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Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Smoke and Mirrors

I was accused of selling that today.

Now, I tend to have rather thick skin and I know my stuff well enough to not be too bothered by such comments. But still, it sticks... "like a splinter in your mind" to continue quoting the film.

Smoke and Mirrors

But I'm not interested in smoke and mirrors. There's too much of that already.

And that's the problem. The problem is not that I am purposely deceiving people with my amazing skill with smoke and mirrors, but that there is far too much of something else:

Haze and fog.

Perhaps you have been gifted with incredible clarity and can discern all truth right out--which would be super impressive if it wasn't so annoying <smile>--but if you're anything like me then you and I both see but dimly.

The haze and fog of life disrupts my ability to see everything exactly as it is. And that is why I'm still learning. Because I don't know it all, and I don't plan to either. Not that it wouldn't be nice to be omniscient...

 ~Luke Holzmann
Filmmaker, Writer, Expectant Father


Happy Elf Mom (Christine) said...

Boy, it must stink to be a moderate, Luke!

...unless you are trying to deceive me on that...

mary grace said...

This only pops into my head because we're reading a Sproul book over here: but maybe you're fighting a losing battle? Maybe they weren't predestined to know the Truth, so they're seeing the Emperor fully dressed while you see him as completely naked?

Unknown said...

I thought I was sort of basically familiar with the blogosphere part of your job, Luke. You keep track of what people are saying about Sonlight on the web. Got it. Makes sense. But all my little sheltered mind could fathom was that the worst was "my box came damaged" or "this book sucks" or whatever from disgruntled parents. But wow. It's so much more than that. As I've said before, it is definitely a wonderful and comforting fact that the Holy Spirit is the Convincer of Hearts.

JJ Ross said...

These comments are helpful, honestly, to understanding. That thread isn't about Sonlight as Christian curriculum but evaluating it for secular homeschoolers focused on "reason" and "inquiry" rather than bible education per se.

I agree with Mary Grace that it's surely a losing battle to market religious Truth as secular academics to perfectly ordinary American parents predestined not to get it (thus for damnation? wow, then I've still got a lot to learn about Sonlight-esque hidden curriculum!)

And "my little sheltered mind" as Becky so aptly puts it, seems to confirm the concern we were discussing, that such curriculum *is* sheltering despite its academics, to the point it isn't comprehensive preparation for real life anywhere but within the bosom of that shelter's believer community.

Finally, if Sonlight users aren't choosers but chosen, if its use is results from the Holy Spirit as the Convincer of Hearts, then I see no room for home education customers who instead research, compare and then make rational decisions for their own children, with their own capable minds.

Luke, I think you and I are back to the Tower of Babel again. It can't be reconciled. You have an impossible job.

mary grace said...

JJ, please note that I'm not actually endorsing predestination. I am not a Calvinist, nor do I play one in the blogosphere. I strongly believe in the concept of Free Will and, on a sliding doctrinal scale, would find myself more closely aligned with Jacobus Arminius than the much-celebrated Calvin. Not knowing me (or being familiar with my blog, etc.) you would have no way of knowing that my comment was made simply as a thought-provocation.

Believe it or not, even Christians like to have fun. Granted, it's sometimes steeped in obscure theology ... but it's fun nonetheless. :-)

I am nowhere near as eloquent as Luke in defending Sonlight, nor am I employed by said company. However, I am confused as to how a company that sells its wares under banners clearly labeling itself "CHRISTIAN" can be accused of peddling its products as "secular academics." Perhaps I need to reexamine my understanding of Socratic logic?

JJ Ross said...

Hi Mary Grace, heck no, you and I are on understanding each other perfectly! I have exactly the same question:

"I am confused as to how a company that sells its wares under banners clearly labeling itself "CHRISTIAN" can be accused of peddling its products as "secular academics."

It was not the original post but Luke himself as the first commenter, who's been sweetly trying to explain otherwise, how Sonlight is truly both a candy AND a gum (the marketing line for fictional Razzles in a Jennifer Garner comedy -- and they turn your tongue an artificial red too!)

JJ Ross said...

In the interest of full disclosure, let me quickly add that I am a professional educator but radical unschooling parent -- so I don't think much of any curriculum no matter what claims it makes! They ALL are pale, puyny pretenders for profit to me, mere inadequate and limited imitations of real learning and thinking with real books and real inquiry in the real world -- for the real world! -- to me. :)

Luke Holzmann said...

Mrs. C, I don't mind being moderate--in most cases--because I hope it helps me see through the haze and fog <smile>. Though, I do like coming down all "fire and brimstone" every now and again <laughing>.

Mary Grace, you're so funny <smile>. Love it.

Becky, I may be stepping out a little beyond my specific role here at Sonlight. But I do it because it helps keep me on my toes, involved in the homeschool community beyond Sonlight--so I gain a better understanding of homeschooling at large, and interests me <smile>.

JJ, "comprehensive preparation" is a tad much for any education that is limited by time constraints. That's why Sonlight, with you, agrees that life-long learning is the best <smile>. As for the rest, since you disagree at the outset with our worldview and our methodology--reading books rather than "inadequate and limited imitations of real learning and thinking with ... real inquiry in the real world" (though Sonlight is solidly based on real books; though, I assume you dismiss many of those as well)--you are right: Convincing you of Sonlight's viability is impossible <smile>.



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Luke Holzmann
Filmmaker, Writer, Empty Nester
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