August 2014

Obedience School

BackpackMy daughter wanted a new backpack last year about this time, and after several unfulfilling stops, we ended up at Target. The selection was a bit slim, but she found something that seemed like a good combination of practical and not-entirely-embarrassing, and we took it to the nearest register.


If you’ve never been to a proper revival meeting, you’ve missed a grand cultural experience. Some border on the bizarre, others can lean a bit quaint, but most are not so far removed from the weekly experiences of the faithy folks in attendance. It’s pretty rare in your typical revival service or tent meeting for the message to be something radically new...
Because the goal of most revivals isn’t to hear something new. The goal is to be reminded. Refreshed. Revived. Hence, you know, the name. It is in that spirit I’d like to remind some of us of some things we already know. Stuff we’ve learned from both study and practice, in the classroom and out.

Freedom, Choice, and Culpability

Freedom is a terrifying thing. There’s great comfort in structure – even confinement. I’ve seen this dramatically demonstrated in recent weeks as I’ve watched students navigate my decision to give them greater leeway in what they research, how they demonstrate it, and how they wish to be assessed. Some have flourished with the sudden reduction in boundaries; many have been hindered by too much freedom with too little scaffolding, given too suddenly.

And that’s the academic version – the relatively easy one to fathom, and to fix. Trickier are historical, social-political happenings. You know – the “real world” stuff.