Essay / Culture

Arrogant or Thankful?

A great many people idolize professional athletes. Watching a professional athlete drive a golf ball 300 yards to the pin, dunk a basketball, serve a tennis ball at over 120 miles an hour or pass for a touchdown is impressive. But, why do world-class athletic

Essay / Culture

"G. K. Chesterton, We Love You!" – Brazil

There’s something funny about professors who teach old books being involved in new media. That’s what Scriptorium Daily is, of course – people talking about old stuff in a new venue. It’s funny because of what conventional wisdom leads us to believe – that the

Essay / Culture

Wanted: Humility

Well, another school year is starting here at the Torrey Honors Institute, which means there are about 375 students roaming the halls again. It’s good to see the returning students, hear what they did over the summer (if anything!) and start getting to know the

Essay / Culture

Communion on the Moon Day!

Today (July 20) is the anniversary of the communion service on the moon, in 1969. Buzz Aldrin, an elder in the Presbyterian Church of Webster, Texas, had planned ahead for it, obviously, or he wouldn’t have had the elements of bread and wine with him

Essay / Culture

"Despotic Tyranny Ruined my Life!"

There’s been a controversy this summer over university placement exams in the UK. Apparently the high school students taking the top-level history exam, having been assigned a topic to study and prepare for, were asked on the test day to write an essay analyzing a

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Why I Don't Pray for Celebrities

I don’t pray for celebrities because they aren’t real people. Celebrity deaths come in threes, they say, and recently Ed McMahon, Farah Fawcett, and Michael Jackson have died. There have been obituaries and retrospectives, and some scrambling to figure out how we are supposed to

Essay / Culture

California Literary Regionalism?

What is California literature? For a class about California in the great books tradition, I had to pick a half-dozen of the best books for students to read and discuss. Which raises the question, what counts as California literature? The most helpful discussion I’ve read

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Going to California with an Aching in my Heart

This month, I’m leading a class of Biola students who will try to understand California. We are undertaking a theological interpretation of California with the goal of knowing how to live wisely as Christians in this territory. There’s no guaranteed right way to do this,

Essay / Culture

The Pirates of Praise-ance?

His name has to be paired with Gilbert before most people will recognize him, because he is best known as the composer of the music for those Gilbert and Sullivan comic operas like Mikado, H. M. S. Pinafore, and Pirates of Penzance. But Sir Arthur

Essay / Culture

Gifted or Determined?

People in general are not born with amazing intellectual or physical giftedness. I continually have to remind myself of this. Most individuals have to work very hard to attain the level of excellence that we admire. Our culture reinforces this belief about natural abilities with

Essay / Culture

Karl Barth Sinks With The Titanic

On April 14, 1912, the Titanic struck an iceberg. In the early hours of the next morning the great ship sank, and everybody was talking about it. Pastors were talking about it. One pastor, in Safenwil, Switzerland, said to his congregation, “I would like to