Becoming Wise In College

I just ran across a very interesting article, How To Become Educated Despite Going to College (yet another entry from the engaging J. Budziszewski

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).

In this dialog, the fictional Professor Theophilus recommends the very real Student Self‐Reliance Project from the Intercollegiate Studies Institute (read a somewhat hostile evaluation of ISI’s aims).

They have some absolutely extraordinary guides to books and scholars that you should acquaint yourself with–and these are books and scholars who don’t often make it onto your classroom reading lists.

Judge With Right Judgment

J. Budziszewski has a fascinating article over at Boundless about what it means to “not judge.”

“Zack, where Jesus instructs his disciples ‘Judge not,’ what do you think He means?”

“What is there not to get?”

“You didn’t answer my question.”

“It means don’t judge. Don’t make judgments. Don’t sit in judgment. Stop judging people.”

I laughed. “It’s a good thing you don’t write dictionaries. ‘Judging’ means several different things. Wouldn’t it be good to know which one Jesus was talking about?”

“He didn’t say, so He must have meant all of them.”

“In that case, you’re guilty.”

“But I told my friends not to judge. I condemned their judgmentalism.”

“Didn’t you judge that Anton didn’t mean what he advertised? Didn’t you judge that Cleo wasn’t trying to be sleazy?”

“But I wasn’t, like, sitting in judgment.”

“Sure you were. You judged them ‘innocent.’ ”

doesn’t that just make you want to read it all?

Stanford Is The Fourth‐Coolest University In America

Hey–how come we’re only fourth?

According to Seventeen magazine, Stanford is the fourth‐coolest campus in America. What I want to know is–how in the world did we fail to attain the number one spot?

In any event, the Stanford Daily has a somewhat tounge‐in‐cheek (yet appreciative) response.

Unfortunately, I was unable to find the original article online. Here’s the Stanford Daily’s summary:

Stanford revels in its rep as the best of the West, and even more important what other school can boast its own campus mall! the article said. Stress relief is big on this campus of notorious overachievers: Students are aggressively casual, the most popular for‐credit sport is windsurfing, and almost 20 percent of those who go on to graduate drop out for a semester or two along the way (part of a formal policy called stop‐out).

The magazine described the campus as looking like an upscale taquera, and praised the warm weather, the suburban setting that feels secure and the proximity to San Francisco.

The magazine also included a picture of bikini‐clad bikers, noting owning a bike is practically required.

The University was even noted for the quality of boys on campus. As for boys ever see the hunks snapped in the tabloids with Chelsea Clinton before she graduated from here? Hope she left some for the rest of us. Boy‐girl ratio: 48:52.

One Hectic Week: 1700 Miles in 7 Days

Glen runs all over creation!

Glen answering students' questions at Rock Your Campus

On a personal note, last week was one of the most hectic I’ve had in a while. In the last seven days I’ve put 1700 miles on my car!

It started off with a trip up to Dunsmuir, CA to meet with a pastors’ gathering, and it was constant motion from then on.

The weekend didn’t provide a single bit of respite–if anything, the pace picked up! Saturday morning I taught a workshop in Davis, and then I preached in Burlingame Saturday night, in San Bruno Sunday morning, and attended a missions banquet in San Jose Sunday evening.

Glen and Paula with some Stanford students at Rock Your Campus

Yikes!

By the way, the top picture is of me conducting the workshop at Rock Your Campus which I titled “Reasonable Answers to Honest Questions” and I helped students process topics ranging from capital punishment and just‐war theory to the levitical code and the existence of suffering. It was fun!

The bottom picture is Paula and I with some of the Stanford students we brought to this ministry training event.

USC Prof Dallas Willard On Christianity

University of Southern California philosophy prof Dallas Willard was just interviewed by Relevant Magazine.

He had some interesting things to say: I encourage you to read the article. One excerpt which I thought was particularly relevant to us at Stanford: You know, what we need to do as Christians is to learn to think carefully and well. And that means, as Paul says, try all things, put everything to the test. But you know, were really quite lazy mentally as Christians. We dont feel, I believe, that God is really on the side of thinking or thinking on the side of God, and as a result, we dont discipline ourselves to think. Now, I must tell you there are a lot of young Christians who are coming through the universities now who are good thinkers. I think were really going to see a change in the future on this. J.P. Moreland has a wonderful book: Love God With All Your Mind, which is a beautiful expression of the right approach to these issues. Then we dont have to worry about modernism or postmodernism, or anything else. We just put everything to the test. (read the whole thing)

It’s Not Lycanthropy That Threatens Stanford

In which Stanford students display that wisdom and intelligence are not synonymous.

Well, tonight will see the annual practice of a particularly devilish Stanford tradition: Full Moon on the Quad.

In most of our minds, the only cultural reference we have to full moons involves lycanthropy (that’s a 50 cent word referring to werewolves).

At Stanford, Full Moon means something completely different (and I’m not sure the metaphor of man turning into beast is entirely inappropriate).

For Stanford students, Full Moon on the Quad is a major cultural initiation: freshmen head to the quad and get royally smooched (kissed within an inch of their lives) by seniors. As you might imagine, the evening has more than a hint of debauchery about it.

Here’s an excerpt from the Stanford Daily: In theory the very idea of it is quite romantic lovers kissing under the gentle moonlight amidst a sea of endless stars, a beautiful church hangs as a backdrop, and all around you frolicking naked people dance drunkenly to techno music. Well, on second thought, Full Moon on the Quad is devoid of all romance. (full article)

FMOTQ is a true Stanford tradition… and one more evidence that Stanford needs Jesus!

There are lots of web links related to this festival, including a poem, tame photo galleries (here’s one and here’s another), and a mildly humorous essay entitled Got Mono?.

Cool Archaelogical Discovery Corroborates the New Testament

In yet another case of archaelogy confirming the biblical record, scholars recently announced the discovery of an ancient ossuary bearing the inscription James, son of Joseph, brother of Jesus.

The relic has been dated to just before 70 A.D., which jives with the biblical dating of the death of James.

You can read the details at Christianity Today (very pro), National Geographic (pretty neutral), and the New York Times (slightly skeptical).

Incidentally, you might be intrigued to note that the inscription pronounced phonetically sounds like “Yacob son of Yussef brother of Yeshua.”

Yacob? Who’s Yacob?

James and Jacob are both legitimate English equivalents of the Hebrew Yacob.
Betcha didn’t learn that in Sunday School…

I’ve heard that this dates back to translation of the King James Bible. As you probably know, names are often radically changed when Anglicized, and often for nonphonetic reasons. The story I heard claimed that the translators of the King James Bible decided to dub the brother of Jesus James as a thank‐you to their sponsor. It sounds like an urban legend to me, but stranger things have happened.

Who Are The Best and Worst People Of All Time?

I just ran across a very interesting website by Clifford Pickover which purports to rank the best and worst people in all of history.

Here are his picks:

Evil People
1. Tomas de Torquemada
2. Vlad Tepes (Vlad the Impaler)
3. Adolph Hitler
4. Ivan the Terrible
5. Adolph Eichmann
6. Pol Pot
7. Mao Tse‐tung
8. Idi Amin
9. Joseph Stalin
10. Genghis Khan
11. H. H. Holmes
12. Gilles de Rais

Good People
1. Buddha
2. Baha’u’llah
3. Dalai Lama
4. Jesus Christ
5. Moses
6. Mother Theresa
7. Abraham Lincoln
8. Martin Luther King
9. Mohandas Gandhi

Obviously, we as Christians would radically differ in his assessment of Jesus, and I personally have questions about the relative ranking of many individuals on his list. Still, the exercise is an intriguing one: who would you rank as the most righteous and most vile people of all time?

A Stanford Homecoming

In which I learn that the current FBI director and the former U.S. Secretary of State are Stanford alumni.

This weekend was Stanford’s homecoming celebration, highlighted by a victory over the Arizona Wildcats!

Reading the Stanford Daily news article about this homecoming, I was once again struck by how influential this school is. I already knew that four of our nine Supreme court justices are Stanford alumni, but I didn’t know that Stanford could also boast of Robert Mueller (the F.B.I. director) and former U.S. Secretary of State Warren Christopher.

What a mission field–today they learn, tomorrow they lead!

Ehud Barak Spoke at Stanford last night

former Israeli prime minister and Stanford grad pontificates at Stanford’s Memorial Auditorium

Ehud Barak, former Israeli Prime Minister and Stanford grad, spoke in Memorial Auditorium last night.

Read the school paper’s write‐up, which contains several interesting anecdotes, such as this one about how Barak, who served in the Israeli Defense Force for over 30 years and is often described as Israels most decorated soldier, illustrated the need for ruthless resolve as he recounted some of his most memorable operations against Palestinian militants. He told the audience about a successful raid he led on a hijacked airplane, and he described the execution of a Hamas leader he carried out while disguised as a female brunette with everything in place, he laughed, gesturing toward his chest.

of course, such an event could not pass without protest (albeit peaceful)

and in an interview beforehand he made an observation that I found particularly relevant to my calling as a campus missionary: Though Barak ultimately left his mark on the world not through academia but rather through the military and politics, he said that he considers universities to be at the forefront of international leadership.

Somehow, the university is the place where the leadership of the future in all areas of life is formed, he said. Since the best and the brightest are coming through … these institutions, they have a great influence on the leadership of this nation and nations as a whole. (source universal remote divx )