. Its advantage lies in that it eliminates measurement. There are no … Continue reading Mechanical Art vs. Science: Euclid, Book I, Proposition 2
We study the world that we may understand Scripture, and Scripture teaches us to truly read the world. Is this a conflict of principle or a vicious circle? No, it is the ordinary course of human learning elevated to a glorious pitch. God is pleased to use the things of His creation as a tutor unto … Continue reading On Christian Doctrine: The Rule of Scripture and Knowledge of the Profane
Is man fundamentally a contemplative being or one whose fulfillment is found in work? Perhaps the answer lies in how we understand the term ‘work’. A long standing argument in Christian and philosophic circles grapples with anthropology, the goodness of work, and the nature of happiness in general. In some sense, this issue touches even … Continue reading Work or Rest?