Saturday, October 24, 2009

Almost Home

A decent review of the new Evergreen Terrace album, Almost Home pretty much sums up my own thoughts:
Evergreen Terrace is [a] band that sticks to what they know. What they know is fun, melodic hardcore with breakdowns galore. They do this better than anyone else...

At times [the new album] is angrier than anything they have ever done, and at times Evergreen Terrace reaches a level of melody that they never previously reached. [source]

Friday, October 16, 2009

The Descent of the Holy Spirit

Another addition to our collection:

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Lewis on Church Membership

Here, one devil writes to another:
My dear Wormwood,

You mentioned casually in your last letter that the patient has continued to attend one church, and one only, since he was converted, and that he is not wholly pleased with it? Why have I no report on the causes of his fidelity to the parish church? Do you realize that unless it is due to indifference it is a very bad thing? Surely you know that if a man can't be cured of churchgoing, the next best thing is to send him all over the neighborhood looking for the church that 'suits' him until he becomes a taster or connoisseur of churches.

The reasons are obvious. In the first place the parochial organisation should always be attacked, because, being a unity of place and not of likings, it brings people of different classes and psychology together in the kind of unity the Enemy desires. The congregational principle, on the other hand, makes each church into a kind of club, and finally, if all goes well, into a coterie or faction. In the second place, the search for a 'suitable' church makes the man a critic where the Enemy wants him to be a pupil. What He wants of the layman in church is an attitude which may, indeed, be critical in the sense of rejecting what is false or unhelpful, but which is wholly uncritical in the sense that it does not appraise - does not waste time in thinking about what it rejects, but lays itself open in uncommenting, humble receptivity to any nourishment that is going. (You see how grovelling, how unspiritual, how irredeemably vulgar He is!) This attitude, especially during sermons, creates the condition (most hostile to our whole policy) in which platitudes can become really audible to a human soul. There is hardly any sermon, or any book, which may not be dangerous to us if it is received in this temper. So pray bestir yourself and send this fool the round of the neighboring churches as soon as possible. Your record up to date has given us much satisfaction...

Your affectionate uncle
Screwtape [pp. 81-82]
There's something here for all of us.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Role Models

Dr. Perry Cox is, without a question, the character I most revere and aim to emulate as I grow and mature as a leader of America's youth:
Of course, I've got a long way to go.

Friday, October 9, 2009

Not Kidding

Having moved on to The Screwtape Letters, I'm continually impressed by Lewis' (we'll call it) "extrinsicism" - that is, Lewis' emphasis on the "externals" of religion.

Very frequently Lewis rails against introspective religion (that is, that self-centered piety that consists of heavy doses of self-examination). In his biography, I read a letter in which he believed that abstaining from introspection was the key to avoiding insanity in one's later life. In Mere Christianity, he virtually identifies humility as the opposite of introspection. And in The Screwtape Letters he has more or less identified that sort of piety as the subtlest form of idolatry, one of the demons' key tactics in causing apostasy.

(This is not even to mention his oft-quoted discussion on the sacramental nature of matter and spirituality, in which he points out that "God likes matter. He invented it.")

In retrospect, it's pretty obvious that my early encounters with Lewis' cleared the way for Peter Leithart's later iconoclastic tract, Against Christianity. (And this is all to say that the entirety of the Federal Vision controversy can be summed up in the question: Was C.S. Lewis Reformed?)

Friday, October 2, 2009

¿Dónde está mi chica puertorriqueña?

On Monday, the powers-that-be transferred my little Puerto Rican girl to a team with more Spanish speaking teachers. Sad, but probably for the best for her. Today, however, she came by and handed me a brown bag filled with chocolates and a card from her mom:
Hi, Mr. Schultz,

I wish to thank you so much... and [the little Puerto Rican girl] as well!

For us, you are a great teacher and a human being. I am sorry that you will not be [the little Puerto Rican girl]'s math teacher anymore but I am sure she will never forget you. Good luck in all aspects of your life and keep up the good work! You realy got a positive result out of [the little Puerto Rican girl].

It's nice for lots of reasons, not least because it was the first spontaneous gift I've ever received from a parent.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

My Sweet New Ride

bikee [source]