A Calvinist Reads: The Best Minds by Jonathan Rosen
Letters from Nebby
by nebby3
4M ago
It’s rare for me to read a book that’s modern and trending but when I heard an interview with Jonathan Rosen, I was intrigued enough to line up in my library’s queue and wait my turn for The Best Minds: A Story of Friendship, Madness, and the Tragedy of Good Intentions (New York: Penguin Press, 2023). {Warning: this post contains spoilers.] The Best Minds was worth the wait, but it is not a book that is ultimately satisfying in many ways. It gives us problems but does not give us the solutions. On a societal level, the solutions are not easy and a book like this is just not going to have all t ..read more
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Book Review: The Unseen Realm
Letters from Nebby
by nebby3
7M ago
I seem to see more and more lately in the reformed world on spiritual beings and their influence. Michael S. Heiser’s The Unseen Realm was recommended by one source and so I picked it up, not fully knowing exactly what it was about or who Heiser was. It turns out we actually share an academic pedigree (up to a point at least). Heiser received a Ph.D. in biblical Hebrew from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. This is the same small (but quite good) program where I did my undergrad1 and got a Master’s in biblical Hebrew.2 It appears that he was there a few years after I left so we did not over ..read more
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The Oxymoron that is Christian Classical
Letters from Nebby
by nebby3
7M ago
I try not to spend my time beating up on other philosophies of education but I was struck by this quote from Susan Wise Bauer, classical education guru and co-author of The Well-Trained Mind: “What we are talking about here is the embrace of classical education by a group of particular socially conservative Christians who otherwise would seem unlikely to latch on to a model of education that was conceived of and taught my ancient polytheists who were sexually permissive, certainly not by and large heterosexual, and often ended up being the enemies of the conservative governments of their time ..read more
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Where is Classical Education Going — and What Can CM Learn?
Letters from Nebby
by nebby3
8M ago
Through one of those internet rabbit holes, I ended up listing to an episode of The Well-Trained Mind Podcast entitled “Where is Classical Education Going?” Susan Wise Bauer, co-author of the WTM book and classical education guru, was being interviewed on the state of classical ed today looking specifically at curricula that use the classical label and its perception in the media. It is not new news that “classical” is a label that is so widely and diversely used that it becomes hard to define (see my posts on Sorting Out Classical  and Characteristics of Classical Education) bu ..read more
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The Well-Educated Heart vs. Charlotte Mason
Letters from Nebby
by nebby3
8M ago
Last time I introduced you to the Well-Educated Heart (WEH) philosophy of education. Marlene Peterson, the woman behind the WEH, sees herself as having not created but discovered a new approach to education with deep roots. She cites many influences, among them Charlotte Mason, a late 19th/early 20th century British educator. My own philosophy of education is based largely on Mason’s and I have written much on her approach so I thought it would be interesting to compare the WEH with Mason to see just where they agree and where they differ. Sources and Origins Though they do not end up in the s ..read more
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Approaches to Homeschool: Well-Educated Heart
Letters from Nebby
by nebby3
9M ago
When the Well-Educated Heart came to my attention, I thought I would be adding another Charlotte Mason curriculum to my list. What I found when I looked more closely was a full-orbed philosophy of education in its own right which, while it has some CM-influences, stands on its own. The Well-Educated Heart (WEH) is the work of one woman, Marlene Peterson, a homeschool mom and now grandma. She has put together a truly impressive quantity of material. The curriculum she gives us, called the Rotation, is fairly straightforward, but she has also supplied the books for this curriculum in her Librari ..read more
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Book Review: General Revelation by G.C. Berkouwer
Letters from Nebby
by nebby3
9M ago
I came to G.C. Berkouwer’s Studies in Dogmatics: General Revelation (Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans, 1955) with a bit of an agenda. I have said in my own philosophy of education that God’s general revelation is the fodder of education. Put another way, all that stuff we learn and teach our kids — math and literature and science and history and the arts — are subsumed under the heading we call general revelation. Yet there was something is this idea that I didn’t feel I had quite worked out. It is perhaps easier to envision how the knowledge we gain of the physical world could fall under the headin ..read more
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Let’s Play: Is It CM? (New Additions)
Letters from Nebby
by nebby3
1y ago
The field of available curricula is ever-expanding so once again we find ourselves with a new edition of “Is It CM?”, the game where we look at products marketed to homeschoolers as Mason-esque and ask “Really?” Today’s curriculum reviews will be added to my master Is It CM? page as well as to my Google docs chart of CM and CM-inspired curricula. For a look at how I evaluate these curricula, please see my Is It CM page where I discuss methodology and criteria. Here then is today’s game of: Is it CM? Tapestry of Grace Tapestry of Grace is not a new curriculum but I ..read more
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A Calvinist Looks at Netflix’s Dahmer (A Video Review)
Letters from Nebby
by nebby3
1y ago
I have hesitated to write this review because I know that the series itself is controversial. I am even a bit abashed to say that I did watch Netflix’s Dahmer series, but, well, I did. Towards the end of last year I had a lot of work that required my hands but not my brain so I wanted something to watch and I had heard that the series gave a pretty good presentation of the gospel message. Plus I was living in Wisconsin when Jeffrey Dahmer’s crimes were discovered so there was a base level of interest there and a feeling of connection to the events. A couple of caveats before we begin — First ..read more
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Is It CM?: New Entries
Letters from Nebby
by nebby3
1y ago
The homeschooling marketplace seems to be always expanding. One of the most frequent questions I get is “What about . . . curriculum? Is it CM?” My own days of active homeschooling are near their end, but I am going to try to keep up with what is out there just so you have it all on one place. Today’s curriculum reviews will be added to my master Is It CM? page as well as to my Google docs chart of CM and CM-inspired curricula. For a look at how I evaluate these curricula, please do see that Is It CM page where I discuss methodology and criteria. Here then is today’s game of: Is it CM? Lamp ..read more
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