Archive for August, 2011

Because someone, somewhere can’t find the random button on Wikipedia on their own, I offer you a handy link once a week.  The subject of this week’s random Wikipedia article is:

Pillar (Lake District).

It always feels a little incongruous when I’m reading something like this article about an English mountain and it mentions something like rock climbing.  I guess I like to believe that England is all castles and moors and hamlets and nothing at all modern.  You would think actually going there would dispel that little misconception, but apparently it didn’t.  Maybe it would help if I went back.  And if that didn’t work, I could go back again.

And again.

I think I could enjoy being cured of this.


Read Full Post »

I’ve recently started reading The Lost World of Genesis One by John H. Walton.  It’s a really fascinating attempt to present the Biblical Creation account from the point of view of an Ancient Hebrew, and the argument for why that’s how it should be read.  I’m not terribly far into it, but so far I really like what I’ve read.  I came across this thought in the first chapter, and I thought it was worth sharing.  Read it, ponder it, digest it, and let me know what you think.

Science moves forward as ideas are tested and new ones replace old ones.  So if God aligned revelation with one particular science, it would have been unintelligible to people who lived prior to the time of that science, and it would be obsolete to those who live after that time.

Read Full Post »

I don’t know if you are familiar with TED Talks or not, but if you aren’t you certainly should be.  The blurb on their home page describes it better than I could:  “Riveting talks by remarkable people, free to the world.”  I watched this one last night entitled “Arthur Benjamin does ‘Mathemagic'”, and I was compelled to see exactly what that meant.  Do you know what it means?  It means this guy can apparently do some really complex multiplying in his head extremely fast.  It’s a really interesting video, and I highly recommend it, especially his last feat of mathemagic.  It’s pretty amazing.

I think I may post some more TED talks in the near future.  The blurb doesn’t lie.

Read Full Post »

I’m sure it’s just because of the first line, but this song feels like an autumn sort of song.  I’m ready for a little better-angled sunlight, far less humidity, and some fiery colors on my trees.

Vodpod videos no longer available.

Also, this has always been one of my favorite Zeppelin songs, but it’s probably just because it references Lord of the Rings.

Read Full Post »

I read this article on Gamesradar detailing seven reasons why the Super Nintendo is Nintendo’s best console.   They make some good points.  In fact, the SNES may just be the greatest console ever made.  It’s amazing to me how well those 16-bit games hold up better than the old NES stuff that came before, and the first forays into 3-d that came afterward.  Gabe and I played through Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past this summer, and it’s still a blast to play.

So how about it?  What is the best video game console of all time?   Feel free to elaborate in the comments.

Read Full Post »

After a long day of teaching there’s nothing I like more than to come home, turn my brain off for awhile, and get some distance from chemistry and physics until tomorrow.  That’s why I like a random article from Wikipedia on a late Tuesday afternoon.   I mean, there are millions and millions of articles on Wikipedia.  I could read about a great person in history, some foreign company I’ve never heard of, or maybe even a video game.  The chances of hitting on one of the subjects I’ve been teaching all day must be insanely high.  So, with a sigh of relief, the subject of this week’s random Wikipedia article is:

Chemical classification.

GAAAH!  Why, Wikipedia?  Why would you betray me?




Read Full Post »

I meant to post this at the end of last week, but I didn’t get around to it.  Oh, well.  Better late than never.  A lot of this is pretty interesting stuff, mostly about how the things Campbell tended to emphasize and his method of biblical interpretation have evolved into the spiritual values of the modern Church of Christ.  We’ve been going for awhile now, and there are still several lessons to go.  I hope my class is still learning something, or at least interested week to week.  Here’s the handy printable version:


Restoration Class Notes – Week Seven  


Restoration Notes

Week Seven


I.                    Developing a Theology

a.       Theology

                                                               i.      Shunned by early leaders as divisive in nature

                                                             ii.      What is it?

1.      study of God

2.      book defines it as “Thoughtful reflections on the Christian faith”.

                                                            iii.      You have a Theology whether you want to admit it or not.

b.      Three parts of Campbell’s theology that still influence us

                                                               i.      Unity and Restoration

1.      New Testament practices would restore the Early Church

2.      Campbell wrote extensively on what the church should look like in a series called “A Restoration of the Ancient Order of Things”

a.       Dangers of creeds

b.      Worship

c.       Weekly communion

d.      Church offices

3.      Purpose of restoring the Ancient Order

a.       NOT to be legalistically correct

b.      Unity, of course

c.       To make the church the model of discipleship that it was supposed to be.

4.      Why did Campbell spend so much time on the church and neglect other doctrines (God, Christ, Holy Spirit, salvation, end times, etc.)

a.       Not that he didn’t understand or think about them.

b.      Believed most Protestant teaching about those doctrines was sound – those didn’t need restoring

c.       For example:  the Apostle’s Creed

                                                                                                                                       i.      Campbell preaches the danger of creeds, but he is willing to profess the Apostle’s Creed

1.      “We never objected to a creed properly so called.  We have a creed – and apostolic creed.”

2.      Adds baptism for the remission of sins to it

                                                                                                                                     ii.      Campbell thinks everything in the Creed is important, that’s the stuff everyone believed, so he focused on what he thought was left out. 

5.      What this means for the Church of Christ today

a.       Theology tends to be uneven

                                                                                                                                       i.      Overemphasize some things at the expense of others

1.      doctrine of the church is strong

2.      views on God and the Holy Spirit sometimes get left out.

b.      Restoration is a means to unity

                                                                                                                                       i.      Some later leaders thought you had to choose one or the other

                                                                                                                                     ii.      Some later leaders even felt that restoration had been accomplished – though Campbell viewed it as something ongoing until the return of Christ.

                                                             ii.      Biblical Interpretation

1.      Enlightenment influenced

a.       Read the Bible grammatically and historically

b.      A scientific approach

2.      Not a completely rationalistic approach

a.       Bible must be read with more than the mind

                                                                                                                                       i.      Must be read with a desire to know the will of God

                                                                                                                                     ii.      The heart must be engaged as well

b.      Wanted scholars who put the word into practice

3.      Christocentric

a.       Use the best contemporary methods of Biblical interpretation, but keep the focus on a heart-felt relationship with Christ

                                                                                                                                       i.      Helped avoid legalism

                                                                                                                                     ii.      Studying to arrive at correct teaching was important, but it’s secondary to the Bible’s picture of Christ

                                                            iii.      Baptism and What it Means to be a Christian

1.      Teachings on Baptism did more to separate the Stone-Campbell movement form other Christian groups than anything else (even Baptists didn’t emphasize it as much)

2.      Divisiveness of Baptism was an Early Concern

a.       Stone

                                                                                                                                       i.      Baptism might become a one-item creed

                                                                                                                                     ii.      Would exclude more Christians from union than any other creed

                                                                                                                                    iii.      In some cases, his worry became reality

b.      Are only the immersed entitled to the name of Christian?

                                                                                                                                       i.      Campbell addressed this in the Millennial Harbinger after receiving a letter expressing surprise at his claim that he found Christians in all Protestant groups

                                                                                                                                     ii.      Campbell’s view

1.      If no Protestant groups contained true Christians, then there would have been no Christians for centuries, and thus no church, making Jesus a liar.

2.      therefore, other groups must contain Christians

3.      plea for unity was a call to Christians to come out of sectarianism

a.       if all the Christians were in the Stone-Campbell movement, then unity was already achieved

b.      a plea to unity means there are Christians apart from one another, that need to come together

4.      In short, Campbell did not believe that the Stone-Campbell Christians were the only ones going to heaven.

3.      How did Campbell view baptism then?

a.       Letter asked, “What act of yours gave you the name of Christian?”

                                                                                                                                       i.      Campbell preached believers baptism

                                                                                                                                     ii.      Campbell called on those baptized as infants to be immersed as adults

                                                                                                                                    iii.      A lot of his followers came to believe that only those immersed as adults were Christians

1.      Campbell accused them of being legalists about baptism, or making baptism a savior

2.      Refused to make baptism the standard of Christian faith

a.       Who is a Christian, the one baptized as an infant, or as an adult?

b.      Campbell would say, the one who loves Christ the most.

c.       “Did I act otherwise, I would be a pure sectarian, a Pharisee among Christians.”

b.      Baptism is important, but NOT more important than Christian character. 

                                                                                                                                       i.      Saw it as a terrible offense to deny the name Christian to someone who displays the character of Christ

                                                                                                                                     ii.      It’s legalistic and sectarian

c.       Did Campbell believe baptism was essential to salvation?

                                                                                                                                       i.      Yes, he did.  But he’s willing to say that those who lack understanding of baptism can still be saved.

                                                                                                                                     ii.      “Can a person who simply, not perversely, mistakes the outer baptism, have the inward?”

d.      Believed he kept a middle ground between essentialists and non-essentialists.

                                                                                                                                       i.      Didn’t advocate an open membership of the church.  (Would not call everyone ‘brother’ who called God ‘father’). 

                                                                                                                                     ii.      Obedience to Christ was necessary, and that included baptism.

1.      claimed this agreed with Christians, Catholics, and Protestants alike

2.      had to be baptized, but if you were ignorant of believer’s baptism, you weren’t unsaved because of your ignorance.

Read Full Post »

Older Posts »