Friday, May 30, 2014

10 More from RC Jr - Non-Fiction for Teens

What are ten books your teenagers read as part of their homeschool education?

Ask RC: What are 10 books your teenagers read as part of their homeschool education?
One of the weaknesses of the school model of education is that it squeezes out great books that don’t fit neatly into one or another of those artificial divisions of learning we call “subjects.” We don’t start with, “What books have had a deep impact in shaping what I am?” But with “What subjects am I supposed to be teaching, and which books will help me teach them?” I don’t teach my children subjects—I seek to instill in them wisdom. Which means I have them read the books that gave me wisdom.
10-book-recommendations-rc-sproul-jr-homeschoolAll God’s Children and Blue Suede Shoes: The Christian and Pop Culture by Ken Myers. This book was a genuine wake up call to me, alerting me to the more subtle ways the broader culture has influenced not just what I think, but how I think. It was for me the beginning of seeking to live a more deliberate life.
9-book-recommendations-rc-sproul-jr-homeschoolThe Abolition of Man by CS Lewis.  A thoughtful yet accessible prophetic exposition of the then coming post-modernism.
8-book-recommendations-rc-sproul-jr-homeschoolThe Holiness of God. We often, as parents, struggle with fear that our children are more eager to please us than their heavenly Father, that they see their faith as a familial thing, but that they don’t quite own it personally. This classic exploration of the character of God is deeply helpful. It reminds my children that God is for real, and that they must deal with Him, one at a time.
7-book-recommendations-rc-sproul-jr-homeschoolMonsters from the Id by E. Michael Jones. Jones, editor of Culture Warsmagazine, traces the history of horror fiction from Mary Shelley’sFrankenstein to Aliens. Why would I want my teens to read that? Because Jones, as is his habit, masterfully weaves the private lives of the creators of these stories with their ideologies and the stories themselves. Reading Jones is like reading Romans 1 unfold before your very eyes as you watch minds given over to depravity bear bitter fruit.

Thursday, May 29, 2014

10 from RC Jr - the Fiction List for Teens

What are ten fiction books you recommend for homeschool teenagers?

What are 10 fiction books you recommend for homeschool teenagers?
A while back you published a list of the ten books your teenagers read as part of the homeschool education. They were all non-fiction. What fiction do you have your children read?
I was honestly surprised when this was pointed out to me. I would guess over the course of my life I’ve read two works of fiction for every work of non-fiction. I hadn’t planned at all to make the list all non-fiction, and so am happy to add here fiction. As with before I am not here arguing that these are the ten best fiction works ever, only that they are the ten that I genuinely want my children to read. Here they are, in no particular order:
1 Fiction Book Recommendation for HomeschoolThe Scarlet Letter — Hawthorne is no friend of the Bible or the Christian faith, but like so many great authors he is haunted by it. He has no grasp of the Puritans, but, ironically, a decent grasp of our sinfulness. While the townspeople are merely clownishly wicked, his exploration especially of Dimmesdale and Chillingworth are both chilling and worthy.
2 Fiction Book Recommendation for HomeschoolA Clockwork Orange — Anthony Burgess is among my favorite writers of the 20th century. While Kubrick’s adaptation of the novel is not at all for the faint at heart, the book shows us Burgess’ genius without showing things best left unseen. A fascinating exploration of the folly of behaviorism, a philological romp, and a genuinely intriguing exploration of the rise and fall of civilizations, well, that’s quite a lot for a slim volume.
3 Fiction Book Recommendation for HomeschoolA Tale of Two Cities — Dickens starts slow, reminding us what happens when we are paid by the word. But the final third of this close-up in the midst of cultural devastation reminds us of the One Great Hero.
4 Fiction Book Recommendation for HomeschoolThe Great Santini — Not one you expected, right? Pat Conroy is likely not in anyone’s canon, save perhaps the Sproul family canon. Conroy, like his thinly veiled father, manages to stir together charm and pathos, evil, and family unity. The result is somehow both disturbing and moving.

Thursday, May 15, 2014

Marriage Gospel

"Half of our marriages end in divorce." No they do not. The real numbers are in and it seems that little more than half of half end in divorce.

As a homeschool dad, I often refer to the “smell test” when reviewing math assignments with my sons.  ‘Okay, if you multiply a big number by another big number, the answer is not going to be a small number, right?’

Well, perhaps we can do the same here.  How many married people do you know?  Okay, now how many divorced?  This is a difficult thing to get our minds around, but try.  Think about the sheer staggering number of married adults you know.  It is far easier to list the unmarried adults than the married.  Now think about the divorces.  Do they even begin to approach half?

Jeff and Shaunti Feldhahn are Christian marriage counselors, popular conference speakers, and family enrichment authors.  This month Shaunti released The Good News About Marriage reporting the findings of an 8-year research project reviewing the statistical data on marriage and divorce in America.  Her conclusions are shattering many of our most common conjugal clich├ęs. 

Among her more noteworthy findings were:

-          The divorce rate in America has never even been close to half.  While the actual divorce rate is impossible to establish, [the Census Bureau stopped trying in 1996] realistic estimates put the societal divorce rate as low as 27% with almost every source reporting a decline in divorces for the last 30 years!

Friday, May 9, 2014

To Worship is to ...

"To worship is to quicken the conscience by the holiness of God, to feed the mind with the truth of God, to purge the imagination by the beauty of God, to open the heart to the love of God, and to devote the will to the purpose of God.”

- William Temple

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Golden Career Advice from an "Expert" that Applies to the Church [& why YOU are in Charge of How You Feel!]

Hey Mike! I’ve spent this last year trying to figure out the right career for myself and I still can’t figure out what to do. I have always been a hands on kind of guy and a go-getter. I could never be an office worker. ...I like trying pretty much everything, but get bored very easily. I want a career that will always keep me happy, but can allow me to have a family and get some time to travel.... Thank you!
- Parker Hall
Hi Parker,
My first thought is that you should learn to weld and move to North Dakota. The opportunities are enormous, and as a “hands-on go-getter,” you’re qualified for the work. But after reading your post a second time, it occurs to me that your qualifications are not the reason you can’t find the career you want.
Consider your own words. You don’t want a career – you want the “right” career. You need “excitement” and “adventure,” but not at the expense of stability. You want lots of “change” and the “freedom to travel,” but you need the certainty of “steady pay.” You talk about being “easily bored” as though boredom is out of your control. It isn’t. Boredom is a choice. Like tardiness. Or interrupting. It’s one thing to “love the outdoors,” but you take it a step further. You vow to “never” take an office job. You talk about the needs of your family, even though that family doesn’t exist. And finally, you say the career you describe must “always” make you “happy.”

Monday, May 5, 2014

Jesus, Himself, led our small-group Bible study, and yet He was not known to us until the Breaking of Bread ...

Thank you to Uri Brito for posting this on his blog.  It is a collection of quotes from Albert Mohler's interview with theologian Stanley Hauerwas.  It fits perfectly into yesterday's sermon/Gospel passage - Lk 24: Returning to the Church and finding Christ in the breaking of bread.  [*Please note: the transcripts widely available online INCORRECTLY quote Hauerwas in the section below.  I've reviewed the audio and transcribed them accurately.*] Enjoy!

Mohler: When you look at American Christianity in general, and American Evangelicalism in particular, you appear to see a church that is looking less and less like the church.
Hauerwas: That’s true. I have great admiration for evangelicals for no other reason than they just bring such great energy to the faith and I admire that. But one of the great problems of Evangelical life in America is evangelicals think they have a relationship with God that they go to church to have expressed but church is a secondary phenomenon to their personal relationship and I think that’s to get it exactly backwards: that the Christian faith is a mediated faith. It only comes through the witness of others as embodied in the church. So I should never trust my presumption that I know what my relationship with God is separate from how that is expressed through words and sacrament in the church. So evangelicals, I’m afraid, often times, with what appears to be very conservative religious convictions, make the church a secondary phenomenon to their assumed faith and I think that’s making it very hard to maintain disciplined congregations.