Welcome to Varied Expressions of Worship

Welcome to Varied Expressions of Worship

This blog will be written from an orthodox Christian point of view. There may be some topic that is out of bounds, but at present I don't know what it will be. Politics is a part of life. Theology and philosophy are disciplines that we all participate in even if we don't think so. The Bible has a lot to say about economics. How about self defense? Is war ethical? Think of all the things that someone tells you we should not touch and let's give it a try. Everything that is a part of life should be an expression of worship.

Keep it courteous and be kind to those less blessed than you, but by all means don't worry about agreeing. We learn more when we get backed into a corner.

Friday, March 9, 2012

Opus 2012-54, Teaching Reading

You may get tired of hearing about Alistair Begg but I find his preaching to be a constant challenge.  I don’t always agree with him when he gets off on his Calvinism or expresses his total rejection of the Catholic church, but for the most part he takes the Bible and forces me to see its truth.  Often he says things that get my mind going on a tangent.  I am about half a year behind the current broadcast but that is the joy of I-Poding.  It is there when you are ready for it.

Recently Begg made a comment about being a child looking at comic books.  He shared how you could look at the pictures and even if you did not read the captions you could figure out what was going on.  You did not need to be able to read to figure it out.  This is a point that modern educators do not want to admit.  Comic books make it possible for students to reject reading.

And comic books have been promoted.  They are no longer comic books.  They are now “graphic novels.”  Our libraries are stocking them instead of the real thing.  The reasoning is that if we can get them reading anything then we might be able to trick them into reading.  I will grant that there will be an occasional success story with this theme, but it is not the norm.  How many children will pick up their own clothes if mommy will do it for them?  How many children, or adults for that matter, will scarf on vegetables when turned loose at the local buffet?  When I go to the Mongolian Barbeque I notice that it has a salad bar but I don’t waste my time there.

In the same way, you can’t get most people to read by letting them look at pictures.

People are different.  They respond differently.  When my son was seven he could not read a word.  We were not worried.  He was not ready.  Not forcing the issue was one of the reasons we home schooled.  A year later I found myself checking each night to make sure he was not reading under the covers with a flashlight. 

Some people take to reading like a duck to water or even like a fish.  You don’t need to worry about them.  They will get it.  Others take to reading like a cat to water, some like a rock to water.  A cat can swim and will swim, but just enough to get out of the water.  They can, but they refuse.  It brings them no joy.  Let people be cats.  They are ready to face life

The rock readers present a real problem.  This is where we should be putting our effort.  This is the challenge.  These are the people we are ignoring.  We need to take a long hard look at the problem.  Do they fail to read because they are incapable, because they are lazy or because they had a genuine disability? 

In modern education we assume it is a disability.  I would suggest that there are some people who do not have the orientation to read.  It is not a matter of being stupid, although it may look that way.  In theology we have the concept of spiritual gifts.  In education they have the idea of styles of learning.  I find it almost impossible to take a saw and cut a board straight and to the proper length.  I am not stupid.  I am not uncoordinated.  I am unable to the point where I avoid it as long as possible.  I am willing to accept that there are some people who are this way when it comes to reading.

They are not ducks.  They are not cats.  They are rocks.  We need to stop trying to change who they are and get on with the business of life.  If that means that they can only mow lawns then let them mow lawns.  Let them be the best lawn mowers in the world and the world will beat a path to their doors.

homo unius libri


  1. NOW! NOW! You KNOW that we must force everyone into the same mold. Society can't deal with anyone who's different.

  2. Is that why I don't fit in and I would guess that you often feel like the square peg?

    I often feel like public schools are just factories of mediocrity.

    Grace and peace.


Comments are welcome. Feel free to agree or disagree but keep it clean, courteous and short. I heard some shorthand on a podcast: TLDR, Too long, didn't read.