From student work on Shakespeare…

A student paper says, “At the age of 18 William married Anne Hathaway a 26-year-old elderly woman.”
I feel ancient.

A little later, the same paper reads, “Their youngest daughter is Judith who grew to marry a tavern owner named John Quincy who was 4 years younger than her at the time.”
I guess maybe he caught up to her later on.

And, believe it or not, this follows in the same paper: “In Shakespeare’s life he wrote at least 37 plays, some we don’t know about.”
The curiosity is killing me.


Church and Bible: Hokey Religions and Ancient Weapons…?

Found this while looking for some pics to put in some notes I am writing for one of my History classes.
Solo Scriptura
Of course, Han says the line that is being parodied here on the Millennium Falcon en route to Alderan, not while in the cantina with Greedo. Still hilarioius, though! 🙂

Abusus non tollit usum: JRRT on Bad Reasons for Rejecting Fantasy

Here is a gem from J.R.R. Tolkein’s essay, On Fairy Stories:

“Fantasy can, of course, be carried to excess. It can be ill done. It can be put to evil uses. It may even delude the minds out of which it came. But of what human thing in this fallen world is that not true? Men have conceived not only of elves, but they have imagined gods, and worshipped them, even worshipped those most deformed by their authors’ own evil. But they have made false gods out of other materials: their notions, their banners, their monies; even their sciences and their social and economic theories have demanded human sacrifice. Abusus non tollit usum. Fantasy remains a human right: we make in our measure and in our derivative mode, because we are made: and not only made, but made in the image of a Maker.”

Bible Trivia for Independence Day

Well, tomorrow is July 4th, and I’ll be spending the weekend with some family members who think I’ve gone “liberal” or am “left-leaning” because I’ve moved away from my right-wing, conservative, capitalistic, war-hawk roots. (The truth is that my political imagination is no longer restricted to the false dilemma of American left or right wing; rather, I’m committed to the Kingdom of God.) Should be lots of fun hanging around a campfire, walking the beaches, going out on my brother’s boat, and so forth.

Perhaps it’d be good to gather everyone around to play a bit of a Bible trivia game. I was thinking this might be a good question:

Which of the following is NOT found in the Bible?:

A) — Every person is to be in subjection to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and those which exist are established by God. Therefore whoever resists authority has opposed the ordinance of God; and they who have opposed will receive condemnation upon themselves. For rulers are not a cause of fear for good behavior, but for evil. Do you want to have no fear of authority? Do what is good and you will have praise from the same; for it is a minister of God to you for good. But if you do what is evil, be afraid; for it does not bear the sword for nothing; for it is a minister of God, an avenger who brings wrath on the one who practices evil. Therefore it is necessary to be in subjection, not only because of wrath, but also for conscience’ sake.

B) — Remind them to be subject to rulers, to authorities, to be obedient, to be ready for every good deed, to malign no one, to be peaceable, gentle, showing every consideration for all men.

C) — Beloved, I urge you as aliens and strangers to abstain from fleshly lusts which wage war against the soul. Keep your behavior excellent among the Gentiles, so that in the thing in which they slander you as evildoers, they may because of your good deeds, as they observe them, glorify God in the day of visitation. Submit yourselves for the Lord’s sake to every human institution, whether to a king as the one in authority, or to governors as sent by him for the punishment of evildoers and the praise of those who do right. For such is the will of God that by doing right you may silence the ignorance of foolish men.

D) — But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security.

And the answer is…………….. [scroll down]
American Flag

D!… (As in Declaration of Independence!)

Students Write the Darndest Things

The other day, I gave a test… One girl, after working on the test for over thirty minutes, called me over to show me a note she had written me on the back. It was an appeal to let her take the test the next day based on the fact that she had been absent one time about four or five days earlier. Obviously, I had to tell her no, if for no other reason than the fact that she had already been working with the test for a half hour.
But here’s the best part! Her first sentence was, “Mr. Stewart, I wasn’t here on the day I was absent.” 🙂

Miroslav Volf on Justice and Embrace

In his book, Exclusion & Embrace, Miroslav Volf includes a chapter on “Oppression and Justice.”  Here are a few excerpts which I find helpful to reflect on in light of the Zimmerman–Martin conflict.
[Note:  Since my current theme always puts all blockquotes in italics, I have used CAPS to render Volf’s italicized words.]

We seem to be trapped in the iron logic of a syllogism of despair. Premise one: conceptions of justice depend on particular cultures and traditions. Premise two: peace depends on justice BETWEEN cultures and traditions. Conclusion: violence between cultures will never stop. Must we, however, concede the disturbing thought that the justice backed by the most able and best equipped generals or propounded by the most effective propaganda will reign? (p.196)

[A]greement on justice depends on the will to embrace the other and that justice itself will be unjust as long as it does not become a mutual embrace. (p.197)

God is all-knowing; God is perfectly just; God is not a tribal deity. All three accepted, it follows that what God holds to be just must be just for every person and every culture, apart from how any person construes justice. If God is the God of all peoples, the justice of God must be the justice for all peoples…. To be a follower of Jesus Christ means both to affirm that God’s justice transcends all cultural construals of justice and to strive for that justice (Matthew 6:33). But does the pursuit of divine justice make an end to the struggle? Does it not rather intensify the struggle?…. The question is not whether from a Christian perspective God’s justice is universal, whether God can infallibly judge between cultures irrespective of their differences. The question is whether CHRISTIANS who want to uphold God’s universal justice can judge between cultures with divine infallibility. The answer is that they cannot…. We must therefore distinguish between OUR IDEA OF GOD’S JUSTICE and GOD’S JUSTICE ITSELF. (pp.197-9)

[W]e enlarge our thinking by letting the voices and perspectives of others, especially those with whom we may be in conflict, resonate within ourselves, by allowing them to help us see them, as well as ourselves, from THEIR perspective, and if needed, readjust our perspective as we take into account their perspectives. Nothing can guarantee in advance that the perspectives will merge and agreement be reached. We may find that we must reject the perspective of the other. Yet we should seek to see things from their perspective in the hope that competing justices may become converging justices and eventually issue in agreement. (p.213)

To agree on justice in conflict situations you must want more than justice; you must want embrace. There can be NO JUSTICE WITHOUT THE WILL TO EMBRACE. It is, however, equally true that there can be NO GENUINE EMBRACE WITHOUT JUSTICE. (p.216)

If you want justice and nothing but justice, you will get injustice. If you want justice without injustice, you must want love. A world of perfect justice is a world of love. (p.223)

[S]ince “justice” is impotent in the face of past injustice, reconciliation is ultimately possible only through injustice being forgiven and, finally, forgotten. (p.224)

[O]nly in our mutual embrace within the embrace of the triune God can we find redemption and experience perfect justice. (pp.224-5)