Monday, May 30, 2011

Art as answer

Tired of pat answers and mere preachiness, more and more believers are turning to art to experience truths that cannot be reduced to a paraphrase. God promises that we will be changed when we see Him. This pursuit of what film critic Andre Bazin calls "holy moments" becomes an exercise of transformative recognition of God in the everyday world. You could call it "practice," the art of becoming ready for the day we see Him in His fullness. Such discipline carries over in the humdrum of daily existence, in walks at the park, in unexpected moments of eye contact between friends and strangers.

Jeffrey Overstreet
Through a Screen Darkly

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Patience with God

Patience is what I consider to be the main difference between faith and atheism. What atheism, religious fundamentalism, and the enthusiasm of a too-facile faith have in common is how quickly they can ride roughshod over the mystery we call God – and that is why I find all three approaches equally unacceptable. One must never consider mystery “over and done with.” Mystery, unlike a mere dilemma, cannot be overcome; one must wait patiently at its threshold and persevere in it – must carry it in one’s heart – just as Jesus’s mother did according to the Gospel, and allow it to mature there and lead one in turn to maturity.

From Patience with God: the story of Zaccheus continuing in us, by Tomáš Halik

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

The arts community

God has set things up so that cultural endeavour is always a communal enterprise, done by trained men and women in concert, gripped by a spirit that is larger than each one individually and that pulls them together as they do their formative work. Should a stray Christian who is an artist make it in the big time, and like a christian who is a professional football or baseball player make a testimonial announcement for Jesus Christ, we may praise the Lord; but that is a baby action next to the grown-up witness of a christian work community of solid artists, identifiable as people of God, who are able to earn their living from the gifts God gave them. That would be a mature witness to the world of God's grace.

Calvin Seerveld
Rainbows for the Fallen World

Friday, May 20, 2011

Universities and Modernity

The shriveled visions of universities under the impact of modernity--particularly the effects of bureaucracy and technology--seem more concerned to produce people who are technically competent but who have little interest in the whys and wherefores of their competencies. Education must be oriented to preparation for a calling and not just training for a career. The difference is one of substance, not semantics.

Steven Garber
The Fabric of Faithfulness: Weaving Together Belief and Behavior

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Christian schools...

To be blunt, I believe that there are two kinds of Protestant Christian schools: those who are convinced they have answers but would rather not take questions, and those who see questions as the meat of intellectual life and who find answers naive and distasteful. The former group separates itself from culture; the latter often sits comfortably in culture's fellowship at the expense of identity and substance.

Daniel de Roulet
"Thorough converts" in catapult magazine

Thursday, May 12, 2011

The Christian walk

’ In truth, the Christian life is as much to do with the walk—the journey—as it has with a destination. If the destination is the main deal, then we want a map with a clear and straightforward route clearly marked ahead of time. Heaven here we come! I have to confess that this is the way I once treated the Bible, a bit like the Melways to eternity. But today I appreciate it less as a book of maps and more one of stories—the stories of those who have taken this ‘long walk’ ahead of me. I learn so much from their successes and failures, their detours and disasters. As I read these stories over and over, I come to appreciate the tried and true practices of faith that have been consistently sustaining and spiritually formative for aspiring pilgrims like me.

from Dorothy Butler Bass’s book Christianity for the Rest of Us, quoted by Simon Carey Holt on his blog.


Education in the true sense, of course, is an enablement to serve -- both the living human community in its natural household or neighborhood and its precious cultural possessions that the living community inherits or should inherit. To educate is, literally, to ‘bring up,’ to bring young people into a responsible maturity, to help them be good caretakers of what they have been given, to help them to be charitable toward fellow creatures.

Wendell Berry
“Higher Education and Home Defense” from Home Economics

Wednesday, May 04, 2011


When I say that the moral wounds of the world must find a place in our curricula, what I mean is not just that we must teach about justice--though we must; I mean that we must teach for justice. The graduate whom we seek to produce must be one who practices justice.

Nicholas Wolterstorff
Educating for Shalom