real encouragement for real homeschooling moms

great thought #33

“Biographies are the great antidote to cultural myopia and chronological snobbery.” John Piper



  Julie wrote @

So true! I remember learning about “chronological snobbery” in my college class on C.S. Lewis. I remember it every time I see some product labeled “new and improved”. It’s not necessarily true, but it sure is assumed.

I love Piper’s sermon series called Men of Whom the World Was Not Worthy, David Brainerd and John Patton are two of my favorites.

  Lynn wrote @

Isn’t there a chronological snobbery that is the reverse of what Piper and CS Lewis are talking about?

We have to beware — just because something is old does not make it right, and long standing traditions of men may be falsely equated to the same plane as Scripture, when in fact they may be an acceptable application of Scripture among many other acceptable applications.

I’m sorry, but the New Covenant is most certainly “New” and it is “Improved.” Hebrews says if there were no fault with the first one, then there would have been no occasion for a second.

What good biographies do, though, is they broaden our perspectives, so that we may see our present culture through different mental lenses, and this is a good thing.

  thatmom wrote @

It seems to me that chronological snobbery can run both directions. If you spend time with people in the “greatest generation,” a term that in and of itself is pretty snobby if you ask me, you often hear the lamenting for times gone by and even a pride in the fact that they didn’t use some of the new-fangled things we use today…like computers! On the other hand, if you spend time with an older teen, you often hear another sort of snobbery, an attitude that they cannot be taught anything at all from anyone. Perhaps Piper might mean this perspective on snobbery as well.

One thing that has helped me so much as I have read biographies has been seeing that people really have the same struggles and the same sinful tendencies no matter what the generation. That itself tells me that simply going back to another time in history certainly wouldn’t solve the problems we face in our culture today. To me, the only difference is that we can hear about so many things because we have online access, things we might never know about otherwise. But people still do the same sorts of things and get into trouble in the same ways.

This is also one reason I love history so much. It confirms what Solomon said in Ecclesiates:m “There is nothing new under the sun.” We can learn so much about ourselves by reading about other people because they are truly just like us. The frontier in the 1860’s was found in the West. The frontier of the 1960’s was space. Today our frontier is so wide and expansive but includes things like medical ethics, what to do with the ever-changing technology, the decreasing differences among people, etc.

Sorry to ramble…

  TulipGirl wrote @

Speaking of biographies. . . Piper has a great collection of biographies in MP3 and written essay format.

  TulipGirl wrote @

(Btw, some are great to listen to with kids. . . some you’ll want to wait until they are older.)

  KellyH wrote @

Hi Karen!

This is timely, as I am currently looking for some good inspiring books to read. Not deeply theological though. Any suggestions!

Love the picture of the grandbabies- and the one of you and Mollie after she was born.


  thatmom wrote @

HI Kelly!!

Have you read anything by Carolyn Custis James? I think you would enjoy her writing and it certainly is inspiring. Lost Women of the Bible is excellent as is When Life and Beliefs Collide. Also, I have been reading Keeping House: The LItany of Everyday Life by Margaret Kim Peterson which is so encouraging. Here is a quote that my friend, Joy, recently shared on her blog:

“A household has to be tended if it is to flourish and grow. Housework is never “done” in the same sense that gardening is never done or that God’s providential involvement in the world is never done. Housework and gardening and God’s providence itself are exercises not in futility but in faithfulness- faithfulness to the work itself, to the people whose needs that work serves, and to the God whose own faithfulness invites our faithful response.

Work is also incarnational. When God comes to the aid of his sad and broken creation, He does so not in some abstract way, simply willing for people to be healed but keeping his distance from the messy reality of their lives. On the contrary, God comes to live among human beings as one of us, including all of our bodily messiness. Redemption is profoundly, essentially physical; the Jesus who shared, and shares, your humanity and mine lived and suffered and died on our behalf.”

How is everything with your family?

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