Category: Snyderian Truisms

Truths that apply to all of life.

The Crossroads of Life

Decisions. Hard choices. Encountering a crossroad and not sure which way to go. Why is life so difficult at times? What about that little shortcut I see? Maybe I can take that and experience less pain. After all, isn’t that what life is—finding the best way to avoid pain and misery? Yet what if I’m mistaken? What if life’s pains are where I find the greatest meaning over time? C. S. Lewis, in an essay, “The Vision of John Bunyan,”… Read more »

Higher Education Sometimes Isn’t

Let’s compare the myth with what is all too often the reality about what occurs in a college education. The myth is that the four years spent in the arena of higher education is a time when the student will be able, under wise direction from professors, to sift through a variety of worldviews and learn how to become discerning in a quest for what is genuine and what is not. That has been somewhat fictional all along, simply because… Read more »

What People Don’t Know

Teaching about Andrew Jackson and his faith in the common people the other day, I noted another of my Snyderian truisms: “Public opinion polls are not the fount of all wisdom.” I mentioned to my class that it really would be nice if voters had some concept of how our government was set up in the Constitution and what limitations there are on the federal government’s authority before allowing them to vote. Of course, it would be rather unwieldy to… Read more »

Snyderian Truism #13–Sincerely Wrong Beliefs

Well, at least he’s sincere. How many times have you heard that? It’s a cliché that’s supposed to cover all sins. The problem is that we equate sincerity with truth, or at least we say we “respect” someone who is trying to follow what he/she believes. There is one thing we need to keep in mind, though: A sincere belief can be sincerely wrong. That’s Snyderian Truism #13 in my ever-expanding list of what I think ought to be undeniable… Read more »

Snyderian Truism #12

The word “compromise” can give off both positive and negative vibes. Is it a good word or one to avoid? Well, the answer is “yes.” What do I mean? It depends on the particular compromise. Here’s how I try to encapsulate it in one pithy statement: A compromised principle leads to unrighteousness, but a principled compromise is a step closer to the principle’s ideal. This comes up when I teach about the Constitutional Convention. At one point, the Convention was… Read more »

Snyderian Truism #11

Another semester comes to a close tonight with the fall commencement at Southeastern University. I’m in my twenty-fifth year of teaching at the college level and have now witnessed a multitude of these. As I watch the graduates cross the stage and receive their diplomas, I hope that the four years they have invested were worth all the effort and the money that was spent. At least I have a higher comfort level at a university like SEU, knowing that… Read more »

Snyderian Truism #10

When I talk about the dangers of government-controlled education, I share one of the truisms I use in my American history survey courses. It goes like this: Value-neutral education is a myth; everyone teaches from a distinctive worldview. When certain groups wanted to change education in the nineteenth century, one of the goals was to take education away from the influence of the churches. They said it was wrong to have what they called “sectarian” education. Instead, they promoted a… Read more »