Thank you for joining us for another Diakonos event! We pray our time together has challenged your thinking, and strengthened your reliance on the Lord to “serve those who serve Christ’s people.” Please avail yourself of some of the resources below.
Category Archives: posts
A Reply to Goodwin on Tucker & Ides
I highly recommend the substack by Mr. David Goodwin, Classical Christian Times. In a recent issue (April 25, 2023), he ran the column “The 8-year-saga at FOX News, the Ides of March, and the rise of the American Empire.” I felt compelled to leave the following comment. You can read Mr. Goodwin’s original article here. Ad fontes!
Dear Mr. Goodwin,
As someone who sincerely appreciated Carlson’s speech at the Heritage Foundation (below), and as someone who is grateful to God for Battle For the American Mind, I am very indebted to you.Continue reading
Poems For Easter
The beauty of the word can be such a blessing during the celebration of Easter, and the poems below are by masters. Who else but T.S. Eliot could illuminate Good Friday, especially from his Four Quartets as a response to hollow, wasteland decay? Herbert’s poems for Easter have been beloved for centuries, and the way he traces “stone” through Scripture, history, and the reader’s heart is masterful for Holy Saturday. Finally, Updike’s “Seven Stanzas” forces us to remember that this is no myth on Resurrection Sunday – the laws of physics and carnal materiality conspire with divine grace. Tolle lege! My runner up would be “The Stones” by Wendell Berry. Pair your readings below with “Spiegel im Spiegel (Arvo Pärt).”
The wounded surgeon plies the steel
That questions the distempered part;
Beneath the bleeding hands we feel
The sharp compassion of the healer’s art
Resolving the enigma of the fever chart.
Our only health is the disease
If we obey the dying nurse
Whose constant care is not to please
But to remind of our, and Adam’s curse,
And that, to be restored, our sickness must grow worse.
Insufferable Insolence – Fish & Chips Version
Probably like many of you, my timeline has been flooded with tributes & tears for the passing of Queen Elizabeth II.
C.S. Lewis had an interesting reflection upon the Queen’s initial coronation back in 1953. He wrote:Continue reading
Back To School? Start Right In Christ
With the school year back in the swing, it would be easy
1. Find a good church where the whole family worships together and attend every week.
Deep teaching, sincere Christ-focused worship (as opposed to simply entertaining), and participation in Sunday school, catechism, or other family-oriented Bible training helps greatly. It’s best if the whole family worships during the service together. (Of course, nursery aged children may be an exception.) Over time, even though you may not think so, the rhythm of regular, weekly church attendance tells your children “Christ is important to us, just like He is at your school.”
Remember, Christ’s bride is the church, not the school. If your church has membership, JOIN! If you don’t think your church is deepening you spiritually, look around and find one that does.
2. Eat dinner together every night.
Establish small, simple traditions: for example, a bell to ring everyone to the table and a job rotation setting the table. Setting the table with all of the utensils may seem unnecessary on pizza night, but the habit forms a love of family in its own small way. Find a liturgy (a regular habit) in your prayer for the meal. For example, in our house I always say the prayer, but the kids each get a turn to thank God for at least one thing. It’s easy to let busyness disrupt normalcy in our homes. The correlation between intentional stability in the practices at home and steady kids is clear. If your schedule is too hectic with all the sports, music lessons, etc.—simplify.
3. Model a love of great things.
Parents who enroll their students in a classical school but shrug and say, “That stuff is too complicated for me; I’m a regular Joe,” send a mixed message. Be honest. If you don’t love Shakespeare, Dickens, or Milton, tell your kids you are working toward loving it. And show that you are.
Some tips: Have a family reading time where everyone sits in the family room and reads their book. (Any book, it doesn’t have to be a classic.) Simple.
On the musical side, with an Amazon Echo and Prime, stations that play great top-100 classical, jazz, blues, and other genres are one voice command away.
4. Invest in your marriage.
I’ve seen some single parent situations produce some of our best graduates. But, I have to be honest: Sound marriages generally correlate with sound children. When students go through tough times in 7th–10th grade, mom and dad, united and steady, provide the keel and anchor for the storms. Dad: Be the spiritual leader. Drive the family to get ready for church, lead the prayers, read scripture at the table. Get together with other dads for book clubs, or Bible studies. And, love your wife. God honors generationally, so your love for Him will be reflected in your kids. Mom: Establish a household that reflects the order, goodness, gentleness, and beauty of God.
5. Love the way Christ loves.
Remember, our Father encourages and chastens those whom He loves. Parents should, too. Demanding parents, balanced with grace, turn out the best kids. It’s hard these days. Every model we have says, “Turn them loose and encourage them.” “Chasten them” is not popular. The best families I encounter demand much of their kids, and they love them greatly.
Semper Reformanda: Trauma?
Not many years ago, we were told we needed a new reformation, this time of deeds, not creeds. That was Rick Warren in 2005, some 17 years ago using church growth methods. The emergent movement took postmodern thought and said we need a new trajectory, a reformation not from a new (biblical/theological) center, but with a new direction.
Now we are a long way from those naïve decades, and so a new call arises:
Now comes the call for yet another reformation, this time employing the most up-to-date methods of the zeitgeist: trauma, structural/systemic measurements, and intersectionality.Continue reading
Faith & Reason
Fides et ratio, faith and reason. Christians adopt the position of fides quaerens intellectum – “faith seeking understanding.” Or, showing their hand a bit more, credo ut intelligam – “I believe that I may understand” (Anselm). While reason may distinguish humanity from the animal kingdom, Christians have distinguished ourselves by remembering the importance of faith. Rather than allowing our reason to dominate our decisions and days, or even trying to hold the two in an uneasy tension, divine revelation requires us to shape our understanding and experience of the world, and we aim for a reason that submits to revelation as received in faith.Continue reading
Christian Faithfulness In An Anxious Age
I was thankful to be invited to present at the Second Twin Cities Convivium Irenicum by The Davenant Institute. The above recording is the only surviving data; unfortunately a better video recording did not survive.
Everybody Needs A Drummer
I’ve never been a successful drummer, but I know that we all need that extreme, personality in every pretentious group. Please have a glass of water handy for the spit-takes that are sure to come in the videos below:Continue reading
Political Power Chastened By Scripture
“[The Advent story in Luke’s Gospel] also introduces the reader to some of the most powerful political powers of the time–and indeed, of all time.
Only then to ignore them.”
That’s how Rev. Bruce Clark begins his article at Mere Orthodoxy entitled “Advent and the Near Irrelevance of Political Power.” He points out that Luke – under the Holy Spirit – spends a great deal of time on shepherds, old fuddy-duddies like Simeon and Anna, but when Luke gets to Caesar:Continue reading