Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Summer Reading Report

Does anyone remember having assigned summer reading back when they were in school? My mother often helped me out when I questioned the reasoning behind the selection of some of the books. When I complained about having to read "Nine Coaches Waiting," she patiently explained that my English teacher probably wrote a paper about that book, and as a consequence, the teacher did not have to do much preparation to discuss the story, and since the teacher knew it backwards and forwards, I had better read the whole thing. So, obeying my mother, I choked it down, and I hated it.

Thankfully, those school days are over. These days, I am left to my own devices when choosing what and when to read. Unfortunately, this places me in the role of being my own teacher, and that is not a wise choice of leadership. I pray that the Lord will lead me to good reading material. An interesting thread at StandFirm in Faith is available for those who wish to have a peek at the reading habits of others. There are a number of good suggestions there.

These days there are a number of good summer reads coming in the form of Internet publications. In the Summer 2009 edition of "Knowing and Doing," a publication of the C.S. Lewis Institute I was blessed to read,

C.S. Lewis and the Case Against Subjectivism
by Jerry Root, Ph.D. Adjunct Professor, Christian Formation and Ministry, Wheaton College

His paper is just 4 pages long, and even this simple pewster can follow his reasoning and even take away a few pearls. Here is one that shows up on page two of the .pdf file.
"Humility and honesty allow one to reason in community in ways that add perspective and corporate understanding. Evil, on the other hand, is destined to manifest itself in a culture leaning in the direction of subjectivism. Once an objective standard for morality is neglected, there is no longer any means for a proper appeal to objective reality whenever disputes arise; that is, there is no longer a way to settle disputes. Harmony is lost because the culture has no common tuning fork by which that harmony might be achieved."

Read the whole thing. Enjoy, and support the C.S. Lewis Institute!

P.S. After drafting this post, the subject of objective truth and how impossible it might be to discuss anything with those who deny such a thing came up over at the Anglican Curmudgeon's site. I commented on something that may pertain to this post as well. Here goes something,
During my lunch break, I chanced upon this collect in the 1928 BCP. I think it ties in with the subject of your post.

Offices of Instruction

O ALMIGHTY God, Who alone canst order the unruly wills and affections of sinful men; Grant unto thy people, That they may love the thing which thou commandest, And desire that which thou dost promise; That so, among the sundry and manifold changes of the world, Our hearts may surely there be fixed, Where true joys are to be found; Through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

The Curmudgeon points out that this collect is also in the 1979 BCP, as the "traditional" collect for the Fifth Sunday in Lent, p. 167.

(Be watchful for future BCP revisions to see if the "traditional collects" survive the revision.)

So, the summer reading questions for your book report presentation to the class are the following,
1. Is there an objective standard for morality?
2. Where is it to be found?
3. Is it contained in the Bible?
4. Is the Bible the Word of God?

Sorry class, but the teacher has probably written a paper about the subject, or at least a blog post, so, as Momma said, "You'd better read the whole Thing."

1 comment:

  1. An objective standard obviously exists, inasmuch a 1+1 is always two, every single time. As far as where we find it, certainly God's Word is the place to look, but more importantly, I believe God "hard wired" it into our human souls before the Fall from Grace. Thus, none of us will ever have the excuse that we never heard it. It is a part of us and we all choose to ignore it.

    The question of origins of morality is very troubling for those with a purely materialist view of the universe, because there really hasn't been a satisfactory answer to the question, "What is the evolutionary purpose of morality, when the rest of the animal kingdom exists and acts based upon a rubric of individual power and self interest, designed to protect solely the individual and perpetuate the species?"