Teaching Again

Brother Jon,

I thought I’d see if I could get this thing rolling again.

This fall I get to teach a course on the history of philosophy to the high school kids in our homeschool co-op. The material, of course, will be an adaptation of what I taught all those years in the Intro to Philosophy course at Friends. Surprisingly, I am really looking forward to teaching again. I have missed it more than I thought I would. Anyway, I guess I was feeling a little clever when I put together the 10-week lesson plan, posted below. Thought you might like to see it. By the way, the title of the course was given to me. I do not believe that–in fact, quite the reverse.

You Are What You Think: The History of Philosophy
TEAM Fall 2010
Mr. Brandt

The purpose of this course is to give a survey of the way Western thinkers have asked and answered questions about what there is, how we know anything, and how we should live, with a view to the development of a coherent Christian worldview, and to equip students to recognize and critique the various competing worldviews of the postmodern age.

Week 1: “Worldview”: What is it? Definitions of terms and concepts.
Week 2: The world is made of what? Early Greek Philosophy and Plato
Week 3: Everything matters: Aristotle and Medieval Philosophy
Week 4: I Know Everything: Enlightenment Rationalism and Empiricism
Week 5: Enlightenment Progress goes ‘Boink’: David Hume and Immanuel Kant
Week 6: I’m still a Christian, you know: Enlightenment Ethics I
Week 7: Well, maybe not so much: Enlightenment Ethics II
Week 8: Now look what we’ve done: Postmodernism
Week 9: Understanding the World and Ourselves rightly: Christian Philosophy and Ethics
Week 10: We’re really the normal ones: Christian Philosophy and Ethics cont.; Wrap up

All students will be given a reading assignment to prepare them for the following week’s discussion. Students are encouraged to complete these reading assignments, which should not take longer than 30 minutes each week, so that they understand references made to the readings in class and have a taste of what philosophical literature is like.

For ½ credit:

  • Richard Adams, Watership Down. Students will read the novel in its entirety, answer the attached questions pertaining to the reading in full, and come for dinner at the Brandts’ home on Saturday, October 16, at 5 pm to discuss the novel.
  • Students will complete all primary source reading assignments and complete accompanying questions, to be turned in no later than December 3.
  • Students will complete a comprehensive take-home exam covering the course notes and readings no later than December 22.


Brother Jon,

Pretty lame that your wife hit you because someone on Hearthkeepers told her to.  To heck with them, I say.

Your friend,


Cranking it back up

Figured it was time to write something again on this blog.  So, I’ll start with an exegetical question for you.  How do you see Mark 1:1 functioning?  A title, a summary, only pertaining to the first few verses or the book as a whole?   What does “the beginning” refer to?  I am starting a study of Mark and trying to see what import this verse might have for the whole.  Thanks for your thoughts.

You da man,

Brother Jon

Right Back Atcha

Brother Jon,

Thanks for the birthday greetings.  Happy Birthday to you, too! Being 36 hours older than you, I feel I ought to have something especially wise and profound to say, but alas…

I’ve been reflecting on our last 12 birthdays.  That is pretty wild. Remember our first birthday party, with the Yoda cake and only one child between us? It seems like ages ago.

Anyway, I hope your birthday was a joyful one, and as always, gregoreite, stekete en te pistei, andrizesthe, krataiousthe.

You are the man.


Happy Birthday to You

A “Happy 37th” to you, my dear brother.  Hard to believe this is the 13th year for us to celebrate our birthdays together (at least in spirit, if not in body).  As always, let us remember Paul’s words in 1 Corinthians 16:

Be on your guard; stand firm in the faith; be men of courage; be strong.  Do everything in love.

The Lord’s blessings upon you, my friend.  I look forward to seeing you next week.

Grace and peace,


Here are some answers

Thanks for an easy post to respond to.  I am reluctant to respond to your “what is the gospel” post because the first thing I would do is contradict what all the nice folks said on your Xanga site. So here are some answers. 

1.  Anyone who says BBQ is bad for you is a Gnostic.

2. Don’t ask.  Just do it. Seriously.

3. Some folks are wishful thinkers.

4. Probably has something to do with the ‘school’ they went to.

5. $$$

6. She’s a lot prettier than you are.

7. 6-6, but only one game matters.

8. I asked her, and she said something crass that means “a lot”.

9. Peter Leithart

10. September 13, which is the Gregorian equivalent of September 22 by Shire-reckoning. Which as you know is Bilbo and Frodo’s birthday.

Answer me this

If BBQ is so bad for me, why does it taste so good?

If I already own more books than I could possibly read, why do I get this huge rush of adrenaline when I buy another one?

Why do some think Notre Dame’s football team is so much better this year?

Why do former KU basketball players get caught with marijuana at their NBA rookie camps?

Why does UVa schedule USC as their opening game?

Why does my wife’s blog get so much more traffic than mine?  (I already know the answer to this one)

How well will K-State do this year?  Opinions about the Aggies are not necessary.

How much yarn does it take for your wife to make you a pair of socks?

Which author has influenced you the most?

When will you start reading the Lord of the Rings again?  I know you say ‘Fall’ but that is kinda hard to determine down here in Texas.

Inquiring mind wants to know.

Brother Jon