So this happened last week:
http://www.radiotimes.com/news/2017-01-30/peter-capaldi-confirms-hes-leaving-doctor-who-at-the-end-of-series-10: Peter Capaldi confirms he's leaving Doctor Who at the end of series 10
And I was like:
06 February 2017
So this happened last week:
03 January 2017
Happy 2017 everyone! Looking through the archives, I just realized that this is the eighth year in a row that I will be continuing my tradition of doing an awards list for the books I've read in the past year. I do this partly for myself so that I can look back and remember what books especially stood out for me each year and partly for any readers as a source of book recommendations.
This was a particularly big reading year for me. I don't know how that happened, as I didn't set out to read more books than usual. I guess it was just a good year for reading. In any case, here's how the awards work. I have a set of categories, which are usually pretty standard, but fluctuate over time. For each category, I pick the book I read in the past year that I enjoyed the most. The only books in the running are books I'm reading for the first time this year, so it's possible that I may have a really good book on my reading list that doesn't get picked because I've read it before.
With all that in mind, allow me to present the awards for 2016!
Best Fiction Book I Read This Year:
A Canticle for Leibowitz by Walter Miller
Best History Book I Read This Year:
Lost Worlds by Leonard Cottrell
This book is a bit on the dated side with some of its information, but it was just so much fun to read.
Best Theology Book I Read This Year:
The Works of Aurelius Augustine, Vol. 9 (J. F. Shaw and S. D. Salmond, trans.)
The Universe and Dr. Einstein by Lincoln Barnett
Fermat's Enigma by Simon Singh
Best Nonfiction Book (Other) That I Read This Year:
Daring Greatly by Brené Brown
Best Book I Read Out Loud to My Kids This Year:
Lizard Music by Daniel Pinkwater
15 December 2016
“The fact is that over a period of three centuries numerous evolutions of European society took place, and different alliances came into play: between the urban clergy and the feudal lords, to oppress the populace; between clergy and the populace to escape the pressure of the knights; between monks and feudal lords against the urban clergy; between urban clergy and national monarchies; between national monarchies and great monastic orders…The list could continue to infinity…These relationships of strength, however, would remain purely aleatory if they were not disciplined by a power structure in which everyone is consentient and prepared to recognize himself as part of that structure. To this end, there intervenes rhetoric, the ordering and modelizing function of language, which with infinitesimal shifts of accent legitimizes certain relationships of strength and criminalize others. Ideology takes shape: The power born from it becomes truly a network of consensus, beginning from below, because the relationships of strength have been transformed into symbolic relationships.”
30 November 2016
“Nobody should be allowed to burn the American flag - if they do, there must be consequences - perhaps loss of citizenship or year in jail!”
26 November 2016
When we think of Martin Luther, we often picture a fat man with a grumpy,
pugnacious disposition. The second part of that picture probably comes from
being familiar with Luther's polemic writings without putting them in the
context of similar writings by other authors of that time period, and also from
not being familiar with Luther's more pastoral writings and sermons. The first
part of the picture, that Luther was a very fat man, comes from the fact that
most of the portraits we have of him come from when he was an older man and had
become portly through the good cooking and good beer of his wife, Katie.
But a witness of Luther's disputation with Eck at Leipzig paints a very different picture of Luther. Luther was 35 years old at the time, and this is how he is described:
"Martin is of middle height, emaciated from care and study, so that you can almost count his bones through his skin. he is in the vigor of manhood and has a clear, penetrating voice. He is learned and has the Scripture at his fingers' ends. He knows Greek and Hebrew sufficiently to judge of the interpretations. A perfect forest of words and ideas stands at his command. He is affable and friendly, in no sense dour or arrogant. He is equal to anything. In company he is vivacious, jocose, always cheerful and gay no matter how hard his adversaries press him."
23 November 2016
If you haven't seen Tweet Mashup yet, go check it out. It's hilarious. Just put two twitter accounts into the machine, and, voila, you get an instant idea of what would happen if two people were merged into one. I was playing around yesterday wondering what would happen if Joel Osteen and Donald Trump were the same person. Here are a couple of the results.
|God is counting on Floridians to vote the right way.|
|To be fair, I think there are some Republicans out there who probably pray this.|
22 November 2016
J. Gresham Machen, in the 1923 book Christianity and Liberalism,
makes a good point that Christians in America
need to hear today.
21 November 2016
10 November 2016
It was the fall of 2003. I had returned to college from summer break, and I had exciting news that I had to share with someone. While volunteering at our church's day school that week, I mentioned to my pastor that I now had a girlfriend. I'll never forget his response. He didn't congratulate me or slap me on the back or even really smile. He looked me right in the eye and said, "So, what are you doing with this girl, Rick?" At first, I was a bit baffled because I thought he was asking if we were, you know, having sex. "Nothing!" I responded. But it turns out, he wasn't thinking anything like that. He was asking me what my plans were for this relationship. Was I just using this girl as arm candy, someone to have fun with when I'm not doing school? Or was I considering whether we were compatible for marriage? What was the goal? At the end of the conversation he said, "I expect that in a few months, you should have decided to either marry this girl or to turn her loose. She sounds like a sharp girl, and it would be wrong to ask her to limit her future options for you just because you want to have fun." Wow. That was heavy, and unlike anything I had thought of before. And within a year of that conversation, my wife and I were married.
I recalled this conversation recently while reading the book Scary Close by Donald Miller. In one chapter, Miller recounts an exchange he had with with a friend and counselor.
"The whole thing reminded me of a conversation I'd had with my friend Al Andrews. Al is a counselor with a practice in Nashville. We were driving once when I confessed to him I'd hung out the previous week with a girl I probably shouldn't be hanging out with. She was in a bad marriage and had leaned a little too much on me and I confessed I liked it. I liked playing the wise, kind counselor and yet at the same time it felt unwise and even wrong. Al sat there and nodded and didn't have the slightest look of judgment on his face. Finally, when I finished rambling, he said, "Don, all relationships are teleological."There are many pastors who could have avoided a lot of trouble had they thought in these terms. Likewise, married people who have close friends of the opposite sex other than their spouses should take heed. Where are those playful conversations and cups of coffee together leading? In fact speaking of couples in general, it's important to remember that marriages are also relationships, not stagnant contracts. You and your spouse are either growing closer or growing more distant from one another. Realizing this fact should cause you to be more intentional about your interactions with everyone around you. All relationships are teleological. Where are yours going?
I asked him what the word teleological meant.
"It means they're going somewhere," Al said. "All relationships are living and alive and moving and becoming something. My question to you," Al said seriously, "is, where is the relationship you've started with this woman going?"
I knew the answer to that question immediately. It wasn't going anywhere good. Within months, I'd be this married woman's surrogate husband, the man she could talk to, and as a man, I'd likely turn that into something physical and then I'd be a best-selling author in an extramarital affair..."
08 November 2016