My daughters have been a true font of impeccable logic lately. Yesterday, my oldest daughter startled me with the revelation that she was a compatibilist. Today, my youngest daughter (4 year-old) demonstrated her own reasoning skills.
At breakfast this morning, she proudly showed me the painting she’d made at pre-school the day before. I told her that is was absolutely wonderful, of course, even though I had no idea what I was looking at, and I asked her to tell me about it.
“Oh, those are deciduous trees,” she said.
Now, I love it when little kids throw down words like “deciduous.” When I was four, I think I was still working on “bus.” So, wanting to see how much she actually knew about deciduous trees, I asked her if she knew what the other kind of trees are called.
“Evergreen trees,” she said quickly.
Okay, she’s got that one covered. And at this point she had just about taxed my grasp of tree lore. But, I had one question left.
“What makes deciduous trees different from evergreen trees?”
Looking at me with all the pity that four-year-old eyes can muster, she said, “Um, they’re called deciduous.”
I know when I’m beaten.
- Fred Sanders comments on the anniversary of Constantine’s victory at the Milvian Bridge (Oct 28, 312). It’s nice to see Constantine getting some love for a change.
The date is important for Christianity because Constantine went on to end imperial persecution of Christians (with the Edict of Milan in 313). He also converted to Christianity personally, and empowered and enriched the church in countless ways, from copying Bible texts, to gathering the first ecumenical council, to beginning Christian architecture. What’s not to love?
- Daniel Kirk offers some excerpts from Irenaeus on the necessity of Jesus’ humanness.
… when He became incarnate, and was made man, He recapitulated in himself the long line of human beings, and furnished us, in a brief, comprehensive manner, with salvation; so that what we had lost in Adam–namely, to be according to the image and likeness of God–that we might recover in Christ Jesus. (Against Heresies III.18.1)
- Jason Goroncy reflects on the birth of his son and Moltmann’s idea that children are “metaphors” of hope.
Samuel, this seven pound two ounce wonder, represents, no less than other children, what Jürgen Moltmann once named ‘metaphors of God’s hope for us’, that with every child, a new life – original, unique, incomparable – begins. And that while we typically ask, who does this or that child look like…, we also encounter the entirely different, the entirely dissimilar and unique in each child. It is, Moltmann suggests, precisely these differences that we need to respect if we want to love life and allow an open future. Moltmann also recalls that with every beginning of a new life, the hope for the reign of peace and justice is given a new chance….Every new life is also a new beginning of hope for a homeland in this unredeemed world. If it were not, we would have no reason to expect anything new from a beginning.
- Kevin DeYoung comments on a recent report that 1 in 10 teens has had a same-sex partner. Yet another reminder to look closely at numbers.
Be suspicious of statistics, especially those that seem too good or too bad or too surprising to be true.
- If you haven’t seen this yet, here’s the clip from President Obama’s recent appearance on The Daily Show. And, Jon Stewart leads things off with:
You’re two years into your administration and the question that arises in my mind is, Are we the people that we were waiting for? Or, are those people are still out there and we don’t have their number?
- And, here’s a fun list of the 50 most hated characters in literature. If nothing else, the list scores points for leading with Bella Swan and Edward Cullen from the Twilight books.
I was going to try and post something thoughtful and intelligent this evening, but then I ran across this article in Ten of the Bloodiest Bedtime Stories. That’s just not fair. How am I supposed to resist a title like that? Sure I still need to finish preparing my lectures for my Philosophy & Theology class tomorrow (don’t tell my students), but this is critical research that absolutely cannot wait. If I really thought about it, I know I could come up with a way of integrating this material into our philosophical ruminations. So, I’ll get to kill two birds with one stone. (See, the bloody imagery is everywhere.)
Obviously, I succumbed to the temptation and read the article. It was fun. Stupid Little Red Riding Hood stays inside the wolf’s belly where she belongs, two of those three whiny pigs get eaten, Belle’s father actually sells her to the Beast in exchange for his own freedom, the Little Mermaid dies and her beautiful prince marries someone else, and Pinocchio smashes Jiminy Cricket with a hammer. That’s outstanding. Why doesn’t Disney make these stories? They’d be so much better.
One question that comes to mind after reading these other endings: Do we coddle our kids too much or were the kids of an earlier era a complete emotional/psychological mess?